Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Pope Names Team to Investigate Abuse in Ireland" New York Times

Pope Names Team to Investigate Abuse in Ireland

ROME — In one of his most concrete actions since a sexual abuse scandal began sweeping the Roman Catholic Church in Europe, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday appointed a high-profile team of prelates, including the archbishop of New York, to investigate Irish dioceses and seminaries.

"In its announcement, the Vatican said the investigation, called an Apostolic Visitation, would begin this fall with the examination of four dioceses: Dublin, Armagh, Cashel and Emly, and Tuam, as well as seminaries and religious orders. It will then be extended to other dioceses."

For the visitation, the pope appointed some leading Anglophone bishops. He appointed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, a former archbishop of Westminster, to investigate the Archdiocese of Armagh, which is the seat of the All-Ireland primate Cardinal Sean Brady.

"The archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, will investigate the Archdiocese of Dublin, and the archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, a former rector of the North American College in Rome, will oversee an investigation into Irish seminaries, including the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. Ireland’s seminaries, like those in many countries, have experienced a significant decrease in enrollments."...

"Some American victims groups criticized the appointments of Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Dolan because of their mixed records on handling abuse cases within their own dioceses..."

My Comment:

Yes, I agree with the victims groups critique. Is this a bit like trusting the foxes to guard the hen house?

It also strikes me as quite insensitive to the Irish people. The Ryan Report and the Murphy Report were highly acclaimed and analyzed the Irish clergy abuse in depth. The Irish are quite capable of conducting their own investigations.

In my view, if Pope Benedict involved a cross-section of Irish women and men , including sex abuse victims and non-Catholics, this commission would have far more credibility. Their mandate should include recommending firing bishops and prelates who were at fault in covering up sexual abuse. This Commission could also consult broadly with experts around the world on reforms of church structures that are root causes of the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, and recommend changes such as women priests and a married RC Clergy. Bridget Mary Meehan, rcwp

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