Sources close to one of the Rome-based Irish seminarians who has been at the centre of widespread lurid allegations in the national media have said that lawyers have been instructed to take immediate legal action to clear his good name, The Irish Catholic can exclusively reveal. Legal letters have been issued to the media including The Irish Times and Irish Independent.
It was reported in a number of national newspapers late last week that two seminarians were sent home from Rome’s Pontifical Irish College after being found in bed together. However, sources in Rome close to the two men have insisted that the allegations are entirely false. Speaking exclusively to The Irish Catholic, one source said that while the two seminarians had been disciplined over concerns around excessive alcohol consumption, at no time were allegations of sexual impropriety put to the men by the college authorities.
It is understood that a report furnished to the Archbishop of Dublin from the Rector of the Irish College Msgr Ciaran O’Carroll also makes no mention of any matters of a sexual nature and, sources claim, that this has been confirmed by the archbishop to one of the seminarians. It is also claimed that both men were not dismissed from the college, as reported in the media, but left of their own accord. Both men were not sent back to Ireland as claimed in the media.
The media also reported that the alleged incident happened after students attended a Mass commemorating Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae on artificial birth control.
The Irish Catholic has established that there was no Mass in the Vatican to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of the papal encyclical as reported in the Irish Independent and The Irish Times and repeated extensively elsewhere. A senior source in Archbishop’s House in Dublin described these media reports as “fabrications”.
Both seminarians are believed to be deeply distressed at the false allegations aired in the national media about them.
It is understood that the men have pleaded with the Rector of the Irish College Msgr O’Carroll to issue a statement to set the record straight about what they describe as “lies” in the media. However, the rector has declined to do so and Archbishop Martin has also refused to issue a similar statement.
It is believed lawyers for one of the seminarians have criticised media outlets directly for reporting the allegations without trying to make contact with the men involved or seek independent confirmation of the story.
They also claim that as there are so few seminarians in the Irish College, particularly from the Dublin Diocese, the men involved – even though not named – are easily identifiable.