Wednesday 22 November 2017

Profile: Bishop John Magee

John Magee (74) resigned as Bishop of Cloyne in March 2010.

A year earlier, he said he was stepping aside from administrative duties at Cloyne to help the Murphy Commission with its investigations.

Today’s report criticises both Bishop Magee and the Vatican.

But his relationship with the Vatican is almost as long as his links with the Church.

He is the only papal secretary to have served three popes including John Paul II.

Origianlly from Newry, Co Down, he was one of seven children.

After attending St Colman's College in Newry he entered the St Patrick's Missionary Society religious congregation, based at Kiltegan, Co Wicklow in the early 1950s.

He graduated from UCC with a philosophy degree in 1958 before studying theology in Rome and he was ordained in 1962.

Following a six-year stint on the missions in Nigeria, he moved to the St Patrick’s Society in Rome in the late 1960s.

He accompanied Pope John Paul II on his visit to Ireland in 1979.

But one of his most infamous moments related to the death of the previous pope John Paul I in 1978 when the Vatican issued a statement claiming Mr Magee found the dead pope’s body but it emerged later that it had been found by a nun.

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