BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
February 28 2019
By Sarah MacDonald
A priest from Co Tyrone who claims he was pushed out of his US parish because he refused to cover up for another priest’s sexually inappropriate behaviour with an underage boy is taking his case to the US Supreme Court.
Fr John Gallagher (51) alleges that Bishop Gerald Barbarito and the Diocese of Palm Beach ruined his reputation and career as a priest because he reported the sexual misconduct of another cleric, Joseph Palimattom, who had come to serve in his parish, the Holy Name of Jesus, in December 2014.
The Indian priest showed child abuse images to a 14-year-old parishioner, who complained about the cleric’s actions in January 2015.
Police believe Palimattom was grooming the teenager.
The priest was later convicted of showing obscene material to a minor and served a six-month sentence.
He was then deported from the US back to India.
Fr Gallagher alleges that because of his whistleblowing, he was placed on medical leave by the diocese, the locks on his parochial home were changed and his belongings moved while he was in the hospital.
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