What you need to know about the resignation of Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick this week is that it is the tip of the iceberg. Murray resigned in Rome after evidence of his role in covering up pedophile priests in Dublin became public.
Two more bishops are said to be in the sights of the Vatican, which wants the mess cleared up and the Irish Church restored to normalcy.
Good luck with that. Two others may also have to go. Cardinal Desmond Connell, who has been pathetically dancing on the head of a pin trying to avoid any association with the scandal, may also be censured.
The facts are that two major inquiries in Irish dioceses have taken place. In Wexford, then-Bishop Brendan Comiskey was forced out after the horrific deeds of pedophile Father Sean Fortune were revealed. In Dublin, five bishops are under the spotlight.
The question is, of course, what would happen if the Murphy report into wrong-doing in the Dublin Archdiocese was duplicated in every diocese in Ireland? That is what clerical abuse watchdogs have called for.
The fallout would be horrific, but nonetheless I think it should be done.
It is time once and for all for the pedophiles and their enablers to be utterly exposed. Recently two very elderly Nazi guards at prison camps were placed under arrest and tried. Justice was seen to be done and the world can move on. The six million Jews who died can rest a tiny bit easier. The little children whose lives were ruined by pedophile priests all over Ireland need that same closure.
There are many fine bishops and priests all over Ireland who had nothing to do with pedophiles or cover -ups. Yet they are under the same suspicion as the real offenders.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Dublin has shown the way by forthrightly addressing the issue in the wake of the Murphy report. The Church in general needs to follow his lead, stop backpedalling, explaining away the inexplicable. A cleaning-out is needed from diocese to diocese where wrongs occurred.
Only then can the Church in Ireland regain its momentum.
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