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Irish bishop's appointment could signal beginning of Vatican's bid to restructure Irish hierarchy

November 26, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has named a new bishop for Ireland’s troubled Cloyne diocese, in a move that could signal a long-awaited overhaul of the Irish hierarchy.

Father William Crean, a priest of the Kerry diocese, was named as Bishop of Cloyne, filling a vacancy that was created almost 3 years ago by the resignation of Bishop John Magee. Bishop Magee—who had been a private secretary to Popes Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II—resigned in March 2010 amid heavy criticism of his failure to respond to sex-abuse allegations.

The Vatican has moved slowly to fill openings in the Irish hierarchy. Since an apostolic visitation of the Church in Ireland concluded in 2011, there have been persistent rumors that the Vatican plans a thorough reconfiguration of the Irish hierarchy, including a decrease in the number of dioceses in the country.


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