One of the big disappointments of the pope’s “pastoral” letter to Irish Catholics, was that it contained no reference at all to the resignations of four bishops in the wake of the Murphy report on the cover-ups in Dublin. (A fifth bishop refused to resign, insisting that he had done “nothing wrong”.) In an under-reported press-conference at the time the pastoral letter was released, the obvious question was asked, “What about the resignations?” The only response was that they would be dealt with “in time” by the “appropriate Vatican department”. How long does it take, I wondered, to accept a resignation? The answer may have come this morning: a year.
In a matter entirely unrelated to the Murphy report and the Dublin diocese, Bishop John Magee, formerly of the Cloyne diocese, quit the day-to day running of his diocese a year ago, in March 2009. It has taken the Vatican a full year to accept his resignation. If this is a reliable guide to form, we might expect the acceptance of the four resignations arising from the Dublin Murphy report early in 20011. How long it will take to get rid of the one who is in denial, or of Benedict himself who has overseen the whole sorry mess, is anybody’s guess.
Vatican accepts resignation of Irish Catholic bishop John Magee
The Vatican has accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop who was once the personal secretary to three popes, it was announced today.
The papacy said Bishop John Magee was stepping down over his mishandling of allegations of clerical sex abuse in his Irish diocese.
Although Magee quit the day-to-day running of parishes across rural Cork last March, it has taken the Vatican bureaucracy a year to formally confirm his resignation.
The cleric, originally from Northern Ireland, faced scathing criticism after the church’s watchdog found he had taken minimal action over accusations against two of his priests.
He served as personal assistant to Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II in Rome.
There have been many calls for Magee’s resignation since the report into the Cloyne diocese earlier this year.
The announcement of his official resignation was made in statement released through the Irish Catholic Bishops’ conference.
Read the full report at the Guardian
- Holy Father rejects resignation of two Dublin bishops (politics.ie)
- “A Nobody Leading Nobodies” (commonwealmagazine.org)