Resignations and the bishops

 

Madam, – I agree 100 per cent with everything in Mary Rafterys article ‘Still far from accepting personal responsibility’ (December 18th).

The Irish Bishops Conference admitted they were ashamed of what had gone on in the Archdiocese. They said: “The avoidance of scandal, the preservation of the reputations of individuals and of the church, took precedence over the safety and welfare of children. This should never have happened and must never be allowed to happen again.”

They asked for our forgiveness. Yet of the five bishops who were in positions of power in the Archdiocese during the period of the Murphy report all seem to feel they can be excluded from that plea as they feel they have no need of forgiveness.

The damage it causes to the Catholic Church to see these men hanging on with a vice like grip to power, prestige and title is immeasurable. Is there any real repentance in the Church or are the words from the Bishops conference just that “words”.

As a survivor I found the resignation statement of Bishop Murray hard to swallow. He was resigning to save “survivors” from “difficulties”. Not taking any responsibility at all for his mishandling of an abusing priest , rather he was doing us “the survivors” a favour by stepping down!

Similarly Bishop Moriarity has indicated he might step down if it would serve the people, the church and victims! Not because he feels any responsibility whatsoever.

NO, NO, NO - Bishops Field, Drennan, Walsh and Moriarity you cannot hide the fact that you met month after month in the Archdiocese seeing the policy that was in place and none of you stood up and cried STOP!

You do not seem to realise you must go, not because of how you might have handled individual cases – but because you were part of the regime that facilitated abusing priests to carry on abusing and did nothing to stop it or expose it.

When I was a child I learned of the sin of omission. Have none of these men ever heard of it?

They variously say – we were not criticised in the report (it was only a sample), or we do not feel we did anything wrong etc. . . Examine your consciences and realise standing by and doing nothing was a crime. It left children to be hurt and suffer who should never have been touched.

All are guilty of knowing what the system was and all must take responsibility for being part of that system and not having the courage then to say stop – have the courage now to take the responsibility you should have then and please, please go.

MARIE COLLINS

Firhouse, Co Dublin