The Catholic archbishop of Dublin has removed three trainee priests from a priesthood college in Ireland after allegations of widespread use of gay hookup app Grindr.
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin told Irish state broadcaster RTE of a series of allegations made anonymously online and in letters about a “gay culture” at St Patrick’s College located in the village of Maynooth.
The college, called a seminary, is the largest of its kind in the country and 55 trainee priests were studying there.
Dr Martin told the broadcaster he was “somewhat unhappy about an atmosphere that was growing” at St Patrick’s.
“[One allegation is that] there’s a gay culture and people are sexually active in the seminary,” he said.
“People have been active on an app called Grindr. That’s totally inappropriate for seminarians and not just because they are going to be celibate priests, but Grindr is open towards promiscuous sexuality,” he said.
“If this is going on a large scale in the seminary and it hasn’t been noticed, then there’s something wrong.”
Martin called the culture of anonymous allegations “poisonous” and has reportedly chosen to send the trainee priests to study in Rome instead.
The seminary’s president, Hugh Connolly, told RTE News no investigation had taken place because there hadn’t been an official complaint.
“We will always act only when we have clarity and when we have grounds to act,” he said.
“Broadly speaking, I think the atmosphere is a very good one.”
He added: “A seminarian needs to know he is preparing for a lifetime of celibacy, that’s non-negotiable.”
The college said in a statement to The Irish Times that it “has no concrete or credible evidence of the existence of any alleged ‘active gay subculture.'”