Bishops Called To Resign Over Report

The opposition parties have called for the resignation of the bishops named in the report published yesterday, detailing the Catholic church's culture of secrecy over abusive priests.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said today bishops named in the Murphy Report on abuse in the Dublin Catholic Archdiocese should resign.

Mr Kenny said the report was "another appalling litany of shame" adding that apologies were not good enough.

He said this was a case where men protected guilty men, people in authority knew what was going on, and it was not confined to the 1950s but went on to the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik also called for the resignation of the bishops mentioned.

Speaking at a conference in Galway today to mark the 25th anniversary of the Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Senator Bacik condemned the failures of the Church and State authorities to deal appropriately with allegations of sexual abuse, as exposed in the report.

Pointing out that the report investigated complaints made against a sample of 46 priests in respect of 320 children, Senator Bacik condemned what she described as an "appalling cover-up" of abuse by the Dublin Archdiocese, and also criticised the failures in the response of Gardai to complaints of sexual abuse made against priests.

“The culture of cover-up evident at the highest levels in the Church caused the continuance of horrific levels of sexual abuse against children for many decades. The Church needs to acknowledge its institutional fault in this. Any of those bishops named in the report as having handled child sexual abuse complaints badly, who are still in office, should now resign as a matter of conscience," the Senator said.

She added: “It is not appropriate for bishops, in particular those found to have colluded in the culture of cover-up, to remain in place as patrons of national schools. The shocking findings of the Murphy Report have shown clearly that the institution of the Catholic Church is not fit to continue to have control over the education of our children.”

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin's Social Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh described the report as a "damning indictment of both Church and State".

"Especially damning is the conclusion that the State authorities facilitated the cover-up and allowed the Church to be beyond the reach of normal law enforcement. Senior Gardai, up to and including the level of Commissioner, repeatedly turned a blind eye to crimes of clerical sexual abuse," Mr Ó Snodaigh said.

He added: “The government must take immediate action."


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