Pope retains bishops


Madam, – The Murphy report showed clearly that clergy involved in the administration of the diocese of Dublin had been complicit in a system where priests who sexually abused children were knowingly moved from parish to parish, so colluding with and spreading the colossal harm that was done. Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field were part of that administration.

In refusing to accept their resignations Pope Benedict is showing his contempt for our attempts in Ireland to heal the immense human suffering and damage to the church with which we have been left to grapple.

The continued presence of these men in any capacity in the hierarchy of the church sends a strange and confused message to all of us. Following so closely on the proclamation that the ordination of women into the priesthood would constitute grave sin, I am left wondering how the pontiff defines sin. Leaving the specious categorisation of sin as sacramental sin and moral sin aside, I wonder about Christ’s teaching on those who harm children and whether they have read that in Rome? – Yours, etc,


Manor Rise,

Dublin 16.

Madam, – It has already been suggested that the Pope in not accepting the resignations of the bishops in question is giving Archbishop Diarmuid Martin a “slap on the hand”. others say it undermines Archbishop Martin’s decision making.

Rather than concentrating on the politics of the church, we need to ask “what effect will the Pope’s decision have on survivors of clergy abuse?” Surely what the Pope is telling us is that bishops are more important than us; accountability is not required and loyalty to the church holds more sway. In other words, the hurt, pain and suffering continues as survivors realise that those who lead are indisputably protected and that there are no avenues for accountability.

It proves what they’ve all along said: the Catholic Church hierarchy protects its own and betrays victims. It goes right to the top – now we know. – Yours, etc,


Proby Park,


Co Dublin.

Madam, – Congratulations on your excellent Editorial (August 12th). Your conclusion about “further disillusionment among the faithful, and undermine the authority of . . . Dr Martin” is apposite. The only bit that I find strange is why the gentlemen in question did not simply resign, but instead chose to “offer” to resign. Leadership in morals, how are you. – Yours, etc,


Corr Bridge,


Dublin 13.