Belfast Telegraph

Former priest expresses 'disgust' at appointment of Bishop Boyce in Dromore

A retired priest has said he is ‘disgusted’ by the appointment of Philip Boyce as Bishop of Dromore.

John McAreavey stood down as Bishop of Dromore last month after criticism of him celebrating Mass with paedophile priest Father Malachy Finnegan.

Speaking on the Nolan Show on Radio Ulster, Father Eamon Murray said he was disgusted with the appointment of Boyce as Fr McAreavey’s replacement.

In 2011 Philip Boyce was criticised for his handling of clerical sex allegations when working in the Diocese of Raphoe in Co Donegall.

Fr Murray said the appointment of Boyce would “rub salt” on the wounds of those who have already suffered from clerical sexual abuse in Dromore.

He said: “I am so annoyed about this, that he has been appointed to Dromore where there has been a huge problem. I think that’s rubbing the salt on the wound.”

A review into the handling of clerical abuse in the Diocese of Raphoe in 2011 singled out Bishop Boyce’s actions in a serious case of abuse in which he attempted to protect the priest’s family rather than have the cleric removed from the ministry.

At the time Bishop Boyce apologised for "poor judgements" in managing priest accused of "horrific acts of abuse" against children.

Fr Murray said: “I don’t want that man in Dromore where I live, and I am a priest. I don’t want him in Dromore.”

He added: “I can’t believe this man has been appointed after his tenure in Raphoe.”

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JDr John McAreavey who was Bishop of Dromore in Northern Ireland, prior to his resignation following claims he celebrated Mass alongside Fr Malachy Finnegan, a priest he knew was a paedophile (Niall Carson/PA)

Fr Murray said he was concerned that the Catholic Church would "punish him" for speaking out against the appointment.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Dromore said:  "Fr Eamon Murray is not a priest in the Dromore Diocese but is under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Northampton. He does not minister for the Diocese of Dromore and does not live in a property owned by the Diocese.

"Any questions in relation to comments made by Fr Murray should be made to the Diocese of Northampton.’’

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