DR JOHN McAREAVEY, the Bishop of Dromore, has resigned with immediate effect after criticism of his Requiem Mass for an alleged paedophile priest.
It comes after a BBC Spotlight investigation in February heard of abuse allegations against the late Fr Malachy Finnegan.
Bishop McAreavey said Requiem Mass for Fr Finnegan in 2002, despite knowing of accusations against him.
The Spotlight investigation said the first allegations against Finnegan came to light in 1994.
The revelations led the Bishop to meet recently with concerned parents, who said they did not want him officiating at their children’s Confirmation over his decision to say Requiem Mass for Fr Finnegan.
In a statement released today through his solicitors Arthur J Downey, the Bishop said he would resign with immediate effect.
It read: "Following media reports which have disturbed and upset many people in the Diocese and further afield I have decided to resign with immediate effect.
"I shall make further comment in due course."
The bishop has previously apologised for his decision to officiate at Fr Finnegan’s funeral Mass.