Second Catholic Bishop Resigns
A second Irish bishop has resigned over the damning findings of the Murphy report into 30 years of child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

December 23, 2009

Ireland -- Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin James Moriarty faced mounting pressure to quit after Limerick Bishop Donal Murray stepped aside last week over his "inexcusable" mishandling of an abuse case.

Despite previously insisting he should not resign, Bishop Moriarty said he accepted the inquiry's findings and that he should have challenged Church handling of paedophilia.

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"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."

Fr Edmondus

In 1993 Bishop Moriarty, then auxiliary bishop in Dublin, received a complaint about Fr Edmondus concerning the priest's contact with young children more than 30 years earlier.

The cleric had preyed upon youngsters in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

Bishop Moriarty was asked to investigate and discuss the allegations with local priests and then Archbishop, now retired Cardinal, Desmond Connell.

A photography firm in the UK had also raised concerns after receiving a roll of 26 images of girls aged 10 and 11 in sexual poses.

But the Murphy report found the investigation was not taken any further.

Fr Edmondus was later jailed for a 1960 assault on former patient Marie Collins.

While the inquiry did not explicitly criticise Bishop Moriarty, it said diocesan authorities made no attempt to check the archives or other files relating to the priest when the complaints were received.

Marie Collins said she did not accept the cleric's claim that he had not been criticised in the report.

She maintained that after a complaint was made, the bishop did not see if his superior had checked the priest's file, which would have shown his history of abuse.

"That would have shown immediately that Fr Edmondus was very dangerous," she said.

"It meant that Fr Edmondus remained in that parish for a further four years until my own report went in.

"If anyone was abused during those four years, you have to say if the investigation had been thorough, they may not have been hurt."

Following the resignation, the Irish Catholic Editor Garry O'Sullivan said: "This is about taking responsibility and dealing with the overall conclusion of the Murphy Report - that is, that those in leadership positions failed to respond properly to criminal acts. Whether intentional or not doesn't really matter.

"Bishop Moriarty accepted this finding from day one and should be commended for reflecting on his responsibilities and taking this decision today."


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