Irish Catholic Church looks into claims that priest showed gay porn to parents

 Cardinal Sean Brady issued a statement Monday admitting that "inappropriate imagery was inadvertently shown by a priest."

Story highlights

  • Images were on screen at Northern Ireland grade school during presentation to parents
  • Irish Catholics' leader says priest had "inappropriate imagery" in PowerPoint presentation
  • Church statement: Priest "has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery"
  • Archdiocese is investigating, police say no charges planned; parents say they want action

The Catholic Church in Ireland has launched an investigation into claims that a priest accidentally showed gay pornography pictures during a presentation to parents.

The incident happened at a grade school in Pomeroy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Parents said images were projected onto a screen during the meeting, held as part of preparations for First Holy Communion by schoolchildren.

The leader of Ireland's Catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady, issued a statement Monday admitting that "inappropriate imagery was inadvertently shown by a priest at the beginning of a PowerPoint presentation."

The statement went on the say the material "was immediately removed from the screen" and "the priest has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery."

The church reported the incident to police, but it appears a prosecution is not being considered.

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Brady's statement said: "The archdiocese immediately sought the advice of the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) who indicated that, on the basis of the evidence available, no crime had been committed."

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According to Brady: "The priest is cooperating with an investigation of the matter on the part of the archdiocese."

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Police spoke with CNN on Monday, saying: "The incident has been reported to us, we have advised that no criminal offences have been disclosed at this time -- and anything else is a matter for the CCMS (Council for Catholic Maintained Schools) or the diocese."

However, parents say they were "horrified" by what they saw and want action to be taken.

Parishioners planned a protest outside the local church Sunday, but the demonstration was called off when it emerged that the priest involved in the communion presentation, the Rev. Martin McVeigh, would not be present at Mass.

In a statement, parents have questioned why the priest has not been suspended by the archdiocese pending its investigation.

The latest controversy comes after a series of child sex abuse scandals involving Catholic Church clergy in Ireland.

In March, the Vatican released a major report into the problem, begging forgiveness from victims.

However, victims hit out at the report's finding that new safeguards are working.

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