A CATHOLIC churchman jailed last year for abusing boys as young as five has yet to be stripped of his priesthood.
Father Paul Moore was jailed for nine years last April after he was found guilty of abusing three young boys and indecently assaulting a trainee priest.
But the Bishop of Galloway has revealed that the process of laicisation – removing a priest from the church – has not been completed.
Bishop William Nolan said the process had been held up by Moore refusing to admit his guilt.
One of his victims said he felt “betrayed all over again” by the Church.
Moore was twice sent for “treatment” after confessing to his bishop he had a “desire to abuse minors.”
The Church did not report the Ayrshire priest to police at the time, leaving victims to fight for justice for decades.
Last night one victim, Paul Smyth, said: “All along, the Church has put the abuser before his victims and they continue to do that. The Church first knew of the allegations nearly 40 years ago. They should have stripped him of his priesthood then instead of sending him for treatment.”
Explaining the delay, Bishop Nolan said: “The process was on hold until his appeal was heard and that was in December.”
But Father Gerry Magee, who has supported Moore’s victims, said: “There is simply no excuse for this not being done years ago, never mind since Moore’s conviction.”
Last December, 82-year-old Moore’s sentence was reduced to eight years on appeal.