Wednesday 21 February 2018

Archbishop excommunicates former priest

Sarah MacDonald

An Irish priest who was expelled from the priesthood in 2004 by Pope John Paul II for abusing children in the US has been excommunicated by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

The Archbishop imposed the church's most serious sanction on Clive Lynn in February when it emerged that the former priest was refusing to abide by the terms of his dismissal, which prevented him present ing himself as a priest.

It is the first excommunication imposed by the Archbishop in his 10 years as leader of the largest diocese in Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin told the Irish Independent that no live sexual abuse complaint against Lynn exists in Dublin. "He never served as a priest in Ireland," the spokeswoman added.

A series of allegations have been made in the US parishes in which he served in the 1970s and 1980s.


Concern was raised in Dublin after it emerged that Lynn, who is also known as Cathal O'Lionn, was "living on and off" in the city.

A representative of the diocese, who contacted him earlier this year, said he was still referring to himself a priest and insisted on being called 'Fr Lynn'.

"The excommunication is like a last canonical resort in the hope that he will agree to the terms of the laicisation and not present himself as a priest in future," the Dublin diocese spokeswoman said.

Both the gardai and the HSE were notified of Lynn's presence in the city by the archdiocese of Dublin

He is also known to spend time in Leeds in the UK and notifications have been sent there and to Santa Fe in the US where allegations were made against him.

Lynn was born in Dublin in 1933 but studied in Scotland, where his seminary rector had doubts about his suitability.

He moved to Austin, Texas, and it was after ordination in the US that accusations against him began to emerge.

Some related to claims that he breached the seal of confession, was guilty of petty theft, and sexually abusing young boys.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News