Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cardinal trying to get away scot-free, says victim
Cardinal trying to get away scot-free, says victim
By John Cooney and Patricia McDonagh
Wednesday December 16 2009

CARDINAL Desmond Connell was accused last night by an abuse victim of hiding behind retirement "to get away scot-free" for his mishandling and covering-up of priest paedophiles.

Mervyn Rundle, who took a successful criminal case against Fr Thomas Naughton, called for the resignations of Bishop Donal Murray and other bishops implicated in the Murphy report.

Mr Rundle also urged that criminal proceedings should be initiated against Cardinal Connell and Bishops Murray, Eamonn Walsh, Jim Moriarty, Martin Drennan and Raymond Field.

Speaking to the Irish Independent almost three weeks after the publication of the damning Murphy report into cover-ups by successive archbishops of Dublin of decades of clerical sexual abuse, Mr Rundle said the churchmen were hoping the media furore would blow over.

"Cardinal Connell is retired and knows if he sits back and says nothing, the media will stop trying to ask him questions, and that the scandals will become like discarded fish and chips paper bags," Mr Rundle said last night.

Mr Rundle appealed to Dublin Catholics this Christmas to give their donations to charities such as the Simon Community or St Vincent de Paul rather than to the Church.


Also speaking to the Irish Independent last night, victim Andrew Madden renewed his call for the resignations of the bishops named in the Murphy report, particularly the Bishop of Limerick, Donal Murray, who is in Rome after the report said his investigation of Fr Naughton was "inexcusable".

Mr Madden, who was abused as an altar boy by Fr Ivan Payne, said: "It is obscene that not a single bishop has resigned and taken responsibility for criticisms of them in the report."

Yesterday, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin refused to say whether Bishop Murray was the one bishop or official who had not replied to his letter asking for explanations of how they handled abuse.

Last night, written questions sent by the Irish Independent on Monday to Bishop Murray's spokesman in Rome remained unanswered about his possible resignation and dealings with the Congregation of Bishops.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin told the Dail the Vatican must still hand over files on clerical child abuse to the Murphy Commission. And he insisted the Vatican should co-operate with any future information requests from those inquiring into abuse in the dioceses of Dublin and Cloyne.

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also said in March 2007 that it would only respond through the proper "diplomatic channels" in a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Martin said there was a need for the files to be handed over. He said he had been anxious to put this position forward during his meeting with the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, at Iveagh House last Tuesday.

"The questions need to be answered and it is desirable that the information required be in the hands of the commission," he said.

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