Saturday 21 April 2018

John Cooney: Martin should have spoken to victims sooner

John Cooney

If Archbishop Diarmuid Martin had said in Rome on Tuesday what he finally said in Dublin yesterday the summit talks between Pope Benedict XVI and the Irish bishops would not have been dismissed so forthrightly as a charade and an insult to clerical abuse victims and industrial school survivors.

Speaking after an Ash Wednesday service for students at University College Dublin, Archbishop Martin confirmed, as he had promised last week, that he had conveyed messages from them to the pontiff.

Significantly, Dr Martin said the possibility of a meeting between Pope Benedict and survivors such as Michael O'Brien had not been excluded as part of the process of reconciliation -- the first phase of which was the two-day meeting in Rome, to be followed by the publication of the Pope's Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland before the end of Lent.

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