Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert in Ireland has stepped down from his role as chairman of Trócaire following a report that he “inappropriately” handled matters of child abuse within his diocese.

The Irish Times reports on the abdication of his role. Trócaire said that Bishop Kirby had briefed the board about the report that accused him of not properly managing child abuse within his diocese, and the stemming publicity from the report.

The report said that Bishop Kirby “acknowledged the grave mistakes he had made in the early 1990s and reiterated that he takes full responsibility for them. He also acknowledged that his remarks in an interview had caused offence to survivors and he repeated the apology that he had made in an earlier letter to the people of his diocese.”

In response, board members “acknowledged and welcomed Bishop Kirby’s statement in this regard.”

Bishop Kirby has instructed Cardinal Seán Brady to identify his successor.

In September, Bishop Kirby was forced to apologize after saying that pedophilia was a ‘friendship that crossed a boundary line,’ a problem he believed could be solved by separating the abuser from the child. His comments led many to believe that Bishop Kirby was minimizing the grave effects of sexual abuse.

Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby accused of covering up sexual abuse in the Catholic ChurchIrish Times