“I MET the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops on Monday 7th December. I asked him to bring my resignation as Bishop of Limerick to Pope Benedict.
The Holy Father has accepted my resignation which takes effect from this morning at 11am Irish time.
“I have heard the views of many survivors, especially in the days following the publication of the Murphy Report. Some expressed the wish that I should resign; others asked me not to do so. I know full well that my resignation cannot undo the pain that survivors of abuse have suffered in the past and continue to suffer each day. I humbly apologise once again to all who were abused as little children. To all survivors of abuse I repeat my primary concern is to assist in every way that I can, on their journey towards finding closure and serenity.
“A bishop is meant to be a person who seeks to lead and inspire all the people of the diocese in living as a community united in the truth and love of Christ. I asked the Holy Father to allow me to resign and to appoint a new bishop to the diocese because I believed that my presence will create difficulties for some of the survivors who must have first place in our thoughts and prayers.
“Let my last words as Bishop of Limerick be those I spoke in St Joseph’s on November 29 last: ‘We are people who believe that God’s mercy and God’s healing are without limit. We are meant to be bearers of that hope to one another and especially to people whose trust was betrayed when they were just little children and who endured the terror, helplessness and suffering inflicted by a frightening and dominant adult. They should always have a special place in our prayers.’”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
More in this section