Father Aidan Troy says he is devastated by the fact that clerical sex abuse may have led to people committing suicide. Speaking at a suicide prevention conference in Dublin he said he finds it “difficult” to put on his white collar every morning.
The Belfast priest, who has served for 40 years, said, “Who knows how many good people lost their light in their life because of the clergy."
Fr Troy acknowledged the positive role the Catholic Church had played in Ireland’s history but focused on the problem of clerical sexual abuse and the effect that it has had on the public’s psyche.
Speaking about the Irish Catholic Church he said “Underneath that undeniable goodness, there is decay, sin, criminality and an inability to deal with ordinary decent human living…Over 40 years as a priest, it was a privilege to wear my collar. Now I find it difficult to go out with my collar on every morning."
He was also critical of the way in which the Catholic Church has dealt with the clerical abuse scandal.
He told the conference that his own inspiration doe s not come from the internal world of the Catholic church and its politics. “I don't care whether it's the government or the Vatican who are right in their diplomacy. My inspiration comes from the value of human life, the prospect of human life."
Fr Troy is best known due to the daily demonstrations by loyalist at the Holy Cross Girl’s Primary School in Ardoyne, Belfast ten years ago. He shielded the Catholic school girls at the center of the protests.