David Quinn has an interesting article in the Irish Independent. He is relieved that Bishop Murray is to go but rightly wonders how if the decision was made on December 1 did it take 16 days for it to become public? Why the wait and the anguish for the Church and the victims? Rightly too does he call for the resignation of those bishops who have not been investigated but did not handle accusations as they should, who let the wolves continue to savage the lambs. He finishes with this thought:
Pope Benedict XVI has said he will clearly indicate the initiatives that are to be taken in response to the abuse scandals in a pastoral letter to be written especially for Ireland.
The two best initiatives he can undertake would be to force the resignations of all those bishops who acted as Donal Murray did, and then to replace them with as many strong, fearless and capable bishops as he can. That would help to re-energise the Irish Church very quickly indeed, restore morale, and allow Christianity to be properly proclaimed in Ireland once again.
The problem though is do we have in Ireland this kind of man in sufficient numbers? Let us hope and pray that there are enough "strong, fearless and capable" but also orthodox priests who are willing to become bishops.
Perhaps as rumour has it Rome will take the opportunity to cut the Irish Church down in size and reduce the number of dioceses to around 12 - perhaps three to a province. This would make it easier to find candidates since fewer would be needed but it might also make it easier for the clerical cliques to influence the choice.