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Saturday 16 December 2017

'Fr Ted' priests replaced by child abuser image

John Cooney

THE image of the typical priest has changed from "the incompetent idiot" portrayed in the 'Father Ted' series to that of a lurking paedophile, a senior Catholic bishop has admitted.

Belfast Bishop Donal McKeown, chairman of the Hierarchy's vocations commission, was welcoming plans for the relics of an 18th century French priest to be brought to Ireland next week.

Next Sunday the relics of St John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, will be on public display in St Francis Church, Cork, as part of 'the Year for Priests' being promoted by the Irish bishops.

"The image of the saintly parish priest was first of all replaced by the idea that they were all more likely to be incompetent idiots like Frs Dougal, Ted and Jack," said Bishop McKeown.

In contrast, the predominant cultural image today is that "because of celibacy, clergy and religious are all seen as potential child abusers", he added.

Irish Independent

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