Bishop Claims Abuse Reports 'Misread'

The Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Willie Walsh, has responded to calls for the resignation of a Bishop implicated in the Walsh report, by saying his critics had "misread" the document.

The report into clerical child abuse in the Archdiocise of Dublin named a number of Bishops, accusing them of failing to properly investigate claims of child sexual abuse by priests.

Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick has come under intense pressure to resign after the inquiry found his failure to investigate a paedophile priest was "inexcusable".

However Bishop Walsh has refused to back the calls, saying instead that the pressure for Bishop Murray's resignation was based on a "misreading" of the Murphy report.

Speaking on RTÉ' Morning Ireland Radio Programme, Bishop Walsh said: "I do know that there has been gross misreading of the Dublin report in relation to Bishop Murray. There has been very serious misreading of that."

"I'm quite uncomfortable with this kind of public trial. I'd have to ask: is it about healing of survivors or is it about some sort of desire that we need to get a head on a plate?"

Giving mass in Limerick yesterday, Bishop Murray told parishioners he would "be guided by the priests and people of the diocese" on whether he should resign.

"There have as you know been calls for me to resign. As far as I am concerned the question of whether I should resign is a question of whether my presence here is a help or a hindrance to the diocese of Limerick," he said.

Some Government Ministers have stopped short of overtly urging the Bishops named in the report to resign, with Defence Willie O'Dea saying of Bishop Murray that "he will make the appropriate decision".

Asked if he believed Bishop Murray should resign, Mr O’Dea said: "I know Donal Murray personally and I have always had a very good relationship with him, and I find him a decent man. I must say that I am bitterly disappointed to read what I have read in the Murphy report."

Taoiseach Brian Cowen refused to be drawn into the controversy and said it was for institutions and their members to determine the appropriateness of any individual to hold ecclesiastical office.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

24 March 2010
Pope Accepts Bishop Of Cloyne's Resignation
Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop of Cloyne John Magee. The Vatican made the announcement at 11am this morning, stating in its regular bulletin: "The Pope has accepted the resignation of the Bishop of Cloyne (Ireland), in compliance with the Code of Canonical Right.
17 December 2009
Bishop Murray To Resign Today
Succumbing to weeks of pressure, the Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray is expected to resign later today. Bishop Murray, who was heavily criticised in the recent Murphy report, is expected to address a gathering in St. John's Cathedral, Limerick at 11am.
07 December 2009
Bishop Murray Expected To Resign
An Irish Bishop, whose failures in regard to clerical sex abuse were described as "inexcusable" in the recent Murphy report, is expected to resign during a visit to Rome today.
07 January 2009
Child Abuse Audit To Be Published
A report detailing the child-protection policies and protocols in every Catholic diocese in the State will be published later today. Minister for Children Barry Andrews will publish the report, compiled by the Health Service Executive (HSE), at a press conference in Dublin this afternoon.
13 May 2015
Tusla Cuts Funding To Catholic Church Marriage Preparation Course
Tusla, the statutory child and family agency, will no longer fund a marriage preparation course run by the Catholic Church. Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Tusla Chief Executive Gordon Jeyes said that the agency needed to "live within its means when cuts were being made".