Three More Irish Bishops Resign

Three more Irish bishops have announced their resignations, bringing the total to four who have resigned as a result of a recent report on how the Dublin Archdiocese covered up clerical sex abuse allegations and put children at risk of further abuse. On Christmas Eve Dublin Auxiliary Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field announced they were offering their resignations to Pope Benedict XVI. "As we celebrate the feast of Christmas, the birth of our savior, the prince of peace, it is our hope that our action may help to bring the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse," the bishops said in a joint statement. "We again apologize to them. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have so bravely spoken out and those who continue to suffer in silence."

The previous day, Dec. 23, Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin announced his resignation, saying that he should have challenged the prevailing culture in Dublin's archdiocesan administration. The independent inquiry into the archdiocesan actions, known as the Murphy Report, was published in November. At that time, the three bishops said the report did not find them individually at fault in failing to report child abuse and that the most serious charge against any of them was a failure to consult diocesan records when complaints of abuse were made against priests. In his resignation statement, Bishop Moriarty said: "I fully accept the overall conclusion of the commission—that the attempts by church authorities to 'protect the church' and to 'avoid scandal' had the most dreadful consequences for children and were deeply wrong. It does not serve the truth to overstate my responsibility and authority within the archdiocese. Nor does it serve the truth to overlook the fact that the system of management and communications was seriously flawed," he said. "However, with the benefit of hindsight, I accept that, from the time I became an auxiliary bishop, I should have challenged the prevailing culture." Bishop Donal Murray, right, of Limerick announced his resignation Dec. 17.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

In a video, His Holiness Pope Francis speaks at TED2017, April 25, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Pope Francis asked all people to work toward a future that lifts up society’s most marginalized, including migrants, the sick, the unemployed and prisoners.
Michael J. O'LoughlinApril 26, 2017
Edward Lally (center) is joined by his schola, Sarah Coffman, Katherine Keberlein, Ngaire Bull and Sarah Beatty, at St. Edward's Catholic Church in Chicago on April 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Sarah Beatty.
With chant “you’re expressing something in pure melody."
Judith ValenteApril 25, 2017
Vivian Tuttle holds a photo of her daughter Yvonne, who was murdered during a 2002 bank robbery in Norfolk, Neb., as she testifies in favor of the death penalty at a public hearing in Omaha, Neb. in October 2016 (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file).
The fight against the death penalty lays bare the strengths and weaknesses of the Catholic approach to pro-life issues.
Joseph P. HooverApril 25, 2017
Bill Nye's gags are every bit as goofy as they were in the ’90s. But his new show on Netflix is weighed down by a condescending attitude.
Eric Sundrup, S.J.April 25, 2017