David Quinn congratulates Fr Kevin Reynolds and the ACP
Thu, 17/11/2011 – 22:28
The anti-Rome tendencies of some in the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) is not to my taste and I believe that Association would be more acceptable to more priests without it, but it deserves tremendous credit for standing by Fr Kevin Reynolds when almost everyone else had abandoned him after RTE’s Prime Time had falsely accused him of sexually abusing a teenager and fathering her child.
The ACP found top-notch legal advice for Fr Reynolds who fought Prime Time every inch of the way and successfully vindicated his name, helped of course by a DNA test that established Fr Reynolds is not the father of the child in question.
Fr Sean McDonagh ably defended Fr Reynolds before the media outside the Four Courts today and blasted a partly media-created culture that has removed the presumption of innocence for priests.
He quoted The Iona Institute poll, conducted by Amarach Research, which found that 42pc of the public believe a minimum of one in five priests hae abused a child. There would be uproar, he said, if the public had a similarly distorted view of any other profession.
Of course, this loss of the presumption of innocence for priests is what paved the way for that disastrous Prime Time programme.
It seems clear that in the case of priests, RTE has replaced the presumption of innocence with a presumption of guilt. It needs to take a long, hard look at itself and ask how this attitude has become so entrenched within the station and what are the other ways in which it manifests itself in its often extremely hostile coverage of the Church.
But congratulations once again to the ACP, and of course to Fr Reynolds himself.
David Quinn’s blog