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Belief Beat

Irish Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Scandal

Less than a week after Pope Benedict sent an apologetic letter to Catholics reeling from a clergy sex abuse scandal in Ireland that spanned decades, Irish Bishop John Magee’s resignation has been accepted.

According to the Associated Press, Magee apologized to victims of pedophile priests kept in parish posts since he took charge of the southwest Irish diocese of Cloyne in 1987. Magee remains bishop in name, but his responsibilities have been transferrred. CNN reports that Magee is the second Irish bishop to step down over this scandal, following Bishop Donald Murray’s December announcement; three others have offered resignations, but the pope has not yet accepted them.


Some related links:

–Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent for The Times in London, on why she and some others are “feeling a bit sorry for the Irish bishops.”

–Irish Bible Institute Director Patrick Mitchel shares his thoughts on the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Beliefnet blogger Rod Dreher wonders why the pope can’t get rid of more “problem bishops.”

–A New York Times profile of a married Catholic priest in Ukraine, given that these sex abuse cases often stir up the celibacy debate, which always compels me to point out that you already have married priests in the eastern churches (not to mention dozens in America, thanks to a process that allows Protestant ministers to convert to Catholicism). Clergy were not required to be celibate for the church’s first thousand years; Orthodox priests can marry, as long as it’s before they are ordained and they do not want to advance up the hierarchy. Aside from a reluctance to change a longstanding tradition (something the Orthodox can understand!), the only compelling reason I’ve seen for the Vatican not to reconsider celibacy is that it would be extremely expensive to suddenly have to provide salaries and benefits that could support families, plus priests would no longer be as mobile….


What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted March 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm

My thoughts?
I think the Pope should join him and resign too. But not before he acts to take away the Vatican policy of NOT reporting such abuse to the police.
Then I think the Catholic Church might regain some of its integrity.

report abuse


posted March 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

The Catholic Church is far beyond ever being able to regain integrity — and that’s based on the fallacious assumption that it ever possessed integrity in the first place.
Jesus wasn’t a Catholic, let’s get that straight. Paul created what became Catholicism, and he was no apostle, just an opportunist and power monger. He succeeded.
It’s too bad pope’s and bishops can’t be impeached. But it’s a bout time the buck stopped — at the highest levels.
The Vatican is the center of what can only reasonably be seen as the world’s largest organized crime syndicate. Crimes against children, crimes against women, crimes against humanity throughout their history. Financial scandals at all levels.
It’s time for this corruption to end. Let the institution implode.

report abuse

Bella Swenson

posted May 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

It was extremely interesting for me to read the post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read more on this blog soon. BTW, pretty good design this blog has, but how about changing it once in a few months?
Bella Swenson
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report abuse

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