28-November-2012 -- EWTNews Feature |

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New Bishop of Cloyne pledges to heal abuse scandal, promote renewal

Pope Benedict XVI has named parish priest Father William Crean to head Ireland's Diocese of Cloyne after the previous bishop resigned amid controversy over his handling of sex abuse claims.

"Holy Father, it is with joy yet considerable trepidation that I learned of this appointment, by your Holiness, to serve as the Bishop of the ancient See of Cloyne," Bishop-designate Crean said Nov. 24 in an address at St. Colman's Cathedral in the city of Cobh.

He told a congregation of bishops, priests, vowed religious and laity that he felt "apprehensive" because he is "deeply conscious of the trauma of the years past." He said there has been "so much suffering endured by young people at the hands of a few - sufferings compounded by the failure of those who didn't believe them and those who didn't hear their cry for help."

The previous Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, resigned in 2010 because of continuing criticism of his handling of abuse allegations.

A judicial inquiry released in 2011 found that the diocese mishandled clerical sex abuse allegations since 1996 and did not report nine allegations to the authorities. The inquiry strongly criticized the diocese and said Bishop Magee "to a certain extent, detached himself from the day to day management of child sexual abuse cases."

The monsignor who Bishop Magee tasked with overseeing child safety was also specifically blamed for failing to report the cases.

Bishop Magee, who was private secretary to three Popes, later said he "deeply, deeply" regretted that the diocese did not follow mandatory reporting guidelines the Irish bishops adopted in 1996. He begged forgiveness if his failures had caused any more suffering.

Bishop-designate Crean committed himself to bring "healing and new hope" to abuse victims and their families. He asked for "patience" to allow him time to "grasp the full measure of this deep hurt."

The bishop-designate was born in 1951 in Tralee in County Kerry. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kerry in 1976 and received his theology degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has spent 20 years as a pastor and 20 years in religious education in several Irish schools.

He was a parish priest from the town of Cahersiveen in County Kerry before being appointed bishop.

"I have no illusions about the myriad challenges that the Church in Ireland faces. Yet I remain hopeful and steadfast," Bishop-designate Crean said.

He stressed Jesus Christ's desire that Christians have life "in abundance" and he said he shares St. Paul's desire to put "fresh heart into the disciples."

"While conscious of my limitations, I humbly accept this appointment, to serve the priests and people of Cloyne," he said.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/World.php?id=6620#ixzz2E2FtVA81

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