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Cleared of abuse charges, Irish bishop remains in restricted ministry

Catholic World News - March 18, 2011

An elderly Irish bishop will not resume public ministry, although he has been cleared of sex-abuse charges.

The Irish Independent profiles Bishop Eamon Casey, noting that neither the Irish hierarchy nor Bishop Casey himself will comment on the possibility that the retired bishop might ever celebrate Mass in public again. However, the Independent story confuses the case, by creating the impression that the bishop’s retirement was prompted by an accusation of sexual abuse leveled against him in 2005.

Bishop Casey actually resigned his post as Bishop of Galway in 1992, at the age of 65, after admitting that he had conducted an affair with an American woman, fathered a child, and diverted church donations to make child-support payments. After working for several years as a missionary, he retired from public ministry.

In 2005, the retired bishop was hit with another accusation of sexual abuse. After investigating, Irish prosecutors soon dismissed the charges, noting that there was no evidence of abuse and that the woman who accused the bishop had made previous false accusations. While the bishop has been cleared of those charges, they were not the cause of his removal from public ministry.

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