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Martin McVeigh: Gay porn priest leaves parish in Northern Ireland

Irish priest Father Martin McVeigh, who is at the center of a gay porn controversy, has asked to leave his parish and take sabbatical leave from the priesthood.

Martin mcveigh irish priest gay porn slideshowEnlarge
An Irish priest, Father Martin McVeigh, "inadvertently" showed a congregation a gay porn slideshow on March 26, 2012 in County Tyrone, Ireland. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

An Irish priest at the center of a gay porn controversy has asked to leave his parish and take sabbatical leave from the priesthood.

Father Martin McVeigh admitted to destroying a memory stick containing "inappropriate imagery" before a church investigation into reports that he accidentally showed images of gay porn to parents preparing their children for their First Holy Communion, reported CNN. McVeigh was showing a PowerPoint presentation to parents at an elementary school in Pomeroy, County Tyrone, when the pictures of naked men appeared on the large screen. Parents said they were "horrified" and the church reported the incident to the police, who said no crime was committed.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, McVeigh left the meeting for 20 minutes immediately after the images were shown and didn't refer to the incident after he returned. The priest later claimed the memory stick containing the pictures and the computer he used were both available for use by different people in the parish.

More from GlobalPost: Martin McVeigh, Irish priest, mistakenly showed congregation gay porn

McVeigh made a statement today in the weekend church bulletin, apologizing for "all the hurt and turmoil caused." He said he had no knowledge the images were there and regretted not checking his presentation in advance. The priest went on to say he had asked Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, "to leave the parish of Pomeroy and to take sabbatical leave."

According to the Irish Times, Cardinal Brady said he agreed to the request "on the understanding that he will, on its completion, return to the diocese." The cardinal also apologized for the incident, which he called "traumatic" for all involved.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/ireland/120429/martin-mcveigh-gay-porn-priest-leaves-parish-northern-ireland