Bishop ‘ashamed’ of Cloyne abuse

Published Monday, 22 August 2011
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A Newry-born former bishop at the centre of a damning report into the handling of clerical sex abuse allegations in Co Cork has begged for forgiveness from the victims he let down.

Dr John Magee, a former Vatican aide, was exposed last month in the Cloyne report for failing to protect children and investigate paedophile priests.

Speaking for the first time since its publication, he told RTÉ News he feels "ashamed" by the suffering victims in his diocese went through.

"I feel ashamed that this happened under my watch," he said. "It should never have happened and I truly apologise."

He offered to meet and speak to victims to offer them his apology directly, adding: "To the victims I say I am truly horrified by the abuse that they suffered. It all came to me very clearly when I read the complete report.

"And if through my not fully implementing the guidelines that we had - the 1996 guidelines - if by not implementing these I have made any victims suffer more, on my bended knee, I beg forgiveness. I am sorry."

The Cloyne inquiry, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, found that Bishop Magee "took little or no active interest in the management of clerical child sexual abuse cases until 2008".

The 400-page report detailed how his inadequate attempts to deal with abusive clerics in his diocese left him attempting to blame his subordinates for his failures.

It also found the Catholic hierarchy in Cloyne was resisting church policy 12 years after a framework document on child protection was adopted in 1996 and that the Vatican was "entirely unhelpful".

Speaking on his plans for the future, Dr Magee told RTÉ: "I want to live in peace, to be able to be a retired bishop as I am after 23 ½ years of service in the diocese."

© UTV News
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9 Comments
SISTER MAUREEN PAUL TURLISH in New Castle, Delaware, USA wrote (1,188 days ago):
[I feel ashamed that this happened under my watch," he said. "It should never have happened and I truly apologise." He offered to meet and speak to victims to offer them his apology directly, adding: "To the victims I say I am truly horrified by the abuse that they suffered. It all came to me very clearly when I read the complete report. "And if through my not fully implementing the guidelines that we had - the 1996 guidelines - if by not implementing these I have made any victims suffer more, on my bended knee, I beg forgiveness. I am sorry."] Ireland's Magee is like so many bishops in the United States and elsewhere whose behavior in regard to the protection of children has been criminal and should be treated as such. They, along with sexually abusive priests and bishops, have escaped prosecution because of inadequate statutes of limitation. There is no "if" about it, Bishop Magee! By your callous regard for victims of childhood sexual abuse YOU HAVE MADE VICTIMS "SUFFER MORE." I agree with the poster who said: "If your so ashamed get off your bended knee and resign. Then hand yourself into the police for failure to report clerical abuse." Moreover, how dare you have the chutzpah to offer "to meet and speak to victims." How galling to those victims! Why such complicit bishops have not been excommunicated themselves is beyond belief!
lorna in limavady wrote (1,188 days ago):
It impossible to know what controls these people. Being ashamed now after all the publicity can only led to one conclusion. He has never at one time gave any thought of the victims or he would have changed the outcome. Got the proper authorities in to deal with the cases. Now being ashamed and asking for forgivness is not nearly enough. They are good at that , do the deed knowing full well it is wrong and then asking for forgiveness and THEN believing the Christian has a duty to forgive. YES forgive but not when there has been a deliberate attempt to agnore the hurt caused by the action.And there has been a direct attempt to cover up the truth.
martine mc guinness in dublin wrote (1,188 days ago):
While the media continue to describe those who raped children within the Catholic Church as paedophiles, the facts are that 95% of all child rapes by members of the Catholic Clergy were carried out by Homophiles....Homophile is the Forensic Psychological Clinical definition of a male/female adault who sexually abuses a same gender child, so man abusing boy, woman abusing girl.....this is very important or else we play our own part in allowing ignorance of the subject matter to pervade for another generation.
martine mc guinness in dublin wrote (1,188 days ago):
While I agree that Magee and many other devils in skirts have questions to answer in relation to the abuse of children, I also think that a great many people have made a great deal of money out of the abuse scandal, we have makey-up groups everywhere with their CEOs getting paid up to 300K per annum, this year, the 'victims' industry will cost the Irish tax payer tens of millions of Euros, with the majority of that money going on salaries and expenses for a handful of CEOs who sit at the head of makey-up groups, this at a time when 5,500 Irish children are waiting on medical operations as the money is not available to pay for such operations.
Tommy Atkins in London england wrote (1,188 days ago):
This guy is a social, scumbag and worse than the abusers. he deserves no forgiveness
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