Bishop of Galway not planning to quit

A BATTLE-WEARY Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has said he will not be resigning his post unless he can no longer “be a source of unity” in the diocese.

“As a bishop, I need to be a source of unity in the diocese. If I can be that for the people and for the priests in the diocese, I will stay on. If I couldn’t be that, I wouldn’t and wouldn’t want to stay” he said.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Bishop Drennan said he was happy with the way he dealt with things and pointed out that he had never been called to give evidence to the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.

Bishop Drennan said “it would be helpful” if Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was to back him publicly.

Following the resignation of Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray on Thursday, the archbishop issued a statement saying that bishops in the archdiocese needed to assume accountability for their role in failing to handle child abuse complaints properly.

Bishop Drennan said following this statement, the people of Galway were questioning his integrity. Bishop Drennan has replied to a letter from Archbishop Martin whereby he was asked to fully account for actions during his time in the Dublin Archdiocese. He also had a long meeting with the priests of the diocese where he explained his child protection role in Dublin and that his “conscience is clear”. Bishop Drennan described himself as “stressed” from the ongoing fallout from the Murphy Report and said: “There is a lot of anger, even amongst our best people.”

He said he doesn’t believe further resignations by the three other auxiliary bishops at the time, Bishops Field, Walsh and Moriarty, will serve any purpose either.

“I don’t think going down that route is the answer. I think we are going down a spiral of revenge. The forcing of resignations is not going to bring healing. The only route towards healing is the tough journey towards forgiveness.

“Our knowledge of the past will help us understand what took place. Understanding will help us to grow in the strength and limitations of the people,” he added.

On Thursday, Archbishop Martin called for “radical reform” and described the archdiocese as being in “a period of deep crisis”.

“There have been serious difficulties of structure and communication at management level in the Archdiocese of Dublin... Accountability must be assumed for that and radical reform is required in the archdiocese, not just in the area of child protection,” he said.

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