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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - In his first on-camera interview since being placed on leave July 5, Detroit priest Fr. Eduard Perrone spoke with Church Militant about the fight to restore his reputation.
Appearing in lay clothes because the archdiocese has forbidden him to wear clerics during the investigation, Fr. Perrone again categorically denied the allegations against him made by an adult man, stemming from a recently surfaced "repressed memory" about an alleged 40-year-old event.
"They're entirely false," Perrone said, emphasizing in response to questioning that not a single claim is true.
He detailed the polygraph test he recently took, which he passed "with flying colors," according to the polygrapher, a former police lieutenant who specializes in testing alleged sex offenders. The written report concluded that the results were "very clear, giving him a high degree of confidence in his conclusions," and was so indicative of truthfulness that the polygrapher said it could be used as an example in textbooks.
"Apparently I did very well," Perrone said. "He was very pleased that I passed it."
Critics claim Perrone's suspension is a "political hit job," spearheaded by Msgr. Michael Bugarin, episcopal vicar and delegate for matters of clergy misconduct, who was also involved in removing other orthodox priests in Detroit. Bugarin is also alleged to be a member of the "corrupt gay mafia" to which Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò recently referred, with longtime animus towards the traditional, doctrinally orthodox Perrone.
"It's been very difficult," said Perrone about his current situation, "but I have a lot of support from people and it's been very encouraging — beautiful letters written to me, Masses said, Rosaries said, and so all that's been very good and consoling."
He acknowledged he's had "bad days" in the light of all the bad publicity, naming the Associated Press in particular, which ambushed him in his back yard in early June to question him about the abuse allegations, which he denied. It was the first time he learned of the allegations.
Perrone expressed hopes that he'd be back at his parish soon, and spoke out on behalf of falsely accused priests and the current Church process that he believes unjustly damages the reputation of innocent priests.
"What I would like to see as an outcome to this is that the whole process be reviewed," he said. "I think it's terribly unjust and I think my case will prove that."
A fundraising page to raise money for Fr. Perrone's legal defense fund has already raised more than $10,000.
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