January 31, 2005

Bishop says ruling was vindicated

BBC News

By Brendan McDaid

31 January 2005
THE decision to allow a Londonderry priest to stay in office despite a sexual assault allegation has been "vindicated", the Bishop of Derry has claimed.

In a highly unusual step, Catholic Bishop, Dr Seamus Hegarty took over weekend Mass at St Patrick's Church, Dungiven - the parish where the priest involved, Fr Andy McCloskey, had served.

Defending the decision from the pulpit, Bishop Hegarty told those gathered that Fr McCloskey had ministered in Dungiven as a "broken, wounded man".

He added: "Fr McCloskey came to you within a few months of his having received treatment for his problem with alcohol.

"It is a further tribute to all of your priests, past and present, and you the people of the parish, that you have contributed so effectively to his recovery.

"The decision to reinstate Fr McCloskey in ministry in 1993 has been vindicated by the quality of his ministry since then."

Posted by kshaw at January 31, 2005 05:41 PM