Cloyne vicar says 'conscience' prevented him from reporting abuse

by Dennis Coday

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A day after retired Bishop John Magee broke his silence on the Cloyne Report, which found that as bishop of Cloyne he did not implement church guidelines on handling clergy sex abuse, his chief lieutenant has confessed that he should have resigned in 1996 because he could not in conscience uphold those church guidelines.

In an Aug. 24 letter to The Irish Catholic, Msgr Denis O'Callaghan, the Cloyne diocese's vicar general and delegate for child protection, wrote that he came to realize that his commitment to the pastoral care of priests conflicted with church guidelines to report clergy abuse to civil authorities.

O'Callaghan wrote: "In hindsight, I accept that I should have resigned on the point of principle from my role as delegate once I came to realize the implications of the 1996 guidelines for the overriding duty of pastoral care."

Read more here and here.

Responding to O'Callaghan's letter, the current bishop in charge of Cloyne, Archbishop Dermot Clifford, agreed: He should have resigned.

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