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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 11:11 GMT
Pope sacks paedophile priests
Church generic
The priests had been convicted of child sex abuse
Two Catholic priests from the Republic of Ireland who have been convicted of child sex abuse have been dismissed by the Pope.

A statement from the Dioceses of Ferns said the decision to dismiss the priests from "the clerical state" was a supreme decision of the Pope.

The statement did not name the priests.

It is believed to be the first time the Pope has directly dismissed an Irish priest in this way.

A statement, on Thursday, said: "The decree of dismissal imposes the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state and loss of all rights, ecclesiastical titles and offices associated with the clerical state.

"The diocese has supervisory structures in place for priests against whom allegations have been received.

"This supervisory contact will continue in both these cases."

It said the diocese meets the gardai and the Health Board on Child Protection measures regularly and would continue to consult with those bodies.

Ferns is a diocese of 100,000 people in the south eastern corner of Ireland, comprising nearly all of Wexford and part of Wicklow counties.

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