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Bishop John Magee

Bishop calls for John Magee to return from US to answer questions over Cloyne report

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Bishop John Magee

The Bishop of Elphin, Christopher Jones, has called on Bishop John Magee, who was at the center of the sexual abuse cover-up detailed in the Cloyne report, to return from the U.S. to Ireland to answer parishioners’ questions.

He is the third bishop to call Magee back to Ireland to acknowledge his mistakes in person. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh Gerard Clifford have also called for his return.

Jones, a member of the Bishops' Liaison Committee for Child Protection, said previously he had had no idea just how controversial the retired Bishop of Cloyne, Magee, was. He said that as a “pastor to his flock” Magee should answer the public’s questions on the report.

The Cloyne report was published last month. Magee has not been seen in Ireland since. It is believed that he has left his home in Mitchelstown, County Cork and is now living in the United States.

The 400-page report detailed the cover-up of abuse within Cork diocese of Cloyne. It showed the Bishop Magee ignore the massive number of complaints and allegations against priests within his diocese.

Between 1996 and 2005 only six of 15 cases of child abuse were reported to the police. The report stated that Magee took no interest in managing the abuse cases until 2008.

Magee himself was the subject of an allegation of inappropriate behavior with a minor.

Jones was speaking at a press conference on behalf of the Catholic Church's marriage counselling service ACCORD.

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