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Bishops fail to support priests, charge Irish clerics

Catholic World News - November 29, 2011

An organization of Irish priests has questioned whether bishops have contributed to a climate of hostility toward the clergy.

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) suggested that media figures have been led to believe that “anything could safely be said about a priest in the present climate without fear of repercussions; that the Church authorities would not back him, and that people generally would believe the story.”

Responding to public statements by Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the ACP said that the archbishop has been spared the media’s hostility, because reporters “generally tended to be happy with what he was saying.” But ordinary priests have met with no such sympathy, the group said.

The priests’ group—which in the past has called for radical changes in Church policies—said that the Irish bishops must support their priests: “Archbishop Martin and other bishops--though thankfully not all--need to demonstrate by their actions rather than their words that priests have rights like every other citizen.

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