Dr Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe
by Anita Guidera in The Irish Independent
THE victim of a notorious paedophile Donegal priest has called on the Bishop of Raphoe to immediately suspend those priests currently under investigation following allegations of child sexual abuse.
Paul Breslin, whose harrowing story of abuse by jailed paedophile, Fr Eugene Greene, was featured in the BBC documentary Spotlight earlier this week, said that children could be saved from abuse by this action.
Yesterday, Bishop Philip Boyce remained silent following his revelations that three priests continued to minister, in contravention of church guidelines, despite being the subject of recent allegations.
One other priest is no longer in ministry.
However, a spokesperson for the bishop said that "due process" had to be followed and the proper information had to be gathered before Dr Boyce took any action regarding the placing of priests on administrative leave.
"When the bishop is fully satisfied that all information has been gathered, he will follow the guidelines and all the authorities will be co-operated with," the spokesperson said.
On Wednesday, the bishop indicated that gardai had been informed of the allegations. He said that he was endeavouring to seek further information to ensure that all necessary steps could be taken in accordance with church guidelines.
As the fallout from the bishop's revelations continued to reverberate across Donegal yesterday, members of the public called for the immediate suspension of the priests, claiming that a cloud had been cast over all priests in the county.
There have also been calls for the bishop's resignation in light of the Spotlight documentary which showed that Dr Boyce was made aware of serious allegations about Fr Greene by a priest and a school principal in 1995. It took a further three years for the matter to come to the attention of the gardai.
Speaking last night from his London home, Paul Breslin, one of Fr Greene's many victims, said he was shocked by the latest revelations.
"This should not be. If they were a doctor or a policeman or whatever they would be suspended if there were allegations made about them. Why should it be any different for priests," Mr Breslin said.
Posted by paul at November 01, 2002 11:28 AM
He added that he believed there were many more victims of Fr Greene who had yet to come forward.