Archbishop of Dublin Quits

The Scotsman [Ireland]
Downloaded April 26, 2004

The Pope has accepted the resignation of Dublin archbishop Cardinal Desmond Connell, 78, who has been under fire for mishandling sex abuse cases that have rocked Ireland’s Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican said Pope John Paul today accepted the resignation for reason of age.

Monsignor Diarmuid Martin, a former Vatican official who has been serving as coadjutor archbishop in Dublin, takes over from Connell.

The Irish church has been battered by sex abuse allegations, with the first major abuse case exposed in 1994.

In October 2002, Connell apologised for his Church’s neglect of sex abuse victims, asking for forgiveness in a letter read at all Masses in Dublin.

“I deeply regret the mistakes I have made in seeking to come to grips with the problem,” he wrote.

Victims of sexual abuse have been demanding his resignation.

Connell has been archbishop of Dublin since 1988 and the Pope elevated him to cardinal in 2001.

The Vatican considers 75 the normal retirement age for bishops, but the Pope often leaves prelates in their posts for several years after that.

Martin, 59, was a top official of the Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace until the Pope sent him to Dublin to eventually take over the archdiocese.


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