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Irish bishop urges focus on upcoming papal letter, says Pope will accept his resignation

Catholic World News - February 22, 2010

An Irish bishop who tendered his resignation following the publication of the Murphy report said that those disappointed in the results of last week’s meeting between the Pope and the Irish hierarchy should focus on the Pontiff’s upcoming pastoral letter.

“The Vatican Press Release should not be viewed as the last word,” Bishop Jim Moriarty said in a statement. “Pope Benedict’s pastoral letter which is expected in mid-March is the document to focus on. A draft copy of the pastoral letter was shared with the Bishops and we had an opportunity to offer comments. While taking on board these comments, the pastoral letter will be the Holy Father’s document.”

“It is important to emphasize that this process is ongoing and more steps are to follow,” he added.

Bishop Moriarty said that during his seven-minute presentation to the Holy Father, he “explained how my offer of resignation came about and spoke about the need for unity and a deeper sharing of the mission that transcends the kind of clerical culture that led us here.”

Discussing his resignation, Bishop Moriarty added that “separate from the general meeting, I had a private meeting with Cardinal Re, the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who is dealing with it. The acceptance of my offer of resignation is proceeding. My understanding is that it is not a question of if but when. It will not happen immediately but should not go too far beyond Easter.”

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