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Pope accepts resignation of another Irish bishop

Catholic World News - April 21, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin, Ireland-- one of three bishops who offered to resign after the publication of a report criticizing Church leaders in that archdiocese for covering up clerical abuse.

The Pope has not yet taken action on the resignations offered by Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field, who remain Dublin auxiliaries and have offered to step down. Informed sources in Ireland suspect that the Pontiff will eventually accept their resignations as well.

Bishop Moriarty, who had been an auxiliary in the Dublin archdiocese before his appointment to Kildare, had initially resisted calls for his resignation, but later accepted responsibility for concealing abuse in the archdiocese, saying: "I should have challenged the prevailing culture." Another former Dublin auxiliary, Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway, has insisted that he will not resign, claiming that he was not involved in a cover-up.

In March the Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop John Magee, who had been removed as head of the Cloyne diocese a year earlier, after reports that he had failed to discipline priests who had abused children. Bishop Magee had served for years at the Vatican, acting as personal secretary to three Popes.

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, has said that he is weighing the possibility of resignation as well, in light of protests over his involvement in the case of a notorious pedophile priest in the 1970s. The cardinal's decision may also be influenced by health concerns; he was recently hospitalized after falling ill during a Confirmation ceremony.

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  • Posted by: aljagoe8965 - Apr. 21, 2010 2:34 PM ET USA

    In these difficult times for our splendid Pope, let us not join the pack of wolves that are attacking him. He needs our prayful support. Armiger Jagoe, J.C., editor of The Joyful Catholic http://thejoyfulcatholic.wordpress.com/

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