Only yesterday one of my clerical sources in Armagh has told me that Ryan McAleer was the subject of an ecclesiastical trial / investigation in Armagh in September 2020.

Since June 2020 Eamon Martin had McAleer step aside from ministry.

In spite of this Mc Aleer insisted on celebrating Mass in public.

Francis Bradley

A Canon lawyer called Francis Bradley (Derry) took witness statements.

Apparently the investigation was to enquire into whether or not Ryan Mc Aleer committed a delict against the 6th Commandment.

Below is the Canon in Canon Law dealing with Ryan’s case:

Can. 1395 §1. A cleric who lives in concubinage, other than the case mentioned in can. 1394, and a cleric who persists with scandal in another external sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is to be punished by a suspension. If he persists in the delict after a warning, other penalties can gradually be added, including dismissal from the clerical state.

I’m told the investigators heard from a number of witness – some of who spent up to four or five hours giving evidence and being cross-examined.

My source also claims that Mc Aleer himself refused show up for the hearing and to be interviewed.

The case was heard by three canon lawyers from the Archdiocese of Dublin.

I do not know if a canonical hearing has the power to summons the accused and witnesses?

Probably not.

As you can see from the above, the penalties for this delicit can be suspension from Holy Orders and even dismissal from the clerical state.

My source could not tell me the outcome of the tribunal.

But, as a result EamonMartin pulled Mc Aleer from Dungannon and sent him to Belgium.

So this suggests that there is more going on in Armagh than we previously knew.

Such a tribunal could hardly be set up without the knowledge and agreement of Eamon Martin?

Or was it Eamon Martin’s way of not taking action directly?

A bit like Pontius Pilate sending Jesus to appear Herod?

“……..Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time“.

Was Eamon doing a Pontius Pilate with Ryan?

We know that Ryan is still listed on the Armagh clergy list.

Is this temporary?

Is it permanent?

Has Ryan’s case been sent to Rome for resolution?

Are his extra studies part of a going away golden handshake?

Or has Eamon a job lined up for him in some Church sinicure?

Time will tell.

In the meantime, let the rest of us keep the victims in our thoughts, mind and prayers.

Whatever happens, we can be 100% sure that Our Ryan will not go without.