LONDON (AP) — The archbishop of Dublin said Tuesday that the Catholic church in Ireland needs to reflect further on the roots of sexual abuse of children by priests and called for public investigations into the scandal.
Diarmuid Martin conceded that the prospect of new and costly investigations into aspects of the scandal could be daunting given the current economic climate, but said he believes the public interest could be served by public, research-based investigations into abuse.
"The answers to some questions are not to be found just in the archives of the church," he said in an address to the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Ireland.
The archbishop is widely considered to be Ireland's most reform-minded Catholic leader and the Irish church's leading voice calling for greater openness on past abuse.
He said that more must be done to understand what transpired to produce the "explosion of abuse," and how "such a horrendous situation was not recognized for what it was."
"The truth can be painful, but I believe that we still have a long journey to travel to fathom fully the truth and to accept that truth," he said, insisting that facing and understanding the past would be the best way to root out the "demons" that he says have haunted the church for generations, and will continue to damage it unless issues are addressed.