Friday, January 22, 2010

Group urges bishop resignations

Group urges bishop resignations

Fri, Jan 22, 2010

A Catholic lay organisation has called for the immediate resignation of all Irish bishops implicated in the covering up of clerical child sexual abuse as found by the Murphy report.

The call comes as Catholic bishops gather in Maynooth today for an extraordinary general meeting. The EGM is discussing the summoning of Irish bishops to Rome by the Pope in the wake of the Murphy report.

In a statement, Voice of the Faithful Ireland (VOTFI) said the moral authority of the papacy in Ireland, and of Catholic bishops, is likely to collapse "if the promised papal pastoral letter to Ireland does not squarely address the issue of the widespread cover up by bishops of the outrage of clerical child sexual abuse".

"Especially damaging was the admission by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference on December 9th, 2009 that the Murphy report indicated a widespread culture of covering up of clerical child sexual abuse in the church.

"This should have been followed by the immediate resignation of all Irish bishops who had participated in or acceded to this cover up," the group said.

It should also have triggered an immediate declaration from the papacy that this cover up would be investigated and explained."

The organisation added it was well known to the faithful "this problem extends well beyond Ireland, and implicates the universal Church and its governance from Rome".

"The reluctance of implicated bishops to resign, and the failure of the papacy to declare any such intent, have so seriously damaged the moral prestige of the office of Catholic bishops, and of the papacy, that recovery may already be impossible."

VOTFI said it was alarmed at reports the papal pastoral may go no further "than to repeat empty condemnations of clerical sex abuse".

"Despite the strong leadership shown by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, the prestige and authority of Catholic bishops in Ireland, and of the papacy, continue to decline in the wake of the Murphy report of November 26th, 2009," the group said.

The group urged the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, among other steps, to request the papacy undertake an inquiry into all aspects of the clerical child sexual abuse scandal, ensure a thorough investigation of all remaining Irish dioceses is done, and request the immediate resignations of all Irish bishops implicated in the cover up.

© 2010

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