The second of these, while a bit over the top, is a good example of what true remorse and willingness to make amends would look like. We’ve never seen anything like this from the Catholic Church in all the iterations of the sexual abuse scandal. As a result, the first version of the apology looks a lot more accurate.
UPDATE: An official response by the Vatican to the Cloyne Report is still forthcoming, but already the excuse making has started. The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, has issued a statement saying that the Church wasn’t contradicting Irish law in objecting to the mandatory reporting of allegations of child abuse to civil authorities. This is true – there was no law mandating this at the time. What the Church objected to, says Lombardi, was the idea that allegations should be reported. It is an idea that “contained aspects that were problematic from the point of view of compatibility with universal canon law.”
I suppose that under universal canon law it is illegal to protect children and see to it that criminal actions are investigated, when doing so would expose wrongdoing within the Church.