Bishop Raymond Field

 

BIOGRAPHY: A native of Drumcondra in Dublin, Bishop Field attended O'Connell Schools and Clonliffe College.

 He was ordained a priest in 1970. In 1991 he became head chaplain to the Defence Forces.

He resigned this post in 1997 when he was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Dublin in September of that year.

He is a barrister and has been called to the Irish and English bars. He was also a member of the first successful Irish expedition to Mount Everest in 1993 with Dawson Stelfox.

MURPHY REPORT'S FINDINGS:

The Murphy commission found that allegations against Fr Horatio

(a pseudonym used in the report), with which Bishop Field had been involved, were dealt with appropriately by the archdiocese.

Where Fr Sergius (another pseudonym used in the report) was concerned, Bishop Field told the commission he believed he was dealing with a priest who had an alcohol problem and was not aware of abuse complaints made against him.

The commission found information given by Bishop Field to priests in the parish to which Fr Benito (a pseudonym) was assigned in December 2003 "was certainly not complete or sufficiently specific".

It was concerned "about the failure to inform Bishop Field

about the advisory panel's perception that he had delayed in reporting a complaint of child sex abuse".

HOW HE RESPONDED:

Bishop Field said he accepted everything in the Murphy report and defended his own decisions

by explaining that he did not have "all the facts" due to a "deficit of the sharing of information in Archbishop's House".

He initially rejected calls for his resignation.

"Well I don't think I should resign. If I felt that I did anything wrong I would resign, of course, but I don't believe I've done anything wrong. I feel certainly my integrity has been impugned but I do not believe that I did anything wrong and therefore I do not feel that I should resign. I think it would be wrong, actually, of me to resign under those circumstances," he told The Irish Times.

But as pressure mounted in the month following publication of the Murphy report, Bishop Field and Bishop Walsh issued a joint resignation statement.

"As we celebrate the feast of Christmas, the birth of our

Saviour, the prince of peace, it is our hope that our action may help to bring the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to

the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse. We again apologise to them.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have so bravely spoken out and those who continue to suffer in silence," said the statement.

OUTCOME:

Pope Benedict yesterday rejected his resignation.