Bishop of Cloyne vows to bring healing to diocese


The newly appointed Bishop of Cloyne Canon William Crean, parish priest of Cahirciveen in Co Kerry, has said he will make every effort to bring healing and hope to the lives of victims of abuse in the diocese.

Speaking at St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, Co Cork, on Saturday, the bishop-elect admitted he was experiencing a degree of apprehension about his new post.

“I am apprehensive because I am deeply conscious of the trauma of these years past. So much suffering endured by young people at the hands of a few.

“Sufferings compounded by the failure of those who didn’t believe them and of those who didn’t hear their cry for help. One thing I ask, however, is your patience to allow me time to grasp the full measure of this deep hurt.”

The diocese in Co Cork has been without a bishop since 2010. Dr John Magee stepped down after it was revealed he did not follow proper child protection procedures.

Cloyne report

The Cloyne report, which investigated how clerical child sex abuse allegations were handled in the diocese between 1996 and 2009, detailed a catalogue of failures on the part of church authorities. It laid the blame squarely with the former bishop and Msgr Denis O’Callaghan.

The Cloyne report arose after the Catholic Church’s child-protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children, found child protection practices in Cloyne were “inadequate and in some respects dangerous”.

It found that, in nine cases, complaints that should have been reported to gardaí were not, while none of the complaints between 1996 and 2008 were reported to the HSE.

Canon Crean (60) served as parish priest in Castlegregory/ Cloghane from 1999–2006 and in Cahirciveen since 2006.

Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady congratulated Canon Crean on his appointment.

Speaking from Rome, Cardinal Brady said: “On this the feast of Saint Colman, patron saint of the Diocese of Cloyne, I warmly welcome the news that the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has named Canon William Crean, Parish Priest of Cahirciveen, Bishop of Cloyne. I am confident that his ability and experience will greatly benefit the pastoral life of the diocese and, in addition, to the Irish Bishops’ Conference.”

Bishop William Murphy of Kerry also congratulated Canon Crean on his appointment saying, “Kerry’s loss was Cloyne’s gain . . . Canon Crean is an outstanding priest and is much loved by the vibrant faith community of the parish of Cahirciveen. Canon Crean has held a number of key responsibilities within the diocese of Kerry and has been successful in each of them.”

The diocese has a Catholic population of more than 150,000 in 46 parishes with 107 churches, and encompasses most of Co Cork. The ordination is expected to take place early next year.