The Irish Times – Monday, December 14, 2009


BISHOP OF Limerick Donal Murray is to have a second meeting in Rome this week with senior officials of the Congregation for Bishops to discuss his future.

Bishop Murray’s secretary, Fr Paul Finnerty, confirmed at the weekend that the bishop was remaining on in Rome pending his second meeting with congregation officials.

To date Bishop Murray has not met Pope Benedict, nor is this expected.

Bishop Murray went to the Vatican on December 6th to discuss his situation following calls for his resignation as bishop in the wake of the Murphy report. It described as “inexcusable” his handling of an allegation of clerical child sex abuse when he was an auxiliary bishop in Dublin.

Should he resign, responsibility for the administration of Limerick diocese may go to Archbishop of Cashel Dermot Clifford. Metropolitan in that area, Archbishop Clifford is also currently apostolic administrator for Cloyne diocese.

Meanwhile, Dublin Mater hospital consultant psychiatrist Patricia Casey said where the five serving bishops named in the Murphy report were concerned, that “there is an imperative on them to resign”.

There were, she said, “times when people have to do the courageous thing”. Where it had “to be seen that the old order was gone, resignations become important”, she said.

Prof Casey added that any of the five serving bishops “who knew there was a cover-up, quite clearly, should resign”. If that was not the case and they had assumed matters were being handled by Archbishop’s House it might be different, she said. But, she felt, there may also be a question of guilt by association.

A “cleansing” may be required, she continued. She remarked that “Jesus was crucified, even though he was innocent. They [the bishops] might take him as a model, for change to go through,” she said.

Speaking in a personal capacity, director of the pro-family Iona Institute David Quinn, said “any bishop who behaved inexcusably, to use a word, should have to resign”. Any other bishop who believed he may have behaved similarly “should have to resign also”, he said. “If it means six or eight have to go, then so be it,” he added.

If a relevant bishop “can put up sufficient defence to convince the court of public opinion, then let him remain [in office]. But if he cannot, he should resign”, he said.

Such was the degree of outrage and disillusionment on the part of victims and the public that resignations “can’t be treated as a internal [church] matter”, he said. It was a situation similar to that which applied to bankers when what was also an internal institutional crisis became so great that its ramifications were a matter for society at large.

Former professor of moral theology at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, Fr Vincent Twomey, yesterday described as “scandalous” the fact that five serving bishops named in the report had not yet resigned. He was speaking on BBC Northern Ireland’s Sunday Sequence radio programme and RTÉ Radio I’s Marian Finucane programme. He said the five bishops should resign immediately. “The longer they delay the greater the damage they are doing, the greater the hurt to the victims and the greater the hurt to the other innocent victims who are convinced Catholics, who are really totally confused by the whole thing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fr Brian Nolan (31) celebrated his first Mass in Limerick on Saturday. He was one of three men ordained as Redemptorist priests by Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady in Dundalk last Sunday.


5 Responses to “Bishop Murray to have second meeting in Rome”

  1. As Saint Ignatius de Loyola said, “Get them while they are young”.
    See, “churches ad hoc” at

  2. barry clifford says:

    Coming in to the New Year for many in Ireland lies an uncertain future. It would be nice to have inspirational quote to motivate and the only one that I could think of was an old favorite, ‘A pessimist finds difficulty in every opportunity while an optimist finds opportunity in every difficulty’. This time round though it does not have the desired effect for a few reasons: For one, it has already inspired all the wrong people like suspect bankers, dodgy property developers, and corrupt politicians. For two, because of them it now inspires a growing culture of social welfare fraud, tax dodgers, and a black economy, and the honest are pressed somewhere in between. It also carries a grey area where religion feeds the pessimist because of fear and kills the optimist because of their idealism. Greed itself has become a by word for the meaning of ‘opportunity’ and had become cloaked in the wretched clothes of the character ‘Fagin’ from the Charles Dickens novel, Oliver. Its meaning to day is survival. There is hope for we were all born winners.

    Birth itself won us our first race, our own history shows us how far we have come, our endurance will teach our children, and the courage that came with it will show them the way. As individuality came with our fingerprints it is with that that can determine the day. Even if you stumble it is better this that not having tried at all.
    Barry Clifford

  3. Gabrielle North says:

    I cannot believe still what is going on in Ireland just denial all the way through. As Paddy I have said many times over some one should stand trail for what has gone on in Ireland. It is time the Taliban of Ireland should stand and be counted some of these people who abused are all being cared for by the church and still living out their twilight years in considerable comfort unlike our good selves having being exposed to the elements of the church. I know the church are hoping it will all be relegated to the Annals of History well think again their has been to much damage done to the Irish people and they should be stripped of all their assets. Gabrielle North Portsmouth

  4. mmaguire says:

    Hi: If the Irish Catholic Church were a franchise like MacDonalds, Jesus Christ would have dropped down from heaven and cancelled this, their franchise for representing him, at least 20 years ago.

    The behaviour of many leading church members has ensured that not only do people no longer believe, they no longer trust the leadership or indeed the ability of such an organisation to retain any moral position.

    Kind regards

  5. Portia says:

    Personally, I feel it is time for the entire Roman Catholic Institution to be gotten rid of.

    It legal terms it qualifies as a brainwashing cult and like any other cult, it must be disbanded.

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