Welsh priest deposed following child pornography conviction

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A Welsh priest has been deposed from the ordained ministry following his conviction on child pornography charges. On 6 October 2021 the Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt. Rev. June Osborne released a statement to her diocese saying she had “signed a deed of deposition from Holy Orders with respect of Nigel Cahill.”

Cahill (61) pled guilty to two counts of making indecent images of children in April at the Swansea Crown Court after having been arrested by police for possessing 219 indecent images of children. Judge Paul Thomas QC sentenced Cahill to an 18 month community order, placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years, and ordered he undergo a 45-day rehabilitation program.

In her letter to the Diocese, Bishop Osborne wrote: “Following the court proceedings Nigel faced a Disciplinary Tribunal of the Church in Wales where he was found guilty of conduct giving just cause for scandal or offence.” 

“In the light of the exceptional seriousness of his conduct the Tribunal found that Nigel should be deposed from Holy Orders and expelled from the office of a Cleric of the Church in Wales in accordance with the relevant section of the Constitution.” 

“I commend to your prayers all who have been affected by these circumstances, not least the benefice of Aberavon and victims of abuse.”

Cahill was arrested at his home in Port Talbot in June 2020 and was immediately suspended from his position as rector in the Rectorial Benefice of Aberavon, St Theodore’s Port Talbot.

Following his guilty plea the Church in Wales released a statement saying: “This was a crime committed despite our stringent safeguarding policies and procedures. … Mr Cahill exploited the trust and respect put in him as a cleric by the Church in Wales and by his parishioners and that will have long-term implications.”

On 5 August 2021, the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Church in Wales ordered Cahill, “be deposed from Holy Orders and expelled from the office of Cleric in the Church in Wales” for “conduct giving just cause for scandal or offence”. Cahill did not lodge an appeal to the August ruling and his sentence was confirmed by the tribunal on Wednesday.

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