25 Mar 2010

Irish bishop resigns over critical sex abuse report

10:15 am on 25 March 2010

Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of a Catholic bishop in Ireland accused of failing to act when told about allegations of child sex abuse by two priests in his diocese.

The former Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, who had served as private secretary for three popes, stepped aside in March 2009 after an independent report found his diocese had put children at risk of harm.

The investigation was conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSC), a body set up by, but independent of, the Catholic Church.

It said child protection practice was inadequate and in some respects dangerous as it apparently focused on the needs of the accused rather than victims, the BBC reports.

It failed to act effectively to limit the access to children by individuals against whom a credible complaint of child sexual abuse was made.