In a dramatic move at midnight mass in Dublin on Christmas Eve, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has announced that two more bishops, Ray Field and Eamon Walsh, will resign their positions because of the spreading pedophile scandal in the Irish church.
Both Field and Walsh were named in the recent Murphy Commission report on pedophile priests and the cover up of their activities in the Dublin archdiocese.
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. Bishop 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.
Archbishop Martin's statements came at Midnight mass on Christmas eve at the Pro -Cathedral in Dublin. During the ceremony a heckler shouted at the archbishop that he should 'pray to God for his sins'. The archbishop asked the congregation to pray for Field and Walsh and added ,"pray for me too."
Outside a demonstrator burned copies of the Murphy report saying it was a cover up and telling mass goers he and his brother had been abused by one of the pedophile priests.