MAYNOOTH, Ireland (ChurchMilitant.com) - In the continuing homosexual scandal at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland, a former seminarian will be meeting with the Garda, or Ireland's National Police Service, to discuss allegations of sexual improprieties at the hands of his spiritual advisor.
The former trainee priest, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed to the Irish Independent Tuesday that the offending priest was a "spiritual father" to him assigned to help him discern his vocation to the priesthood. He was also meant to be a guide to help the seminarian lead "a chaste and celibate life."
"I am not homophobic," the seminarian clarified. "My main issue with the priest is that he grievously abused his position of power and influence."
The former trainee added that he would "definitely not suggest Maynooth to any young man currently considering a vocation," and believes many vocations at the seminary have been lost as a result of homosexual activity.
Among his allegations are claims that his spiritual advisor inappropriately touched him multiple times, asked questions about his sexuality, and told offensive and sexually graphic jokes.
"My faith was severely shaken after my experience in Maynooth," the ex-seminarian said, "and I suffered from severe depression for a long time."
He reported the incidents to the college, which initiated an investigation — but the older priest was eventually cleared of all wrongdoing. Now the former seminarian is going to the Irish National Police.
"When I was in Maynooth there was an atmosphere of neurotic fear among seminarians who loved the Church and wanted to be holy priests," he recounted. "Seminarians felt they had no support from their bishops in relation to voicing their concerns about problems with priests or formation programs in the seminary. This type of atmosphere protects and enables abusers."
Catholic Voice Ireland, which has been following the scandal, previously reported that a whistleblower seminarian who went public with information about the gay network at Maynooth was suspended from the seminary. And orthodox seminarians are also singled out for punishment.
"Last year, seminarians who had issues with members of the theology faculty who reportedly denied the Real Presence or who had issues with seminarians kneeling at the consecration of the Mass were the ones who were sanctioned," Catholic Voice reported.
This follows on the heels of Dublin archbishop Diarmuid Martin's decision to pull his men out of Maynooth and send them to the Irish College in Rome.
"There seems to be an atmosphere of strange goings-on there," the head of Ireland's largest Catholic diocese told the Irish Times. "It seems like a quarrelsome place with anonymous letters being sent around. I don't think this is a good place for students."
Archbishop Martin is a trustee of Maynooth, and claims he made the decision to remove his seminarians months ago.