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Why Dublin's Archbishop should resign

This is a fan letter to the heroic Irish victims of clerical abuse. Your story has gone around the world. Your courage has rewritten the history of Ireland over the past 60 years. You trashed the idea of the RC Church as a safe haven for women and children. It made the lives of many women a hell on earth. And what would St Patrick or James Connolly think of all those tender childhoods it stole?

Your bewilderment over the meeting between the Pope and bishops was palpable. You couldn't believe you were excluded. You weren't even present in their thoughts. Strange, seeing that Christ's 'hierarchy' was made up exclusively of children and the poor.

That meeting was never about you or your years-long struggle for justice. It was called to restore the shattered prestige and authority of the Roman Church. The Pope, who denied your existence for decades, even had the nerve to blame the "faithless" world for priest rapists and the antics of their episcopal pimps. Does he blame it, too, for Cardinal Connell's lies?


Understand this. You and your comrades are in a war. Rome doesn't see you primarily as victims but as its enemy, the most formidable in decades. You bared the cruel wounds your Church inflicted on you, whom Jesus charged it to protect. You spoiled Rome's hilarious myth of a Holy Ireland with Pope, bishops and priests as knights in shining armour.

The marks on your bodies and souls reveal the endemic brutality at the core of its regime. It secretly loathes you for betraying its dirty secrets. No wonder it keeps two-fingering you.

You will never be on its agenda and if you can't get justice from Rome who can? It is here not to serve the broken but to rule with a rod of iron. Stop listening to prelates who don't listen to you. Do not seek their approval, only God's.

You are disappointed that Archbishop Martin wasn't able to help you. He must be disheartened, too. He is the only bishop who shares your sense of betrayal. The rest were hand-washing Pontius Pilates. They beat their breast but they'd get more remorse out of a carpet. Not one believes he's guilty of anything. The entire system was corrupt but no one in charge was to blame, certainly not the top man with all the clout.

Diarmuid Martin was terribly naive. He believed his passionate intervention would be taken seriously by the Vatican. What a shock to find it was anathema to his peers and superiors.

Forget Bishop Drennan who has the gall to call your quest for justice "revenge". You couldn't bang a nail in his heart or his head. Instead, urge Dr Martin to do a prophetic thing: resign as Archbishop of Dublin and stand alongside the poorest of Christ's poor.