Brady 'sorry' if remarks on Bishop Magee caused offence


Cardinal Sean Brady said today he was sorry if he offended people by saying that Bishop John Magee should stay on in Cloyne in the wake of a critical report on how the diocese handled allegations of abuse of children by members of the clergy.

Speaking in Maynooth, Co Kildare on his way into a special meeting of the hierarchy this morning to discuss the Cloyne controversy, Cardinal Brady said he was surprised by reaction to his statement last week in which he said Bishop Magee should not stand down.

Today’s meeting in Maynooth follows publication on December 19th last of a report on child protection practices in the Cloyne diocese by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

It found such practices in Cloyne to be “inadequate and in some respects dangerous”. It also found Bishop Magee had a written policy of supplying “minimal” information to the civil authorities on clerical child sex abuse allegations and that, in two instances, he did not report allegations immediately, as required by church and State guidelines.

Last week Cardinal Brady said the Bishop should stay on to help implement recommendations in the official investigations.

Speaking on his way into today's meeting, Cardinal Brady said the independent report on Cloyne raised some important issues that must be addressed and this was still the case for the sake of victims. He explained that he said what he had said last week because Bishop Magee was accepting responsibility and it was important to accept that responsibility.

The hierarchy from both sides of the Border were summoned to the meeting today.

Bishop Magee, a former Vatican aide, has faced down repeated calls to quit over his mishandling of the allegations.

The controversy prompted the Government to widen the Dublin Commission of Investigation, into clerical sex abuse allegations in the capital, to cover the Diocese of Cloyne.

That investigation will focus on claims by a priest in December 2004 who claimed he had been abused as a young boy by an unnamed cleric in the Diocese of Cloyne, referred to as Father A.

It will also examine several complaints made against a second priest, Father B, accused of molesting two teenage girls, abusing a 14-year-old boy and of having a year-long sexual relationship with the boy’s mother.

Additional reporting PA