Saturday 18 August 2018

Vatican high-flyer is stepping aside but still refuses to quit

As Bishop Magee clings to his title, it is clear the cleric has not yet faced up to his failings, writes Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Last night, Bishop John Magee announced what many believe to be the first step in the beginning of the end of his controversial tenure in Cloyne. He is to step aside from his duties as bishop to concentrate on what now promises to be a damaging commission of inquiry into the manner in which his diocese dealt with allegations of clerical sex abuse.

It wasn't the resignation that various child-protection agencies had demanded; but it was as much as can be hoped for from a bishop who has been accused of a lofty detachment from his flock.

Bishop Magee was a high-flyer perhaps more renowned for his mastery of ecclesiastical protocol and procedure than his pastoral talents. The son of a prosperous Newry dairy farmer, he was ordained in Rome in 1962 and began a rapid ascent to the higher echelons of the Vatican.

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