The Irish Times – Monday, December 14, 2009
PATSY McGARRY KATHRYN HAYES
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.
Categories: Dublin Diocesan Report - Child Abuse.