Burying their heads in sand - Catholic Church and abuse

IT seems that the attitude of the Catholic Church in Ireland has undergone little, if any, change judging by the remarks made by a bishop at the funeral of a fellow bishop who was scathingly criticised by the 2009 Murphy inquiry into how the archdiocese of Dublin handled allegations of child abuse by priests.

Burying their heads in sand - Catholic Church and abuse

Significantly, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, was among the attendance at the funeral.

It defies credulity that the present auxiliary bishop, Eamonn Walsh, should tell mourners that the late auxiliary bishop, Dermot O’Mahony had suffered at the hands of “a society that at the time ignored the spirit of equity”. He claimed the former bishop had been “scapegoated”.

It is nothing short of extraordinary that the bishop should also compare his predecessor’s treatment with that inflicted on some of the saints. It is one thing to defend the reputation of a man who undoubtedly had fine qualities, “a man of great integrity”, to quote Bishop Walsh, but it is something else to attempt to stand the truth on its head.

The Murphy Commission found that that the handling of complaints in his time as auxiliary bishop of Dublin from 1975 to 1996 was “particularly bad”, saying he had been aware of 13 complaints. His behaviour was outrageously wrong because the perpetrators were free to prey on other victims . What is it that some leaders of the Catholic church do not understand about child abuse?

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