Another crisis of authority - this time in Cloyne.
It is clear that Bishop Magee failed to both carry out the agreed Church guidelines on allegations of child abuse or even carry out an investigation under Canon Law This was reported in the Indo A few politicians have called for Magee's head, but I shall rest judgement until the whole story comes out. However, I will say one thing - it looks if guidelines had been followed from the start - there would have been no need for this rigmarole.
Very overlooked in the whole affair was the fact that the matter was thoroughly investigated by the Gardai and there were no charges whatsoever laid against the accused priests. This came up in the Examiner, but was totally ignored by The Irish Times.
As Kilbarry1 on politics.ie pointed out : 'Last Saturday there were numerous articles in the 3 main dailies about the alleged failure of Bishop Magee of Cloyne (Co Cork) to deal properly with allegations of child abuse made against two priests. Only one article in one paper (Irish Examiner) mentioned that the Director of Public Prosecutions returned the files on both priests with a direction NOT to prosecute.
The following is an extract from the article by Eoin English.
"DESPITE extensive Garda probes, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided that two priests in the Cloyne diocese accused of child abuse should not face criminal charges.
Gardaí confirmed that “full and thorough” investigations were carried out into each of the allegations levelled against Fr A and Fr B, both priests in the Cloyne diocese.
But after examining one substantial Garda file in relation to Fr A and three files in relation to Fr B, the DPP directed that neither priest should face criminal prosecution. .......
Supt McCarthy said each of the allegations relating to both priests were investigated “fully and thoroughly”.
“Substantial and comprehensive Garda files were prepared. We took the investigations as far as possible and all possible evidence was gathered,” he said.
A single Garda file in relation to Fr A was forwarded to the DPP in November 2006 but the DPP directed in February 2007 that no prosecution should follow.
Three substantial files relating to allegations against Fr B were forwarded to the DPP some time later and in each of the cases, the DPP directed that no prosecution should follow.
Supt McCarthy confirmed that there are no current investigations relating to alleged child abuse by priests in the Cloyne diocese."
Various commentators have called for Bishop Magee to resign, including many who you would expect - One in Four, etc David Quinn called for the bishop's resignation, on Morning Ireland I believe, after writing this piece for the Irish Independent
The whole affair is well covered on Clerical Whispers for December 23 and 24th.