Belfast Telegraph

Morale among priests 'shattered'

Morale among priests in the diocese of Cloyne has been shattered by a lack of leadership since a damning report on the cover-up of clerical sex abuse was published, a clergyman has claimed.

Clergy from parishes across east Cork are also said to be upset and angry that child protection measures were not followed by former bishop John Magee.

The Cloyne report revealed the one-time Vatican aide and papal envoy deliberately misled authorities and failed to report clerical abuse allegations as recently as three years ago.

Fr Tony Flannery, of the Association of Catholic Priests, said: "The morale of the priests has been fairly shattered by all of this.

"There is a general sense of a lack of leadership in the church at this very crucial time."

Priests from Cloyne discussed the fall-out from the report at a private meeting organised by the association in Cork on Tuesday.

The event was staged just days after one Cloyne priest, Fr Joseph McGuane, maintained there was a culture of fear within the diocese.

However Fr Flannery, a member of the Redemptorist Community in Athenry, Co Galway, said Fr McGuane's comments were not discussed at the meeting.

He said he also felt it would make little difference if Dr Magee - whose whereabouts remain a mystery - were to face the public over the disturbing report.

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