Wednesday 18 October 2017

A very bad day for the bishop

AFTER all that has been said and done, it is utterly incomprehensible that a Catholic bishop in charge of an Irish diocese, which has been plagued by sex abuse scandals and cover-ups, should be so blissfully unaware of the resonances his request to parishioners to help fund compensation would have.

Considering all the dreadful revelations and all the expressions of concern for victims, it is quite extraordinary that a bishop could fail to recognise that his request for donations to effectively help pay the church's legal costs would be regarded with contempt by those who suffered abuse and that the clumsy language he used would sound condescending.

Dr Denis Brennan, of the Co Wexford diocese of Ferns, said his appeal was not about sharing the blame but asking for help to meet responsibilities. Presumably he meant that his request for donations should not be interpreted as an attempt to extend responsibility and accountability for the sexual abuse of children to the people of the diocese.

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