An archaic Irish law may allow priests to stay silent on allegations of sex abuse that are disclosed to them outside of confessionsGoogle Images

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 75, a former Irish priest accused of molesting four boys in Humboldt County, California in the early 1980's has been extradited to Ireland, where he will face criminal charges for sexual misconduct, authorities told the local press this week.

McCabe was turned over to Irish police officers on Sunday at San Francisco International Airport, according to the Press Democrat.

McCabe was arrested in August and had been jailed in Alameda County pending his extradition to Ireland.


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Meanwhile Greg Horne, 38, and three unidentified Californian men filed civil lawsuits last year alleging fraud and negligence on the part of the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese.

The lawsuits claim the diocese was at fault for assigning McCabe to Saint Bernard Parish in Eureka from 1983 to 1985,  months after he had been designated as a pedophile and placed on a drug to curb his sexual impulses at a church treatment facility in New Mexico. Once posted to the new parish he allegedly molested the four men.

However lawyers for the Santa Rosa diocese insist there is no evidence of misconduct in McCabe's file and no evidence that his former Bishop Mark Hurley - who is deceased - was aware of the priest's abusive history.

McCabe, who was removed from the clergy in 1988, also faces prosecution in Ireland for alleged sexual assaults on six boys in Dublin between 1973 and 1981.