Saturday 27 May 2017

'Bishop' hits out as blog on 'gay sex scandal' deleted

Bishop Pat Buckley
Bishop Pat Buckley

Suzanne Breen

'Bishop' Pat Buckley has accused the Catholic Church of attempting to censor him after a blog, in which he revealed an alleged gay sex scandal, was temporarily deleted by Google.

Google later reinstated the blog, which had revealed details of the alleged gay sex scandal in Maynooth training college.

The site disappeared for 48 hours but was yesterday back up again, following media reports highlighting its removal in our sister newspaper, the 'Belfast Telegraph'.

In recent weeks, the controversial Larne-based man made claims about students having profiles on the gay dating app, Grindr, and using the site to solicit sex with priests and laymen.

In an email to Buckley at the weekend, the Google-owned platform, Blogger, stated: "Your blog at wisecatholic.blogspot.com has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our terms of service for: HATE. In accordance to these terms, we've removed the blog."

Shocked

However, Buckley's blog was reinstated yesterday. Buckley said he was shocked when Google had accused him of spreading hate.

Read more: Church leaders admit 'unhealthy atmosphere' at college amid gay dating app Grindr row

"As a gay man who lives with his husband, and as a cleric who has performed blessings for same-sex couples for 30 years, it was crazy to suggest that I hated gay people," he said.

"I find it all rather mysterious that my blog is taken down without explanation and then is put back up without explanation," he said. "I suspect that the blog got too hot...

"But representations were made on my behalf to Google in America and that, along with the issue being raised by the 'Belfast Telegraph', seems to have done the trick."

He dismissed suggestions that his blog's removal could have been down to "an administrative error" by Google. But, he added: "I am very happy to be back online.

"My blog had a quarter of a million page views last month alone.

"I started out with a few hundred readers and it has taken me years to build it up."

Buckley pledged to "continue telling the truth about Maynooth and shining a light into the darkest corners of the church".

Irish Independent

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