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Irish bishop resigns over child sex abuse

Last Updated: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 18:55

Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop, Donal Murray, over Ireland`s child sex abuse scandal, the Vatican announced.

Murray, the bishop of Limerick, was named in a report last month that concluded that top prelates concealed clerical abuse and failed to inform police of offences over a period of more than three decades.

The Pope is reported to have accepted the resignation.

Other senior church officials, including four archbishops cited in the report, face growing pressure to resign.

One priest admitted to sexually abusing over 100 children, while another confessed that he had abused children on a fortnightly basis over 25 years.

The pope met at his request last week with Ireland`s two most senior Roman Catholic churchmen, primate of all-Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the participants did not discuss whether any of those implicated in the scandal should resign.

But Martin told reporters afterward: "We will need a very significant reorganisation of the Church in Ireland."

The Pope apologised for the abuse, saying he "shares the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Ireland (over) these heinous crimes".

The Vatican statement last Friday said the church "will continue to follow this grave matter with the closest attention in order to understand better how these shameful events came to pass and how best to develop effective and secure strategies to prevent any recurrence."
Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 18:55
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