Priest removed from US post after sex abuse claims

By Sean O'Driscoll
Irish Times
July 26, 2003

A spokesman for a Catholic diocese in Washington State has said that the diocese will do "all that it can" to settle civil actions arising from alleged sexual abuse by an Irish priest now retired in the west of Ireland.

The elderly priest was ordained in Ireland in the 1940s, before moving some years later to the US where he was a school principal.

The alleged abuse ranged from 1950 to 1982 in various parishes in Washington State, mostly involving boys at Catholic schools.

A man identified in court documents as T.C. is the first of at least seven people to lodge claims of alleged abuse against the priest in the Spokane diocese.

A diocesan spokesman said yesterday that the priest had been removed from his ministry, in accordance with guidelines established by the US bishops last year, but had not been defrocked.

The priest's local bishop in Ireland had been informed of the allegations, he said. There was nobody available to comment at the bishop's office yesterday.

One of the alleged victims, a retired Washington State policeman and Vietnam veteran, has claimed that the priest was moved to another parish when complaints were made to church authorities in January 1962.





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