Bishop John Magee was well known in the Vatican where he served for years as a papal aide.
Authorities there deny they sought to cover up paedophilia by Roman Catholic clergymen around Europe. Today’s events prove concrete action is being taken, according to Vatican journalist Iacopo Scaramuzzi.
He stresses that this is the second resignation of an Irish Bishop to be accepted by the Pontiff since the abuse scandal broke, saying this “confirms the fact that Pope Benedict XVI is taking this whole affair seriously.”
With churchgoers in shock at revelation after revalation, news of the Bishop’s departure was welcomed by some on the streets of Rome.
“I think this is a good decision, to make this clear,” said one woman.
Another agreed that resignation is the right thing to do. “This scandal must stop,” she said.
But that looks unlikely as it is convulsing the Church in Europe, with several countries affected, including the Pope’s native Germany.