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Retired Dublin auxiliary raps Archbishop Martin's handling of sex-abuse controversy

January 27, 2010

A retired auxiliary bishop of Dublin severely criticizes the city’s current Catholic leader, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, in letters that have been obtained by the weekly Irish Catholic newspaper. Bishop Dermot O’Mahony complains that Archbishop Martin failed to defend the bishops and priests of Ireland against charges that they engaged in a “cover-up” of sexual abuse. The retired bishop charges that Archbishop Martin—who was working at the Vatican during the years covered by the Murphy Commission report—was “unfair” in his criticisms.

Bishop O’Mahony took special exception to the new archbishop’s complaint that he—Bishop O’Mahony—had never apologized to the victims of sexual abuse. The retired bishop said that he had written an apology, but the Dublin archdiocese never made it public. A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed that Archbishop Martin was aware of the apology letter.

The letters from Bishop O’Mahony—a rare display of frank criticism of one bishop by another—will be made public in the January 29 issue of the Irish Catholic.


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  • Posted by: niall - Jan. 28, 2010 7:28 PM ET USA

    With all due respect,Raymond,Bishop O'Mahony was not waiting for retirement before criticising the Archbishop-he retired in 1996,7 years before Dr Martin came to Dublin.The focus of his criticism is the Archbishop's support of priests since the publication of the report-he can't be blamed for waiting until after its publication to make a judgement on the Archbishop's handling of it.The bishop acknowledged his failings,yet the Archbishop refused to publish the statement-this is unacceptable.

  • Posted by: raymondfrice9926 - Jan. 27, 2010 9:41 PM ET USA

    Dear Bishop O'Mahony waits until he is in a safe place (retirement)to launch his criticism. This is a sample of the lack of "guts" to do something effective and timely in critical situations that is found in our wimpy hierarchy!! God help us!!

  • Posted by: niall - Jan. 27, 2010 8:01 PM ET USA

    Thanks be to God for Bishop O'Mahony speaking out-although criticised by the Report,he issued an apology which the Archbishop refused to put on the diocesan website-shameful.Apart from anything else,the Archbishop's silence has been deafening-when he did speak about a certain bishop who has refused to resign,he blatantly misquoted this bishop & completely distorted what he had actually said.Dr Martin's cooperation with the Commission was laudable,but his behaviour now is utterly reprehensible.