Saturday, December 19, 2009

Catholic Bishops clash as child abuse scandal rocks Irish church

Catholic Bishops clash as child abuse scandal rocks Irish church
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:08 AM on 19th December 2009
Ireland's Catholic hierarchy faced further damage tonight after an under-fire Bishop clashed with a colleague over a sickening child abuse scandal.

Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan, one of five senior clerics named in the Murphy report, claimed Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin had called his integrity into question over the Church's mishandling of paedophile priests.
The Archbishop stopped short of asking former and serving auxiliary bishops in the Dublin Archdiocese to resign but urged them to reflect on their positions.
Row: Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan, left, claimed Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin had called his integrity into question

But Bishop Drennan hit back and said: 'The people of Galway are saying my integrity has been called into question.

'I can't clear myself in this case. I don't know if Archbishop Martin intended that or not but it has put a question mark over my integrity.'
Bishop Drennan responded to a letter from the Archbishop following the publication of the damning Murphy report which exposed the Church's failure to deal with child abuse and subsequent cover-ups by Catholic hierarchy.

The Galway-based cleric, who was an auxiliary in Dublin from 1997 to 2005, insisted his conscience was clear.

'If I couldn't be a source of unity for the diocese I wouldn't want to stay on but I think at the moment I think I have vast support,' he said.

'I'm not claiming to be a saint by a long way but as far as I can remember I handled it as best I could and I have no regrets really about the way I handled the situation there.'
'I'm happy with the way I dealt with things,' he told RTE radio.

Bishop Drennan, along with Bishops Jim Moriarty, Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field, were all based in the Irish capital from 1974 and had some role in dealing with the sample 46 priests investigated in the report.

A fifth high-ranking cleric, Limerick Bishop Donal Murray, stood down after he was singled out in the report for mishandling allegations against an abusive cleric. Bishop Drennan said further resignations were not the answer.

'I would feel we'd get into a spiral of revenge. I can understand that people would be very angry and very good people are angry,' he added.

'What happened was appalling but taking the route of revenge and forcing resignations is not necessarily going to bring any healing.'

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