Published Monday, 22 August 2011
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