By Sarah Mac Donald - 29 July, 2014
“I'm not saying it caused it but it certainly didn't do me any good."
In April 2012, The Tablet revealed that he had been formally censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The doctrinal watchdog wrote to his Passionist Superior General informing him of the terms which the Sunday World columnist must comply.
“It caused me serious ill health and within a year and a half or so I had cancer,” told the Sunday World.
He added, “I’m not saying it caused it but it certainly didn’t do me any good.”
The 69-year-old Passionist priest said he was battling prostate cancer “which any man can get at any stage.”
“In the end I said to myself, am I going to let a crowd in Rome destroy my health?”
Fr D’Arcy insisted that he is overcoming the disease and hasn’t let his illness affect his work.
“I haven’t let it affect me, I’m still working 18 hours a day. Not many people have been aware of the fact I’ve cancer, I never hid the fact, but very few people have referred to it.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he disputed claims by Pope Francis that one in 50 priests are paedophiles, indicating that he believes the true figure to be actually closer to one in 12.
Fr D’Arcy entered the priesthood when he was 17 and was abused as a seminarian, which he revealed in his autobiography, ‘A Different Journey’.
He was ordained in 1969 and is Rector of St Gabriel’s Retreat in the Graan, near Enniskillen.
He is also a well-known broadcaster, and has written a weekly column for the Sunday World for nearly 40 years.