Palm Beach diocese denies demoting priest for reporting another priest’s abuse-related activities

National Catholic Reporter

Sarah Mac Donald | Jan. 29, 2016

The diocese of Palm Beach has hit back at claims by one of its priests that he has been ostracized for helping to prosecute a suspected pedophile priest who was jailed for six months for having shown a 14-year-old parishioner up to 40 pornographic images on his phone.

The Catholic Whistleblowers network, which is dedicated to exposing abuse cover-ups, has weighed in in support of Fr. John Gallagher, claiming the diocese of Palm Beach demoted him because he wasn’t “silent about alleged sexual abuse of minor children.”

Irish-born Gallagher has served in Palm Beach since 2000 and claims he was stood down from his role in the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in West Palm Beach for reporting abuse-related activities concerning Franciscan​ Fr Jose Palimattom, a visiting priest from India, who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ for just four weeks in December 2014 when a complaint was made.

Speaking to the Pat Kenny Radio Show Jan. 27 in Ireland, the 48-year-old priest also claimed that when he contacted the diocese to report the incident the morning after it had been reported to him, the diocesan official told him, “We’ve dealt with this before, we normally put them on a plane and send them back.”

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