THE parish priest of a North Cork church said he is shocked by a sex act that has been allegedly carried out on the altar of his church.
Images of the act, which appear to show a person dressed as a priest, have been circulated on a pornographic website, and were brought to the church’s attention in recent days.
Fr Eamon Kelleher, of St Bartholmew’s Church in Kildorrery, said the investigation that is ongoing by the church and by the gardaí has no reflection on the faith of the local people and Mass would continue to be said at the church where the incident is supposed to have occurred.
The local priest, who has been in Kildorrery for the past year, said he was informed of the alleged incident by William Crean, the Bishop of Cloyne.
Father Kelleher said he informed his congregation of the ongoing investigation at Mass last Sunday, at the church.
He said parishioners were shocked by the news, but also said that the community was made of “strong discerning people” who would “be faithful to the church and wait and see.”
“I am not in a position to judge the truthfulness of the images and allegations at all. I will await the conclusion of the investigation.”
A spokesperson for the Cloyne Diocese confirmed an investigation is ongoing regarding images of a sex act circulating on a pornographic website allegedly performed on the altar of a church within the district.
When asked about possible disciplinary action that may be taken by the church, they said they would await the outcome of the garda investigation.
“There is an ongoing investigation in progress. We cannot commit on the issue. The actions taken by the church will depend on the results of the work of the gardaí. We have to wait.”
Gardaí confirmed that Cobh Garda Station received a report in relation to an incident in a church at the Diocese on May 2. Investigations are said to be ongoing.