Priest will urge Pope to reverse dismissal decision
An elderly cleric is to use an ancient rule of Church law to lodge a personal submission to Pope Francis I in a last-ditch bid to stop his dismissal as a priest.
The revelation came after the Bishop of Cloyne Dr William Crean insisted that Daniel Duane (77) had exhausted all avenues of appeal against being dismissed from the clergy for abusing minors after his final appeal was rejected by the Church's powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Church insisted there were no further avenues of appeal open to Mr Duane.
However, the Irish Independent has learned that the elderly cleric is to use an ancient article of Canon Law to lodge a final 'application for recourse' to Pope Francis.
In a statement to the Irish Independent, a relative and spokesman for Mr Duane rejected the allegations against him as totally unfounded.
"He will continue to fight to see that justice is done and that his good name is defended," he said.
The priest, who vehemently protests his innocence, has never been convicted of an offence.
Mr Duane appeared twice before Cork Circuit Criminal Court on indecent assault charges and was found not guilty on both occasions in 2011.
However, a Canonical trial two years ago recommended he be dismissed, finding that, to a standard of "moral certainty", it was satisfied of the veracity of the complaints lodged against him by a number of women.