VATICAN CITY — The pope on Saturday named a new bishop for the troubled Irish diocese of Cloyne, where for years its previous bishop ignored the Irish church’s own rules requiring suspected priestly sex abuse to be reported to police. The new bishop promptly vowed to do everything in his power to help abuse victims heal.
Cloyne has been without a resident bishop since John Magee, private secretary to three popes, resigned in disgrace as bishop in 2010 after a church-appointed commission found that he and his deputies fielded complaints from parishioners about two pedophile priests starting in 1995, but told police nothing until 2003, and little thereafter.
The findings were particularly galling since the Irish church, under mounting pressure and lawsuits stemming from revelations of wide-scale priest sex abuse and cover-up, had adopted a policy in 1996 requiring bishops to report abuse to police. The Cloyne report, however, found that Magee took no hands-on interest in enacting the policy until 2008.
Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named the Rev. Canon William Crean, a parish priest in Cahersiveen, to replace the apostolic administrator who has been running the diocese in Magee’s absence. Crean, 60, has been a director of religious education in several Irish schools and received his theology degree from the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.