Monday, December 7, 2009

Censured bishop 'expected to go'

Censured bishop 'expected to go'
An Irish bishop who was criticised in a report into clerical child abuse has travelled to Rome where he is expected to offer his resignation to the Pope.

The Murphy report criticised the Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray for the way he dealt with a paedophile priest when he was an auxiliary bishop in Dublin.

The Irish state broadcaster RTE said on Monday that he had gone to the Vatican but there has been no official comment.

Bishop Murray told massgoers on Sunday he needed their prayers "this week".

Bishop Murray will be followed to the Vatican next week by the leader of Ireland's Catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady.

He will meet the Pontiff to discuss both the Murphy report and the outcome of the Ryan inquiry, a separate investigation into abuse by religious orders.

The Murphy report into abuse in the Irish capital's archdiocese damned the church hierarchy's handling of priests suspected of being child abusers.

The broader Ryan inquiry, which was published earlier this year, said physical and sexual abuse of children was "endemic" in institutions run by Catholic religious orders in the Irish Republic.

Following the publication of the Murphy report which described his actions as "inexcusable", Bishop Murray said he would take a month to consider its findings before deciding what to do.

In a letter read to Mass congregations, he said that he was "acutely aware of the pain and anguish" experienced since the report was published.

Cardinal Brady has stopped short of saying that Bishop Murray should resign.

"Bishop Donal Murray has been in contact with me, as you know he is considering his position and hopes to be in a position to comment soon and I'm confident Bishop Donal will do the right thing," Cardinal Brady said.

Meanwhile, a government official has been asked to look at the possibility of holding an inquiry similar to Ryan in Northern Ireland.

The request came after politicians from all parties represented in the Northern Ireland Assembly backed a motion calling for investigation of allegations of abuse in both Catholic and state-run institutions.

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