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Scottish priest's abuse book delayed by Vatican


The Vatican has written to Archbishop Keith O'Brien of Edinburgh and St Andrews expressing its concern over the publication of a 37 year old priest's account sexual abuse he suffered during his seminary studies.

Fr Steve Gilhooley was told by the Archbishop that he had received a letter from Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy urging him to prevent further publicity of the case.

Publication of the book - titled The Pyjama Game - was delayed by the trial of one of the abusers. Fr Francis Bligh, 66, was jailed in June and placed on the sex offenders' register for life after admitting to 10 counts of indecent assault on boys aged 11 to 15 at St Mary's college in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, in the mid-1970s.

O'Brien, who - according to The Sunday Times - supports Gilhooley and did not agree with the Congregation's uncompromising stance, and told Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos that Fr Gilhooley the priest was a victim.

Gilhooley expressed his disappointment that the church had not taken a more compassionate or apologetic attitude: "Never did the letter ask about my mind-set or how I felt - and it treated the whole affair as if it was my fault."

The Catholic church in Scotland declined to comment on the Vatican letter and Gilhooley's revelations.


Sunday Times (London)


24-Jul-01