Support groups call on Murphy report bishops to quit

GROUPS that provide support for those abused by Irish Catholic clerics last night called on all bishops named in the Murphy report to resign.

Executive director of One In Four Maeve Lewis said: “Ultimately, the resignations of all the auxiliary bishops named in the report are inevitable. It will be immeasurably damaging to both survivors and the Catholic Church if this process is dragged out indefinitely.”

Andrew Madden, author of Altar Boy, A Story of Life After Abuse, welcomed the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin but said neither he nor Bishop Murray of Limerick had fully assumed responsibility for the cover up of sexual abuse of children by priests within the Archdiocese of Dublin. “I note that both Bishop Murray and Bishop Moriarty have resigned for the good of the Church and without accepting any responsibility for the cover up of child sexual abuse by priests. This is not surprising to me,” he said.

Noting the Murphy report found the welfare of children was subordinated to an overall priority which was the good of the Church and that there was a disturbing failure to accept responsibility on behalf of some of the bishops, he added: “It is plain to see that both of these findings of the commission are still true of the Catholic bishops today.”

He reiterated his call for Bishops Martin Drennan, Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field to resign following publication of the Murphy report.

However, the editor of The Irish Catholic Garry O’Sullivan commended Bishop Moriarty. “This is about taking responsibility and dealing with the overall conclusion of the Murphy report, that is that those in leadership positions failed to respond properly to criminal acts, whether intentional or not doesn’t really matter.”

Mr O’Sullivan said Bishop Moriarty had accepted the report’s finding from day one. “He accepts he should have challenged the prevailing culture, which was led by Archbishop [Desmond] Connell,” said Mr O’Sullivan.


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