Donegal priest expresses concern for priests after publication of Raphoe reportWednesday, December 7th, 2011
A young priest has spoken in a homily of hurt and shame felt by the clergy at the child sex abuse scandals.
Fr Damien McGroarty (29) has spoken of his personal anguish at the recent publication of the report into child abuse in the diocese of Raphoe, that showed that fourteen priests had been accused of abusing 52 young people.
Speaking during his homily at Saint Eunan's Cathedral in Letterkenny in County Donegal, Fr Damien McGroarty (29) said, “Child sexual abuse had been a terrible evil inflicted on children and that those responsible would have to answer for it one day.”
Fr McGroarty said that he “was always scared of being branded a paedophile priest because of the actions of other priests.” He added, “these past few years, I have always felt self-conscious about my decision to become a priest. Will people ridicule me for becoming a priest? Will I be branded a paedophile priest? Even now I am so self-conscious walking down the street, wondering what are people thinking of me?”
In a highly emotional homily, Fr McGroarty added, “every time I drive past a school, I wondered what people thought of me.”
“I hope and pray that justice is administered by the State and by the Church.”
Shortly after Fr McGroarty's homily, the current Bishop of Raphoe Dr Philip Boyce read out a statement apologising to victims of child sex abuse in the diocese. Looking towards the future Bishop Boyce said, “We have all suffered from this painful chapter in our history, but we pray that this awful sin and crime will not continue to afflict us, but that our children will remain unhurt and safe. Whatever good we do for them is for the good of all, since the future belongs to them.”
by Sean Ryan