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Gay sex-scandal engulfs Catholic seminary amid allegations of Grindr use

Joe Williams August 3, 2016

Dublin’s archbishop says he will stop sending trainee priests to the Republic of Ireland’s main Catholic college after allegations emerged of a gay culture at the seminary.

Dr Diarmuid Martin revealed his plans to boycott St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth – also known as the National Seminary for Ireland – over allegations of homosexual activity among students and staff, including the use of hook-up app Grindr.

The head of Ireland’s biggest Catholic diocese 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 – on blogs and in letters – of sexual activity, the use of a gay dating app Grindr and other misconduct at the County Kildare college.

Claims were also made that authorities at the seminary were dismissing anyone who tried to make an allegation.

“A culture of anonymous letters is poisonous and until that is cleared up I would be happier to send my students elsewhere,” the archbishop told RTE.

“There are allegations on different sides.

“One is that there is a homosexual, a gay culture, that students have been using an app called Grindr.”

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.

Dr Martin said he had offered to provide an independent person for whistleblowers to approach with their concerns.

“The answer to that was simply more anonymous letters – that’s not a healthy culture,” he added.

“The authorities at Maynooth have to find ways in which people will come forward with solid, hard evidence which can be used to follow up allegations.”

Hugh Connolly, the President of St. Patrick’s College, told RTE he was aware of the allegations and was “very worried” about the alleged use of Grindr in particular.

However, he stressed that “natural justice” required the production of strong evidence before any action could be taken.

The scandal is only the latest to hit the church.

In May, a priest who taught at a Catholic school was forced to take a “leave of absence” after he was caught sending naked pics on Grindr.

And last year, a former priest alleged that the Vatican operates its own secret ‘gay cure’ clinic for Catholic priests who are caught having sex with men.

More: Catholicism, Europe, Gay, Grindr, Ireland, Ireland, LGBT, Rome, Sex

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