April 22nd, 2010
07:16 AM ET

Pope accepts Ireland bishop's resignation

Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of a third Irish bishop Thursday.

Bishop Jim Moriarty offered his resignation in December amid criticism after the publication of the Murphy report on clerical sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

"The decision to offer my resignation was the most difficult decision of my ministry," Moriarty said in a statement.

Before he was named bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in 2002, Moriarty served as auxiliary bishop of Dublin for 11 years.

"I did not anticipate resigning when I first read the Murphy report, because I was not directly criticized," Moriarty said. "However, the Murphy report covers far more than what individual bishops did or did not do. Renewal must begin with accepting responsibility for the past."

Moriarty apologized and said he should have challenged the prevailing culture while auxiliary bishop.

Ireland has been rocked by a series of child abuse reports, both physical and sexual, by Catholic clergy going back at least seven decades.

Five Irish bishops have submitted their resignations since December. Three, including Moriarty, have been accepted.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Ireland • Vatican • World
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Scott Michael

    Making clear to bishops worldwide that they need to take effective action to prevent and promptly address abuse is essential to "solving" the problem. Benedict has since 2001 (when cases reported to Rome began to be handled by his office and he first became aware of the scope of the problem) indeed "progressed" as a leading figure at the Vatican in confronting this issue (as made clear by CNN analyst and longtime Vatican correspondent for a "progressive" Catholic paper, John Allen). The recently publicized Milwaukee case showed that "progressive" ex-bishop Rembert Weakland–who was earlier found to have used diocesan funds to pay off his homosexual lover–proved just as capable of ignoring and shifting responsibility for addressing abuse cases as any bishop. Using the scandals in Europe to blame abuse on "conservative" bishops is ludicrous. Chronological patterns of reported abuse by Catholic clergy in the U.S. suggest the problem was worst in precisely the most "progressive" period (1960's-70's) where traditional sexual morals were challenged as "archaic" and irrelevant.

    I believe Jesus' promise that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against His Church, and pray for the successor of Peter as he works to lead a global and decentralized (in earthly terms) body in the purification necessary to its core mission of living and proclaiming the Gospel.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. beeleevr

    His resignation is not going to mean he is forgiven by his creator. His evil deeds are going to be weighed against his good deeds and if his evil deeds are outweighed by his good deeds then it is only one way to hellfire. On judgment day, all the people he affected can take away his good deeds so he is left with none. If someone did him wrong he can take away their good deeds. Our good and bad deeds we do in this life are being written down and kept in books so when judgment day comes we can see what we have done. We are ALL going to be judged! There is no way around it. Be prepared. This is Islam. Islam means submission. Submission to God, Allah. Not to anyone else. Peace be upon you.

    April 22, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Robin

    OK be Catholic if you choose. Personally, I find the whole religion Bizarre to say the least.
    Religion aside, JAIL! What is the statute of limitations on RAPE.

    Investigate and put them ALL on trial for their part in enabling, cover up and rape.

    PS I don't think Jesus would be pleased. I think he would be appalled to know his name
    was being associated with this.

    April 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
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