Fr Ger Fitzgerald – who was recently accused of and admitted having sex with a vulnerable lady parishioner has lost his post as a Co PP and a priest of the Ennis area.
Over the weekend he attempted to put a better slant on his position by saying he asked the bishop for a leave of absence.
The truth us that the bishop told Ger: ‘Jump or be pushed”.
He lost his job for what would be called “gross misconduct” in any other walk of life.
Nobody, in any position of trust, would last three minutes, after initiating sex with a client or service user.
They would be summarily dismissed and lose all pension rights.
But Ger has gone on a “sabbatical”.
One Killaloe source claims he is going to a sexual counselling clinic in the USA,?
These are the facts of this case:
1. Ger Fitzgerald had sexual intercourse with a younger, vulnerable lady parishioner.
2. At first Ger denied his behaviour to the bishop.
3. Later he admitted the sex claims.
4. He tried to brazen it out for weeks by recording his daily Masses on Facebook.
5. The woman had meetings with the bishop, the diocesan secretary and the the diocesan safeguarding officer.
6. Everyone who met the woman believed her story 100%.
7. The bishop and Ger had meetings and it was decided Ger had to go.
8. An attempt at a final Mass and a going away party was thwarted by the bishop and the Ennis Garda.
9. Ger has left the people of Cloughleigh believing that the woman lied about him.
10. Certain “elements” in Cloughleigh threatened the woman’s life and safety and the Garda in Ennis are currently dealing with that.
I’m amazed to see women in Ennis defending a man who betrayed his position of trust with a parishioner on Facebook.
How would they feel if it was their sister or daughter?
GER GITZGERALD – THE FUTURE:
Currently Ger Fitzgerald plans to return to a diocesan assignment after his sabbatical.
Given the Church’s very lamentable procedures on returning unsuitable people to ministry, Ger may well return.
The problem is that he is a self confessed womaniser. He has admitted the latest affair.
He also confessed two previous affairs to the latest woman.
Ger has admitted other relationships with women to others.
What information is contained on his file in Bishop’s House, Ennis?
Personally, I do not think that it is safe for any bishop to appoint Ger to another assignment.
Bishops have a duty of care not to place unsuitable pastors to and pastoral situation.
Ger might be best advised to join the “Order of St Joseph – two heads on the one pillow.