Bishop's resignation would benefit child protection - C of I

 

THE RESIGNATION of Most Rev John Magee as Bishop of Cloyne “would have the benefit of providing a very explicit recognition of the utmost importance of child protection procedures,’’ the Church of Ireland Gazette has said.

An editorial in its current edition continued: “It is clearly essential that actions should emphasise the uncompromising commitment of that church to its now well established and highly regarded child protection policies. From this controversy, there is for us in the Church of Ireland a salutary lesson to be learned about the vital nature of strict adherence at all times to our own ‘Safeguarding Trust’ provisions.

“The findings of the Roman Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children that its Diocese of Cloyne has not been compliant with the church’s own child protection policies, having failed to alert the authorities to child sexual abuse allegations, have come as a serious blow to a church that has put immense effort into formulating procedures that are of the highest standard.’’

It said: “Indeed, Bishop Magee himself was involved in the drawing up of the very child protection policies to which he appears not to have paid proper attention.’’ Bishop Magee reportedly “has accepted that errors have been made in his diocese, although ‘not intentionally’, has apologised, and has given his assurance that such errors will not recur,’’ it said.

“However, there is no doubt that his resignation would have the benefit of providing a very explicit recognition of the utmost importance of child protection procedures,’’ it said.

The Voice of the Faithful, the lay Catholic group, has described the HSE audit of Catholic dioceses in the Republic, published last week, as “a national disgrace’’.

It said that “although no Irish bishop had been willing to fill in a crucial section of a HSE questionnaire that would have revealed whether or not his diocese was in compliance with the church’s own child safety guidelines adopted in 2005, the HSE nevertheless concluded that no diocese needed to be referred to the ongoing State commission of inquiry into the mishandling of clerical child abuse in Dublin archdiocese’’.