A picture of disgraced Bishop John Magee has been removed from a parish church in the Cork diocese of Cloyne.
The Irish Examiner reports that parishioners in the town where the Bishop lived have removed his photograph from the wall of the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin.
Ironically, the picture of Dr Magee had the words ‘Be Not Afraid, Follow Me’ written next to it.
The paper says that the decision to remove the picture was taken as people were upset and angered by the allegations made against Bishop Magee in the Cloyne Report.
The office of the new Archbishop of Cloyne, Dermot Clifford, has confirmed that the picture has been removed following the publication of the report into clerical sex abuse in the Diocese under Bishop Magee’s watch.
“The picture was put up on display some time ago to encourage vocations,” said a spokesman for the archbishop. “It was removed at the weekend because of concerns following the Cloyne report that it might upset parishioners.”
One parishioner, Tom O’Shea, who lives in Mitchelstown, said last week that he would not attend Mass in the parish church until the picture was removed.
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O’Shea’s family confirmed to the Examiner that he is pleased the picture had been removed and didn’t want to make any further comment.
Community activist Timmy White said: “The fact the picture was still hanging in the church after the publication of the report had caused terrible ill-feeling.
“I’m not a Mass-goer myself but I know many people who are and they were very angry about it. I think it was a good idea to take it down at last.
“I feel the majority of people in Mitchelstown would not welcome Dr Magee back into their community.”
Dr Magee left Mitchelstown before the report was published and is currently living with family members in America.