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Actor Gabriel Byrne Was Molested By A Priest, He Reveals

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How awful!

Gabriel Byrne, best know for his work in The Usual Suspects, recently opened up to an Irish television show that he was molested when he was 11 years old while in seminary school.

Gabriel only lasted in the seminary school for a little under five years before leaving, but during that time, he endured sexual abuse from one of the clergy men. Gabriel recalls:

"Unfortunately, I experienced some sexual abuse. It was a known and admitted fact of life amongst us that there was this particular man, and you didn't want to be left in the dressing room with him. There were certain boundaries, sexual boundaries, that were crossed… I didn't feel that i suffered at the time.. It took many years to come to terms with it and to forgive those incidents that I felt had deeply hurt me. Again, I didn't think it severely impacted me at the time. But I suppose when I think about my later life, and how I had difficulties with certain issues, there is the real possibility they could have been attributable to that."

One of the difficulties could have been his long battle with alcoholism, which he also discussed in the interview.

It's a very sad situation, one we're sure happens more than anyone would like it to.

Poor guy!

[Image via WENN.]

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54 comments to “Actor Gabriel Byrne Was Molested By A Priest, He Reveals”

  1. 1


  2. 2

    You may want re-think that last sentence. "
    It's a very sad situation, one we're sure happens MORE than anyone would LIKE it to." Not well thought-out, I'd say.

  3. 3

    fucking catholic priests,,,,

  4. 4

    I would like to see the tables turned on just one of these types of 'men of the cloth' — a nice dark cloak room, the scent of incense wafting about, a large hairy man that has a string of volleyball sized rosary beads—

  5. 5

    wow, truly admire him for speaking out about this, as a victim of sexual abuse myself one coping mechanism i used was to bury it deeper and deeper, bringing it to the surface is just too painful so I really admire his strength, xxx

  6. 6

    And yet the Vatican is still sheltering Cardinal Law from U.S. Prosecution. He transfered molesting priests from one parish to another, continually letting them molest more kids, then hiding and fighting any parents that dared complain. Right before he was going to be prosecuted, the Vatican flew him over there and now say he is protected by diplomatic immunity. So I'm not surprised by anything I hear.

  7. 7

    He came out with this YEARS ago!

  8. 8

    bless him. it's hard to talk about and admit, but once you do, life is so much easier, speaking from experience.

  9. 9

    Thats brave as hell for him to come out and talk about it, thats tough for a dude to do and I assume double tough if your famous, but good for him

  10. 10

    I'm so sorry for this guy.I don't know him but if that's true, he must have suffered a lot. The pain from the sexual abuse does NOT heal so quickly. Sometimes it takes YEARS to forgive the abuser and move on. I'll pray for him

    What's ALSO sad is that because of these people - and I mean, people like that "priest" - everyone is gonna keep thinking and saying ALL priests are pedophiles, which is NOT true. I just wish people were not so judgemental.


  11. 11

    Way to Go Gabriel!!! I hope your courage inspires many.
    Priest's give me the creeps, and I think countries should run the catholic church out for sweeping such a terrible scandel under the rug, and move these pedofiles from church to church for fresh meat. Switzerland had the right idea in the 1800's

  12. 12

    OMG! I love this man right now for being brave enough to admit to something that was done to him. I really believe ( Sadly) that this happens to too many people/children both male and female and it does indeed have an impact on the later years. I also think that Men have a harder time admitting to this type of abuse, that is why I find Gabriel Byrne so amazing… Hopefully this will inspire other men and women to come forward with their secrets @ least with those whom they love, so that their healing may begin. Bravo Gabriel…And I am so sorry you had to experience that.

  13. 13

    kind of funny he played a priest in "stigmata" and satan in "end of days"… i wonder if the abuse had anything to do with eventual loss of faith (and gain of rational thinking) and accepting that he simply did/does not believe in god(s).

  14. 14

    how brave of him to come out and admit that

  15. 15

    Re: perezito_is_an_asshole – But, if you believe that you can be forgiven and find grace in god's arms, you can justify doing a lot of nasty stuff. Fact is, catholics believe that priests are graced by god. So, when they are nasty creeps, what does that say about god's special grace?

  16. 16

    I bet you fantasize about dressing as a priest and raping little boys pedo. You probably stalk Catholic churches just waiting for the next 11 year old altar boy to appear.

  17. 17


  18. 18


  19. 19

    Re: TheMrsBradPitt – It's pretty clear to me that you're clueless when it comes to catholic christian theology. For us catholic christians, people are NOT just forgiven and that's it. You ARE forgiven but you have to do pennance and be commited to 1º not commit that sin again and 2º do a reparation work. And priests ARE graced by God, but that does NOT mean that they can do whatever they want. They are sinners as well.

