Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Second Irish bishop resigning over abuse scandal report

Church candles
The Catholic church in Ireland has been rocked by the abuse scandal

A second Irish bishop is resigning after a damning report which found that Catholic leaders concealed child abuse.

The Bishop of Kildare, Dr James Moriarty, announced he had offered his resignation to the Pope on Wednesday.

Despite previously insisting he should not resign, Bishop Moriarty said he accepted that he should have challenged Church handling of abuse by priests.

"I know that any action now on my part does not take away the suffering that people have endured," he said.

"I again apologise to all the survivors and their families.

"I have today offered my resignation as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin to the Holy Father.

"I hope it honours the truth that the survivors have so bravely uncovered and opens the way to a better future for all concerned," he said in a statement.

The report subjected him to implied criticism for not doing enough to find out all the details about an alleged abuser.


Abuse victims welcomed the resignation announcement.

Maeve Lewis, director of victim support group One in Four, said it was "immensely distressing and insulting" to survivors to be forced to listen as "one bishop after another justifies his position and attempts to hold on to power until he is shamed into resigning".

She said that "ultimately, the resignations of all the auxiliary bishops named in the report are inevitable".

Dr Moriarty worked in the Dublin archdiocese from 1991 to 2002.

In 1993 he received a report about the activities of a priest, Fr Edmondus, who was behaving in a suspicious way around children.

The Murphy report into abuse in Dublin noted that Dr Moriarty warned Fr Edmondus about his behaviour and discussed the matter with his Archbishop.

The report also found that no attempt was made by the archdiocesan authorities to check the archives or other files relating to Fr Edmondus when the complaints were received

Bishop Moriarty told the abuse inquiry that while he did not have access to the archives where Fr Edmondus' records would have been held, he could have asked his Archbishop to conduct a search of those records. He did not do this.

The files would have shown that Fr Edmondus was suspected of sexually abusing children as far back as the 1960s.

The Bishop of Limerick, Dr Donal Murray, resigned earlier this month following criticism of him in the report.

It found that during Dr Murray's time as an auxiliary bishop in Dublin from 1982 to 1996, he was dismissive of complaints about a priest who went on to abuse again.

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Mail Online UK Two Catholic bishops resign in wake of child abuse cover-up in Ireland - 3 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! Two more Irish bishops quit over child abuse scandal - 3 hrs ago Two Irish Catholic bishops resign over church cover-up of child abuse - 4 hrs ago
The Independent More Irish bishops quit over abuse scandal - 6 hrs ago
Sky News More Bishops Quit Over Child Abuse Scandal - 13 hrs ago

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