David Quinn is an internationally known freelance reporter who covers religion. In an opinion article published in Ireland Independent newspaper, he says Prime Minister Enda Kenny's criticism was based on the Vatican of the late 1990's and not the Vatican of today.
The outcry came after the Cloyne report was made public. According to the report, in 1997 the apostolic nuncio at the time, wrote a letter to Irish Bishops, which said the Congregation for the Clergy had reservations on reporting alleged sex abuse cases to officials.
The letter insinuates the matter should be dealt by canon law instead. Back then, the Congregation was headed by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. The retired Cardinal was recently openly criticized by the Vatican spokesman for overly protecting accused priests.
The letter though, doesn't forbid priest from reporting the abuse to authorities, nor does it interfere with the laws of Ireland.
While the Vatican does deserve criticism for this mentality, the reporter says the Irish government should share the blame. In the late 90's the state had reservations on issuing a rule that would make it mandatory to report cases of alleged sex abuse.
This even though Ireland's government leaders at the time, which including Prime Minster Kenny, had the power to implement it.