Associated Press.

SANTIAGO, Chile — The Legion of Christ religious order said Thursday that the Vatican has banned an Irish priest from public ministry for 10 years for sexually abusing a minor in Chile.

The order said in a statement that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also banned the Rev. John O’Reilly from any contact with minors for life and ordered him to live outside Latin America.

O’Reilly can appeal.

“As a congregation, these acts cause us great pain and we again ask forgiveness for the suffering caused,” the order said.

O’Reilly had worked in Chile since the mid-1980s.

He was convicted in a civil court in 2014 of sexually abusing a minor while he was a chaplain at a school operated by the legion in the capital.

The court also banned him from any job near children and included him in a database for registered abusers. Congress revoked the honorary Chilean citizenship it gave O’Reilly in 2008.

O’Reilly has denied any wrongdoing.

Under an order from Chile’s government, O’Reilly left the country in 2018 after finishing the four-year sentence. He has been living at the home of the Legionaries of Christ in Rome since then, said Father Aaron Smith, the order’s International Communications Director.

“He’s not exercising any public ministry, independently of whether he decides to use his right of appeal or not,” Smith told The Associated Press. “He has been in the Legionaries of Christ since 1965 and doesn’t have his own resources. In the community, his superiors and brothers are making sure that he abides by the sentences of the both the civil and ecclesiastical law.”

Associated Press writer Luis Andres Henao in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed to this report.


John O’Reilly abused minors in Chile and his punishment is that he is not allowed to say Mass publicly for 10 years!

He is ensconced in the Legionaries of Christ headquarters in Rome eating pasta and drinking wine.

Why has Francis and the church not dismissed him from the clerical state?

Yes, he is in his 70s. He needs bed and board and the Legionaries of Christ are responsible for him.

They should give him bed and board and medical care. But he should NOT be kept in the priesthood.

And after the 10 year ban, if he lives, will he back celebrating public Mass again?

Will he have access to altar boys?

So much for Francis and zero tolerance.


Pat, do you have anything useful to do? Anthing other than trawl through sites and regurgitate already known information? Anything Christ inspired? No. No. No. What a waster!


A deaf gay man as he always wanted to become a priest. I told him that he not suitable for priesthood some ten to fifteen years ago. How naive was I that time cos i didn’t know that many gay men joined the priesthood. I should have kept my mouth shut and let him join. Guess who was his confessor … Bishop Longley. Never heard his name until he told me who was his confessor. Then i had forgotten all about it until he was made a new bishop. He was open about his sexuality as the religious order he tried to join told him that he wasn’t a suitable candidate for priesthood. Then he decided not to join or dream of becoming a priest and returned to Ireland. He told various stories of priests in sauna in Dublin which i thought at that time, lot of baloney or rubbish. He said it was steamy encounters. That time some ten -fifteen years ago i didn’t think of priests being gay. But now it seems his stories re gay priests were correct. Anyway,not all priests are abusers just because they are gay correct? or is they gay and abusers? Did Jesus expect that? is CC not true church or false church? CC is eroding from the inside and couldn’t trust their word. Is there life after the catholic church?


Very sad about that deaf man.
No being gay is not the same as abuse.
But sometimes gay priests do use and abuse.
The only “true church” is made up of those people who hear the Word of God and do it.
The church is a family, not an institution.


Mmmm ? Yes, it does seem strange in this ‘zero tolerance’ age that this man’s exercise of his priesthood is conditional. Certainly, it seems to me, the ban on the public exercise of his priesthood should be permanent for life, rather than be lifted after 10 years. Whether he should be returned to the lay state is debatable, and I suspect it has to do with the ‘severity’ of his crimes. I know people will scream that ‘abuse is abuse’ but in reality we do need to have some sense of proportion in these matters, as we do in pretty much anything else, surely ? Outside of that, I have to say that I am surprised in this age of ‘zero tolerance’ which has been so publicly proclaimed, that he has not been returned to the lay state.

Another issue, that arises for religious orders and diocese, is what to do with someone for the long term who has this history of abuse ? I tend to the view that it is incumbent on the order or diocese to continue to provide for these people in some form or fashion, both to ensure that they are able to continue living reasonably, but most importantly to provide some level of oversight and control over them. Just throwing them out on to the street means that there would be minimal supervision and that the likelihood of re-offence would be greater. So, it seems fair and just that they are supported from within, and given the necessary support and oversight to ensure that they are not a danger in the future.


Pat’s sense of justice for abusing clerics is to throw them undergone bus! Get rid of them. Would love to know what he’d do if one of the Oratory, God forbid, abused anyone, emotionally, mentally, physically or sexual. Apart from defrock them, would you, Pat, ensure their well being or bring them to a cliff edge and push them over? Your sense of justice for Catholic priests is ruthless…….


If an Oratory priest abused a child I would report them to the PSNI.

If they went to prison I would visit them there – as would members of the congregation.

When they came out I would help them get accommodation and help them not to reoffend.


