Two more Irish bishops resign

Mick had asked, “How many Irish bishops will resign before next year is out?” Well, as reported here, two more resigned last night – Bishops Éamonn Walsh and Raymond Field. The resignations came after Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, challenged a claim by one of the two, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin Éamonn Walsh, that Dr Martin had “confirmed publicly that he had confidence in his Dublin Auxiliary Bishops”. As the RTÉ report notes

Of the five serving bishops who were mentioned in the Murphy report only one, the Bishop of Galway, Dr Martin Drennan has not declared his intention to resign.

Meanwhile, a garda crime scene investigation unit is investigating a fire which has gutted the 19th century St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford. Adds From the updated RTÉ report

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has said he respects the decisions by Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field to offer to resign. He called the two prelates ‘extremely good bishops’ to whom many in the archdiocese of Dublin were extremely grateful for the things they had done. But, he added, good people had to be accountable. Archbishop Martin said he believed that there was a future place for his two auxiliaries in the Irish Church after they had stepped down. He revealed that he had spoken to both of them briefly to see what role they would like to play.

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  • seamus friel

    Bishop Hegarty of Derry and Raphoe who featured in the Spotlight Programme a few years ago stated at Christmas on Radio Foyle that he didn’t think that the resignations really served any purpose and further, that having spoken to some clerical abuse victims it was clear that giving evidence in court was more traumatic than the actual abuse!!! The inference perhaps being that they shouldn’t go to court against any of the offending priests as it will be psychologically damaging for them. What a generous caring man he is always thinking of the victims!!!
    So many of the Bishops and clergy in their supreme arrogance still haven’t got it.
    They have no idea of the lasting damage that these scandalous abuse cases and their cover ups have done to the church. Have a look at your church attendances and vocations and learn.
    Listening to Bishop Hegarty made my blood boil.
    I wonder what victims felt hearing his pompous pontificating. No genuine remorse there.

  • regimental 1912

    Unfortunatly,I think in their own damented mind they beleive that they have done nothing wrong and by getting away with it for so long thepriesthood became a recruitment drive forpedo’s and child molesters.

  • The vatican should purge the current system in Ireland, excommunicating all those found guilty and hand them over to the garda that would end this mess.
    more catholic related news, the pope was attacked although they don’t know the motive at the minute

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    It’s good to see the bishops resign. Gerry Adams behavior in how he dealt with his nieces sex abuse is similiar to how the bishops dealt with it. What is good for the goose is good for the gander…Gerry Adams should resign as well.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    The bishops resigning (and any culpable should do so, they are lucky not to be arrested for aiding and abbetting paedophiles) will put some extra pressure on Gerry Adams.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I have sorta kept out of these dicussions so far, and unsure how much is past disgraces and what needs urgent action now, but when I read Bishop Hegarty comments I was shocked and disgusted that it still hasnt got into his thick head the harm that was done in the name of his church and he is still trying to bury it all, I dont know what all the 5 Bishops covered up at the time but up to now my thoughts were probably they are a sacrafice that the church needs to pay in order to move on, but Hegartys gross comments make me wonder if the rot was taken out whats left?
    Maybe as a Prod I should avoid commenting or be a total git and gloat, but I just had to say sometihng.

  • joeCanuck

    Maybe as a Prod I should avoid commenting

    Not at all, DR. This is a matter of public interest in protecting children from abusers and rooting out people who protect the abusers by word deed or omission.
    It’s not confined to the Priesthood, unfortunately but when we see it we need to act.

  • wild turkey

    joe canuck and Drum Rock

    re both your comments, i am reminded by something that Dick Gregory said a long long time ago. commenting on civil rights activism in sixties america he said

    ‘this isn’t a matter of black and white – it’s a matter of right and wrong’

    i think something similar obtains here.

    what actor could possibly take the lead role in ‘the life and times of Bishop Hegarty’? Fatty Arbuckle perhaps?

    merry christmas guys

  • Rory Carr

    Far be it from me to rush to the defence of an Irish bishop (or indeed a bishop of any nationality) as I am generally at one with Danton who yearned for the day when the last prince was hanged with the entrails of the last bishop. Yet I fear that Bishop Hegarty’s remarks may have been misunderstood. It is not difficult to understand that victims of abuse have voiced their negative experience of appearing in court to relive their experience and to be challenged on their credibility by defending counsel as many victims of sexual assault have so complained and the bishop is right to voice that concern.

    What seems to have happened is that people are automatically jumping to the conclusion that the bishop’s remarks were intended as a warning to victims that the pursuit of damages in court could prove very painful and was thus an attempt by his grace to dissuade them from such a course of action in order to limit the financial damage to the Church. While the behaviour of the hierarchy in defence of priestly wrongdoing and subsequent attempts at concealment may have prompted such an ungenerous interpretation of the bishop’s remarks I feel that he should in the first instance be given the benefit of doubt and that his remarks should be taken as his expression of concern for the harrowing procedure which victims must endure while seeking compensation for the wrong done to them.

    It might well be that his grace is seeking an easier way for compensation to be negotiated in order to avoid such painful attacks on their testimony but if matters proceed to court and the Church defends then any good defence counsel will use all of his powers to discredit the plaintiff. To do otherwise would be a serious failure of duty.

  • regimental 1912

    I think the problem with the Bishops remarks is the fact that he is old school and one would question his involvement in any of these abnormal activities,this would have been the case years ago when abused victims did not have any back-up or counselling and did not have the confidance to pursue these matters,I dread to think how many hundreds or god forbid thousands of children who have still not come forward.

  • granni trixie

    Bishop Heggarty’s statement contributes to what now amounts to a body of evidence that priests at whatever level in the church,still just don’t get it….Talk about digging a big hole bigger.

    As a teacher I would not have been allowed to stay in my school for five minutes if accused of touching a child and certainly would not have found work in another school,even if protesting my innocence. If guilty,it would have been clear at least to me why others thought I was doing wrong. And a school principal would have to leave if not living up to their responsibilities to take appropriate action.

    The clergy clearly live in a different world.

  • regimental 1912

    granni,I myself work with the youth of our country and probably like yourself had to go through a thorough background check before being allowed to carry on with our duties,I would call for all clergy of all faiths to require a background check,sure even the present dope on a rope was a member of the Hitler Youth and we know how the treated the Jewish children.

  • “However, I think that the time for healing of memories has come. I see no pastoral purpose in
    re-opening wounds in the hearts and memories of those who have suffered.”
    .. Bishop of Raphoe 2002

  • granni trixie

    Thanks Nevin,I rest my case.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    I’m sure this theory has been mooted before, but surely since the RC Church is entirely run by a bunch of bachelors (mostly childless), they can hardly be expected to have the same empathy with children that a genuine father would.
    As a non-catholic, I fail to see how an enforced celibate with exclusive loyalty to the church can somehow be deemed fit to be in charge of and frequently alone with, other people’s children.

    Heggarty’s crass comments suggest a complete lack of understanding of the suffering caused or indeed even basic humanity.

    The question begging to be asked is why, other than some sort of misguided loyalty stemming from indocrination, would anyone wish to remain part of this sick, sad and unrepentant organisation.