Southern Religion

Roman Catholic Church’s flawed team Ireland lineup

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston’s appointment to head the apostolic visitation to deal with the Roman Catholic child abuse catastrophe in Dublin was for good reason not universally cheered:, a Waltham-based organization that tracks abuse cases, was also critical, saying, “O’Malley’s career ascent has been fueled by his ability to walk into dioceses wracked by horrible revelations of child molestation and enshroud them again in silence.”

Lisa Wangsness of the Boston Globe wrote:

The assignment marks the fourth time that O’Malley, 65, has been asked to intervene in a diocese damaged by clergy sexual abuse. In 1992, he was named bishop of Fall River, a diocese roiled by the serial pedophilia of the Rev. James R. Porter; in 2002, he was named bishop of Palm Beach, where the two previous bishops had acknowledged sexually abusing minors; and in 2003 he was named archbishop of Boston, replacing Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who stepped aside over criticism of his failure to remove sexually abusive priests from ministry.

English Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, who has been appointed apostolic visitor to Ireland’s Armagh archdiocese, was greeted with similar criticism by abuse victims for his mishandling of sexually predatory clerics in his own countries. Specifically, the Irish Independent wrote:

nstead of informing the police of allegations against “notorious paedophile” Fr Michael] Hill, [then Bishop of Arundel Murphy-O’Connor] moved the cleric to the chaplaincy at Gatwick Airport, where he believed the priest would no longer be a danger to children.

But in 1997, Hill was convicted of sex attacks against nine children. After serving three years, he was then given another sentence of five years for assaults on three more boys.

The then-Bishop Murphy O’Connor argued that at the time little was understood of the compulsive nature of paedophilia.

Dr. Margaret Kennedy, of the London-based Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, observed:

Many in the UK survivor movement would wonder why a bishop with a record of mishandling his own cases could independently look at another bishop’s handling of cases.

Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, also one of the nine apostolic visitors to Ireland, has a history of resisting appeals for constructive reform in the U.S.

Their records are chacteristic of the most able reformers the Roman Catholic Church can muster to this task?

June 3, 2010 - Posted by | Catholic, children | , ,

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