The Archbishop of Dublin said April 18 that the inquiry team sent to Ireland by Pope Benedict XVI will be in a position to report back to him by this weekend.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told the Irish Examiner on April 18 that the apostolic visitation appointed by Rome to investigate the health of the Catholic Church in Ireland has now completed its work. “They are to present their reports to the Pope by Easter,” the archbishop said.
The inquiry was initiated by the Pope in March 2010. It followed a series of Irish government reports condemning the handling of child abuse accusations by the Catholic Church there.
The four-man team heading up the investigation in four of the key dioceses of Ireland consists of Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto, Archbishop Terence Prendergast, SJ, of Ottowa and Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster, England. There’s also been a parallel investigation into functioning of religious houses.
Meanwhile Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore are leading a review of Irish seminaries. Last month speculative media reports suggested that they would recommend the closure of the national seminary at Maynooth in County Kildare. The seminary authorities, though, were quick to dismiss such talk as “without foundation.”
Archbishop Martin says he now expects concrete recommendations to emerge from the Vatican before the summer.