Pope urged to force bishops to quit over abuse ‘cover-up’

SURVIVORS of clerical sex abuse have called on the Pope to force the resignation of bishops they say did nothing to challenge “the culture of cover up”.

Yesterday, a group representing survivors of clerical abuse, met Irish bishops in advance of their visit to Rome next week for an emergency meeting at which the fallout from the Murphy Report into the rape and abuse of 320 children by 46 priests in the Dublin Archdiocese will be top of the agenda.

“Today’s meeting was constructive and helpful to us... The meeting focused on the ongoing concerns of survivors. We intend to relay these concerns to Pope Benedict both verbally and in the form of written submissions which were presented to us today by survivors and which directly represent their views,” Dromore Bishop John McAreavey said in Maynooth yesterday.

Meanwhile, in an open letter to the Pope, sex abuse survivors Marie Collins and Andrew Madden state: “Many who have suffered throughout their lives from the impact of sexual abuse by priests in childhood now realise, having read the Murphy Report, that their pain and suffering could have been avoided if senior churchmen and the civil authorities had acted properly in response to complaints received from earlier victims.

“Survivors find it incomprehensible that the Vatican and your representative in Ireland, the Papal Nuncio, saw fit to hide behind diplomatic protocols to avoid co-operating with the Murphy Commission.”

The letter goes on to say that bishops throughout Ireland “who engaged in this culture of cover up in their own dioceses should resign from their positions instead of waiting to see the extent to which they are criticised in any future reports, should the commission of investigation be expanded to include their dioceses.


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