Church leaders who took part in the sex scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church are facing judgment day.
Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty of Co. Kildare in Ireland, and another two have offered themselves up for similar dismissal.
Auxiliary bishops Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field, both located in Dublin, were also found to have taken part in a Church coverup to protect members of the clergy accused of abusing children, according to an Irish government-ordered investigation published last year.
"The truth is that the long struggle of survivors to be heard and respected by church authorities has revealed a culture within the Church that many would simply describe as unchristian," Moriarty said in a statement. "This has been profoundly dispiriting for all who care about the church."
The November report did not directly criticize Moriarty, but the bishop offered his resignation after accepting he should have taken personal responsibility for challenging the bishops' practice of keeping abuse complaints within the church.
In the last few months, two other Irish bishops, Bishop John Magee and Bishop Donal Murray, stepped down. Demands for more to resign, including Ireland’s Cardinal Sean Brady, continue.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany's Bishop Walter Mixa has offered his resignation amid accusations he struck children, the BBC reported.
The alleged assaults occurred at a Catholic children's home during the 1970s and ’80s. He has not been accused of any sexual abuse.
"I ask the forgiveness of all those to whom I may have been unfair and to those who I may have caused heartache," Bishop Mixa wrote to the Pope on Wednesday.
In England, Archbishop Vincent Nichols issued a statement condemning the child abuse scandal, and expressing his “sorrow” to its victims.
"Catholics are members of a single universal body. These terrible crimes, and the inadequate response by some church leaders, grieve us all," he said in a statement.
"We express our heartfelt apology and deep sorrow to those who have suffered abuse, those who have felt ignored, disbelieved or betrayed."
The resignation of Moriarty comes a day after the Pope promised "church action" in dealing with the child sex scandal during his weekly public audience in St. Peter's Square.
Read more: Judgement day: Pope Benedict XVI accepts resignation of Irish Bishop Moriarty, two others may go