Irish church lost credibility over child abuse cover-up: Anglican leader

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost all credibility over its response to a child sex abuse scandal, the Anglican Communion's spiritual leader said.

Irish church lost credibility over child abuse cover-up: Anglican leader

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost all credibility over its response to a child sex abuse scandal, the Anglican Communion's spiritual leader told Britain's state broadcaster.

The unusually frank criticism of the Catholic Church in Ireland by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams broadcast on BBC radio on Saturday follows an "apology" by Pope Benedict over child abuse by priests in Ireland that disappointed victims.

The pope has ordered an inquiry into some Irish dioceses in the most concrete step taken since a wave of abuse cases hit the Catholic Church in Ireland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

But in his pronouncement last month the pope did not address widespread calls for a radical restructuring of the Irish church, nor did he call for the resignation of bishops implicated in the scandal.

Williams, who is also Church of England spiritual leader, told the BBC that the abuse had caused a "colossal corporate trauma" for the Catholic Church, especially in Ireland.

"I was speaking to an Irish friend recently who was saying that it's quite difficult in some parts of Ireland to go down the street wearing a clerical collar now," he said, in an extract of an interview to be broadcast in full on Monday.

"And an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society, suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility - that's not just a problem for the Church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland."

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said he was stunned and discouraged by Williams's comments and said they would not help those trying to rebuild the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Martin said Williams later telephoned him to convey his "deep sorrow and regret" for difficulties caused by the remarks.

"Archbishop Williams affirmed that nothing could have been farther from his intention than to offend or criticise the Irish Church," Martin said.

A report commissioned by the Irish government said the church had "obsessively" hidden child abuse from 1975 to 2004.

It said one priest admitted abusing more than 100 children. Another said he had abused children every two weeks for more than 25 years.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Nisan 2010, 11:26

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