Irish church in turmoil after Vatican rejects resignations

by Tom Roberts

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troberts@ncronline.org

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In refusing to accept the resignations of two Irish bishops implicated in a government report of mishandling the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Dublin, Pope Benedict XVI, or others more hidden that we collectively refer to as “the Vatican,” seem determined to turn all rationality on its head.
Since the crisis clearly went global several months ago we’ve heard unprecedented verbiage from the Vatican, words that seemed to convey deep sorrow and a desire to be transparent and accountable in this awful tragedy.
The words seemed reassuring, they were words that we all thought we understood. But moves like this make them inexplicable, beyond ordinary understanding and not in any way that would suggest they carry God-like qualities.
Three pieces from the Irish press convey the strong sense of betrayal and bewilderment now felt in that church, not to mention the threat to the standing of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin. He is one of the few clerics certainly in Ireland and arguably well beyond that tiny country’s borders, to have any credibility in dealing with the scandal in an honest and forthright manner. The first two pieces, found here and here, are by long-time church observer John Cooney.
The third is by Gary O’Sullivan, editor of the Irish Catholic, an independent national paper, who broke the story about the Vatican’s refusal to accept the resignation.
Together, they provide a good insight into t he state of things in Ireland.
I’ll have more tomorrow on a recent interview with Michael Kelly, deputy editor of the Irish Catholic.

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