The Pope has accepted the resignation of an Irish Bishop accused of mishandling reports of sex abuse in his diocese.
Bishop John Magee of Cloyne is the most senior clerical figure to step down over a scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in Europe.
In a statement, the 73-year-old said he begged forgiveness from anyone who had suffered because of his failure to act.
Four other Irish bishops who have come under criticism for their handling of sex abuse cases have offered their resignations to the Pope. He has accepted only one of them.
Last weekend, in a letter read from pulpits across the country, the Pope apologised to victims of abuse and ordered an official inquiry. But it has not stopped calls for the resignation of the Head of the Church in Ireland, who was also heavily criticised over his role in the scandal.