Catholics Have Lost Confidence, Says Archbishop

By Patsy McGarry
The Irish Times
March 9, 2009

He said "the important thing is that everything necessary be done to ensure the safeguarding of children within the structures of the church in Ireland. The new standards and guidelines of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church have to be implemented without delay and without compromise".

Statements on Saturday by the Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop Clifford and Bishop Magee, said the appointment of Archbishop Clifford followed a request by Bishop Magee himself, made to Rome on February 4th last.

In his statement, Cardinal Brady also said "the decision of the Holy Father to grant that request is an indication of the importance which the church gives to safeguarding children and caring for the needs of victims."

At Mass in St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh, Co Cork, on Saturday evening Bishop Magee said, that in the context of the State inquiry which is to investigate child protection practices in Cloyne, he was "conscious of the fact that, as I have to give so much of my time and energy to the task ahead, conducting the normal administration of the diocese, in all its aspects, would prove to be very difficult.

"Therefore, as you may have heard from media reports earlier today, on February 4th last I requested the Holy See to appoint an apostolic administrator for the diocese."

He said he would retain the title of Bishop of Cloyne.

Archbishop Clifford said yesterday that he hoped to restore the trust of victims of abuse in the first place and to build the morale of the priests and people of Cloyne. He said Bishop Magee had "done a lot of penance".

Interviewed on the RTE Radio 1 This Week programme, he said of clerical child sex abuse: "It took a long time for the church to take it in, how anybody could do it . . . It took a long time to come to terms with the suffering of victims."

That, Archbishop Clifford, said "must be righted".


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