Two more bishops who were named in the damning Murphy Report on child sex abuse in the Irish Catholic Church are expected to quickly step down from their positions. Since Bishop Donal Murray's resignation yesterday to Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, both have admitted they too may have to resign.
Bishop Jim Moriarty was planning to retire in two years, and he will now be forced to retire before then. Bishop Eamonn Walsh said that he was reluctant to resign, but would do so if he became a "block on the Gospel."
In a statement in Limerick yesterday, Murray "humbly apologized" to the abuse victims and said that his continued presence would only "create difficulties for some of the survivors who must have first place in our thoughts and prayers."
Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Murray had taken the right path "for his Diocese and for the wider Irish Church."
Martin also announced that in the coming weeks he will be meeting with all members of the clergy who were mentioned in the Murphy Report. The Archbishop said "changes" in the Diocese are imminent.
Murray flew to Rome two weeks ago to offer his resignation to the Pope. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said it "was not a surprise" that Murray "was in Rome a number of days ago." He also said Murray volunteered his resignation "of his own initiative and his own will."
A meeting of senior priests will take place within the next eight days and a temporary administration will be in place until a suitable replacement is found.
Abuse victim Marie Collins welcomed Murray's resignation, and said that the other bishops mentioned in the report "have to go, too. They were all part of a system which allowed children to be hurt."
Andrew Madden, another sexual abuse victim, also called for the other priests named in the Murphy Report to resign from their positions immediately.
“Their continued presence in office is an insult to every child sexually abused by a priest in the Dublin Archdiocese. They display a contemptible level of arrogance and an inappropriate lack of humility."