Former priest sets out to defend his 42 years in active ministry and the "false and unsubstantiated claims" of sexual abuse made by five accusers against him.
A self-published book by a defrocked priest from the diocese of Cloyne, in which he claims the Catholic Church violated his human rights when it found him guilty of sexually abusing children, was temporarily withdrawn from sale last weekend.
AuthorHouse, an American so-called vanity publisher, said In the Shelter of the Most High by Daniel Duane, 80, had been put “on hold temporarily” to facilitate amendments he wanted to make.
Bishop William Crean of Cloyne consulted the diocese’s lawyers about the book and alerted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican to its publication.
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Cloyne said, “The diocese is concerned about this book because of the power of the impact on victims.”
In the book, Duane, a former assistant curate in Mallow, sets out his own defense in his 42 years in active ministry. He claims his five accusers at the church tribunal, whom he identifies by the pseudonyms given to them in the Cloyne report, made “false and unsubstantiated claims.” He alleges an archbishop, a bishop, priests, and the Cloyne tribunal were all “bullied”.
Prior to the book being withdrawn from sale, the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) called on Amazon to remove it from sale immediately.
Teresa Devlin, CEO of the NBSCCCI, told the Irish Examiner they were “very concerned about the self-publication of this book as it has already caused enormous distress to the women involved.”
She said the NBSCCCI had been in direct contact with some of the women and had offered any support it could provide to them.
Prior to the church tribunal decision, Duane was acquitted in a criminal court on two occasions; the first occasion in May 2011 on the direction of the trial judge, and in November 2011, when he was acquitted by a jury.
However, the canonical court hearing found him guilty of complaints by five women. A judging panel of three priests said they were satisfied to a standard of “moral certainty.”
Duane lost two appeals against the decision by the canonical court to dismiss him from the priesthood, as well as losing a personal appeal to Pope Francis, made after the Pope declared 2016 to be A Holy Year of Mercy.
The Pope confirmed to the Bishop of Cloyne that he agreed with the earlier decision to reject Duane’s appeal against dismissal.