March 23, 2006

Archbishop 'damaging clergy' with abuse views

Irish Independent

John Cooney
Religious Affairs Correspondent

A DUBLIN priest has accused Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of causing "irreparable damage" by misrepresenting the views of his clergy in regard to child abuse allegations.

Fr Gregory O'Brien claimed yesterday that at a recent private meeting in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, it was made "abundantly clear" to Dr Martin that priests had a difficulty with the publicity but not the standing-down when facing a complaint of child sexual abuse.

However, on television Dr Martin had insisted that priests had a difficulty with standing aside, and were creating the impression that they wanted special treatment because "they did not understand the nature of the measures".

"Such statements seriously undermine our confidence that dialogue entered into openly and honestly will be properly represented in the public arena," Fr O'Brien said.

The Ballinteer-based priest said the archbishop had added insult to injury by portraying priests as "at best out of touch and at worst a crowd of fools".

Posted by kshaw at March 23, 2006 08:50 AM