Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Monday, 28 December 2009

Two more Catholic bishops resign

Bishop Eamonn Walsh
Bishop Eamonn Walsh issued a statement read out at midnight Mass

Two more Irish Catholic bishops have resigned in response to a report which criticised how they handled allegations of abuse by clergy.

Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field issued a joint statement which was read out at midnight Mass on Christmas Day.

The pair, who were both auxiliary bishops of Dublin, said they hoped their resignations would help bring peace to the victims of sexual abuse.

Four out of five bishops named in the Murphy report have now resigned.

Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray resigned earlier this month after the report branded as "inexcusable" his failure to deal effectively with a priest suspected of being a paedophile.

On Wednesday it was revealed that James Moriarty, the Bishop of Kildare, has offered his resignation to Pope Benedict. It is expected to be formally accepted in mid-January.

Martin Drennan, the Bishop of Galway, is now the only one of five bishops named in the Murphy report to remain in office.

After the report was published Bishop Drennan said he was comfortable with the findings as it "says nothing negative about me".

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