Pope adds to anger of clerical abuse victims

Liam McEvoy reports on the recent summit between the Pope and the Irish Bishops

Clerical sex abuse survivors were left disappointed following the two day summit between the Pope and the Irish Bishops which was held in the Vatican last month.

The Bishops had been summoned to discuss the Murphy report which revealed that the Church had covered up child abuse in Dublin.
Pope Benedict, along with the Irish Bishops, did not apologise for or acknowledge the role of the Catholic Church in covering up the sexual abuse.

“The Vatican has accepted no responsibility for its role in facilitating the sexual abuse of children,” said Maeve Lewis director of the One in Four group.

There had been hope that they would discuss a plan of action and put a system in place to prevent child abuse happening again.
“It would appear that self preservation and damage limitation for the Catholic Church is still a higher priority for Pope Benedict and the Bishops than the concerns and wishes of people who had been sexually abused as children by priests,” said Andrew Madden, an abuse survivor.

The overlooking of submissions made by the victims of child abuse has caused great anger. Christine Buckley of the Aislinn support centre urged the Pope to include Ireland in his visit to Britain, so that he could meet with survivors and hear their concerns.

Dr Martin Drennan, despite being named in the Murphy report, has refused to resign as Bishop of Galway. The four other bishops named in the report have all resigned, Dr Drennan has been under pressure to follow their lead.

Pope Benedict chose not to ask for the Bishop’s resignation during last month’s meeting in the Vatican leaving the decision to Dr Drennan.
Dr Drennan insisted that there was nothing in the Murphy report which suggested he had done wrong and that he was clear in his own conscience.

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