DUBLIN, Ireland — In what turned into a night of high drama at Midnight Mass in Dublin on Christmas Eve, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin announced that two more bishops, Ray Field and Eamon Walsh, will resign their positions because of the spreading pedophile scandal in the Irish Catholic Church.
Martin's stunning announcement was made from the pulpit of the city's famous Pro-Cathedral. During the ceremony, a heckler shouted to the Archbishop that he should "pray to God for his sins."
Martin asked the congregation to pray for Field and Walsh and added, "pray for me, too."
Outside the cathedral, a demonstrator burned copies of the Murphy Report — which detailed the activities of pedophile priests and the cover-up of their crimes by senior Archdiocese officials — saying the report was also a cover-up, and telling Mass-goers he and his brother had been abused by priests.
Both Field and Walsh were named in the Murphy Report. Their resignations mean that four bishops have now been removed who had worked in the Dublin Archdiocese in the 1980s and 1990s when the abuse occurred.
Bishops Donal Murray of Limerick and James Moriarty of Kildare have already stepped aside.
A fifth, Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway, is still insistent that he will not resign.