'Church has lost all moral authority'
PRIEST'S VIEW:A PROMINENT priest in the diocese of Derry has said the Catholic Church in Ireland no longer had any standing, credibility or moral authority following the disclosures in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
Fr Michael Canny, spokesman for the Derry Diocese, said he would probably spend the rest of his life as a priest trying to rebuild trust and confidence in the Catholic Church as a result of the inquiry’s finding that the church routinely covered up clerical sex abuse of children.
Describing the abuse as depraved and incomprehensible, he said the reputation of the Catholic Church was “in tatters”, and said people were rightly angry.
“There is no good in saying other than the truth. The church at this state has no credibility, no standing and no moral authority. The issue is now one of trust, and that is why it will take the rest of my lifetime as a priest to build up that trust again, because the trust and confidence in the church has been broken on a fundamental level.
“I must admit I am angry at the way the abuse was handled. I feel betrayed and let down to a terrible extreme,” he continued.
Bishop Seamus Hegarty of Derry said allegations of child sex abuse have been made against 17 priests in his diocese, but no proceedings were pending against them. He said all the allegations have been reported to the relevant authorities on both sides of the Border.