Monday, December 7, 2009

Keep the faith, Archbishop urges
Keep the faith, Archbishop urges
Monday, 7 December 2009

The head of the Catholic Church in Dublin has urged young people not to abandon their faith in the wake of a damning investigation into clerical child sex abuse.

As speculation grew that a senior clergyman criticised in the Murphy report may stand down, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the time had come for reform and accountability.

"The Church needs to step out of so much of what appeared to be positive but was truly damaging," he told Mass-goers at St Andrew's church in Dublin. "The Church must learn how to return to its fundamental mission."

The state inquiry found hundreds of child abuse complaints were covered up by senior clergy over a 30-year period because they were obsessed with secrecy and upholding reputation.

Archbishop Martin, who will meet with the Pope later this week to discuss the shocking findings, appealed to young Catholics not to walk away.

"The Church needs your integrity and honesty and idealism," he said. "You have something special to bring so that arrogance of the past can be replaced by a new idealism of the future."

Archbishop Martin, credited for opening secret church files to investigators, is set to make the trip to Rome with the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady.

Senior gardai have also launched a probe into the handling of allegations.

Meanwhile Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray, one of a number of prominent clerics criticised in the report, has said he is considering what course of action to take.

Bishop Murray has faced growing pressure to resign since the inquiry found he handled a number of complaints badly and branded his failure to investigate one allegation inexcusable.

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