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Tasmanian archbishop's remorse for complaints handling

Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle has made a public apology for his handling of sex abuse complaints, saying he is "truly sorry" for what had happened in the Archdiocese.

"I feel I can never apologise enough to victims of abuse and to their families and friends," he said.

The Archbishop has admitted he failed to act quickly enough when it was revealed high-profile clergyman Monsignor Philip Green had sexually assaulted two boys.

The Mercury newspaper says the scandal has devastated the church community, with some church figures calling for the Archbishop to resign, and others saying he is using the media to head off adverse publicity from the national television program A Current Affair, which plans to air the issue this week.

"My mistakes have been in terms of particular process and timing, for which I have apologised," Archbishop Doyle said yesterday.

"It is not for me to resign, however. That would be almost the easy way out.

"I am having an extremely difficult time but my responsibilities are far wider than these very important problems, problems however that I am firmly committed to resolving satisfactorily."

Archbishop Doyle repeated his apologies to two men, Derrum Kearns and Drew Murray, who were abused by Monsignor Green as children.

"I know that my apology does little to alleviate the hurt, the pain they felt and possibly still feel, but I hope they can bring themselves to accept these profound apologies which I tender in good faith," he said.

Archbishop Doyle said he felt "deep personal sorrow and regret" for his decision not to stand down Monsignor Green from active ministry as soon as he found out the priest had admitted kissing and fondling a boy.

Instead, Monsignor Green was allowed to continue working at Lindisfarne for six months before he attended counselling. He was not sacked from active ministry until September this year.

Archbishop Doyle also denied that he had sacked Patrick Murray, the father of Drew Murray, from three church committees, although he said he has asked Mr Murray to stand aside after Mr Murray called for his resignation.

"Mr Pat Murray has been a loyal, long-serving adviser and friend of the Catholic Church," he said.

He said he had asked Mr Murray to stand aside because Mr Murray had told him he no longer had faith in his leadership and a potential for conflict of interest had arisen.

Doyle 'truly' sad at abuse (The Mercury)

Hobart Archbishop refuses to quit over abuse cases (ABC)
Christian Brothers say 95% of abuse claims are false (Irish Catholic)
New PR chief signals 'more robust' strategy by Church (Irish Catholic)
Bishop apologises over abuse case (AAP/The Age)

30 Oct 2003