It’s no surprise that the world’s seminaries are chocked full of sexually-frustrated gay men. For centuries, the priesthood has been where parents sent their sensitive sons. But lately technology has been messing that all up.
You may recall the incident that happened at St. Patrick’s College, Ireland’s oldest seminary, last summer involving several male students who were discovered to be maintaining private Grindr accounts and hooking up on the DL. According to the Irish Independent, Deacon Michael Jack Byrne was one of the students involved in the scandal. And now he’s gone missing. Sort of.
Bynre’s Grindr profile said he was “versatile,” “likes deep conversations,” and “enjoys no-strings-attached sex every now and then” with a preference for guys “between 50 and 90” years old. But not just that. This week, the young cleric was accused of inviting a man back to his room at the presbytery and sexually assaulting him.
The alleged incident happened in 2015, when Byrne purportedly met a middle-aged man, whose name has not been released, on on the app. They chatted for a while and exchanged a few racy pics before the priest-in-training invited the man over for a slumber party.
It’s unclear whether the men were planning on having sexual relations, or just staying up late giggling and talking about boys, but at some point in the evening the man says he awoke to find Byrne performing unwanted sex acts on him. Afterwards, the victim contacted Archbishop Diarmuid Martin about Byrne.
“I believe this young man is not suitable for priesthood,” he tells the paper, adding that he worries the young cleric, who recently took a vow of celibacy, “may do this (sexual assault) again in the future.”
In an effort to squash the scandal, sources say the archbishop transferred Byrne to Rome, where he has been hiding out in a monastery ever since. ChurchMilitant reached out to sources close to Byrne who confirmed, “The accusation was made that the assault took place at a parish Byrne was serving at on pastoral work. He was the only student there at the time.”
As of now, the Archbishop is not commenting on the scandal or on Byrne’s exact whereabouts. Bynre’s Grindr profile has also been deactivated.