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Europe

Pope Benedict XVI accepts resignation of Irish bishop

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-06

Pope Benedict XVI accepted Thursday the resignation of Irish bishop Joseph Duffy, who reached the age limit of 75. Bishop Duffy's name was linked to the cover up of a paedophile priest affair.

AFP - Pope Benedict XVI Thursday accepted the resignation of Irish bishop Joseph Duffy, who stepped down after reaching the age limit of 75 and whose name was tied to the cover-up of a paedophile priest.

According to British and Irish media, in March Duffy admitted he was aware of accusations of abuse against a paedophile priest working in his diocese of Clogher, but did not turn him in to police, allegedly upon the victim's parents' request.

The pope named Liam McDaid at the head of the Clogher diocese, while also accepting the resignation of the auxiliary bishop of the Derry diocese Francis Lagan, who also passed the age limit.

Duffy was among the Irish bishops received by Benedict in February after an investigation revealed evidence of massive abuse inside the Irish Church.

The investigation found Church leaders in Ireland did not report abuse to police until the 1990s as part of a culture of secrecy and an over-riding wish to avoid damaging the reputation of the Catholic Church.

One priest admitted to sexually abusing more than 100 children, while another confessed that he had abused children on a regular basis over 25 years.

The report came just months after another landmark study which horrified Ireland -- a mainly Catholic country -- by revealing widespread sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children in Catholic-run institutions dating back to the 1930s.

Similar revelations have rocked the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and Europe in recent months.

To date, six Irish bishops or auxiliary bishops -- excluding Duffy -- involved in the scandal have tendered their resignations, and the pope has accepted four of them.
 

Date created : 2010-05-06

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