I thought maybe we might have a closer look at the resignation statement of bishop Donal Murray to see what he really said. Maybe we could try and tease out some of those unspoken mental reservations these fellows are so fond of.
Here’s what his statement said, with additional interruptions by me.
I have heard the views of many survivors, especially in the days following the publication of the Murphy Report.
Sorry, Donal, just let me stop you there. You heard the views of survivors. What does that mean? Are you saying you actually spoke to survivors face to face, or are you saying you heard their views from somebody else? When you say “many survivors”, how many exactly? One, ten or a hundred? What sort of survivors? Were these people personally abused?
Some expressed the wish that I should resign; others asked me not to do so.
Donal, I have to stop you again there. Who exactly asked you not to resign?
I know full well that my resignation cannot undo the pain that survivors of abuse have suffered in the past and continue to suffer each day.
What pain are you talking about Dónal? The Murphy report wasn’t about abuse. It was about how you and the other bishops handled complaints.
I humbly apologise once again to all who were abused as little children.
Donal. The inquiry wasn’t about abuse. You have no business apologising for that.
To all survivors of abuse I repeat that my primary concern is to assist in every way that I can, on their journey towards finding closure and serenity.
Donal, when are you going to talk about your own negligence?
A bishop is meant to be a person who seeks to lead and inspire all the people of the diocese in living as a community united in the truth and love of Christ. I asked the Holy Father to allow me to resign and to appoint a new bishop to the Diocese —
Donal, he sacked you. You hid in Rome while Naughton was being sentenced.
— because I believe that my presence will create difficulties for —
Donal, you’re resigning because because the Murphy report described your lack of action as “inexcusable”.
— some of the survivors who must have first place in our thoughts and prayers.
Only some of the survivors, Donal? Are you saying that other survivors are delighted to have a man in place who betrayed their trust?
Let my last words as Bishop of Limerick be those I spoke in St. Joseph’s on 29th November last: ‘We are people who believe that God’s mercy and God’s healing are without limit. We are meant to be bearers of that hope to one another and especially to people whose trust was betrayed when they were just little children —
Their trust was betrayed by you, Donal, and not just by the deviants who abused them.
— and who endured the terror, helplessness and suffering inflicted by a frightening and dominant adult.
Sorry to interrupt you again, Donal, but you keep talking about the abuse. The Murphy report wasn’t about child abuse. It was about your handling of complaints.
They should always have a special place in our prayers.
They had no place in your thoughts, never mind your prayers, when they tried to tell you what was happening. Are you going to say anything about how you handled their complaints? Are you going to say anything at all about the Murphy report?