March 24th, 2010
07:57 AM ET

Irish bishop resigns amid sex abuse scandal

An Irish bishop resigned amid a Catholic church sex abuse scandal, apologizing in a statement Wednesday for any abuse that occurred in his diocese.

Bishop John Magee of the diocese of Cloyne said he tendered his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI on March 9.

"I have been informed today that it has been accepted, and as I depart, I want to offer once again my sincere apologies to any person who has been abused by any priest of the Diocese of Cloyne during my time as bishop or at any time," Magee said in a statement posted on the diocese Web site.

"To those whom I have failed in any way, or through any omission of mine have made suffer, I beg forgiveness and pardon."

Five Irish bishops have tendered their resignations since December in relation to the scandal, according to Martin Long, spokesman for the Irish Bishops' Conference. The Vatican has now accepted two of them - that of Bishop Donald Murray on December 17, and Magee's.

- CNN's Diana Magnay contributed to this report.

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soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Roberta

    What is wrong with the Pope and the Catholic Church?? Why do they continue not to allow priest to marry. Men are sexual beings! I suppose it is true that some of this would still go on but not to the degree it is happening now. And why in the world are these priest and men in authority not punished?? If they weren't wearing a collar they would be!! They didn't mind burning people at the stake when they wouldn't convert, but you can abuse a child and walk away. This is the one of the reasons I am no longer a Catholic!

    March 24, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. BREN

    Isn't the Vatican having their own problems with this issue also? I'm born and raised Catholic. I have learned that all the forgiveness and turning over a new leaf that the bible teaches is true...unless you are Catholic. In the Cathlic church you are not allowed to start over, you are not forgiven or absolved. They never let you forget your sins. You are scarred for the rest of your life. I'm talking about divorce. You're not part of their elite club anymore, and that's the way you're made to feel.
    And then you find out that the very head of your church and the ones you have confessed your sins to all these years are involved in child molesting, if not directly then indirectly by covering it up.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jean

    I agree that something has to be done to punish the priests that are involved however people need to stop bullying the Catholic church as a whole because it is a small number of priests that commit these crimes they are the ones that need punished not the parishes and the people that belong to them. Cathloics do not equal a false religion. We are good christian people and if you don't walk the walk then you shouldn't talk the talk!

    March 24, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. P L Smith

    This was CRIMINAL activity! Why are these people not in jail? They broke laws and/or were accomplices in covering up the criminal activity of others.
    If parents had gone to the police in the very first place - or even gone public with it - instead of going to the bishops this whole thing would have been nipped in the bud decades ago. Why were the police not involved from the beginning? These men broke the law!

    For one thing these men are not real fathers - if they were real fathers of real children they would have been furious and disgusted and dealt with this right away. I am not sure that the children under their supposed care were ever truly real to them.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. A. Knox

    I just want to say what he did was wrong, but if he ask for forgivness we must forgive if we want God to forgive us our sins. I want everyone to know sin is sin nomatter what it is there is no big sin and little sin, remember don't judge and you won't be judge.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Diplomat2112

    Why aren't criminal conspiracy charges (like RICO in the USA) brought against these people? Forcing the Pope's corporation to forfeit billions of USD/Euros of their (tax-free in the USA) assets might get their attention and change their behavior.

    Sadly these kiddy-diddlers will still be viewed as moral authorities and continue to have politcal clout here in the ol' god-fearin' USA.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Texan

    This made me think of the inquisitions that begun as early as the 1200s. The church of Rome was responsible for the torture and deaths of many people, Jews, Moores, and just about anyone they didn't like. This type of pushing their christianity didn't stop in Europe, it was common practice in the new worlds, SA and NA and the natives of both continents were on the receiving end of the Catholic Church's wrath.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sundar

    Early on the catholic priests were allowed to marry. When a priest died the wife and children claimed properties which diluted the church's wealth. So they changed the rules along the way so the priests were to remain single and celibate. May be it is time to go back to the original rule of allowing them to get married. Priests are only human.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. bob b

    I was abused by 3 men by the time i was 9 years. I am 65 and still suffering from the affects. counseling and medication help, but it is always there. I agree with the comment that it is very likely pedophiles join the church as priests to get to children. How many more cases will come to light before the whole thing is totally cleared up and the church will have no one but people who are truly interested in doing as the church doctrine states. NEVER Man is man and sex is a real drug, its hard to kick the habit

