Fr Vincent Twomey, a former student of Pope Benedict XVI, says Irish Church has been 'without any leadership' for 15 years

A theologian who is a former student of Pope Benedict XVI has called for every Irish bishop appointed before 2003 to resign.

Fr Vincent Twomey, emeritus professor of moral theology at Maynooth seminary, said the Irish Church had been “without any leadership effectively for the last 15 years”.

He said that all bishops appointed before Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin in 2003 should stand down even though there were many good bishops among them. “We need new leadership,” he said.

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Fr Twomey told RTE radio that he was “incandescent with rage” after reading the Cloyne report. He said the conduct of Bishop John Magee and other officials was “mind-boggling”, describing it as “incompetence, inertia, and lies”.

“I can understand the outrage. The people most upset by this are the people who have stayed faithful to the Church. They have been let down, to put it mildly,” he said.

The report recorded stark disagreement among bishops over whether Bishop Magee should resign in 2009.

At an emergency meeting of the Irish bishops’ conference, Archbishop Martin argued that Bishop Magee should resign while Cardinal Seán Brady insisted he should stay.

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