The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has been severely criticized by fellow priests over his handling of the Murphy report.

Over 25 priests attended a meeting at Mansrea retreat house on January 18. The minutes of the meeting were published Friday in the Irish Catholic newspaper.

"At least among some priests there is dismay . . . about the fact that the archbishop appears to give the impression that he is not willing to defend the reputation of the many good priests not implicated in the Murphy report," said Irish Catholic editor Garry O’Sullivan.

The minutes detail the "anger, frustration and a sense of helplessness" directed at the auxiliary bishops.

The priests say that Martin was now "a source of division" amongst priests.

Many of the priests now believe their reputations are tarnished because of the actions of a few.

"We felt that a grave injustice has been done to men who have loyally served this diocese with selfless commitment and Christ-like compassion," reads an excerpt from the minutes.

The priest were also left "dumbfounded" at Martin’s decision to distance the diocese from Bishop Donal O'Mahony. The priests strongly condemned Martin’s attitude towards O'Mahony.

"To say his good name had been tarnished was untrue, cruel and insulting," continue the meeting’s log.

As a result of Martin’s comments, O'Mahony called on the clergy to challenge the media and the public about the Murphy report. He has strenuously denied that the Catholic Church engaged in a mass "cover up."

The priest also criticized Martin for his "dictatorial manner," and for not communicating sufficiently with his fellow priests.

"He enjoyed a good honeymoon period with the press...but now there is a general feeling that the archbishop is a source of division among his priests and among his fellow bishops. Justice demands that he be confronted and told that if he is about reform, then the priests and the laity...need to be part of the entire process. We are no longer content to be puppets of the diocese."

The priests called for an analysis of the Murphy report to take place urgently.


There is only one priest per parish in Ireland