One of Ireland’s most well-known bishops, Bishop Brendan Comiskey, announced his resignation yesterday amid allegations that he protected a pedophile priest from prosecution. Comiskey’s announcement came on the eve of a documentary debut chronicling the story of the Father Sean Fortune, a priest who was accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He committed suicide shortly before going to trial.
Bishop Comiskey is accused of protecting Fortune and reassigning him to the ministry despite knowing about Fortune’s crimes. Comiskey’s resignation has been accepted by Ireland’s Cardinal Desmond Connell and Archbishop Sean Brady. He will personally present his resignation to the Vatican later this week.
Colm O’Gorman, one of Fortune’s accusers, said he was pleased with Comiskey’s resignation, but said he would continue to push the Irish government to investigate the Church further. He has filed a lawsuit claiming sexual abuse at the hands of Fortune and naming Comiskey and Pope John Paul II as defendants.
In a related story, the Roman Catholic dioceses of Orange and Los Angeles paid $1.2 million to a woman who says she was molested from the ages of 14 to 17 by a priest who then paid her to have an abortion after she became pregnant more than 20 years ago.