October 24, 2005

Senior Ferns priests call for bishop to stand down

Sunday Times

Dearbhail McDonald

SOME senior priests have called for the removal of Eamon Walsh, the Bishop of Ferns, ahead of the publication of a devastating report into clerical sex abuse in the diocese this week.

The priests, speaking on condition of anonymity, claim they have been “hung out to dry” by Walsh, who was appointed as caretaker bishop after the resignation of Brendan Comiskey three years ago.

Walsh is not expected to be criticised himself in the report. But a number of Wexford priests claim they have not been briefed on the content of the report by him, or taught how to deal with angry parishioners.

The senior clergymen claim rank-and-file priests have not been prepared for the fall-out from the Ferns inquiry report, which is due to be discussed by the cabinet on Tuesday.

The report is expected to trigger significant public anger at the Catholic church for failing to sack priests accused of abusing young children. It catalogues decades of widespread abuse by up to 30 priests in the diocese, up to and during the 1980s.

Posted by kshaw at October 24, 2005 08:46 AM