From RTE News Online
The Catholic Church in England failed to show sufficient compassion in the past for children abused by its priests, the Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has said.
The Cardinal has faced widespread criticism over his handling of paedophile priests, centring on his decision in 1985 - when he was Bishop of Arundel and Brighton - to move Father Michael Hill to the chaplaincy at Gatwick airport even though he knew he was a paedophile.
Last month Hill was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to a further string of sex offences.
Interviewed on BBC 2's Newsnight programme last night, the Cardinal again
acknowledged that he made a grave mistake in his handling of the Hill case, but rejected calls for his resignation, arguing that he had put in train reforms
to ensure that the church deals with the abuse issue.
Asked whether the church had been more concerned with preserving its reputation than showing compassion for victims, the Cardinal said: 'I think
that we've been on what I call a curving line in this whole question.'
"We haven't had sufficient compassion"
'I think I would agree that we haven't had in the past sufficient compassion for those who've been abused.'
The Cardinal said the church now understood the issue much more thoroughly, adding that last year it introduced new guidelines for handling allegations of abuse following recommendations by Lord Nolan.
He conceded he had made mistakes over the issue in the past, but argued that it was largely as a result of a failure to understand the problem.