Since the publication of the Murphy Report on Thursday 26th November 2009 the Catholic Church in Dublin and elsewhere has engaged in a process of damage limitation and of attempting to undermine the findings of the Report. This is a cause of considerable anger and deep distress to many victims of abuse including myself. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Bishop Eamon Walsh and Bishop Wille Walsh have all issued statements and comments in recent days which only serve to add insult and injury to those of us who have been sexually abused by priests and who have given evidence to the Commission of Investigation.
I am also shocked to see priests and ‘lay people’ gather together and issue a statement in support of Bishop Donal Murray. In the 14 years since I first went public I have never seen such people gather together and issue a similar statement in support of a single victim of child sexual abuse by a priest.
There was talk recently about a Service of Atonement at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin planned by more ‘lay people’ in response to the Ryan and Dublin Reports. This service had the full support of Archbishop Martin providing it had the support of victims. I have now written to the organisers and told them not to bother, as any words expressed by bishops or anyone else at such a service would be utterly meaningless.