By Kate Samuelson
August 3, 2016

A leading Irish Archbishop has said he will stop sending his trainee priests to study in the country’s main Catholic college due to allegations of a “gay culture.”

Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, will be sending his seminarians, or students, to the Irish College in Rome, Italy, instead of to St Patrick’s College in Maynooth because of a “quarrelsome attitude.”

Speaking on RTÉ, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster, Dr Martin said that he was “unhappy” about sending his students to Maynooth and made the decision to send them to Italy instead “some months ago” due to a “whole series of anonymous allegations” in the form of letters and blog posts.

Referring to the allegations, he said: “One [allegation] is that there is a homosexual, or gay culture, and that students have been using an app called Grindr, which is a gay dating app.

“This would be inappropriate for seminarians not only because they are training to be celibate priests, but because an app like that would be fostering promiscuous sexuality which is certainly not in any way the mature vision of sexuality one would expect priests to understand.”

Dr Martin went on to say that Maynooth is that it is a “very comfortable” college, where students “have their breakfast and their tea served up to them.”

He added: “I’d probably want a more challenging [college] where there is a more strong integration and dialogue between those who are responsible for information and students.”

A spokesperson from Maynooth has since told the Irish Times that it “has no concrete or credible evidence of the existence of any alleged ‘active gay subculture’.”

[RTÉ]

Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com.

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