Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Dublin Archbishop says Catholic Church hierarchy must learn from outcry over bishop's paedophilia comments

The Archbishop of Dublin has urged the Catholic Church not to simply move on from the controversy surrounding bizarre comments made by Bishop John Kirby about paedophilia.

But Diarmuid Martin stopped short of calling for the Bishop of Clonfert's resignation over his comments that he once saw paedophilia as "a friendship that crossed a boundary line".

Bishop Kirby made the remarks earlier this month following the publication of a report that criticised him for his role in moving two abuser priests in the mid-1990s.

Over the weekend Bishop Kirby apologised for the comments and insisted he never intended to minimise the gravity of the crime.

Yesterday Dr Martin was asked whether the church should move on from the controversy -- and said the answer was "yes and no".

Speaking at the 2012 launch of the annual Crosscare appeal for vulnerable young adults, he said he "hadn't had time to look at" Bishop Kirby's weekend apology.

But he added: "I've constantly said there's a real danger by saying we'll move on that you forget what happened in the past."

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