A now-adult man, “John” says in the 1980s three Catholic priests abused him at St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland. It looks like the Church agreed.
Because they have been handsomely paying him off.
A father of five, with four children from his marriage which ended in 1996 and a daughter from a more recent relationship, John received €40,000 from Killaloe diocese in 2008 and an additional €5,000 in 2009. He also received an estimated €20,000 from the personal funds of Bishop Willie Walsh. He has not issued legal proceedings against the dioceses involved.
In the past few years, John has been meeting with Church officials. Some “40 to 50 times,” which sounds like a lot?
John made a lengthy statement to the Garda in recent weeks about his dealings with the three priests. Bishop Walsh said he believed that Fr T, a priest of Killaloe diocese who engaged John in a gay relationship for about a year (and who, as with the other two priests concerned cannot be named for legal reasons), “was the worst offender”. Fr T has since left the priesthood.
John was 18 and lived in the same parish where Fr T had recently been appointed. John was sent to the priest by his father to seek help because he was concerned at how distraught John was following the break-up of a relationship with a girl. Over time, Fr T made advances and a sexual relationship developed. John claims Fr T took him to visit a former Maynooth classmate of his, Fr U, in the diocese of Killala. John alleges he was raped by Fr U during that visit.
Neither Fr U nor Fr V are still with the church, which seems like the right sort of outcome. Also: Can we stop assuming priests, who are theoretically celibate individuals with little to no dating experience to speak of, are relationship experts?