Monday, August 22, 2011

Bishop John Magee

Bishop John Magee

I have just read the statement by Bishop John Magee in respect of the Cloyne Report.

The statement contains repeated apologies for the sexual abuse of children by priests in the Cloyne Diocese and for ‘the failure of the Diocese to effectively manage allegations of child sexual abuse’. It is hard to imagine such empty words being of any comfort or assistance to anyone. The fact that Bishop Magee failed to account in any way for what was revealed in the Cloyne Report does not come as any surprise. Catholic Bishops, in this country and elsewhere, have a track record of not wanting in any way to be held accountable for their actions and inactions as revealed in the various Reports.

These are some of the questions I would like Bishop Magee to have answered:

1. Why did he take little or no active interest in the management of child sexual abuse allegations from 1996 – 2008?

2. Why did he delegate so much responsibility for implementation of child protection guidelines to Monsignor O’Callaghan who did not approve of the requirement to report to civil authorities as contained therein?

3. Why did he respond to a HSE questionnaire in 2007 to the effect that the diocese reported allegations of child sexual abuse to the HSE and/or Garda Siochana in keeping with Children First when this was untrue?

4. Why did he tell the then Minister for Children Barry Andrews that the Framework Document guidelines were fully in place and were being complied with when this was untrue?

5. Why was Dr McCoy not provided with all relevant files when he was conducting a review, on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference, into the Cloyne Diocese in 2003?

6. Why did he tell the Commission of Investigation that he had not seen a copy of that (unfavourable) review until February 2009 when in fact he had been given a copy in 2004? And if he was aware of its contents, why did he ignore them?

7. How does Bishop Magee suppose that anyone have any confidence in Catholic Bishops’ claims to be implementing child protection guidelines today, when all the time that he was assuring people that he was doing so..... he was, in fact, not?

END – 22/08/2011

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