Priest to the Stars Tells Kelly: I Forgive Priest Who Abused Me

By Eddie McIlwaine
Belfast Telegraph [Northern Ireland]
December 1, 2006

Father Brian D'Arcy has a confesson to make to Gerry Kelly when they come face-to-face on UTV tonight (8pm).

"Most days I would say, 'God, why am I at this?'" reveals the cleric, who left home in Fermanagh at 17 to become a priest. Most days, he admits he wishes he'd chosen another way of life.

And then, Fr D'Arcy, 40 years on and now known as the showbusiness priest, adds: "But having said that, I've always been very happy because I've had a very varied life.

"I've kept moving round and meeting new people and challenges all the time."

He maintains that the only reason he's still a priest is that God is calling him.

He also talks to Gerry about being sexually abused.

"I've been abused twice. I don't need to talk any more about it in public because, compared to other abuse that I had dealt with in my own life with other people, it wasn't a high form of abuse, but it was real for me and you can't really compare pain and compare suffering and compare abuse."

Asked if he had forgiven the priest who was his abuser he says: "Yeah, I had to forgive my abuser because I needed freedom. One of the things I learned very early in dealing with the abuse is that not to move on is to give them control over you, even from the grave. And all I say is I hope God is merciful to them."

Fr D'Arcy says abusing a child is as near unforgivable as anything can be.

"I have no idea if I might just drop and start crying at this minute, even if it's 40 years after the first one," he said.

And talking about the attitude of the Catholic Church to abuse he says: "What the Catholic Church can do is be humble enough to understand that our system was so bad and so self-serving that it put the welfare of the institution ahead of the welfare of an innocent child.

"If they throw me out in the morning, that's fine.

"I've given 44 years to it and I've done my best. And if they say to me, 'stay where you are but shut up', I won't do that because I don't think God wants me to do that, and I couldn't have peace doing that."

Fr D'Arcy also claims he would have been a better priest if he'd married.

"I'm very happy being a priest. I'd love to have been a father and a husband as well."

Meanwhile, Ulster Televison's head of television, Michael Wilson has revealed that UTV Live, the weekday early evening magazine show, has shown an audience growth of 21% in volume terms over the past two months since it was re-designed.


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