  20. 20

    Re: Saint Joan – Bravo Brave Byrne. I was emotionally, spiritually, and sexually abused by 2 priests in 1976 for 4 years. I recently sued the Catholic Church and received a settlement. It has taken over 30 years for me to comprehend the attempted murder of my soul. But now I'm strong and soon I'll tell my story. The one Preist, Fr. Keith Pecklers, is the world's foremost authority on the Catholic Church. He is a Professor of Theology in Rome. Author of 8 books… and the Vatican Correspondent for ABC News.

  21. 21

    Re: TheMrsBradPitt – It's very clear to me that you're clueless when it comes to knowing catholic theology. We believe we ARE forgiven by God's grace but that DOESN'T MEAN we can do whatever we want. We have to go to the sacrament of reconciliation with a repented heart, confess our sins, and then do a reparation work or pennance. When you repent from your sins and ask for forgiveness you have to be committed not to do that again. And priests ARE graced by God. But that doesn't mean that they can do whatever they want. They have to follow God's commandments just like any other catholic christian.

  22. 22

    Re: perezito_is_an_asshole – Actually, I am quite aware of catholic christian theology. Sinning on Saturday night and asking for forgiveness on Sunday morning. The point about the grace of "god" for priests is that it sure doesn't seem to do much to protect them. So what's the point of their having this "grace" anyway? They are sure as hell "sinnin'" at the same rate as everyone else.
    Grow up, there is no god, there is no forgiveness, there is only this world and how we conduct ourselves in it.

  23. 23

    The Catholic Church has hurt far more lives than it's helped. May the Pope and all his predecessors rot in hell with the rest of the perverts and pedophiles that comprise this fucked up system.

  24. 24

    Seminary school at 11? I don't think so.

  25. 25

    Re: TheMrsBradPitt – 1º of all, NO, you are not aware of the catholic christian theology. I can give you a couple of catholic links that support what I'm saying, or you can simply take a look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
    2º who are you to judge? why are you speaking in a GENERAL way? there are A LOT of priests that were canonized by the catholic church and are saints. Why are you throwing everyone in the same bag? the point of them having the grace of GOD is that HIS grace gives you sainthood. Only by HIS grace you can achieve sainthood. HIS grace is what gives you the image, the reflexion of Christ in you, in your heart, in your soul. If some of the priests do not want to receive or have shut their hearts to His grace then they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And like I said, priests are sinners as well. But ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD can we gradually become saints.
    And please don't preach your atheist sermon..

  26. @v@ says – reply to this


    My guy friends who were altar boys always avoided the 'funny' priests. Us kids all knew and discussed freely which ones they were. In hindsight, I've always believed that demanding celibate priests within the RC church rather than blessing married priests with conjugal rights has been a huge, misogynistic mistake. Their attitude towards women, marriage and birth control has lost them millions upon millions of followers and charitable collections.

  27. 27

    Re: Saint Joan – Bravo Brave Byrne. I was emotionally, spiritually, and sexually abused by 2 priests in 1976 for 4 years. I recently sued the Catholic Church and received a settlement. It has taken over 30 years for me to comprehend the attempted murder of my soul. But now I'm strong and soon I'll tell my story. The one Preist, Fr. Keith Pecklers, is the world's foremost authority on the Catholic Church. He is a Professor of Theology in Rome. Author of 8 books… and the Vatican Correspondent for ABC News.Re: Beaumonde – Realized how unfair not to mention the Priest that I then turned to for help…Fr. Tom Stanford who then picked up where Keith Pecklers left off. This happened in Jersey City. Did this happen to you? rennar22@optonline.net

  28. 28

    Re: Beaumonde – Realized how unfair not to give a shoutout to the Priest I turned to for help getting Keith Pecklers to leave me alone… Fr. Tom Stanford. This occurred in the Greenville section of Jersey City. Did this happen to you? rennar22@optonline.net

  29. 29

    Re: h8terboi
    But according to your logic, h8terboi, maybe we should put all MEN in prison. About 50% of gays are women, and it's comparatively rare for a woman to molest a little kid.

    Of course, you could say "But MOST men don't molest little kids, so why punish all of them?" To which I'd say: "But MOST gays don't molest little kids either, so why punish all of THEM?"

  30. 30

    Re: perezito_is_an_asshole – please don't preach my atheist sermon? you started it by preaching your catholic sermon.

    Oh, and btw, I don't need any catholic websites to tell me what it is to be a catholic, i went through CCD myself.
    And, there still is no god.

