Paedophile priest Paul Moore to be defrocked by Church

Proceedings have begun in the Roman Catholic church to strip an Ayrshire priest of his status as a clergyman.

The process, known as laicisation, follows 82-year-old Paul Moore’s conviction for sexually abusing three young boys and a trainee priest.

It will mean he will no longer be able to call himself “father” or offer spiritual care.

Moore is currently serving an eight-year sentence for the crimes committed in Ayrshire over a 20-year period.

The youngest of his victims, whom he groomed by taking them swimming or out for meals, was just five years old.

Catholic Church sources said the disciplinary action had been delayed until the outcome of Moore’s appeal.

His name appears among retired clergy in the Galloway Diocese published in the 2019 edition of the Catholic Directory for Scotland, listed above school chaplains.

Moore was successful in having his original sentence reduced from nine years, but his conviction, which followed a BBC Scotland Investigation, remained.

‘Attraction to boys’

The BBC said Moore had confessed his abuse to his bishop in 1996.

Bishop Maurice Taylor, 91, gave evidence in his trial and told the court Moore admitted he had “an attraction to young boys” and “a desire to abuse minors”.

The bishop sent him to a treatment centre in Toronto and to Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands.

It is understood papers to remove Moore’s clerical status have now been served on him in prison.

There is no appeal against laicisation – or “loss of the clerical state,” as it is officially known – in cases where a priest has been convicted of child sex abuse.

The Catholic Church will no longer have any responsibility to provide Moore with housing, medical care or financial benefits when he is released from prison.

Moore was removed from the pastoral ministry after his admission to Bishop Taylor, but continued to live in a house bought by the church.

After he was jailed, the Catholic Church in Scotland said it wished to “sincerely renew” its apologies to victims.

First Published 28.02.19:

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