Clergy have denounced a 10-year ban from ministry of a paedophile priest, saying it is “bizarre” and “abhorrent” that he wasn’t dismissed from the clerical state completely.
It has been reported that the Legion of Christ announced the Vatican has banned an Irish priest from public ministry for 10 years for the sexual abuse of a minor in Chile.
The order said Fr John O’Reilly was also banned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from any contact with minors for life. He was also ordered to leave Chile.
Commenting on the sentencing Dublin-priest Fr Bryan Shortall described it as “abhorrent” and “abominable”.
“I certainly feel that someone like that, whose been found guilty of the sexual abuse of minors shouldn’t be allowed near children again and shouldn’t be allowed to exercise priestly ministry forever, that’s my bottom line.”
Fr Aquinas Duffy, parish priest of Cabinteely in south Dublin, said the sentence was “ridiculous”, saying there would be no question of Fr O’Reilly returning to ministry. “I find that bizarre really, I’ve never ever heard of a case where there was a 10-year ban, as if the implication is when the 10 years is up he returns back to ministry – that just isn’t on. It’s not what it appears I would think,” he said.
“The Holy Father is very clear on it, I think clearly we don’t have all the facts in relation to this particular case. The Pope is very clear there is no place in ministry for those who have been convicted of child abuse and that’s it.”
The order confirmed in a statement to this paper that the tribunal’s sentence stipulates Fr O’Reilly will be permitted to return to public ministry after 10 years.