28 Nov 2010

Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop who was private secretary to 3 popes, but still won't admit Vatican's role in child abuse

BBC News - UK March 24, 2010

Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop John Magee

The Pope has accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop found to have mishandled allegations of clerical sex abuse in his County Cork diocese.

Bishop John Magee stepped aside in March 2009 after an independent report found his Cloyne Diocese had put children at risk of harm.

"I take full responsibility for the criticism of our management of issues in that report," he said on Wednesday.

The 2008 report cited an inability to respond appropriately to abuse claims.

It was conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSC), a body set up by, but independent of the Catholic Church.

The inquiry was separate to last year's Murphy report on decades of abuse mishandling in the Dublin archdiocese and the Ryan report, which detailed physical and sexual abuse at Catholic-run orphanages and industrial schools in the Irish Republic.

Bishop Magee was born in Newry, County Down, and served as private secretary for three popes.

The NBSC inquiry examined how the Cloyne diocese dealt with a series of complaints of sexual abuse against two priests.

One woman reported "Father B" in 1996 as saying she had a year-long sexual relationship him and that she had seen him kissing her 14-year-old son.

Three other complaints of abuse were made against this priest between 1995 and 1997, and in 2005 a woman claimed that she had sex with the priest from the age of 13.

The conclusions of the report were a devastating critique of child protection practices in the diocese.

It said child protection practice was inadequate and in some respects dangerous as it apparently focused on the needs of the accused rather than victims.

It failed to act effectively to limit the access to children by individuals against whom a credible complaint of child sexual abuse was made.

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, said he wanted to acknowledge Bishop Magee's "long and varied ministry".

"I assure him of my prayers at this time and wish him good health in his retirement," he said.

"However, foremost in my thoughts in these days are those who have suffered abuse by clergy and those who feel angry and let down by the often inadequate response of leaders in the church."

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Irish Central - March 25, 2010

Yet another Irish bishop admits child abuse failure as Vatican may force Cardinal Brady to resign

By ANTOINETTE KELLY | IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Speculation is mounting that Pope Benedict may seek the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady as the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland as another Irish bishop admits he failed to handle a sex abuse case properly.

This comes amid fresh scandal in Ireland, with the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Dr William Lee, admitting he managed a sex abuse allegation case in the 1990s in a “seriously inadequate” fashion.

Lee waited two years before divulging the information he had about the priest to the relevant authorities.

"I particularly regretted that I had not sought the immediate withdrawal of the priest from all ministry and that others associated with the new ministry were not informed that allegations had been made. I set about initiating a full review of the case," Lee said in a statement.

Bishop John Magee, 73, stepped down in March last year after an independent report found that his diocese put children at risk.

The Belfast Telegraph newspaper is reporting that Brady, who has become embroiled in a sex abuse scandal, may well be next.

Rumors are rampant that the Pope will ask Brady to resign after it was confirmed yesterday that Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of the disgraced Bishop of Cloyne.

He is a former private secretary to three popes.

The Pope only accepted his resignation yesterday, thus prompting speculation that Pope Benedict would now seek Brady's resignation as well.

Talk within the Vatican walls is that an Australian prelate is to head an investigation into the Irish Church, due to begin in April.

Cardinal George Pell, the 68-year-old Archbishop of Sydney, has headed similar investigations in dioceses in his native Australia.

A possible outcome of the Apostolic Visitation, which Pope Benedict announced last Saturday, is that Pell may propose Brady's resignation or removal.

Brady said last week he was "ashamed" that he swore two victims of clerical sexual abuse to secrecy after they reveled that they were abused by notorious pedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

However, the Cardinal insisted he was not stepping down unless asked to by the Pope. He said he will take until May 23, Pentecost Sunday, to reflect and consult with colleagues and then he will announce his affirmed decision.

Pope Benedict, meanwhile, has not yet accepted the resignations of three bishops criticized in last November's shocking Murphy report into abuse cover-ups in the archdiocese of Dublin. He is expected to shortly.

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