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The Murphy Report

Irish bishop pressured by government to quit over Church child abuse

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The Murphy Report

A senior minster in the Irish government has stated that the Bishop of Limerick should reconsider his position after his involvement in the Murphy report about child sex abuse became known.

The Bishop of Limerick, Donal Murray, has reacted to calls from the public to resign, and said he would "be guided by the priests and people of the diocese" and make a decision that is relative to their opinion.

The Bishop was criticized in the recent Murphy report about child abuse within the Catholic Church. Murray was one of the hierarchy mentioned that covered up the abuse.

Limerick's Minister of Defense, Willie O'Dea, was asked on national TV whether or not the Bishop of Limerick should resign.

“I know Donal Murray personally and I have always had a very good relationship with him, and I find him a decent man. I must say that I am bitterly disappointed to read what I have read in the Murphy report. I am sure Donal Murray, who is a person who would think deeply about these things, is examining his situation at the moment and he will make the appropriate decision,” O'Dea said.

Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore said that the Bishop had "serious questions to answer", and that his actions in response to child abuse was "inexcusable."

Bishop McAreavey added, "I'm sure that Bishop Murray is reflecting on that. I know that he has, to date, taken the view that he should remain but I think he will be thinking very seriously about this."

Murray addressed Mass at St. Joseph's Church in Limerick yesterday.

"There have as you know been calls for me to resign. As far as I am concerned, the question of whether I should resign is a question of whether my presence here is a help or a hindrance to the diocese of Limerick,” he said.

"In that matter I will be guided by the priests and people of the diocese. We have many bodies that represent groups and areas in the diocese – the priests’ council, the parish pastoral councils, the diocesan pastoral council, the pastoral areas of the diocese and the diocesan child protection committee. They guide me and advise me. And they will be guided and advised by you in your parishes and areas.”

McAreavey felt he should resign if Murray found his "ability to deal with these matters with credibility and integrity" was undermined.

Bishop Jim Moriarty of Kildare also came under scrutiny. He was bishop in Dublin from 1991 to 2001. The Bishop refused to act on a complaint about Fr. Edmondus, a priest who had molested several children.

The report stated that "No attempt was made by the archdiocesan authorities to check the archives or other files relating to Fr. Edmondus when these complaints were received"

“Bishop Moriarty pointed out to the commission that he did not have access to the archives, but he could have asked the archbishop to conduct a search.”

This “meant that the concerns were not taken as seriously as they should have been. There was no proper investigation of these concerns.” the report said.

Marie Collins was abused by Fr Edmondus in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Dublin in 1960. Collins said she had grown "even more disillusioned with them (clergy)" they "seem incapable of straight answers.

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