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Cloyne priests to meet... as hundreds more abuse cases set to emerge

A new report on the Donegal diocese of Raphoe is expected to reveal many more assaults on children by priests.

Image: Pier Paolo Cito/AP/Press Association Images

THE ARCHBISHOP OF Cashel has said he will arrange a meeting of all priests in the scandal-hit Cloyne diocese next month to discuss the fallout of a report into child abuse.

A spokesperson for Archbishop Dermot Clifford told Barry Roche of the Irish Times that priests in the area will be free to express their views on the Cloyne Report, which revealed a string of abuse cases and mishandling by senior clergy. The announcement of the meeting comes after a gathering on Tuesday called by the reform lobby group the Association for Catholic Priests.

Fr Tony Flannery, of the Association, told the Belfast Telegraph morale among ordinary priests was very low. “The morale of the priests has been fairly shattered by all of this,” he said.”There is a general sense of a lack of leadership in the church at this very crucial time.”

Meanwhile, it’s emerged a new report from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church will document hundreds more cases of abuse in the diocese of Raphoe, in Co Donegal. According to the Irish Examiner the report to be published later this month details hundreds of abuses by 20 priests in the diocese over 40 years, and states the Church was “uncooperative, obstructive and misleading when gardaí became involved in a number of investigations”.

A priest in east Cork has called on the former bishop of Cloyne to appear in public and face criticisms in the Cloyne Report that he covered up allegations of clerical child abuse in the diocese. Dr John Magee has not appeared since issuing a statement immediately after the report was published, and a spokesman told journalists his location was “unknown”, RTÉ reports. Father Joe McGuane said Dr Magee should speak to the media before he is tracked down.

The Vatican is yet to respond to the Cloyne report, despite repeated calls on it to do so from the Irish government. Sources in Rome said in July that senior clerics were “crafting” a response, but it is yet to be issued. However, the papal nuncio to Ireland Giuseppe Leanza was withdrawn and transferred to the Czech Republic.

Read more: Full coverage of the Cloyne Report fallout >

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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