A Catholic Church investigation in Melbourne found that Irish-born priest Fr Padraic Maye committed sexual abuse, which resulted in him being forced to retire in 2005.
The Church found that allegations against Fr Maye of a serious sexual assault in the 1970s and of groping two sisters in their home in the 1980s were substantiated by commissioners appointed by the Archbishop of Melbourne.
Fr Maye, who denies the allegations, made repeated requests for his priestly faculties to be restored, but his requests were refused by Archbishop Denis Hart.
ABC television revealed that Fr Maye, who moved to Australia in 1957, continues to perform priestly duties against the wishes of the Church, including most recently as part of the St Patrick’s Day Mass at Clifton Hill in Melbourne.
A statement from the Church said that by continuing to say Mass Fr Maye has “brought great shame on himself and the church and caused significant harm to his victims, to each of whom the Archbishop has offered his sincerest apology”.
Archbishop Hart has written on at least three occasions to Fr Maye telling him to stop conducting Masses, most recently on April 15.
The allegations against Fr Maye have been greeted with shock in his hometown of The Neale, Co Mayo. The Mayo News reported that Fr Maye’s family had not previously been aware of the allegations.
“That raping allegation was a terrible allegation which I deny vehemently. The two young ladies – well that is another thing that was magnified out of all proportion.
“The bottom line is this: they reported it to the police and the police called me in and they said that if I didn’t hear from them within a couple of weeks, that I had no case to answer.
Saturday, June 19, 2010