On Saturday 13th February this year, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told me that there was only one thing worse than the Bishops being disunited – and that was the Bishops being united, because they would unite around the lowest common denominator. He was right about that, though he was wrong to stoop to their level.
Since the Irish Catholic Bishops came back from Rome they have engaged in the most dishonest and reprehensible spinning of the truth. There has been a collective attempt by the Bishops to portray those of us who were sexually abused as children by priests as unreasonable in our expectations, as people who now live ‘in pain’ and as people who are to be helped though life by the prayers of those same Bishops who caused the sexual abuse of more children by covering up for paedophile priests.
Maeve Lewis of One In Four, Marie Collins and myself had asked for some issues to be included on the agenda during the Bishops’ meeting with Pope Benedict last month. They were:
That Pope Benedict articulate full acceptance of the findings of the Murphy Report.
That Pope Benedict accept the resignations of Bishops Moriarty, Walshe & Field.
That Pope Benedict remove Bishop Drennan from office.
That Bishops, who admitted in their December 2009 statement, that the cover up of clerical child sexual abuse revealed in Dublin was indicative of a culture that existed in other Dioceses throughout Ireland, consider their own positions.
That all remaining Bishops are instructed by Pope Benedict to follow all state child protection guidelines and laws as they exist and as they are further developed.
As the Bishops gather in Maynooth this week for their spring conference, they might consider explaining what is exaggerated and unreasonable about these points.
END - 08/03/2010