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They and the investigators emphasized that Ireland's bishops formally agreed in 1995 to begin reporting suspected child-abuse cases to police in rules that became valid Jan. The Irish church took that step after the first abuse victims went public with their lawsuits, a development that opened the floodgates for more than 13,000 such cases.
Magee, who before becoming Cloyne bishop in 1987 was a private secretary to three popes, resigned last year after a church-appointed commission made similar findings against him.
DUBLIN - A new investigation into the Catholic Church's chronic coverup of child abuse found Wednesday that a rural diocese and its bishop ignored Irish church rules requiring all suspected molestation cases to be reported to police -- and the Vatican encouraged this concealment.
The government, which ordered the probe into 1996-2009 coverups in the County Cork diocese of Cloyne, warned that parishes across Ireland could pose a continuing danger to children's welfare today given Cloyne's claims to be following church child-protection policy while actually ignoring it.
"The narrative set out in the Cloyne report indicates that the leadership of the Catholic Church needs to urgently reflect on how, by coherent and effective action, it can restore public trust and confidence in its stated objective of putting children first," Mc Aleese said.
Activists seeking the truth on Catholic abuse cases in Ireland and abroad expressed deep skepticism that the Vatican and Irish church leaders will ever do this.
O'Callaghan conceded in a statement that in some cases he "became emotionally and pastorally drawn to the plight of the accused. I did try to respond to victims with kindness and I am deeply sorry that I failed so many of them." The report, anticipating O'Callaghan's words, said it accepted "that he was personally kind in many respects to some complainants, but kindness is not enough when dealing with criminal activity or with people who have been abused." The primate for Ireland's 4 million Catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady, and the official who replaced Magee in Cloyne, Archbishop Dermot Clifford, issued their own apologies and pledged greater openness and co-operation with state authorities.