O'Donnell calls over Church-State relationship

Wednesday 09 November 2005 19.56
Liz O'Donnell - Special Church ties must end
Liz O'Donnell - Special Church ties must end

The Progressive Democrats backbench TD, Liz O'Donnell, has said the systematic failures of the Catholic Church outlined in the Ferns Report means that the special relationship which it had with the State must end.  

Ms O’Donnell also told the Dáil that there should be an official audit of the Church's wealth, using legal discovery orders if necessary.   

She said that given the extent of its wrongdoing against citizens the Catholic Church should be obliged to open up its books.  

The Dublin South TD was speaking during statements on the Ferns enquiry.

Ms O’Donnell said that all roads led to what she called the unrelentingly deferential relationship between Church and State.

She said this relationship was the at the root of society's failure to stop what she termed the Church's systematic maladministration and dereliction of duty to protect children.

That systematic failure meant that if the hierarchy were a Cabinet it would have resigned en masse or been thrown out of office, she said.

That special relationship must end and, she said, that meant there must be no more consultation on issues like abortion services, stem cell research and adoption and homosexuality.  

That also meant no longer accepting the good offices of the hierarchy because she said their track record was such that it could not be assumed they would be truthful.