Bishop calls for Magee to answer public on allegations
THE Bishop of Elphin has called on Bishop John Magee to return to Cloyne to answer his parishioners' questions.
Bishop Christopher Jones, a member of the Bishops' Liaison Committee for Child Protection, said he had no idea where the controversial retired Bishop of Cloyne was.
But he said that as "pastor to his flock", Bishop Magee should return to answer questions raised in the damning Cloyne Report.
Bishop Magee has not been seen since the report on his handling of child sex abuse allegations was published last month. It is believed he left his home in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, and travelled to the US.
The report revealed a widespread cover-up of abuse within the Cloyne diocese, with the bishop taking little interest in child-abuse allegations.
Only six of 15 cases of alleged child abuse were reported to gardai between 1996 and 2005.
Bishop Magee, who was himself the subject of an allegation of inappropriate behaviour in the report, is accused of taking "little or no" active interest in managing such cases until 2008.
Bishop Jones is the third bishop in a matter of weeks who has called on Bishop Magee to return and acknowledge his mistakes in person.
Previously, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh Gerard Clifford called for his return.
Bishop Jones was speaking at a press conference yesterday on behalf of the Catholic Church's marriage counselling service ACCORD, which reported record numbers of couples turning to them for help.
The service experienced an 8pc increase in couples seeking counselling last year.