RTE 2 Irish priest Michael McNamara has come to the defence of his faith after being charged with fraud over claims of having a homosexual affair with a priest.
A statement from the Archdiocese of Dublin on Friday said the allegations of fraud were made by Mr McNamara, who was arrested in February this year.
The statement said: “On 12 March 2017, the Commissioner of the Office of the Special Advocate, John O’Brien, referred to an investigation into alleged fraudulent behaviour by Mr Michael McNara.
The Commissioner stated that an allegation of fraud had been made by him and that an investigation had been commenced.”
The matter was referred to the Commissioner’s office for investigation, which commenced in the matter of August 2017.
“On 18 September 2017, a charge of fraudulent conduct was laid and an investigation commenced by the Office in relation to Mr Michael McNamara.
“There are no further details of the proceedings to be provided at this stage.””
In a statement released on Friday, Mr McNara said he was “completely shocked” to learn about the allegations and called on the authorities to “do the right thing”.”
There are no further details of the proceedings to be provided at this stage.”
In a statement released on Friday, Mr McNara said he was “completely shocked” to learn about the allegations and called on the authorities to “do the right thing”.
He said: “I am a priest in the Catholic Church.
I am deeply disturbed by the allegations. “
As a priest, I am a Christian.
I am deeply disturbed by the allegations.
I have always been deeply committed to my marriage and I am saddened to learn of this.”
I have been the subject of numerous complaints about my behaviour and I have not acted on them.
If it is true, it is deeply concerning and I take my relationship with my partner very seriously.
As a father of a child, I have a great responsibility to keep him safe.
“He said he is “confident” that the charges would be dropped and that he is still “in contact” with the family of his former partner.
Mr McNamara’s former partner, who is now deceased, was one of the three priests to come forward to the authorities.
He has since died.
The priest’s statement read: I am deeply saddened to have been accused of such a vile act of fraud, which is totally against my beliefs and morals.
I will not be intimidated or intimidated and I will fight this case to the bitter end.
The Catholic Church will not stand for such abuse.
In his statement, Mr McNara said the “fraud allegations are not about me, but about the Church and its leaders”.
He continued: In the past, I, like all priests, have been called to testify against our brothers and sisters in the Church, for the Church to be more pure and honest, more kind and kinder to all people.
He said that “the Church must not be held responsible for the actions of its priests”.
The priest has since spoken to the Ombudsman about his case, but the Irish Catholic Church has refused to comment.
Mr McNara was a priest at the Catholic Archdiocesan School in Dublin for over 30 years and was appointed priest in March 2017.
He was also a regular speaker at parishes throughout the State, often to support parishioners struggling with mental health issues.
The case was the latest in a long line of sexual misconduct allegations against Irish priests.
Last year, the Irish Independent revealed that a Catholic priest, Father Joseph Pugh, had allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl and was then jailed for seven years.
The church was criticised by Irish politicians after it announced a plan to stop paying priests who have been found guilty of sexual abuse.