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Irish TV Network Defames Innocent Priest, Issues Apology
The Media Report ^ | November 2011 | Dave Pierre

Posted on 11/15/2011 4:06:41 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o

Fr.Reynolds being welcomed back to his parish

Last May, RTÉ, the national television network of Ireland, aired a high-profile, prime-time special entitled, "A Mission to Prey." It was a show designed to lambaste the Catholic Church for sex abuse scandals.

The show made the startling claim that a previously unblemished Irish priest, Fr. Kevin Reynolds, had raped and impregnated a young girl years earlier in Kenya. It even claimed that the priest had secretly supported the mother and his child financially.

Even before the program aired, Fr. Kevin vehemently denied the claims. Not only did he assert that he had never even known anyone by the accuser's name, but he also agreed to a paternity test.

But RTÉ was anxious to air the show and attack the Church, so it broadcast the program anyway.

As a result of the allegations, Fr. Reynolds was forced to leave his parish ministry and home.

Now it turns out that a paternity test has proved that there was no way that Fr. Reynolds could be the father of the woman's daughter.

If you have six minutes, check out this unbelievable hatchet job on a totally innocent man. (The video says it's 7 minutes long, but the last minute is just credits.)

YouTube Video Link

RTÉ has since issued an apology.

"RTÉ acknowledges that the material in the programme concerning Fr. Reynolds ought never to have been broadcast.

"RTÉ now fully and unreservedly accepts that the allegations made by Prime Time against Fr. Kevin Reynolds are baseless, without any foundation whatever and untrue and that Fr. Reynolds is a priest of the utmost integrity who has had an unblemished 40 year career in the priesthood and who has made a valuable contribution to society in Kenya and Ireland both in education and in ministry.

"RTÉ acknowledges the defamation has had a devastating effect on Fr. Kevin Reynolds, his family, his peers, his parishioners in Ahascragh, those in the diocese of Kakamega in Kenya who were aware of the allegations and all those who know him or of him."

There have been reports that libel proceedings against the network will begin this month.

This episode provides some valuable lessons: The accuser and her daughter are very detailed and convincing when chronicling their charges in the interview. This should serve as a future caution to all when weighing the credibility of certain claims.

In addition, Fr. Reynolds has handled his exoneration with honor and grace. Despite this incredible ordeal, he says that he harbors no "anger or resentment" or "bitterness."

Fr. Reynolds "carried his cross with great dignity," said his bishop.

The return of the innocent priest prompted three standing ovations from the congregation that celebrated his homecoming.

-- Dave Pierre is the author of the book, Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church. Dave is also the creator of and is a contributing writer to, the popular media-bias blog of the Media Research Center.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: abuse; ireland; libel; slander
It makes my skin crawl to think of how ---without bothering to investigate the evidence proving him to be totally innocent ---they trashed and slimed a good man on a prime-time TV special, broadcast not only natonally but internationally.

Looks like the national television network of Ireland has appointed itself judge, jury and executioner.

Not to worry, though. It was only a Catholic priest

1 posted on 11/15/2011 4:06:49 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o

They did the same thing to Cardinal Bernardin years ago. The accuser later recanted - but the damage had been done.

2 posted on 11/15/2011 4:48:41 PM PST by karnage
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To: karnage

A civil trial ended last month in Orange County, California in which two brothers, who were allowed to remain anonymous John Does, accused a retired Franciscan pastor of sexual abuse. The pastor was innocent and demanded a trial. The jury found in favor of the pastor.

Why plaintiffs in a case like this were allowed to keep their identity a secret is an injustice in itself. Then, the Franciscan Order and the Diocese of Orange showed their cowardice in not backing the priest. Both agreed to bracket their losses before the case went to trial. So, the plaintiffs were guaranteed around $400,000 if they lost the case and around $1.5 million if they won. Shame on the order and shame on the diocese. Hooray for the pastor for standing up in defense of his innocence.

3 posted on 11/15/2011 5:03:04 PM PST by CdMGuy
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To: CdMGuy; karnage
I know two other innocent priests this happened to: Fr. Mark Gruber and Fr. William Virtue. And that's just ones I know. Is anybody tracking this?

There must be justice inm God's eternity, because there sure isn't justice here.

4 posted on 11/15/2011 5:59:34 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Collateral damage. It happens in war.

Ooops........that bomb was meant for the missile silo not the children's hospital........oh well.......sorreeee.........moving right along now.....

5 posted on 11/15/2011 6:06:42 PM PST by marshmallow (.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; stonehouse01; Goreknowshowtocheat; Absolutely Nobama; Elendur; it_ürür; Bockscar; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

6 posted on 11/15/2011 6:09:12 PM PST by narses (what you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and what you loose upon earth, shall be ..)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Not to worry, though. It was only a Catholic priest

<biting sarcasm follows>I see nothing wrong here

<biting sarcasm follows>I mean, isn't that the way the system is supposed to work?

<biting sarcasm follows>The press exercises its free speech by broadcasting all its accusations using press resources throughout the world...

<biting sarcasm follows>And the object of the accusations can refute the charges using all of the object's worldwide broadcast resources...

<biting sarcasm follows>The object of the press report has no obligation to broadcast the press's report using its resources...

<biting sarcasm follows>So why should the press have any kind of obligation to broadcast any exculpatory information using its resources?

</sarcasm off></sarcasm off></sarcasm off></sarcasm off></sarcasm off></sarcasm off>

7 posted on 11/16/2011 1:59:29 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

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