Bishop used 'mental reservation' in accounts


TESTIMONY:“MENTAL RESERVATION” was employed by Bishop John Magee in his preparation of two accounts of one meeting with an abuser priest – one for Rome and one for the interdiocesan case management committee shared by Cloyne and Limerick dioceses.

Referring to time differences recorded in the two reports, the Cloyne report said: “It may be that the time difference was of some assistance in performing the mental gymnastics of mental reservation in the manner of recording the details of the meeting.”

Bishop Magee recorded a meeting he had with “Fr Caden” on September 22nd, 2005, who was accused of sex abuse by another Cloyne priest.

Fr Caden received an 18-month suspended sentence last November when he pleaded guilty to three charges of gross indecency.

In one account, intended for the Vatican, Bishop Magee records Fr Caden as admitting guilt and offered his resignation when confronted with the younger priest’s allegations.

This account was dated September 15th, 2005 and the meeting was said to have begun at 4pm, ending at 5pm.

In his second account, intended for the interdiocesan committee, Bishop Magee records Fr Caden as “shocked” at the allegation, which he “immediately denied”. Bishop Magee continued that he asked the priest to step down as parish priest and that he would have to remove him from ministry in the diocese.

He dated this account of the meeting as having taken place on September 22nd. It began at 4pm and ended at 4.30pm.

The Murphy commission was “satisfied that there was only one meeting around this time and that it occurred on 22 September”.

Bishop Magee said he had written the differing accounts as Fr Caden had asked to speak to him “in a bishop/priest relationship of confidentiality which was a privileged position that we had”.