THE elderly priest referred to as 'Fr Ronat' in the chapter of the Cloyne report released last week could face being defrocked pending the findings of an internal church investigation.
It is understood that canon lawyers will begin the process of interviewing those who lodged complaints of sexual abuse against the priest in the New Year. Fr Ronat will also be given the opportunity by lawyers to present his version of events to the investigation.
Several of those who made allegations have signalled their willingness to participate in the investigation. However, others are reluctant in light of criticism of the manner in which the church handled the original abuse complaints
Fr Ronat, who still lives in Ireland, was suspended from all ministry in November 2005 and has only been allowed to celebrate mass in his own home with no congregation.