Seventh bishop steps down in Ireland
Catholic Church considers cutbacks following scandal
Pope Benedict XVI yesterday accepted the resignation of another Irish bishop, leaving seven of Ireland’s 26 Catholic dioceses without one and raising expectations of major cutbacks in the size of the Irish church following child-abuse scandals. Seamus Hegarty offered his resignation two weeks ago as bishop of Derry, a northwestern diocese that straddles Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The 71-year-old Hegarty cited an unspecified “irreversible’’ illness as the reason for quitting four years before the church’s normal retirement age.