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Grasping the moral nettle

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UNTIL yesterday, open confrontation between the Catholic bishops and the religious orders was unthinkable in this country. But yesterday, under the pressure of the worst scandal in the history of the Irish Catholic Church and the decline in the authority of all institutions, the unthinkable became the unavoidable.

The 18 congregations that signed the 2002 agreement with the Government on redress for victims of institutional child abuse met to consider the demands that the terms of the deal should be revisited. The two leading Churchmen in the country, Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, had made precisely that demand and Archbishop Martin had made searing criticisms of their own actions.


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