Grindr scandal prompts Irish priest school to crackdown on ‘vicious gay subculture’

© Peter Andrews
Stricter rules are being introduced for trainee priests in Ireland, including mandatory evening prayers and supervised meals, after it emerged a number of priests were hooking up through gay dating app Grindr.

The figurative tightening of the cilice is being introduced at Ireland’s National Seminary in Maynooth will require student priests to eat breakfast and evening meals with senior staff in the college instead of dining wherever they want.

Shortly after the evening meal, the 55 men will also now have to attend an obligatory rosary at 9 p.m., according to the Irish Independent.

The trustees of Maynooth also plan to review social media usage by trainee priests, as well as what is described as the "appropriate use of the internet.”

The new rules are being brought in with the hope of limiting “any sort of behavior or attitude which contradicts the teaching and example of Jesus Christ.”

The move comes following revelations that there is a “gay culture” at the seminary with a number of the trainee priests using the gay dating app Grindr.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin told the Irish Times in early August that he was sending three student priests from his diocese to Rome instead of Maynooth as there was “an atmosphere of strange goings-on” at the Irish seminary.

While the new rules have been ridiculed on social media, one Irish bishop Pat Buckley, who has conducted his own independent ministry since 1986, says the trustees haven’t gone far enough.

“They should have put a ban on mobile phones because that would have sent a very clear message to the seminarians and to the Irish population that people, whether they are straight or gay, on mobile phones looking for promiscuous sex is not allowed," said Buckley, who is himself gay and in a civil partnership.

Buckley also described the training college as having a “vicious gay subculture.”