Irish Catholic Priest Put on “Personal Leave” After Gay Sex Scandal

A police investigation is reportedly ongoing.

An Irish Catholic priest has been removed from his post in the wake of a public gay sex scandal, the Irish Mirror reports.

It was reported in May that photos and video had emerged of two men engaging in sexual acts on what appeared to be the altar of a country church in Ireland. One of the men was wearing priest vestments.

The incident is now believed to have occurred at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Kildorrery, in the Cloyne Diocese of North Cork.

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An independent bishop originally brought the video to the attention of church officials. Garda, the national police force, was also notified.

“He has taken so-called personal leave to deal with his issues,” a source tells the Mirror of the disgraced St. Bartholomew’s priest. “It is understood he has been suffering from some mental difficulties and some addiction problems.”

“When the video came to public attention he suffered a lot of adverse attention and in discussions with his bishop it was decided he would take time out,” the source continues. “This has been a major scandal in the area and people are devastated by it all. The guards are investigating the incident and it is ongoing.”

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According to Catholic teachings, the sexual acts are considered a sacrilegious desecration of an altar and priest vestments. Another concerned source has already called for “some sort of an exorcism” at the church.

Archbishop of Dublin Dr. Diarmuid Martin has publicly criticized Ireland’s national seminary, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, following anonymous allegations that seminarians were using Grindr and had been sexually involved with priests in the Dublin archdiocese.

Commenting on this rumored “active gay subculture,” Father Brendan Hoban said that in seminaries “you are always going to have a mixture of gay and heterosexual candidates, that has always been the case, and there will be—from time to time, incidents that people would prefer didn’t happen. But they do happen, human nature being what it is.”

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