The Archbishop of Dublin has accused fellow bishops of ‘hiding’ further details of clerical sexual abuse in three reports yet to be published.
Speaking in the wake of the scandalous Cloyne Report, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin claimed some of his fellow bishops are deliberately withholding more damning reports from the public.
In a reference to three such unpublished reports from Irish dioceses, Bishop Martin said: “There is no point having documents that were not published.”
He added: “If the bishop feels he is being treated unjustly, publish it and then say this is unjust. But hiding isn’t helping.”
Speaking to mass goers at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral on Sunday, the Archbishop admitted that great damage has been done to the credibility of his church in Ireland by the poor handling of child abuse allegations in the Cork diocese of Cloyne.
He also said he was ‘angered’ at the lack of response by Church authorities to children whose lives were ruptured by abuse.
“Irish religious culture has radically changed and has changed irreversibly. There will be no true renewal in the Church until that fact is recognized. The Church cannot continue to be present in society as it was in the past,” said Archbishop Martin.
“Those in Church and State who have acted wrongly or inadequately should assume responsibility.
“What is at stake here is not just the past, but the future of our children and our young people and the need to foster a healthy environment across the board in which our upcoming generations are cherished and can grow to maturity.”
The leader of the Catholic Church in Dublin also revealed that his first thoughts upon reading the Cloyne report were for those who had attended the liturgy of lament and repentance at the Pro-Cathedral some months ago.
“My mind turned to those who organized it and took part in it,” he said. “I asked myself: what are they thinking today?
“Are they asking themselves if that entire liturgy was just an empty show? Were they being used just to boost the image of the Church? Were their renewed hopes just another illusion about a Church which seems unable to reform itself? Was their hurt just being further compounded?
“As I pondered this, the first emotion that came to me was one of anger. It was anger at what had happened in the diocese of Cloyne and at response – or non-response - that was made to children whose lives had been ruptured by abuse.
“Anger at the fact that children had been put at risk well after agreed guidelines were in place which were approved by all the Irish bishops.
“I felt angry at how thousands of men and women in this diocese of Dublin must feel, who have invested time and training to ensure that the Church they love and hope can be different would truly be a safe place for children.”