“Murray's Resignation Long Overdue”
The Workers' Party today welcomed the belated resignation
of Bishop Murray of Limerick.
Padraig Mannion, Worker' Party research officer, stated that the real story was not
that Bishop Murray had resigned, but that it had taken him so long to take that inevitable decision.
"It is now three
weeks since the Murphy Report was published on the 26th November 2009. This report showed that senior personnel in the Dublin
Catholic Archdiocese had deliberately colluded to protect child sex abusers within the clergy. It further showed that many
senior clergy were seriously negligent in the manner in which they dealt with reported and suspected cases of child abuse.
Bishop Murray was named amongst that latter group.
"As bishop of the large diocese of Limerick, Bishop Murray was patron
of several hundred primary schools, secondary schools, hospitals, and youth groups. It is appalling that a person so shamed
by the Murphy Report could continue in such a position. It is even more appalling that the state, and in particular the Department
of Education, although funding all of these schools and institutions on an almost 100% basis, was helpless to remove Bishop
Murray from his position of patronage.
"Since the foundation of this state all governments have, to a greater or lesser
degree, bowed down before the power of the institutionalised Catholic Church. While the era of the "church triumphant" is
thankfully long past the influence of the Church over state policy is still considerable. This can be seen directly in the
billions of taxpayers' Euro which the church receives each year from the state to run its network of schools, hospitals, and
other institutions. It can be seen in the dreadful 2002 deal with the Catholic Orders in relation to compensation for
institutional clerical child abuse. It can be seen in the recent blasphemous libel (Defamation Act 2009), and mass card charges
legislation (section 99 of the Charities Act 2009). And it can most clearly be seen in the refusal of the government to legislate
on abortion, in-vitro fertilisation, same sex marriage, and in the refusal to amend the constitution in relation to the family
and the rights of the child.
"Once again we call for the clear separation of church and state. Ninety years after
the opening of the first Dail we must at last build a modern secular republic. For so long as the laws and operation of the
state are interchangeable with the dogma and practices of one faith group or another then the abuses and cover-ups exposed
by the Ryan and Murphy reports are disasters waiting to be repeated.
"We believe that it is now time that the Roman
Catholic Hierarchy in Ireland supported our call for the creation of a secular state. If they are genuine in their expressions
of guilt over what happened during the last 90 years, and if they genuinely wish to move forward with a new dispensation then
they have no choice but to support the separation of church and state. If, on the other hand the church leaders dig in their
heels, and mobilise all the ultra-right elements within their organisation to defend their material base, then it will be
obvious that they are speaking in weasel words and shedding crocodile tears."
Thursday 17th December 2009
Padraig Mannion: 01 - 8740 716 or
087 - 6911 293