    March 24, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. JoJo

    The problem with the Catholic Church is they turn too quick to God if they break the law, this is one way to get away with it. A Bishop years ago when asked by a network anchorman what do the Vatican City does to their Priests that abused children, his answer was, we send them to the Vatican City for good judgment, some kind of a retreat. I wonder how many Priests end up going to that retreat and returned later on to practice their abusing in a different church. The Pope and the Vatican City need to take the blame on that, not for the Pope to just apologizing, he needs to resign, or quit. And the Vatican City needs to close door, and make every Catholic Church independent from it. They will be easier to monitored, and the Priests will not have an escape route to the Vatican City if caught.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Texan

    All of the abuses perpetrated by the Catholic church, and other denominations isn't a good way to get people in. How can any religion hope to tell people they are lost and or dying and going to hell if they don't change their ways and ways of thinking when this sort of thing is going on INSIDE the church? "Hey come on and join our church, we have lots of little kids . . ." amd those pastors and priests and preachers that perfform same sex marriages–which is against their bibles?

    something wrong with this picture.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Texan

    this may be relevant or not, but in movies about the Catholics fighting the devil, satan or whatever you want to call him, using a belief in a God as their weapon . . . when the real devil/demon is within the church, so how is that handled ummmmm?

    March 24, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. Wes

    I am afraid that a apology and resignation just doe not make it. The only way to stop this sort of thing is to let priests marry. There are child abusers that are married, but not as many as those that are not. Also, the church needs to screen their priests very carefully before letting them into the field. As fir those cases that do come to light, they should be turned over to the civil authority with all supporting documentation. Maybe if all of the above, the abuse will stop, or at least diminish. i hope.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. Texan

    I've been waiting to hear the excuse "The devil made me do it."

    March 24, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Carmen

    How long has all of the Popes known about these? All of them just want to have the easy way out, just turn in their resignation and end of story? WOW, a slap in the hand must have been worse than what they have done to these children. In every church, the Pope, Priest, and Pastors are the head and they are responsible for the church. Many, especialy religious leaders, mislead their church with false doctrines. I've been to Catholic churches and the few things that I've heard are just lies! When they preach, they have to have the Word of God to back up what they are saying and many mislead people just take these religious Pope & Priest's (Wolfs dressed in sheep clothing) word. The few times I've attended a Catholic church, I noticed that people don't even carry their bibles, at least the 2 churches I've went to my whole life. In theHow long have all of the Popes known about these? What are they doing about it? Absolutely nothing!! They are just giving these perverted priests an easy way out, receives their resignation and end of story! WOW, a slap in the hand must have been worse than what they have done to these children. In every church, the Pope, the Priest, and the Pastors are the head of their congregation and they are responsible for the church. Many, especially religious leaders, mislead their church with false doctrines. I've been to Catholic churches and the few things that I've heard are just lies! When they preach, they have to have the Word of God to back up what they are saying and many mislead people just take these religious Pope & Priest's (Wolfs dressed in sheep clothing) word. The few times I've attended a Catholic church, I noticed that people don't even carry their bibles, at least the 2 churches I've went to until I became a born-again Christian. In these Religious churches, many go in as a devil and comes right back out as a devil. There is no change in them. And that’s not what the church is about! I attend a Christian church and I am not saying that every person that attends my church is saved. . It is up to each individual to accept or reject the free gift of salvation that Jesus Christ offers to each and every one of us. And most people in a Christian church won't listen to God's voice. But at least I know that I attend a church where the Word of God is preached at its best. But these religious churches don't even talk about eternal life with God or eternal damnation in hell. May God open up our eyes and give each and everyone of us an ear to hear what the Spirit of God is saying.se Religous churches, many go in as a devil and comes right back out as a devil. There is no change in them. I attend a Christian church and I am not saying that every person that attends my church is saved. But at least I know that I attend a church where the Word of God is preached at it's best and it is up to each individual to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus Christ offers to us or reject it. And most people in a Christian church won't listen to God's voice. But these religious churches don't even talk about eternal life with God or eternal damnation in hell. May God open up our eyes and give each and everyone of us an ear to hear what the Spirit of God is saying.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
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