There is not doubt any more that the Catholic Church and the Irish government colluded to cover up endemic child abuse by priests.
The report of the Commission of Investigation stated this in clear terms.
What everybody has known for years is finally acknowledged as fact, and the Church is most sincerely sorry. An Garda Siochana is launching their own investigation, an examination long delayed, into the State's participation in the scandal.
Was there criminal liability? Are gardai to be taken to task for kow-towing to the local bishop and not pursuing complaints? Is the State to be sued for failing to act, for helping the Church to hide and avoid prosecution?
What can be done for the victims whose lives were destroyed by criminal acts of physical and sexual abuse that were ignored, all to save the reputation of the Catholic Church?
It is hoped that the report will provide a framework to avoid a repeat of such incidents in the future, but the damage is done to both the victims and the Church, which has lost its former standing as moral authority. A bishop or priest cannot open his mouth without being laughed at, for those who would throw stones are now proven to be with sin.
That which was hidden has been revealed. The perpetrators must now deal with the fall-out of their decades of hypocrisy.