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Sunday 23 July 2017

Martin losing patience with Vatican over reform plan delay

John Cooney Religion Correspondent

THE Archbishop of Dublin has revealed his "increasing impatience" with the Vatican because its promised blueprint for the reform of the Catholic Church here remains unpublished.

Pope Benedict last year ordered a team of leading foreign clerics to undertake a special probe of the scandal-hit Irish church.

The investigation was completed before Easter -- with the findings sent to the Pope -- and it was expected those findings would be announced by the end of May.

But yesterday Archbishop Diarmuid Martin expressed frustration with the unexplained delay in the inquiry's publication when he addressed an international team of organisers preparing for next June's Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.

"The Holy Father initiated a process of support for the Irish Church which is set out in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland," Dr Martin said.

'Remarkable'

"His commitment to the Irish church is remarkable. I have experienced only support from him in my mission through his teaching and personal support."

But Dr Martin said he was "impatient to learn about the path that the Apostolic Visitation will set out for renewal for the Irish church so that our renewal will move forward decisively".

He added: "I am also becoming increasingly impatient at the slowness in the process which began over a year ago. This is not a criticism of the Holy Father. It is an appeal to his collaborators.

"The pace of the change in Irish religious culture is such that the longer the delay in advancing the fruits of the Apostolic Visitation, the greater the danger of false expectations and the greater the encouragement to those who prefer immobilism to reform."

The probe came in the wake of the Murphy Report into the scale of clerical child abuse by clergy and cover-ups by four previous archbishops in the Dublin archdiocese

The investigators, known as apostolic visitors, examined child protection procedures in the four main archdioceses of Armagh, Dublin, Cashel and Tuam as well as seminaries and religious orders.

They were also to make recommendations to the Pope on ways of renewing the Irish church after its loss of authority over the abuse scandals.

This investigation, which was led by former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, and Boston Cardinal, Sean O'Malley, completed its work in April.

Delegates from 70 countries attended the meeting at All Hallows College in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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