News

Priest, 96, showed child porn to visitors to his retirement home

Priest, 96, showed child porn to visitors to his retirement home

Retired New York priest, monsignor Harry Byrne, faces 54 charges of possessing photographs on his computer of girls eight to 14 old performing sex acts with men or posing naked, according Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.

The New York Daily News reported yesterday that, Byrne, who railed against the Catholic Church’s horrific mishandling of the paedophile priest crisis in 2010, is alleged to have shown dozens of images to visitors who came to his room at the St John Vianney Center for Retired Priests.

An investigation of Byrne began five five months ago following complaints from the home, officials said.

Bryne, once a high-ranking priest in the Archdiocese of New York, arrived for his arraignment in a wheelchair and wearing green plaid shirt.

He faces 37 charges of possessing a sexual performance by a child and another 37 of possessing an obscene sexual performance of a child.

If convicted, Byrne faces up to four years in prison.

At the hearing before Bronx Criminal Court Judge Robert Neary, Byrne listened through a hearing aid as his attorney insisted that Byrne was innocent of all charges.

Said defence attorney Marvin Ray Raskin:

Monsignor Byrne has dedicated 72 years to charity and church with an unsullied history. It is difficult to imagine, at the age of 96, he knowingly understood and is responsible for the content of the subjects on the computer accessible to numerous people.

But prosecutors claimed that Byrne used Internet search engines to locate the pornography online. The illegal images were found in a forensic sweep of the priest’s computer by the NYPD Computer Crimes Squad, officials said.

Raskin said his client, who was released without bail, was battling a variety of health issues.

In a July 2010 blog post, Byrne wrote:

Bishops … quietly reassigned miscreants and thereby exponentially multiplied the number of victims. In the US, not one cover-up bishop has been been arraigned before church authorities for his part in the scandal.

Byrne was an activist priest who worked to create affordable housing in the Bronx and Manhattan, and remained outspoken on church issues even after his retirement.

In 1970, he became the first non-German pastor at St Joseph’s parish in the Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood.

8 responses to “Priest, 96, showed child porn to visitors to his retirement home”

  1. Broga says:

    The RC Church has allowed battalions of grisly, hypocritical and destructive priests to flourish and has offered them protection from their crimes. It does this while its priests flaunt themselves in gaudy dresses and ridiculous hats and claim sanctity for themselves and moral ascendancy over the rest of us. Byrne is one of a type with which anyone who reads a newspaper or listens to the news has become familiar.

  2. Arnold says:

    Is this man a victim, a victim of the roman catholic church, because the church exposed him to such depravity that it turned his mind?
    Or is he inherently an evil bastard who knowingly signed up to the roman catholic church because of the opportunity for sexual deviancy under the camouflage of godliness was too good an offer to miss.

    Either way the church is at the core of so much depravity, crime and deception that it boggles the mind.

    And look at him now … disrobed and looking so pathetically vulnerable.

    Do this when confronted by strutting peacock clerics in all their ludicrous opulence. Just look though the finery and see the specious power crazed nasty pieces of work underneath. See the old men who are so humble they tell you they know the mind of god, and tell you what to do else you will be dammned for ever, and who, only a few hours previously, may well have been raping a child.

  3. L.Long says:

    BUT But but he is old and not in his right mind, so does not know what he is doing!!! But like a drunk (drug user) when the inhibitions are turned off, you tend to see the real person! He is too old and too far gone to do anything with but a trial would show AGAIN that the RCC cabal is never to be trusted!!

  4. AgentCormac says:

    ‘ It is difficult to imagine, at the age of 96, he knowingly understood and is responsible for the content of the subjects on the computer accessible to numerous people.’

    Is that seriously the best defence they can come up with? Whatever your age, I very much doubt that you can just accidentally stumble across kiddie porn and download 54 images of it by mistake.

  5. Barry Duke says:

    @ AC: About ten years ago I provided one-to-one lessons to pensioners on how to use computers and the Internet. One of my clients was a very dapper, very rich man in his 90s who turned out to be one of my brightest pupils. But a week after I gave him him his final lesson I received a call from him saying that his computer had become unstable. On checking it out I quickly discovered the problem. He had literally downloaded thousands of gay porno images (from what I could see, all perfectly legal) but in the process had infected his PC with dozens of viruses and trojan horses. The only answer was to reset the computer to its factory settings after saving his important Word files to a flashdrive, and gave him a very stern lecture on the dangers of accessing Internet porn sites. As I never heard from him again, I’m guessing he learned to use his computer more carefully.

  6. Stephen Mynett says:

    AC, Barry, I am sure if he had not been done for child pornography and someone had just called him a dopey old git for his beliefs he would be up in arms moaning about hate speech and stuff like that. Now he has been done he is happy to play the part of a dopey old git.

    I am unsure why his defence thinks age is a good excuse, there are plenty of senior internet users, like the guy mentioned above and I remember my mother, in her 80s, having no problems with a new computer. Her’s was on the way out and as I was thinking of upgrading gave her my old machine, once cleaned up and with a decent SSD it was fine, the only drawback was I am a Linux user but she took to that no problem, in fact prefers it to Windows. People can either learn to use computers or they cannot, age is nothing to do with it.

  7. Robster says:

    Upcoming script writers would no doubt be inspired in their craft after learning that there’s such a thing as a “Center for Retired Priests”. A hotbed of elderly, deluded men, longing for their silly hats and relevance, the smell of subterfuge, the pong of child molestation and not a word of truth among them. A mini series at least.

  8. Vanity Unfair says:

    So, that’s what happened to Father Jack in St. Clabbert’s retirement home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *