Pope accepts resignation of Irish Bishop John Magee in sex abuse scandal

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Irish Bishop John Magee in the country’s sex abuse scandal.

The 73-year-old Magee has been accused of mishandling complaints against priests in his diocese of Cloyne. The Vatican said without elaboration that the pope had accepted his resignation.

Before being assigned to Ireland, Magee served as secretary to Popes Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II.

Irish government-ordered investigations have documented decades of child abuse and church cover-ups.

In a letter released Saturday by the Vatican, the pope apologized for decades of abuse but took no action against bishops blamed for cover-ups.

A church-appointed investigator found that Magee failed to tell police promptly or fully about allegations against two priests since 1995. A government official said the bishop appeared to have obstructed that investigation.

The Vatican released a statement from John Magee saying he had submitted his resignation as bishop of Cloyne on March 9.

“I have been informed today that it has been accepted, and as I depart, I want to offer once again my sincere apologies to any person who has been abused by any priest of the diocese of Cloyne during my time as bishop or at any time. To those whom I have failed in any way, or through any omission of mine have made suffer, I beg forgiveness and pardon,” he said.

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