Wednesday 23 January 2019

Survivors call for cardinals to be axed as speakers

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Rachel Farrell

A group of abuse survivors has called for three cardinals to be removed from a line-up of speakers at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland at the end of this month.

The abuse survivors have delivered a letter to Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, in the hope of removing Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, Cardinal Kevin Farrell and Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

The Ending Clergy Abuse Global Justice Project (ECA) believe the cardinals should be investigated for "protecting brother bishops who have committed sexual abuse".

Cardinal Maradiaga is from Honduras. Following allegations of sexual misconduct, auxiliary bishop Juan José Pineda resigned this year - he had served under Cardinal Maradiaga.

The other two cardinals, Kevin Farrell and Donald Wuerl, are based in the US.


In July former Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, resigned following allegations of sexual abuse. Cardinal Wuerl replaced him, and Cardinal Farrell was ordained by him. The ECA say both "face questions about what they knew" about McCarrick's alleged misconduct.

The group asked Archbishop Martin to "intensify his public efforts" to ask Pope Francis to recognise abuse.

"We really appreciate all the efforts Archbishop Martin has made so far, but we're concerned about these cardinals and the message they're sending, especially to Irish survivors," Peter Isely, founding member of ECA, told the Irish Independent.

Mr Isely, from Wisconsin in the US, said the group is "amazed" the cardinals are included among the speakers.

"We're pretty amazed that they already haven't voluntarily stepped down," he said. "For the Pope to come to Ireland, and to embrace these three individuals, it's not sending the right message out there."

He said Irish survivors of clerical abuse "deserve more respect".

Irish Independent

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