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Crisis talks held over fears trainee Catholic priests using gay dating app Grindr

The Grindr app on a phone. Credit: PA

Crisis talks are being held over fears that trainee Catholic priests in Ireland are using the gay dating app Grindr.

Ireland's Catholic Church hierarchy admitted concerns about an "unhealthy atmosphere" at the country's main seminary.

As a result Church leaders have ordered a review of the "appropriate use of the internet and social media" at a centuries-old training centre for priests, as well as an overhaul of its approach to whistleblowers.

Talks were held after the most senior Catholic in Ireland said he was boycotting the seminary and sending student priests to Rome rather than St Patrick's College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, which is just 16 miles from the capital.

Dr Diarmuid Martin, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. Credit: PA

Dr Diarmuid Martin said he made the decision because he was "somewhat unhappy" about "an atmosphere that was growing in Maynooth" exposed through anonymous accusations in letters and online blogs.

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin said allegations included "a homosexual, a gay culture, that students have been using an app called Grindr" which he said "would be fostering promiscuous sexuality".

The Archbishop said there were further allegations that whistleblowers trying to bring claimed wrongdoing to the attention of authorities were being dismissed from the seminary.

The four Archbishops and 13 senior Bishops have called on the church to set up an independent audit into the running of both Irish seminaries: Maynooth and St Malachy's in Belfast.