Pat, thanks for your response. I feel the Church must do the same – let civil justice be seen to be done but some kind of after care must be given by the Church to ensure that the perpetrator does not re-offend. I know of instances where abusers, after their prison term have been abandoned. I understand fully the paramount principle of caring for the victims/survivors first and foremost, but when any convicted criminal is placed back into the community, surely both church and the agents of the state must ensure the non-recurrence of abuse. Religious orders and Dioceses must carry out their moral responsibility to released abusing clerics and ensure they do not reoffend. I believe your approach is right. Just wondering though if the Church followed your way, would this blog be filled with complete rejection and condemnation of this approach? I agree with your approach. It is a difficult challenge.


Sex offenders are children of God and Gods love for them does not diminish.

Of course God is greatly hurt by children being hurt and abused.

Abusers must be processed through the courts. But they also need love, help and support – even to give them the best chance of not offending.

Helping abusers not reoffend is in fact child protection work.

Many dioceses cast out offenders and leave them abandoned and without support.

That in anti Christian.


PS: Over the years several offenders have been ministered to here at The Oratory by myself and the congregation. We treated them with respect but they all knew that if they reoffended we would report them. One of the benefits of a small congregation is that everyone knows everyone else.


What a load of rubbish! There is no forgiveness for some who abuses a child. The death penalty or castration is what they deserve. They need love and forgiveness? Don’t make me puke.


10.48: Go and like all you like. Your sense of justice is monstrously evil, just as abuse us. You don’t sort oyt abusers by hatred and evil acts. However, we must all ensure the safety and protection of children everywhere, not just in Church but in families, other institutions and in society.


Defrock, cut off financial support, report them to authorities. These men face no consequences at the moment.


10 .27: Do you think the same about all sex offenders, clerical and other professions? Or are you selective???


Where did he minister before working in Chile? Where did he train for the priesthood? Any high ranking Vatican connections in the Legion of Christ?


Might there be any particular reason for
his relocation to the Legionaries house in Rome? Why Rome?


Cardinal Kevin Farrell was a Legionary and transferred to Washington diocese at age 36. His brother Bishop Brian Farrell is the Secretary for Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the Vatican and is a Legionary. Another Legionary bishop is Secretary General of the Governorate of Vatican State.


Thauld boy confined to barracks should sort him for now. Banning from saying mass is neither here nor there. Can’t see the point of putting a 10 years on th ban but. No public ministry from now on. What about the victims is a fair comment What about them hi. On a personal level it’s between thauld bucko and God


11:53 Hello fly hi. Begorra fly he’s confined to barracks but will he go A.W.O. L.
Will he be free to go roamin bout town. We don’t need more walkin wounded hi. Our own wounded are still sufferin fly. What would the wounded God say to what’s goin on?.
Bye fly hi.


And is this how you make best use of the time: reading all about it? How about using your brain constructively by contributing something useful: if that is possible?


Hello KK.
Beggora are ye not readin bout it yerself KK. Have yerself anythin useful to contribute dudder than givin me grief.
Me times me own KK.
I’m usin me brain in prayin and sayin what I think bout me churc. Would God have a problem with me KK? 😇👿


Hello again Kieran.
No bother K.
Maybe the Bish is inspired helpin those sufferin carry their cross
and causin others to be cross with him.
Didn ‘ the boyos think Jesus a right waster.
Thanks K. 👍


Again < i try to draw attention to the fact that he of Galway, the former Redemptorist, is saying Mass left, right and centre, especially in Galway Cathedral, after getting rid of the priest who raised valid concerns about his predatory behaviour. The latter has even left the country as a result of the trauma he suffered trying to do the right thing. He is still a priest thankfully but I heard he will never return to Galway. How is the evil former Redemptorist still up on an altar when concerns about him are still under investigation? More of ‘the same’ I guess. His pious mask hides a depraved and immoral soul, and, in cahoots with his housekeeper, they will stop at nothing to shop anyone who stands in his way. He is loved by those in power because he is a squealer. He loves running to the bishop with every little bit of gossip, and, sadly, the bishop listens because he is a manipulator and from a well-connected family.


9.37: Pat, are you talking about offending clerics as having being helped and supported by your Oratory Society or are you talking only about non clerics? Why do I ask? I believe your support for offenders is a very Christian act but I also believe that if I, as a cleric, said I was doing similar to you, I’d be located and hounded out of the community. What’s the difference? I hope those who avail of your ministry are helped not to reoffend. Hoping. There are double standards in the hearts of many commentators on this blog. Hypocritical double standards.


If you as a clerical offender needed my help it would not matter that you were a cleric.

I would do exactly the same for you.


7.28: Pat, you are kind to do that. I too hope that I’d exercise the same compassion and mercy of God. I know if I were to do that I’d be chased out of the community. Wondering what commentators think about your approach? I agree with it.


We must do what Christ wants us to do even if the community misunderstands or condemns.


Myself and Timmy are getting a Chinese tonight. Timmy loves the chicken balls and sauce and the egg fried rice


8.57: I like Chinese food but your contribution is superfluous to this serious issue. Slap your nose into your slop!


8:42 Are you advocating violent self abuse with chicken balls sauce and egg fried rice? What a waste….


+Pat, I think the victim and the abuser is let down by an inadequate response from the church. 1. How do we work with the abuser so he can be supported not to reoffend?
2. How can we support the victìm to recover. In both instances the Church lacks the expression of Gods mercy and compassion in these circumstances. It is not suprising yet still disappointing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s