Pope dismisses two convicted Irish priests
Two Irish priests who were convicted of sexual abuse have been dismissed by the Pope John Paul it emerged today.
It is believed that Pope John Paul signed the decree last month and the diocese was informed within the last few days.
A spokesman for the Bishop of the Ferns Diocese, Dr Eamonn Walsh, confirmed two priests previously convicted of child sexual abuse had been dismissed, but the spokesman would not confirm the identities of the men.
It is believed Dr Walsh made an application to the Vatican to have the two men removed.
Two priests from the Ferns diocese have been convicted of sexual abuse.
In 1998 Donal Collins was convicted of sexual abuse against boys and was given a four-year sentence, with three years suspended. In 1990 James Doyle was convicted of indecent assault on a teenage boy and received a one-year suspended sentence.
According to the diocese it has supervisory structures in place "for priests against whom allegations have been received" and will keep contact with both men.
The dismissal of a priest from the clerical state by the Pope is a known as a supreme decision and cannot be appealed. It is believed to be the first time the Vatican have used the move against an Irish priest.
The decree means that the priests lose all rights, ecclesiastical titles and offices associated with the clerical state.