From the Irish Independent: A senior cardinal who moved to protect the Vatican by restricting access to church records during inquiries into allegations of clerical sex abuse has resigned.
|By Wayne O'Connor|
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Angelo Sodano as Dean of the College of Cardinals, some of the most senior advisers to the pontiff. The college also convenes to elect new popes.
The Vatican said the 92-year-old Italian stepped down because of his "advanced age". Cardinal Sodano had served as Vatican Secretary of State for 15 years before succeeding Joseph Ratzinger as dean of the college when he became Pope in 2005.
Last year former president Mary McAleese described a meeting that she had with Cardinal Sodano as "one of the most devastating moments" of her presidency.
The pair met during a state visit to Italy in 2003. During the private meeting, Ms McAleese said the cardinal tried to seek an agreement that would see church documents protected by the church and State. Ms McAleese said she interrupted the conversation, saying it could not continue.
At the time the church was the subject of two high-profile inquiries in Ireland. The Ryan Commission was investigating the treatment of children in industrial schools and the Ferns Inquiry was examining clerical child sex abuse.
Ms McAleese said it was clear during their exchange that Cardinal Sodano wanted to protect the Vatican and church archives.
Continue Reading @ The Irish Independent.