October 31, 2005

Church is left reeling by abuse scandal

Belfast Telegraph

By Clare Weir

31 October 2005
The Bishop of Down and Connor has told parishioners that the latest sex scandal to rock the Catholic church has "damaged" the morale and confidence of priests.

A letter from Dr Patrick Walsh - confirming that two clerics implicated in the damning Ferns Report served in Down and Connor - was read out in all masses in the diocese yesterday.

The Bishop said that no complaint was made about Fr James Doyle, who served in St Agnes' parish from 1974 to 1979.

He added that there were concerns, not about abuse, over the notorious Fr Sean Fortune and following a complaint he was "immediately" sent back to the diocese of Ferns after serving on loan to the Holy Rosary parish between 1979 and 1980.

In the Ferns Report, detailing decades of clerical sex abuse in a corner of Co Wexford, both men were said to be guilty of molesting children.

Posted by kshaw at October 31, 2005 06:20 AM