Irish Priest Accidentally Shares Gay Porn Powerpoint Presentation with Parents of Grade-Schoolers

Powerpoint is seriously awful. It's boring and nobody gives enough of a shit about your presentation subject to sit through thirty-seven slides of your notes transcribed in size 24 Helvetica font against a monotonous paisley template interrupted only by the occasional piece of stupid light-bulb-over-a-cartoon-head clip art. Or gay porn, as was the case for Father Martin McVeigh's star-crossed Powerpoint presentation to the parents of children preparing for their First Holy Communion.

CNN reports that McVeigh, a priest in Pomeroy, Northern Ireland, accidentally included images of naked men in a Powerpoint presentation that context clues tell us had something to do with parents preparing their recalcitrant little kids for First Communion, one of those ceremonies that people who were raised Catholic understand to be a pretty big deal, especially for grandparents. Parents were predictably horrified by what they saw and the church in Pomeroy immediately reported the incident to police, who didn't arrest McVeigh because he hadn't committed a crime. In a statement today, McVeigh apologized "for the hurt caused" as well as "his failure to check his presentation in advance." He then insisted, despite his deepest regrets, that he wasn't responsible for the porn making its way into his Powerpoint presentation. Said McVeigh,

After the images were inadvertently shown, I immediately removed the memory stick from the laptop. In my shock and upset and in my concern to ensure that the images would never be shown again, I destroyed it later that evening.

"Memory stick" seems like an especially poor choice of words in this instance, but McVeigh is probably under a lot of stress, what with all the pitchfork-brandishing parents calling for his immediate imprisonment. He's taken a leave of absence from his parish in Pomeroy, with the understanding that he'll return after the church concludes its own investigation.

The incident in Pomeroy follows in the wake of revelations about child sex abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church in Ireland over the past 80 years. Any porn — straight, gay, or choose your own adventure — on a priest's computer would attract the wary eyes of hyper-aware parents, who understandably need very little circumstantial evidence to yank their children out of harm's way. McVeigh, though, isn't — based on the current information — guilty of anything except not knowing how to use Powerpoint. Or the internet, probably. He does, however, make for a convenient scapegoat at a time when anger at the Catholic Church's seeming insensibility to the real danger posed by pedophile priests is at a fever-pitch. Right now, McVeigh isn't a proven villain and it will be interesting as this story develops (assuming that McVeigh is just a sexually repressed clergyman who haplessly revealed to a roomful of wary parents that he likes to look at gay porn featuring adults doing adult things) to see if public opinion, in its quest to punish an insidious institution and safeguard kids, wrongly equates homosexuality with pedophilia.

Priest in gay porn probe leaves parish [CNN]