Three more Bishops are under pressure to resign after Bishop James Moriarty offered his resignation to Pope Benedict on Wednesday. The three bishops in question were severely criticized in the Murphy report for taking no action against the pedophiles priests who took advantage of the most vulnerable in their congregation.
It has also become evident in recent days that there is massive tension between the remaining bishops under scrutiny and the Archbishop of Dubin, Desmond Martin who has publicly clashed with them.
The current Dublin Auxiliary Bishops Eamonn Walsh, and Bishop Ray Field and Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan were appointed to their positions in the 19990's. The Murphy report found that they covered up evidence of sexual abuse by pedophile priests and failed to help the victims of the abuse.
Last night Archbishop Diarmuid Martin issued a statement outlining his position on the situation. An earlier statement from Bishop Walsh said that Archbishop Martin supported the remaining auxiliary Bishops. He supposedly said so at a meeting with the clergy of the Archdiocese in the Citywest on December 12th.
However Archbishop Martin denied that he gave full support to the Bishops in question. A spokesperson for the Archbishop told the Irish Times that, "When asked at the Citywest gathering of priests if he had confidence in his priests and auxiliary bishops, he replied that he had confidence in the ministry they were carrying out."
Archbishop Martin, "clearly noted, however, that with regard to the auxiliary bishops, he is still evaluating their positions regarding the manner in which they addressed the question of accountability for the implications of the Murphy report”.
“Archbishop Martin does not believe that anyone could interpret his comments as giving unconditional support and he has, indeed, received critical comments for his not offering such support.” said the spokesperson.
Bishop Moriarty released a statement yesterday expressed regret at his actions as a leader in the Dublin Archdiocese.
"With the benefit of hindsight, I accept that, from the time I became an auxiliary bishop, I should have challenged the prevailing culture,” said Bishop Moriarty.
“I know that any action now on my part does not take away the suffering that people have endured. I again apologize to all the survivors and their families. I have today offered my resignation as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin to the Holy Father.I hope it honors the truth that the survivors have so bravely uncovered and opens the way to a better future for all concerned.”
Victims of the sexual abuse have supported the resignations and abuse survivor Marie Collins said that she was "encouraged by him having courage" and hoped that the other Bishops in question would follow suit.
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