Two more Irish bishops have resigned over their respective roles in the Irish abuse scandals. Four down, one to go.
Remember that these are the first ever bishops to resign, anywhere, over their roles in abuse cover-ups, and that the extent of their activity or (non-activity) was no worse than that of numerous other bishops in the US and elsewhere. This is progress, and important progress of a sort, but there remains a long way to go. We still need to see governments elsewhere put the church under the microscope, as the Irish did; and we need to see the power structures in the church to look beyond punishing those involved to serious examination of the causes – and ending them.
This they are unlikely to do themselves, so we must keep reminding them: the causes of the long-standing problems with clerical abuse, of children and of vulnerable adults, are well-known, and lie deep inside the institutional nature of the church. These are the obsession with power and control; the insistence on compulsory celibacy; and a disproportionate number of psychologically immature, sexually repressed men in the priesthood, resulting from inappropriate methods of selection and training.
Two more Irish bishops quit their posts over child abuse criticism
Roman Catholics across Ireland were attending Christmas Day Mass yesterday as two more bishops resigned.
Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field bowed to weeks of intense criticism and pressure, announcing at services that they planned to quit their posts as auxiliaries in the Dublin Archdiocese. They are the latest senior clerics to stand down after the Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, James Moriarty, and the Bishop of Limerick, Donal Murray, resigned over the damning Murphy report that exposed the church hierarchy’s shocking inaction and cover-up of paedophile priests over decades.
Bishops Walsh and Field announced their resignations in a statement as Midnight Mass took place around the country. “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,” they said. “We again apologise to them.”
(More from Times Online)