Trust in church 'lies with hierarchy'

 

The responsibility for restoring trust in the Catholic Church following the Murphy report lies with the institution’s hierarchy, according to Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Gerry Ryan Show this morning, Mr Cowen said the institution of the Church in Ireland has taken a "huge battering" in terms of its reputation.

"It will have to be rehabilitated by those who have authority in that area to do so," he said. "That's an issue, a task and a consequence that they will have to deal with.

“As Taoiseach of the country, I'm very clear in my mind that as a State, our job is to ensure that everyone is amenable to the law and as you know this matter has been referred by the Garda Commissioner an assistant to deal with any issues that arise out of that report and they will be dealt with appropriately by the gardaí if necessary," he added.

Mr Cowen said it was for the church as an institution to try to re-establish its moral authority with the people, and "to show it has the ability to respond proportionally to the implications of the report".

Yesterday, Mr Cowen said he was anxious to ensure there was a separation of church and State.

In a briefing for political journalists, he said: “I don’t want to get involved in the business of who should be a bishop no more than they should be involved in the business of deciding who should be my minister”.

“You can’t draw from that that I was ambiguous in any way about the substance of the report. To the contrary I was appalled by it and am appalled by it. And I would have great sympathy for the people who were victims and who suffered,” he said.