| 7.8°C Belfast

Irish bishop John Magee resigns over child sex abuse

Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Irish bishop John Magee who stood down over his mishandling of clerical child sex abuse allegations.

The scandal-hit former bishop of Cloyne, a one-time Vatican aide, quit the day-to-day running of parishes across rural Cork in March last year.

The cleric, from Newry, Co Down, faced scathing criticism after the church's own watchdog found he took minimal action on accusations against two of his priests and branded his child protection inadequate and dangerous.

The Catholic Church confirmed the Pope accepted his resignation at an announcement in the Vatican.

Bishop Magee, who served as private secretary to three different popes, apologised when the watchdog's report was first published on the internet the week before Christmas 2008 but refused to resign.

His daily duties were taken over by Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of neighbouring Cashel and Emly, last year.

The Archbishop said: "I would like to thank Bishop John Magee for the cooperation he has given me since my appointment as apostolic administrator to the Diocese of Cloyne.

"I wish him all God's blessings in his retirement. I ask for the continued prayers and support of the lay faithful, priests and religious of the Diocese of Cloyne for all those who have suffered abuse."