Saturday 25 November 2017

Priest jailed for abusing girl (7)

Catholic priest jailed for abuse. Pic PA
Catholic priest jailed for abuse. Pic PA
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A PRIEST sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl during her First Confession and then gave her absolution when he was finished.

Fr John Calnan (76) was jailed for two years for abusing the shocked girl in "a small sweaty kitchenette" of a west Cork school in the 1980s.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard Calnan, who stopped working as a priest in 1992 after other abuse allegations, pushed his hand under the girl's dress and inside her underwear.

Calnan of The Presbytery, Paul Street, Cork has multiple previous convictions for indecent assault against both young girls and boys.

He was also convicted of attempted rape of a young girl before the Central Criminal Court in 2012.

The woman said the abuse she endured in Confession was "devastating."

"How could he abuse a little girl," she asked.

"The Church was the dominant force and was not to be challenged. There were thinly veiled warnings about speaking out.

"But I have kept my faith in God and I think constantly of the way my prayers have been answered and John Calnan has been brought to justice."

Irish Independent

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