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Archbishop Martin, Limerick bishop spar over response to abuse commission report

December 02, 2009

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Bishop Donal Murray on Limerick are publicly sparring over the adequacy of the latter’s response to the government inquiry into clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin. The inquiry’s report criticized Bishop Murray for his handling of abuse allegations. Bishop Murray, who served as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin from 1982 to 1996, is facing mounting calls to submit his resignation.

Bishop Murray “handled a number of complaints and suspicions badly,” the report concluded. “For example, he did not deal properly with the suspicions and concerns that were expressed to him in relation to Fr Naughton. When, a short time later, factual evidence of Fr Naughton’s abusing emerged in another parish Bishop Murray’s failure to reinvestigate the earlier suspicions was inexcusable. Bishop Murray did, however, accept in 2002 that he had not dealt well with the situation.”

A statement released by the Limerick diocese acknowledged the possibility that Bishop Murray would resign, saying that he had "entered into a process of engagement with the people and priest of his diocese as to whether his ministry is a hindrance or help to the diocese." The statement said that "full consideration is being given to the opinions of all members of the public, not least those in the Archdiocese of Dublin and, particularly, survivors of clerical child sex abuse."


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