found via (Richard Dawkin's DOT NET page
A copy of the 1997 letter from the Vatican, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to AP, warning Ireland's Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police. Photograph: AP
A letter to Ireland's Roman Catholic bishops has been revealed by the broadcaster RTE that contradicts the Vatican's frequent claim it has never instructed clergy to withhold evidence or suspicion of child abuse from police.
The 1997 letter documents rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to help police identify paedophile priests. Signed by the late Archbishop Luciano Storero, Pope John Paul II's envoy to Ireland, it instructs bishops that their new policy of making the reporting of suspected crimes mandatory "gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and canonical nature". (read on