Disgraced Irish Bishop Plans Return-- If Charges Are Dropped

Catholic World News
January 23, 2006

Dublin, Jan. 23 ( - Irish Church leaders have announced that a bishop who resigned in disgrace more than a decade ago, will soon return to Galway to live in retirement there. But Bishop Eamonn Casey says that he will not move back to Ireland until he is cleared of sex-abuse charges.

Bishop Casey left Ireland in 1992, after the public discovery that he had conducted a long love affair with an American women, fathered her child, and diverted diocesan funds to make child-support payments.

Bishop Martin Drennan, who now heads the Galway diocese from which Bishop Casey fled, released a public statement on January 21 revealing that his predecessor "has decided to return to Ireland in the near future." Bishop Drennan said that he was confident that the priests and people of the Galway would welcome the former bishop's return, and allow him "the privacy and peace that he deserves" in his retirement home.

Responding to reporters' questions, Bishop Drennan allowed that it "would be very welcome" if Bishop Casey issued a public apology for his past misconduct. Addressing the same question, Bishop Casey told the Irish Times: "I clearly did apologize, and will again. I have no problem with it. It is not an issue." However, the exiled bishop later told reporters that he would not take up residence in his retirement home until he receives assurance that he has been cleared of sexual-abuse charged lodged by another woman last year. Bishop Casey has always said that the charges are false. Police, however, reportedly want to question him about the charges if and when he returns to Ireland.


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