Read the full text of the statement issued by the Irish Bishops after their special meetingt where they continued their discussion of the Murphy Report on the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Murphy Report

At a meeting today in the Columba Centre, St Patricks College, Maynooth, Bishops continued their discussion of 9 and 10 December last on the Commission of Investigation Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin by Judge Yvonne Murphy.

Since the publication of the Murphy report, bishops have been listening to the widespread and justifiable anger and frustration from survivors, priests and laity across their dioceses. Bishops recognise that, in the critical area of safeguarding children, people want accountability and transparency in terms of policy and procedures.

Since their last meeting, bishops have asked the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church to explore with statutory authorities, North and South, ways of ensuring that the Churchs policies and practices in relation to the safeguarding of children represent best practice and that all allegations of abuse are being handled properly. These discussions are ongoing.

Diocesan bishops welcomed the invitation from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI to meet them at the Holy See on 15 and 16 February. Pope Benedicts request was made in the context of the very serious situation that prevails in the Irish Church.

Bishops also discussed preparations for Pope Benedict XVIs address, by way of Pastoral Letter, to the faithful in Ireland, and the follow-up listening and consultation process which will take place with the lay faithful, clergy and Religious.

Haiti earthquake

Bishops expressed solidarity with the Church in Haiti and encouraged support for responses to the human tragedy caused by the major earthquake on 13 January last.

St Mel’s Cathedral

Bishops also offered their sympathy and prayerful support to the people of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois after the destruction by fire of St Mels Cathedral in Longford on early Christmas morning.