Categories
Crime

Mental Reservation in Bishop Murray’s Resignation Statement

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.

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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?

Donal?

Donal?

Hello?

Categories
Crime

Bishop Murray Takes One For The Team

Bishop Dónal Murray resigned this morning without accepting any responsibility for the wrongdoings exposed by  the Murphy report.  In line with a carefully-thought-out tactic, Murray’s speech concentrated on the victims of clerical sexual abuse.

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.  I humbly apologise once again to all who were abused as little children.  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.

… I believe that my presence will create difficulties for some of the survivors who must have first place in our thoughts and prayers.

… 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 and who endured the terror, helplessness and suffering inflicted by a frightening and dominant adult. They should always have a special place in our prayers.

Very good, you might be thinking.  At last he’s facing up to reality.

I’m afraid not.

The Murphy report is not about clerical sexual abuse.  It’s about the way the bishops handled complaints of these crimes.  It’s about the fact that they ignored and dismissed victims.  It’s about putting protection of the church ahead of the victims’ welfare.  It’s about concealing crimes.  It’s about a cover-up.

Remember the mandate of the Commission as quoted in their report:

The Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation was established to report on the handling by Church and State authorities of a representative sample of allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse against clerics operating under the aegis of the Archdiocese of Dublin over the period 1975 to 2004.

There’s one major element missing from Donal Murray’s statement: any acknowledgement that he personally bears responsibility for anything at all.

This is the statement of a man who simply doesn’t get it.  He genuinely cannot see that the public pressure is on him because of his inexcusable failures.

Yesterday, Thomas Naughton, a priest of the Dublin diocese, was jailed for abusing children, and we now know that if Murray had acted on complaints against this individual, many children would have escaped the sexual abuse he inflicted on them.

It’s for these failures and this lack of moral compass that Murray has been vilified, and in his statement, we can see a clear strategy, as devised and imposed by the Vatican’s man, Diarmuid Martin.  Keep the spotlight on the victims.  Keep apologising for the abuse.  Keep attention away from the findings of a cover-up in the Murphy report.

Diarmuid Martin is a clever man, and I commend him for it.  A very clever man.

What else would you expect from the brother of the Irish Times Moscow correspondent?  Two smart boys, Diarmuid and Séamus, and two likeable fellows, what’s more.

I find Diarmuid Martin engaging.  I like his humility.  I like his normality.  I doubt very much if Diarmuid Martin would expect the faithful to bend the knee to him or treat him as any sort of prince, much less a prince of the church.   It isn’t his style.

I would share a pint with Diarmuid Martin any time he likes, in the confident expectation of entertaining company and a good night of laughter and storytelling.

Not only that, but I imagine Diarmuid Martin is as horrified and repulsed by the activities of Catholic clergy as I am and as you are.  I imagine he wants, in his private moments, to strangle the life out of the abusers who tortured our children.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is a decent man, a human being with nieces and nephews, and perhaps even children of his own.  Who knows?  It isn’t a crime.  To that extent, I find myself on the same side as him.

He understands my  rage at these perverts and I understand his.

However, there’s another side to Diarmuid Martin   You see, before he was parachuted into the Dublin diocese, Diarmuid Martin was a trusted member of the Vatican inner circle, a diplomat and a canny operator.  It was not by accident that the Vatican decided to place him in Dublin.

Diarmuid Martin was placed in his current position because Rome knew there was a public-relations disaster in the making and Martin was the right man to limit the damage. The Catholic church in Ireland was exposed as little more than a paedophile ring.   Cardinal Desmond Connell and his predecessors had failed  miserably to comprehend that raping a child is a crime, and had colluded in protecting the rapists.  Now there was nothing for it but to put in a man with a safe pair of hands and so they sent in one of their shrewdest operators.

Diarmuid Martin is the Harvey Keitel to the church’s Pulp Fiction.  He’s there to hose down the goons and clean up the crime scene.  He’s there to ensure that the Catholic church in Ireland retains as much of its secular power as possible, and if that means straight talking and kicking a few made men out of a speeding car well and good. What has to be done will be done to protect the Family.

This is why Murray made his begrudging, self-pitying speech of resignation through gritted teeth.  Martin was standing behind him with a knife at his ribs, and you can expect another few goons to quit over coming days.

It isn’t about the victims.  It’s about holding on to power.

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Murphy Report Part 1

Murphy Report Part 2

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All Bock posts on the Murphy Report