Fr Brian D’Arcy
Priest refused to allow his life to be ruined “by the men who defiled him in his young days”.
Father Brian says the abuse he suffered empowered him to speak out about sex scandals in the church.
Nobody, he says can “contradict me, no matter what kind of pointy hat they wear.”
Father Brian D’Arcy shudders at the memory of the sexual abuse he suffered then at the hands of a religious brother.
He was also abused later again by a priest in Dublin’s Mount Argus while studying for the priesthood.
But, as Father Brian told Brendan Courtney in a television interview, he hasn’t allowed his life to be ruined by the men who defiled him in his young days.
“Everybody that abused me is dead, so why should I let them continue to abuse me from the grave?” he said.
“It’s my life now. I wasn’t responsible when they abused me. I am responsible for holding on to it, if I do.”
The abuse, he said, he suffered empowered him to speak out about sex scandals in the church.
“I think, perhaps, maybe it was the best gift that I brought to the church because I could speak fearlessly about how bad abuse was and nobody could contradict me, no matter what kind of pointy hat they wear.”
Fr Brian entered the Passionist monastery in Enniskillen at the age of 17.
“It was dark corridors and a very spartan cell, rough blankets, no socks just sandals, and you dressed in a rough habit and rough underwear.
“We had to beat ourselves a couple of times a week… flagellate yourself with this thing that represented the five scourges of Christ.
“Hit your bare bottom in memory of the scourging of Christ, which was just a barbarous kind of thing, there was nothing spiritual in it. It was just the training for the job that was ahead.
“It was an exercise in brainwashing to be honest, essentially cultic in its approach, but they called it spirituality.”
Later Fr Brian, who was censured by the Vatican at one stage over his Sunday World columns, believes that he was in danger of being defrocked.
“If Pope Francis had not been elected I would have been defrocked,” he says.