Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Resigned Bishop Tells TV Reporter He's Sorry

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Resigned Bishop Tells TV Reporter He's Sorry

Article excerpt


Six weeks after the release of a government report that found he had not complied with church rules for handling sexual abuse by clergy and had misled civil authorities' inquiries into abuse cases, Bishop John Magee, retired bishop of Cloyne, Ireland, broke his silence.

"To the victims I say I am truly horrified by the abuse that they suffered," Magee told an RTE television news reporter Aug. 20 on the doorstep of a white, cement-block house in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland.

"It all came to me very clearly when I read the complete report," he said. "And if by my not fully implementing the guidelines that we had, the 1996 guidelines, I have made any victims suffer more, then on my bended knee I beg forgiveness. I am sorry.

"More than that I do not know what to say. Words are not sufficient," he said.

On July 13, Irish Judge Yvonne Murphy released a report into an investigation into Cloyne, the diocese Magee headed for 23 years. The Murphy commission examined how Magee and his lieutenants handled allegations made against 19 priests from 1996--when the church in Ireland first implemented child protection procedures--to 2009.

The report said that Magee failed to implement the church's procedures, lied to a government inquiry into the reporting of child abuse cases, and misled another inquiry and his own advisors.

"It is a remarkable fact that Bishop Magee took little or no active interest in the management of clerical child sexual abuse cases until 2008," the report said.

The Vatican removed Magee from the diocese in March 2009 and formally accepted his resignation a year later. …

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