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Cork man ejected from priesthood over abuse claims 'kept celebrating Mass at home'

It’s led to a resignation in the diocese of Cloyne.

Image: RTÉ.ie

A FORMER PRIEST who was cleared of criminal charges of child abuse but was dismissed by the church continued to celebrate Mass privately at his home.

The discovery led to the resignation of Bill Meagher, the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) for the Diocese of Cloyne.

Dan Duane of the Cloyne Diocese had appealed the decision by the Canonical Court in Ireland to remove him from the priesthood but the Vatican dismissed the appeal.

The Bishop of Cloyne William Crean says that Meagher met with Duane in June to verify that he was abiding by the agreed Covenant of Care.

He was informed by Duane that the former priest was celebrating Mass privately at his home.

The terms of his dismissal had meant that he is not permitted to act as a priest in any way, whether publicly or privately.

Duane had defended his actions saying that he was appealing his dismissal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome.

The Bishop of Cloyne said that he did not believe that Duane’s appeal was legitimate but felt he had no option but to wait for a response from the CDF.

“I believed that no further action by me was possible until I received notification from the CDF,” Bishop Crean said in a statement. “This led to Mr Meagher resigning as he did not agree with my position.”

Bishop Crean says that, after receiving confirmation that Duane’s appeal had no grounds, he wrote to him informing him that  he “cannot act as a priest in any manner whatsoever”.

Crean adds that he also wrote to abuse survivors in the diocese to apologise for any distress caused.

One of the court cases saw Duane accused of kissing a teenage girl on the lips, and fondling her, when she went to his house to speak to him about a family problem. The judge in the case directed the jury to find Duane not guilty because the delay in making her complaint.

Read: Cork man ejected from priesthood over abuse claims has appeal rejected by Rome >

Read: Cork priest denies indecent assault of Cork teenager in 1980s >

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Rónán Duffy

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