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Two more Irish bishops resign

December 28, 2009

Two auxiliary bishops of the Dublin archdiocese tendered their resignations on Christmas Eve, bringing to 4 the number of Irish bishops who have stepped down in the wake of a damaging report about the handling of sex-abuse reports.

Bishops Eamon Walsh and Raymond Field issued a short statement announcing their resignations. While they apologized to sex-abuse victims, they did not acknowledge any wrongdoing on their part—an omission that was noted and criticized in an Irish Times editorial.

A fifth bishop who was mentioned in the Murphy Commission report, Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway, has firmly resisted pressure to resign, saying that he did nothing wrong in his handling of sex-abuse cases.

Bishops Donal Murray of Limerick and James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin had resigned earlier this month. They, like Bishop Drennan, had served as auxiliary bishops in Dublin during the years covered by the Murphy Commission investigation.


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  • Posted by: richardols3892 - Dec. 30, 2009 9:38 AM ET USA

    JR asks, "Are there none to follow the Irish example?" I say there will be none. American politicians, as contrasted with their European equivalents, rarely resign posts or offices over scandals, and American bishops, politicians that most are, are hardly different than their secular compatriots. One needs only read of the contemptuous attitude Archbishop Egan of New York demonstrated in the face of the sex scandals in his diocese towards the accusers.

  • Posted by: JR - Dec. 28, 2009 2:17 PM ET USA

    How lucky we are in the U.S. that no bishops have found it appropriate to resign. Apparently little blame for the scandal lies with them. Sarcasm aside... The bishops impose a 'zero tolerance' and permanent-removal-from-ministry policy on priests, yet their response to their own catastrophic failings appears much less severe. This reinforces an ugly perception that some consider themselves irreplaceable nobility. Are there none to follow the Irish example?