Belfast Telegraph helps get blog of cleric Pat Buckley who uncovered sex scandal back online
Google has reinstated a blog by controversial cleric Bishop Pat Buckley, which he claims was removed after interference from the Catholic Church.
The blog, which had revealed a gay sex scandal in Maynooth training college, disappeared for 48 hours, but is back again following an article in the Belfast Telegraph highlighting its removal.
In recent weeks the Larne-based bishop has disclosed details of a gay sub-culture in Maynooth with some students having profiles on the gay dating app Grindr, and using the site to solicit sex with priests and laymen.
Bishop Buckley also revealed that a former seminarian was filing a complaint of sexual harassment with gardai against a staff member.
He claimed that whistleblowers were dismissed from the seminary after bringing the issue to the authorities.
In an email to Bishop Buckley at the weekend, the Google-owned platform, Blogger, stated: "Your blog at http://wisecatholic.blogspot.com has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our terms of service for: HATE.
"In accordance to these terms, we've removed the blog."
However, Bishop Buckley's blog was reinstated yesterday.
"I find it all rather mysterious that my blog is taken down without explanation and then is put back up without explanation," he said.
"I suspect that the blog got too hot for the Catholic Church and, given that Google's European headquarters are in Dublin, they had ample opportunity to make their voice heard in an attempt to censor me. But representations were made on my behalf to Google in America and that, along with the issue being raised by the Belfast Telegraph, seems to have done the trick."
He dismissed suggestions that his blog's removal could have been down to "an administrative error" by Google.
But he added: "I am very happy to be back online. My blog had a quarter-of-a-million page views last month alone.
"I started out with a few hundred readers and it has taken me years to build it up."
Bishop Buckley pledged to "continue telling the truth about Maynooth and shining a light into the darkest corners of the Church".
His blog, exposing the gay sex scandal, was picked up by the mainstream media.
This led to the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, announcing that he would no longer send student priests to Maynooth.
Archbishop Martin said that the college wasn't "the healthiest place" for his trainees and he would be sending them to Rome instead.
Bishop Buckley revealed that he was shocked when Google had accused him of spreading hate.
"As a gay man who lives with his husband, and as a cleric who has performed blessings for same-sex couples for 30 years, it was crazy to suggest that I hated gay people," he said.