Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 13:57 UK

Pope accepts bishop resignations

Bishop of Clogher (L) Joseph Duffy, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Derry, Francis Lagan (R)
The Pope has accepted the resignations of Bishop Duffy and Bishop Lagan

Pope Benedict has accepted the resignations of the Bishop of Clogher, Joseph Duffy, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Derry, Francis Lagan.

Both men offered their resignations as required by the Vatican on turning 75 years of age.

The Right Reverend Liam Sean MacDaid is to be the new Bishop of Clogher.

In March, Bishop Joseph Duffy admitted he knew of abuse allegations against a priest in his diocese in 1989, six years before the cleric was in court.

Bishop Joseph Duffy was told Enniskillen priest Fr John McCabe had abused a young boy in his car.

A diocesean spokesman said in March that Bishop Duffy was "bound to secrecy by the victim's parents".

In 1995, McCabe, who had then left the priesthood, was jailed for 20 months for abusing the boy between 1979 and 1985.

The spokesman said that because of the protocols in place such a situation would "not happen now" and the bishop has said he regrets the matter was not dealt with "in a speedier manner".

On Thursday, the Irish Catholic primate, Cardinal Sean Brady, paid tribute to the bishops for "their work in preaching about and striving for peace and harmony in Northern Ireland".

"I offer them my prayers and blessings and I wish them both many years of good health and happiness in their retirement," he said.



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