October 04, 2005

Rome annuls defrocking of cleric alleged to have abused man

One in Four

A DECISION of an Irish Catholic Church court to defrock a priest because of an allegation of child abuse has been overturned by a court at the Vatican.

The civil authorities here had already decided not to charge the priest. The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, is now obliged to 'restore him as a priest in good standing'. He has not yet done this, meaning he could yet have his hand forced by Rome if the priest takes further action.

The case, which was decided in April, is one of the only recent examples of Rome acquitting a cleric accused of child abuse, rather than convicting him.

The priest concerned was alleged by a man to have abused him in a series in incidents in the 1980s. The allegations did not come to light until 1997, when gardai probed the case.

Posted by kshaw at October 4, 2005 09:26 AM