By Éanna Ó Caollai
Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Bishop John Magee of Cloyne, it was announced today.
Dr Magee stood aside last March over his handling of abuse allegations in his diocese. The announcement was made at 11am in the form of a press release issued through the Irish Bishops’ Conference, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare.
The short statement read: “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend John Magee, Bishop of Cloyne. This announcement was made today in Rome at 12:00 local time.”
In a statement issued from the Cloyne diocesan centre, Dr Magee (73) welcomed the acceptance of his resignation. He extended his “sincere apologies” to any person who was abused by “any priest” during his time as bishop, “or at any time”.
“To those whom I have failed in any way, or through any omission of mine have made suffer, I beg forgiveness and pardon. As I said on Christmas Eve 2008 after the publication report of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland, I take full responsibility for the criticism of our management of issues contained in that report,” Dr Magee said.