Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Bishops 'should quit over abuse cover-up'

Victim Marie Collins urged bishops who failed to challenge cover-ups to quit

All bishops who failed to challenge the culture of cover-up over child abuse should resign if the Irish Catholic Church has any hope of moving forward, an abuse survivor said.

Marie Collins, who was abused by Father Edmondus in a children's hospital almost 50 years ago, said it was undignified for senior clerics implicated in the scandals to cling to power.

"I think any bishop who didn't challenge the cover-up or who actually worked that policy of cover-up should go before the Church in Ireland has any chance of moving forward and getting any sort of trust or respect back," Ms Collins said.

"Hanging on to power and positions is just undignified. It's not doing the Church any good."

Ms Collins welcomed the resignation of Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin James Moriarty but said Pope Benedict must also accept similar requests from Bishop Eamonn Walsh, auxiliary Bishop in Dublin since 1990, and Bishop Ray Field, based in the Dublin Diocese since 1997.

Both clerics announced their resignations in late December.

Ms Collins also urged Primate of all Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady to consider his position, pointing to Bishop Moriarty's assertion that responsibility must be accepted for the past.

He has been under intense pressure in the last month after admitting holding secret interviews with two young victims of one of the Church's most heinous sex abusers, the late Brendan Smyth, in the 1970s.

"I think Cardinal Brady hasn't yet accepted responsibility for the past, particularly his own past," Ms Collins said.

"I hope he will read that and it will give him some pause for thought in his deliberations and whether he should resign or not."

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