Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan is not considering his position, despite the resignations of four of his fellow bishops after they were named in the Murphy report. Drennan's reluctance to go could prompt a major split at the top of the Catholic church in Ireland.
It remains unclear what action Dublin archbishop Diarmuid Martin might take to ensure Drennan resigns, amid previous claims that he would directly petition the Congregation for Bishops in Rome to seek the dismissal of all those named in the report.
But despite coming under increasing pressure to vacate his role, his spokesman Fr Seán McHugh told the Sunday Tribune yesterday that Drennan's place in the report was "very different" to the other bishops.
He noted that he had not been called to give evidence to the Murphy commission, and only arrived as an auxiliary bishop in Dublin in 1997.
Drennan is named in the Murphy report in connection to reports of inappropriate behaviour relating to a priest, named as Fr Guido, which involved male teenagers in 2002 and 2003.
However, he has consistently maintained that he is satisfied with the way he had handled the abuse allegation and has called on Martin to drop his name from the list of people who should resign. The report itself also notes that the archdiocese acted correctly in "immediately addressing the concerns and suspicions in this case".
"I would say Bishop Drennan is not considering his resignation," McHugh said yesterday.
Asked whether the Bishop thought he should resign in order to reflect a sense of "collective responsibility" for the failures of bishops in the archdiocese, McHugh said: "Wouldn't he have to know to be responsible? He's saying he didn't know."
On Christmas Eve, the current Dublin auxiliary bishops, Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field announced that they had informed archbishop Martin that they had decided to offer their resignation to Pope Benedict.
Their resignations followed that of Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin.