herald

Tuesday 26 March 2019

'Priest abused me at Pro-Cathedral during Papal visit'

Pope John Paul II. Photo: AP
Pope John Paul II. Photo: AP

THE victim of a priest's abuse says he cannot bring himself to forgive the Church and refuses to have his children baptised.

Former priest Patrick McCabe (77) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of indecently assaulting the 13-year-old boy on two locations in Dublin between January 1 and September 31, 1979.

The court heard that the abuse took place in the parochial house of Dublin's Pro-Cathedral during the Papal visit.

 

Rosary

McCabe, formerly of Alameda, California, USA, has being in custody since being extradited here in 2011.

In an impact statement the victim, now aged 47, said that the priest had befriended and manipulated his family.

He said his mother carried constant guilt for letting McCabe into their lives.

Detective Garda Gareth Kane told the court that the abuse began after McCabe had offered to show the boy the crypts of the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin city centre.

McCabe brought the victim back to the adjoining parochial house and started kissing him.

The victim tried to push him off but McCabe, who was dressed, was lying on top of the boy with all his weight.

On another occasion the ex-priest abused the boy after they had prayed together at an altar he had in his home.

He gave the boy a present of rosary beads after the abuse.

The victim told his mother about the abuse when she found the rosary beads hidden.

In his victim impact statement, the man said the abuse tortured and tormented him for years.

He said he became troublesome as a result and believes that he never realised his full potential.

He said he felt dirty and used by the abuse and had trouble talking about personal matters. He said he has only recently told his wife.

He is overprotective of his own children and his refusal to have them baptised has caused problems within his family, he said.

He said he could not bring himself to forgive the Church hierarchy because they knew what McCabe was doing.

After being laicised in 1988, McCabe moved to the US where he carried out voluntary work with the elderly and homeless.

In June 2011 he was extradited here and sentenced to 18 months for the indecent assault of other boys.

 

alone

David Keane, defending, said that as a result of his crimes, McCabe's life in the US was at an end and he is effectively alone in the world.

Counsel said that he had being asked to offer a sincere apology on his client's behalf for the pain and hurt he acknowledges he caused.

Judge Margaret Heneghan remanded McCabe in custody for sentencing later this month.

hnews@herald.ie

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