  31. 31

    I saw that interview AGES ago!! Like way before Xmas. Slow day Perez?? Love ya Byrne xx

  32. 32

    While it is sad, that he experienced this travestly. Wouldn't it have made sense, to take it to the authorities or someone who could have helped, to stop him, from molesting other unsuspecting, young boys, and possibly girls. There's always the same excuse when it comes to a situation such as this. Such as I didn't know what to do, or I was feared into it. At the age of 7 my step dad tried to get me to have sex with him, and I told on him. And prevented it from becoming a reality. Alcoholism? Is merely a tool, used by someone to get attention. It does get them attention, doesn't it. I don't pity this man. All he did was enable the situation, allowing for years and years of possible abuse on others to take place.

  33. 33

    This is very brave and giving of Gabriel Byrne to reveal this. He probably saved a life today or at least helped someone suffering be able to talk about it! Another reason I love this guy!

  34. 34

    Re: h8terboi

    Your trolling is too blatant.

  35. 35

    yet he played a brilliant priest in stigmata how odd

  36. 36

    Re: Susie-Q
    i do think so…cos back then you could go to seminar way early and start studying to become a priest very young. according to catholic faith you can never know when "the call" is gonna come from God so even a little kid can be "blessed" with that.

  37. 37

    poor guy?? your probably wishing it was you! i think he has handled this very well. i mean he doesn't seem to be blaming this incident on things that happened in his life.

  38. 38

    Re: h8terboi – your sick dude!

  39. 39

    Re: Bellagio – your twisted.

  40. 40

    Fucking men. I dont care if they are priests, teachers what nots. Women and children need be careful. Dear person I love was molested at 5 and now due to our relationship it brings up feelings good and bad he has to deal with now and its been tough. So tough we are seperated until he comes to terms he needs professional help to work through issues and live a happier fulfilling life…with me!!! :) Work in progress,…work in progress. So I feel for this man. He is a survivor and its big of him to share. Healing is the key to the process.

  41. 41

    Spindoc's comment is right on target. Child molesting priests need to be punished just like celebrities if they break the law. Great for Gabriel Byrne for coming out with this, what an outstanding individual.

    Child molesters are the scum of the earth and the VATICAN is supporting this….hellloooo and Perez you say the Vatican does not support AVATAR!!! Does anyone else think this is CRAZY!!

  42. 42

    Wow, sexually assaulted by a priest…..that's a new one. I am shocked and outraged. How could someone as honorable as a priest do that? They certainly have a long history of compassion, and tolerance.
    No wonder the Atheist movement is growing so fast. I have been a member for a long time.

  43. 43

    im irish and theres just been a huge investigation here about loads of priests who molested kids back from the 50's like up to the 80's..He's just one of many…

  44. 44

    Re: mollyfish – to mollyfish, #40: And you're illiterate: "your" is a possessive adjective; "you're" is the word you're searching for, along with an I.Q. higher than 25.

  45. 45

    first of all i recall reasding this on gabriel byrnes web site years ago couild be a different story i could be wrong i do admire that gabe came out it helps soooo many men and boys to see they are not alone i love gaberiel byrne i did not know he was an alcoholic

  46. 46

    Re: perezito_is_an_asshole – Agreed, but the Catholic Church should be held responsible for sheltering these men from prosecution. Its been happening for decades, yet no change in cardinal law. If it were me, i'd take away the Church's tax exempt status until they change their ways.

  47. 47

    please excuse my spelling

  48. 48

    Re: h8terboi – You have proven yourself to be an asshole all over again. over 70 per cent of all molestations occur WITHIN THE FAMILY circle. So before you go casting aspersions on gay men, you better check your father, uncles and cousins first ….asshat!!

  49. 49

    Re: TheMrsBradPitt – LOL, MY catholic sermon? I didn't preach anything. I said You don't need a religion to be a pervert, WHICH IS TRUE AND I CERTAINLY KNOW THAT.
    And I don't believe a word you're saying about you going through CCD. But if you did, you surely didn't pay any attention, cause what you said IS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE RCC TEACHES.


  50. 50

    Re: neilnriley – i can't adress those issues, since i'm not well informed. But I wouldn't be surprised if some dioceses and archdioceses sheltered these men from prosecution. The church is Holy, the men and women in the church are sinners.

  51. 51

    If this is the truth, why not just say the name of the "clergy man" so that they can kick him out or something? Eh idk.

  52. 52

    Re: TiocfaidhArLa – Ya this interview was on Irish TV early in 2009 as far as I remember. Gabriel is a legend.

  53. 53

    This is not new news

  54. 54