Irish Missionary faces damning allegations of child abuse in Chile
Columban priest under investigation by Church authorities
In the interview, he said he had resigned as the Columbans’ director in Chile once a formal accusation was made against him.
“I am preoccupied with the people who could have been hurt by my actions and I am responsible for my actions. I have nothing to say against them,” he said.
“If there are people who feel offended, I am deeply sorry for this. My intention was never to harm the lives of people. I feel very ashamed by this.”
The priest who has replaced Fr Healy as head of the Columbans in Chile revealed to the Irish Times that an internal investigation has been completed. The results have been presented to the society’s superior general in Hong Kong and passed on to the Vatican.
“Rome will express its will,” said Fr Álvaro Martínez who also confirmed that Fr Healy is not allowed any contact with minors or allowed to perform any public duties and must remain in seclusion in the society’s house in Santiago. The Kerry priest could also face a civil investigation.
Fr Donal Hogan, regional director of the Columban Fathers in Ireland, told the paper that the society was ‘deeply disheartened by news of alleged sexual abuse by one of our members in Chile’.
Fr Hogan said: “I’ve known Derry for years and years. With the permission of our superior general, I accessed his files going back to student years. There was not a hint of any complaint.
“My own reaction is one of total shock. The Columbans in Chile, under Fr Martínez, are fulfilling all the requirements of the civil law and of the Chilean bishops, in addressing the allegations.”
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