|Exclusive: Sacked Priest Gerry Nugent in Row over Hospital Communion Claim
By Lachlan Mackinnon
October 11, 2008
SHAMED priest Gerry Nugent caused uproar in a cancer hospital over claims he tried to give communion to patients.
The alcoholic 64-year-old, who was sacked by the Catholic Church in the wake of the Angelika Kluk murder trial, visited Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow.
Nugent is said to have distressed patients and unsettled staff after turning up at the hospital's Beatson Oncology Centre last Sunday.
A source said: "He walked on to a ward dressed in his dog collar and began offering to carry out communion.
"He had been up in the past and, because he had his dog collar on, he walked in without being questioned.
"Staff realised the person he had gone to visit was distressed. A couple of staff objected to it and it was reported to senior management. They are investigating it as him being a bogus visitor."
Nugent last night denied any wrongdoing.
He said: "I was there privately visiting a friend I had heard was unwell.
"We talked about spiritual matters. It was an innocent conversation with a friend. I did not offer to carry out a Mass or try to collect money."
He repeatedly refused to confirm or deny if he had offered to carry out communion, saying only: "I had private conversations during which we may have discussed religious matters."
Strathclyde Police had no record of any complaint being made.
An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokeswoman said: "Father Nugent visited a patient at the Beatson Cancer Centre on Sunday and also spoke to other patients he recognised as former parishioners.
"Nugent, like any other member of the public, can visit friends in hospital but not in the capacity of a chaplain."
Last year, it emerged Nugent had sex with Angelika, 23, when he was priest at St Patrick's in Anderston, Glasgow.
His reputation was ruined when he confessed to an affair with the Polish student who lived at his church Angelika was raped and murdered by another man and her battered body was hidden under the church floor.
Nugent was effectively sacked by the Catholic Church after he was convicted of giving evasive evidence at the trial of Angelika's killer.
He later admitted he was an alcoholic and confessed he had used prostitutes in his church house.
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