Over the last several weeks, CWI has been monitoring a situation involving a priest in the south of Ireland who was removed from ministry due to a lapse in his promise of celibacy.
We think this is very important to note from the beginning, this man is not in ministry and has not been for some time.
Here at CWI, we still find ourselves in a position whereas, of yet, we cannot name the parties involved. This is because, as our investigation into this matter has continued, we have become ever more amazed at what is going on.
Let's break down the facts and more importantly, the allegations against this man and see what we have so far.
1. This allegation revolves around an allegedly romantic relationship that this man is alleged to have had with a married woman. This married woman claims that the priest not only used her emotionally, but promised her a romantic future and then at a certain point in the relationship, without reason, he ghosted her.
2. This same said married woman goes on to the point where she accuses said priest of having obtained a sum of money, lodged in his bank account, allegedly through fraudulent means, more specifically, through frauding an unnamed benefactor. It is interesting that the woman making this particular allegation, the same woman as the first, bases this allegation on a conversation she had with a mutual friend of the priest.
3. This accusation involves the alleged physical and emotional abuse of another unnamed woman, while a fourth allegation alleges romantic involvement with another woman.
4. Another false accusation alleges that this man is a somewhat mafia Don style figure, who orders people to do damage to property and to bully and harass people into submission.
These are just some, yes, some of the allegations brought publicly against this man. They are shocking to say the very least, and if true, suggest a complete unsuitability for not only ministry but also decent society.
At this point, CWI would, normally, publish the name of the accused, as a matter of concern and safety.
However, our difficulty is, that while we have seen a lot of allegations, we have, to date, seen absolutely zero by way of evidence to back up these claims.
There is a glaring, and alarming lack of evidence to support a single claim made.
What we have seen, speaks to us of a very close friendship, where both parties often wore their heart on their sleeve in relation to certain topics, but nothing that could be described as romantic in nature.
However, as we dug deeper, to try and find evidence, we were alarmed to discover that allegedly, for whatever reason, there was potential interference in our investigation.
This of course, can never be tolerated and will be dealt with.
CWI therefore, will refrain, for a short while from publishing anything further, but we are not going away.
We are simply going to allow a space, whereby two things can happen.
Firstly, evidence can be brought forward to support the claims being made. Evidence sadly is not an inconvenience but a necessity in these matters.
Secondly, the breathing space will allow whatever other investigations are being carried out to be conducted in a spirit of fairness and right judgement.
Our opinion is that this is a mess for everyone involved and the continuation of the vicious cycle of hatred is helping nobody.
We will be praying for peace - on all sides.