Bishops discuss child abuse report

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Bishops discuss child abuse report

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PATSY McGARRY and PAUL CULLEN

Ireland’s Catholic bishops are meeting today for the first time since publication of the Murphy report as Cardinal Seán Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin prepare for a meeting with Pope Benedict on Friday to discuss how the Catholic Church should deal with the damage caused to it by the child abuse scandal.

The scheduled winter meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference at Maynooth is expected to be dominated by discussion of the fallout from the Murphy report and will be attended by the papal nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, who yesterday apologised for mistakes made in the Vatican’s handling of child abuse.

Following a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin in Iveagh House, Dr Leanza said: “I express my shock and dismay and certainly I understand the anger of the people and the suffering of those who were abused, so we certainly condemn this . . . If there was any mistake from our side we always apologise for this.”

Dr Leanza stressed there was no intention on the part of the Vatican not to co-operate with the Murphy commission and acknowledged that he himself should have responded to a letter from the commission.

Mr Martin said he had conveyed to the nuncio the Irish public’s “deep anger and outrage” over the Murphy report findings. He also insisted on full co-operation by the church with the ongoing inquiry by the Murphy commission into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in Cloyne diocese.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said he got “a few handshakes” from his fellow bishops as the meeting  started this morning in Maynooth.

Last week, Dr Martin said that just two bishops had lifted the phone to him following the publication of the Murphy report to ask if he was okay. Asked today whether more bishops had since been in contact, he said he hadn’t meant the comment “in a nasty way”.

Dr Martin was speaking to reporters during a break he took from the bishops’ meeting to say prayers at the opening by the President, Mary McAleese, of new accommodation at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross.

He said consideration of the report would take up half the agenda of the bishops’ meeting, but declined to comment otherwise at this stage.

Asked about the apology made by Dr Leanza for mistakes made in the Vatican’s handling of child abuse, Dr Martin said he hadn’t had the opportunity to consider them yesterday.

The Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray, who is already in Rome, is expected to meet the Congregation of Bishops over coming days to tender his resignation.

There is a growing view that an announcement of its acceptance may be delayed and that any resignations following the Murphy report may be announced together.

Bishops named in the Murphy report include the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Jim Moriarty, the Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan, the two Dublin auxiliary bishops Éamonn Walsh and Ray Field. Msgr John Dolan who was vice chancellor in Dublin from 1980 to 1997, when he became chancellor, is also named.

Bishop Éamonn Walsh told RTÉ yesterday he did not wish to comment on an Irish Times report that some Vatican sources expected he would resign this week.

Yesterday the Bishop of Killaloe Willie Walsh said: “An awful lot of things went wrong in the past . . . Whatever price it takes, we want to remove all of that.”

A press conference that had been expected to take place this evening in Maynooth is not now going ahead.

Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin will fly to Rome tomorrow where they will meet the pope and members of the Curia at the Vatican on Friday afternoon. They are expected to speak to the media afterwards.

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2 thoughts on “Bishops discuss child abuse report

  1. ALthough the “key bishop” of the child abuse scandal in Ireland will resign and even though “the head of the Irish Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will meet with the Pope next week at the Vatican to discuss the report on abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese,” the question arises whether and to what extent this will help the victims and their families who have been deeply and emotionally traumatized, not to forget the alienation from God in society caused by such “STALWART DEFENDERS” of religious faith! Wouldn’t it be about time to ask where the responsibility for all this lies? Enforced celibacy has no biblical foundation at all! Why was it instituted in the first place? And why was such a perversion covered up for so long by an organization that claims to be the guardian of Christian ethics and morals? And why was this allowed by the authorities for so long? Were church and state in each other pockets?

    May we hope that the discussion with the Pope at the Vatican next week will HELP clear up ALL THE TRADITIONS AND PRACTICES, DOGMAS AND RITES, that CONTRADICT the teachings of the greatest Prophet of all times, Jesus of Nazareth? AND PERHAPS, WHILE THEY’RE AT IT, start compensating for ALL THE wrongs DONE OVER THE ages?! What would Jesus of Nazareth say if He came to the Earth and saw what the church – which claims to speak for Him – has made of His life’s work?

    A move has been made by a small group of people against such shameful sham Christianity. They’ve put out a website and call themselves “The Free Christians for the Christ of the Sermon on the Mount in All Cultures Worldwide.” At this website they announce a lawsuit against the Catholic Church – of all places, in Germany, a bastion of the Catholic institution! And the sexual abuse of young people is one of the reasons they give for having taken such a step. As they put it, they do not want to remain silent anymore on the “brazen labeling fraud,” with which Christ is mocked and His name abused to such an extent. They demand that the Archbishopric in Freiburg, headed by Zollitsch, and representing the Catholic Church in its totality, be enjoined from calling itself “Christian.”

    As a Christian, I fully support this and consider it high time that someone calls a spade a spade. Nothing against the sincere folk and priests who work hard and honestly, upholding the ideals of a Christian life. But as an institution, it has taken on a life of it’s own, and one could indeed ask if there is anything Christian about it! I commend the courage of these people to call the Church to task. Perhaps your readers would like to check them out: http://www.christus-oder-kirche.de/christ-or-church/index.php. There seems to be a grassroots movement to bring this up for discussion on the internet. Surely this could be very healthy for our society!

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  2. Pingback: Pope asks priests to become more Web savvy – CNET | .:: MrCoi Blog ::.

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