Two more Irish bishops resign over child abuse scandal | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 25.12.2009
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Two more Irish bishops resign over child abuse scandal

Two Irish bishops offered their resignation Friday over the church's widespread child abuse scandal, which is reported to have spanned three decades.

A crucifix

The scandal has rocked both the Catholic Church and Ireland as a whole

Two additional Irish bishops offered their resignation Friday to Pope Benedict XVI in relation to a church child sex abuse scandal that has shocked Ireland. Auxiliary bishops of Dublin Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field issued a statement that they had informed the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, that they would leave their positions.

Four bishops have now resigned after a report released last month by the Dublin archdiocese found that Roman Catholic authorities concealed child abuse by priests for three decades.

"It is our hope that our action may help to bring the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse. We again apologize to them," said Walsh and Field in their statement.

Reputation of church placed ahead of children

It was reported that more than 300 children were sexually abused by priests between 1975 and 2004. However, church leaders did not bring cases to the police in order to avoid damaging the church's reputation and assets.

Ireland's top Catholic clergyman, Cardinal Sean Brady, apologized to abuse survivors and their families during a Christmas Eve vigil mass in Northern Ireland. "I declare my abhorrence at the breach of trust and the crimes that have been committed," he said. Brady added that church leaders had "put the reputation of the church before the safety of little children."

Pressure still remains on other senior clergymen to quit over the scandal.

Editor: Andreas Illmer

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