Defiant Martin Drennan claims 23 Irish bishops and the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin back his decision to stay on as Bishop of Galway.
Bishop Drennan's insistence that his position is safe has left Archbishop Martin in an embarrassing predicament as he meets abuse victims today.
The Galway prelate also signalled a deepening rift between himself and Dr Martin in interviews yesterday.
He said he regarded it as “inappropriate” for the Archbishop to be writing to him about his behaviour.
Bishop Drennan said he had personally told Dr Martin this. He pointed out that Dr Martin had no direct responsibility for him. A spokesman for the Archbishop last night declined to respond to the criticisms made by Bishop Drennan.
Victims who suffered at the hands of paedophile priests in Dublin have repeatedly demanded the resignation of Bishop Drennan and others named in Murphy report.
The damning report into the handling of abuse complaints in the Dublin Archdiocese found members of the church hierarchy were often more concerned with the reputation of the church than with protecting children.
In church circles last night, Bishop Drennan's remarks were seen as a confident declaration that his position is secure. He believes he is not under threat of being removed by the Pope.