By editor - 29 November, 2015
The Diocese of Cloyne has confirmed that a priest who was defrocked by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last January has lost his appeal over his dismissal from the priesthood.
In a statement on Friday, Bishop William Crean of Cloyne said Daniel Duane had been dismissed from the clerical state following a canonical trial for the crime of abusing minors and that his appeal of this penalty was rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“Today, I can confirm that the judgement of the canonical trial to dismiss Daniel Duane from the clerical state has been upheld,” the Bishop said in his statement. Therefore, he is no longer a priest and can not exercise any form of priestly ministry, Dr Crean continued.
The disgraced priest had made a second appeal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith despite its decision last January to recommend that he be defrocked following a canonical trial. But that submission was rejected.
“No further appeal can be made to them in this regard,” the Bishop Crean explained.
The Bishop of Cloyne said he was “most grateful to the survivors of abuse who had the courage to come forward to tell their stories. This has been a long and painful process for all involved.”
He also sought to reassure the people of Cloyne that comprehensive child safeguarding measures are in place and he thanked the safeguarding representative in parishes in the diocese who are working to ensure that children’s welfare is protected in all Church activities.
In its 2013 judgement, the canonical court “reached the decision with moral certainty” that the priest had sexually abused minors and teenagers and that he “should be dismissed from the clerical state”.
It is understood Mr Duane was the subject of up to 11 complaints of abuse. However, he had faced two criminal charges for sex abuse and was acquitted in both cases.
In May 2011, he was found not guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage girl by direction of the trial judge, who expressed concerns about the alleged victim’s delay in making a complaint to Gardaí.
Six months later, a jury found Mr Duane not guilty of indecently assaulting a second teenager, following a three-day trial.
Last September, Cloyne’s designated child protection officer resigned when he discovered that Duane was continuing to say Mass privately at his home despite the fact that he had been dismissed from the clerical state in January.
Bill Meagher was told by the former priest said he was acting on the advice of a canon lawyer who told him to continue to say Mass while his appeal against his dismissal from the priesthood was considered by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“I believed that no further action by me was possible until I received notification from the CDF,” the Bishop Crean explained that the time.
But Bill Meagher did not agree and resigned.