“Pope accepts bishop resignation over pedophilia cover-up” & related aricles

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presstv.ir (Ireland)

01 October 2013

File photo of Pope Francis

File photo of Pope Francis

Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church has formally accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop who admitted sheltering a priest accused of child abuse.

William Lee, the Bishop of the diocese of Waterford and Lismore in southern Ireland, was relieved of his functions under the Code of Canon Law, which covers serious offenses, the Vatican said in a statement Tuesday.

In 2010, Bishop Lee admitted that his response to child abuse allegations by an Irish clergy in the mid-1990s had been seriously inadequate, the Vatican said.

The bishop was ordained a priest in 1966.

The Vatican has recently come under the spotlight over accusations that it had sealed sexual abuse of children by priests to protect pedophiles and its own reputation.

Hundreds of cases have mushroomed in Europe and the United States during recent years.

Sexual abuses in the Catholic Church arose in the 1980s and hit a major crisis in 2002 when systematic cover-ups were exposed.

This is while the new pope faces a surmounting range of problems including sex abuse allegations, squabbling within the Vatican and the threat of secularism.

GMA/PR

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Long-serving bishop resigns on health grounds

independent.ie

01 October 2013

Ralph Riegel

Photo Mary Browne<br /><br />
Bishop of Waterford William Lee
Bishop of Waterford William Lee

ONE of Ireland’s longest serving bishops has resigned on health grounds.

The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Dr William Lee (71), confirmed his resignation today (Tuesday) after saying he had no alternative given a serious illness he has been battling for the past two years.

Dr Lee, a native of Tipperary, has been bishop of Waterford diocese for 20 years and is regarded within the Church as one of its most accomplished administrators.

In a short statement, Dr Lee said his health left him with no option but to retire.

“In July 2011 I was diagnosed with serious illness and, since diagnosis, I have been under medical care,” he said.

“This has impacted greatly on my health and ministry.  Recently the medical advice to me has been that, in the interests of my health, I should retire from the office of Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.”

Dr Lee said that he found the decision to retire very difficult as, despite his demanding diagnosis, he had hoped to continue in office.

He submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis I and the Vatican has now indicated that the resignation has been accepted.

“It is with reluctance and sadness that I have come to this decision to retire as I have been very happy and blessed amongst you the priests, religious and people of the diocese,” he added.

“It was a great privilege for me to be your Bishop.  I have been ministering in that capacity for just over twenty years since I was ordained on 25 July 1993.  It is a long time and you have been very patient with my shortcomings.  My years as Bishop have been so fulfilling and, as well, very challenging.”

Dr Lee’s departure accelerates the total overhaul of the Church’s diocesan administration with eight other dioceses either securing or about to secure new bishops.

New bishops have already been installed in Cloyne, Kerry and Limerick.

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Irish Bishop Quits After Mishandling Sex Case

Dr William Lee, who admitted that the way in which he dealt with abuse allegations was seriously inadequate, resigns.

Sky News HD

Bishops Child Abuse Meeting

Dr Lee apologised for two-year delay in telling police of abuse claims

The Pope has accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop who admitted to mishandling sex abuse allegations, although the cleric said he was quitting due to poor health.

In a statement, Dr William Lee, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, said he had stepped down on health grounds, making no mention of the abuse claims.

The Holy See said in a brief statement that Dr Lee was relieved of his functions under paragraph 2 of article 401 of the Code of Canon Law, which covers both serious offences, and resignations due to ill-health.

Dr Lee has previously admitted that how he dealt with abuse allegations against one of his priests in the mid-1990s was “seriously inadequate”.

He apologised in 2010 for waiting two years before notifying Irish police.

In a statement at the time he said he “particularly regretted” that he had not sought the “immediate withdrawal” of the priest from all ministry.

Following allegations being made in 1993, Dr Lee moved the priest to a new ministry as part of “ongoing diocesan changes”, but did not tell his new colleagues about the accusations of abuse.

Dr Lee said that in October 1995, after benefiting from advice on child protection, he reported the priest to police.

In his resignation statement, Bishop Lee said failing health was his sole reason for leaving.

“As you are aware in July 2011 I was diagnosed with serious illness and, since diagnosis, I have been under medical care,” he said.

“Recently the medical advice to me has been that, in the interests of my health, I should retire from the office of Bishop of Waterford and Lismore,” he added.

“Accordingly, I have in the past few weeks submitted my letter of resignation as Bishop of Waterford and Lismore to Pope Francis. The Holy Father has considered my request and graciously accepted my resignation.”

The Catholic Church has been rocked by a string of official reports into child sex abuse stretching back decades, and on Church leaders’ complicity in covering it up.

1 Response to “Pope accepts bishop resignation over pedophilia cover-up” & related aricles

  1. Sylvia says:

    Don’t get your hopes up too soon. I don’t think this is quite as exciting as the first header would have it seem at first blush.

    I thought it was perhaps good news, but wanted to find out a little more. I discovered that a number of articles either stated or implied the resignation was because of Bishop Lee’s failures in dealing with clerical sexual predators in his diocese, BUT I also discovered that many more articles had the bishop resigning because of poor health.

    I dug around a little more. I am now quite convinced that the resignation was given and accepted solely on the grounds of poor health. Aside a few media reports there is nothing to indicate otherwise.

    Here is the Code of Canon Law which is referenced in the articles:

    Can. 401 §1 A diocesan Bishop who has completed his seventy-fifth year of age is requested to offer his resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who, taking all the circumstances into account, will make provision accordingly.

    §2 A diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfilment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office.

    And here is the short statement which appeared in Vatican Information Service under Other Pontifical Acts for Tuesday 01 October 2013:

    – accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Waterford and Lismore, Ireland, presented by Bishop William Lee, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

    There is nothing indicating that the bishop resigned or was obliged to resign because of his mishandling of the sex abuse in his diocese.

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