Friday 23 March 2018

Martin: I had to share altar with bishops

John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has insisted he was obliged to concelebrate Mass with two bishops named in the Murphy Report into the cover up of abuse of children.

However, speaking exclusively to the Irish Independent yesterday, Archbishop Martin said he understood that this concelebration with bishops Dermot O'Mahony and Eamonn Walsh had caused hurt to Marie Collins and other victims of other abusive priests.

Dr Martin explained that the Mass on Sunday marked the feast day of the archdiocese's patron saint and founder, St Laurence O'Toole.

He also explained that the custom was for the members of the Metropolitan Chapter -- senior clergy holding official positions -- to take part in the Mass.


Dr O'Mahony, who is retired, assisted at the Mass as dean of the chapter, as did Dr Walsh, its precentor.

The fourth concelebrant was Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, in his capacity as the Pope's representative conducting an investigation into child protection in Dublin.

Ms Collins, the victim of a Dublin paedophile cleric, expressed her sense of hurt and anger at the participation at the altar of Cardinal O'Malley and Dr Martin with bishops named in the report.

Ms Collins said it gave out the wrong message, and it was "a poor start" for Cardinal O'Malley's investigation.

Yesterday, when asked for his response to Ms Collins, Dr Martin said: "They (Dr O'Mahony and Dr Walsh) belonged to the Metropolitan Chapter. I could do nothing about it.

Asked if he had apologised to Ms Collins and other victims, he added: "I am aware of the hurt that has been caused to people."

Dr Martin was speaking after he had presented the John Paul II youth award to Victoria Byrne from St Kilian's Community School, Bray, Co Wicklow, in Dublin's Mansion House.

The awards, organised by Dublin Catholic Youth Care, recognise the efforts of young people aged between 16 and 18 in the Dublin diocese who take an active role in the church, community and wider society.

Senior GAA football star Alan Brogan addressed the gathering at the event.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News