Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Sunday, 13 December 2009

Pope's student Fr Vincent Twomey condemns bishops

Father Vincent Twomey
Father Vincent Twomey said delays were damaging the church

A former doctoral student of the Pope has said it is a "scandal" that bishops criticised in the Murphy Report have not resigned.

The report investigated the handling of clerical sex abuse in the Dublin archdiocese.

One of those criticised, Bishop Donal Murray has met the Pope in Rome and said he is awaiting developments.

But Irish theologian Father Vincent Twomey said that a delay in resignations was damaging the church.

"The longer they dig their heels in and refuse to resign, the greater damage they are doing to the church," Father Twomey said.

"They are causing great scandal."

Father Twomey studied for his doctorate under the guidance of Professor Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, at Regensburg in Germany in 1979.


Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence programme, he bitterly criticised sex abusers within the church and those who had not done enough to stop them.

"You know that Our Lord said if you cause scandal to these little ones, you are better to have a millstone thrown around your neck and be thrown into the sea - the most severe condemnation Our Lord made," Father Twomey added.

"Now in the first instance, those innocents were the children and what was done to them is a crime that calls to God for vengeance."

Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray said through a spokesman on Saturday that after meeting the Pope last week, he was awaiting developments on his future.

The Murphy Report said that while serving as auxiliary bishop of Dublin, Bishop Murray had badly mishandled allegations of clerical child abuse. It said his failure to deal properly with one priest suspected of being a paedophile was "inexcusable".

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