THE former Roman Catholic Bishop of Cloyne, Dr John Magee, has returned to his home in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, and has offered to meet the survivors of child sexual abuse whom, he admits, he let down in failing to follow church guidelines (News, 29 July).
Dr Magee issued a third statement of regret to survivors, through a PR firm, on Monday. Later, he appeared on the doorstep of his home for RTÉ, the Irish national TV channel.
“I deeply, deeply regret not ensuring that the guidelines, which were my responsibility to implement, were not complied with, and I ask forgiveness for the way in which I have carried out this critically important aspect of my work,” he said. He was aware of having let down “the many good priests of the diocese”.
But victim-support groups, such as One in Four, which represents survivors from all over the country, are unimpressed with his renewed apology, and are demanding that he present himself at a press conference to be confronted by those abused by priests over two decades.
Dr Magee had not been seen since the publication of the Cloyne report five weeks ago. It found that he had misled the Minister for Children by claiming that church guidelines in abuse cases were being followed in his diocese.
He had also claimed that the diocese referred all abuse claims to the Garda authorities, and the Health Service Executive, when this was not true.