The current Archbishop of Cloyne, Dr Dermot Clifford, has confirmed that Irish police have now vetted every priest in his charge.
Archbishop Clifford revealed the drastic move in the wake of the shocking report into child sex abuse in the Cork diocese.
The bishop, who succeeded the disgraced Dr John Magee, has again apologized for the consistent failure of his Church to report child sex abuse allegations to police and the health service.
Dr Clifford has personally written to every parishioner in the Diocese of Cloyne after details of horrendous abuse and a staggering cover-up were revealed in the official report.
“I re-iterate my apology to the many who have suffered horrendous acts of abuse perpetrated by some priests of the Cloyne Diocese,” wrote the Archbishop.
“The sexual abuse of children, particularly when carried out by those in positions of trust and responsibility for the welfare of children, is always a criminal as well as a sinful act. It deserves our utter condemnation.”
Dr John Magee, the previous Bishop, is due home from America shortly where he has taken refuge from the controversy. Reports claim he is on a vacation with relatives.
Criticism of the former leader of the Catholic Church in Cloyne has centered on the widespread abuse in the diocese and the near wholesale failure to report allegations during Dr Magee’s watch.
In an effort to ease tensions in the area, current Archbishop Clifford has again apologized for the failure to make all claims known to the civil authorities.
He added: “I also apologize for the failure to alert the civil authorities and for the mistakes and omissions made over a number of years in the diocese.
“The people of Cloyne were entitled to expect that all such complaints would be handled according to the official church guidelines.”
Interestingly, Dr Clifford failed to mention Bishop Magee once in his letter to parishioners across the diocese.
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