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Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop, former papal secretary

March 24, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop whose handling of sex-abuse complaints drew intense criticism from public officials and from his fellow bishops.

Bishop John Magee of Cloyne tendered his resignation on March 9, apparently at the request of the Holy See. The Vatican announced on March 24 that the bishop's resignation had been accepted. Bishop Magee had come under fire late in 2008 when a report by the independent National Safeguarding Board for Children said that the Cloyne diocese had put children at risk by failing to confront clerical abusers.

Several Irish bishops, as well as government leaders, quickly began pressing for Bishop Magee's resignation. In March 2009, reacting to those requests, Pope Benedict removed Bishop Magee from active control of the Cloyne diocese and appointed an apostolic administrator, Bishop Dermot Clifford, to handle diocesan affairs.

Before his appointment to the Cloyne diocese, Bishop Magee had served at the Vatican, where he was a personal secretary to three Popes: Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II.


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  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Mar. 24, 2010 10:50 PM ET USA

    According to the Vatican website, the resignation is another Canon 401 section 2 resignation.