Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Church faces sex abuse charges

The inquiry will outline how former Bishop John Magee failed to deal with complaints in his Co Cork diocese against a cleric known as Fr Ronat

Serious failures in the handling of child sex abuse allegations against a priest in the Diocese of Cloyne are expected to be published on Monday.

The final section of an inquiry will outline how former Bishop John Magee failed to deal with complaints in his Co Cork diocese against a cleric known as Fr Ronat.

Last July the Cloyne Report found Bishop Magee, a one-time Vatican aide and papal envoy, deliberately misled authorities and failed to report clerical abuse allegations as recently as three years ago.

He had resigned from duties in March last year as pressure mounted over the inquiry and his running of affairs in the diocese.

However much of chapter nine - the longest chapter in the report - was redacted over fears the material could prejudice ongoing criminal proceedings against Fr Ronat, a pseudonym for the priest concerned.

It is understood he has never been convicted in relation to a child-abuse matter.

The commission previously stated failures in the handling of complaints against Fr Ronat rested mainly on Bishop Magee and Monsignor Denis O'Callaghan, while at least three priests of the diocese also ignored complaints.

Allegations made to the diocese about Fr Ronat were not reported to the gardai when they should have been and were not reported to the health board/HSE by the diocese until 2008, it added.

"There were no proper church investigations of the complaints," investigators found, adding that a canonical process ordered n 1995 "was effectively stalled for 14 years and does not seem to have been completed".

Anyone affected by the report is urged to call the National Rape Crisis 24-hour helpline on freephone 1800 778 888.

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