Trainee priests at a scandal-hit Irish seminary are to be monitored during meal times to make sure they don’t use Grindr, it’s been revealed.
St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland, has said a stricter regime will now operate for trainee priests, in light of a scandal that saw a number of priests using the app for hookups.
As part of the new rules, all trainee priests are required to eat their evening meal in the college and not somewhere that they choose. This will be supervised by senior staff of the seminary council who would often eat in the Professors’ Refectory.
They will also be required to attend evening rosary – something that has been optional until now.
The tighter controls are part of a number of measures announced this week which also include a review into “appropriate use of the internet and social media”.
Trustees of the college said they were concerned about an “unhealthy atmosphere created by anonymous accusations”.
They also highlighted “some social media comments which can be speculative or even malicious” about its trainee priests.
Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin, revealed his plans to boycott St. Patrick’s College over the allegations of homosexual activity among students and staff – including the use of Grindr.
The archbishop said the “poisonous” atmosphere caused by the claims had led him to transfer students to the Irish College in Rome.
The allegations were made anonymously, accusing priests of sexual activity, the use of a gay dating app Grindr and other misconduct at the County Kildare college.
Dr Martin said the use of the app “would be inappropriate for seminarians, not just because they are trained to be celibate priests, but because an app like that is something which would be fostering promiscuous sexuality.
Grindr goes against “the mature vision of sexuality one would expect a priest to understand,” he added.