Pope Dismisses Sex Offender Priest
February 20, 2015
|Donaghy also served as a priest in Bangor. ©Pacemaker|
In a statement Bishop Noel Treanor said that James Donaghy is not permitted to function as a priest under any circumstance, in public or private.
Donaghy stepped down from his duties in March 2004.
He was originally from Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn, and served as a priest in the west Belfast parish of Corpus Christi in Ballymurphy.
He was convicted of a string of sex abuse charges following two trials in 2011 and 2013 and is serving a 10 year jail sentence.
During the 2013 trial the court heard he told a young boy he could get his grandfather into Heaven as he sexually abused him.
In his statement, Bishop Treanor said: “The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has informed the Diocese of Down and Connor that His Holiness, Pope Francis has dismissed James Donaghy from the clerical state on his own authority and for the good of the Church.
“This means that Mr Donaghy is not permitted to function as a priest under any circumstance, public or private.”
The decision decreed by Pope Francis has been passed to the victims and to James Donaghy.
Bishop Treanor continued: “On behalf of the priests and people of the Diocese of Down and Connor, I again extend my deepest sorrow and apologise to survivors who suffered such pain at the hands of someone in whom they had placed their trust.
“I hope that this decision will assist those affected on their journey towards healing.”
He added: “I assure all that the Diocese remains fully committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults with comprehensive structures of safeguarding in place throughout the diocese supported by specialist personnel and thousands of trained volunteers.
“The Diocese is also committed to bringing healing to the victims of abuse and is conscious of the right to privacy of the victims and will make no further comment.
“The Diocesan Policy and Procedures advise anyone who may have a concern of a safeguarding nature to contact the PSNI, social services, or the Diocesan Designated Safeguarding Officer on 028 9049 2798.”