A story that gained major headlines last week about two Irish trainee priests caught in bed together at the Irish seminary in Rome was fake news.
An investigation by the Irish Catholic Newspaper discovered that the men were disciplined for alcohol violations but at no stage were found in bed together. The newspaper reports that one of the seminarians is already suing news outlets to clear his name.
Sources close to one of the Rome-based Irish seminarians, who has been at the center of widespread lurid allegations in the national media, have said that lawyers have been instructed to take immediate legal action to clear his good name.
Speaking exclusively to The Irish Catholic, one source said that while the two seminarians had been disciplined over concerns around excessive alcohol consumption, "at no time were allegations of sexual impropriety put to the men by the college authorities."
The trainee priests also deny they were sent back home and say that they returned to Ireland under their own accord.
The media had reported the incident occurred after students attended a Mass commemorating Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae on artificial birth control.
The Irish Catholic, in fact, established that there was no such mass held in the Vatican. A senior source in Archbishop’s House in Dublin described these media reports as “fabrications”.
Both the men have asked the Rector of the Irish College Msgr O’Carroll to issue a statement to set the record straight about what they describe as “lies” in the media".