Child abuse crisis to spark Irish Catholic Church shake-up
Pope Benedict has expressed “outrage, betrayal and shame” at the sexual abuse of children by priests in Ireland, which Church leaders said would lead to a shake-up of the Irish Roman Catholic Church. Church sources expected some bishops to resign in the wake of a government report that said Church leaders in overwhelmingly Catholic Ireland had covered up widespread abuse of children by priests for 30 years.
“I think that we are looking at a very significant reorganization of the Church in Ireland,” Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said after he and other Irish Church leaders held an emergency meeting with the Pope on Friday.
The Vatican said the pope would write to the Irish people about the crisis and a plan for action — the first time a pope will devote a document solely to the clergy’s abuse of children. A number of bishops who worked in Dublin during the period covered by the report are likely to offer to resign, Church sources said.
On his blog Sacri Palazzi, the well-informed Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli wrote: “Some Irish bishops will probably resign in the next few weeks (minimum 4, maximum 10).”