A priest in Northern Ireland known for his anti-gay sermons has taken a leave of absence after being caught with a Grindr profile.
The church learned about the indiscretions of Father Rory Coyle of Armagh, about 40 miles from Belfast, when an unnamed man contacted a local Catholic newspaper and revealed he’d sexted with the priest more than once.
“He spoke to me on Grindr a few times and kept wanting to come to my mum’s house for sex with me while she was at work,” the whistleblower later told Thinking Catholicism. “He sent me lots of naked pics of himself, too. When I realized who he was I sent them to a journalist along with the screenshots of his sex chat.”
Coyle admitted in his texts that he had participated in orgies, gone to gay beaches and rented rooms by the hour for trysts. His profile included identifiable photos and even his cell-phone number, but he didn’t mention he was a priest, merely a “lecturer.”
The man stated that, though he was an adult now, he had been a student at Saint Catherine’s College, where Coyle is a chaplain.
“He’s just a hypocrite. Denouncing gay people from the pulpit and then shagging guys when no one is looking.”
Soon after the screenshots were sent to the paper, Coyle’s Grindr account and his Facebook page were deactivated. His photo was also briefly removed from the Armagh Parish’s website.
“Father Rory Coyle asked Archbishop Eamon Martin for time off to obtain personal and spiritual support,” a spokesman for the Archdiocese said in a statement. “Following this, on March 22, he asked the Archbishop to extend his leave so that he could ’engage in a period of personal discernment and receive further help.’ He is currently on leave of absence”.