|Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: Peter Morrison/AP|
Reporting from Belfast, Northern Ireland —
Pope Benedict XVI has rejected the resignations of two Irish bishops who came under heavy pressure to step down in the wake of a damning report on clerical sex abuse in Dublin, Irish media reports said Wednesday.
Auxiliary bishops Raymond Field and Eamonn Walsh tendered their resignations in December after a government-backed investigation found evidence of widespread cover-ups involving cases of priestly abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese from the 1970s through the 1990s. The report caused an uproar in Ireland and deepened public disillusionment with the once-dominant Roman Catholic Church.
But in a letter seen by Irish news outlets, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin informed fellow clerics that the Vatican had decided not to accept the two bishops' offers to step down. Instead, the pair would be "assigned revised responsibilities within the diocese," the letter said, without specifying what those new duties would be.
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