Mission Societies Director - Msgr Kieran Harrington Resigns after Admitting to Breaking his "promise of celibacy"

National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Monsignor Kieran Harrington, Resigns After Allegation of ‘Inappropriate Behavior With an Adult’
The Diocese of Brooklyn on its website The Tablet released that its priest, Msgr. Kieran Harrington, has resigned from his post as the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States after an allegation against him of “inappropriate conduct with an adult” was substantiated, the Diocese of Brooklyn announced.
Due to the substantiation of the allegation, Msgr. Harrington has also been placed on a leave of absence from his priestly ministry “pending an evaluation to determine his suitability to serve the Church in the future,” according to the diocese.
The allegation of inappropriate conduct against Msgr. Harrington was received by the diocese on March 6, 2023. An investigation was conducted, and the findings were presented to the Diocese of Brooklyn Adult Allegation Committee (AAC), which substantiated the allegation, according to a diocese statement.

“The AAC, comprised of professionals in the fields of law enforcement, human resources, law, and psychology, found sufficient proof of inappropriate behavior with an adult — a violation of the code of conduct and Priestly Holy Orders,” the diocese statement reads. “As a result of this finding, Msgr. Harrington submitted his resignation to the Pontifical Mission Societies.” 
Msgr. Harrington said he “regrettably,” had a “single, inappropriate, consensual encounter with an adult woman,” adding that he was “wrong to have done so.” Msgr. Harrington resigned and also said he is not the subject of any complaint or civil proceeding.

“The fact came to light during an ecclesiastical proceeding unrelated to me or to my tenure at The Pontifical Mission Societies,” Msgr. Harrington explained in a statement. “As is procedure, the Diocese of Brooklyn conducted an investigation into the matter.”

“I cooperated and was forthcoming about the events. The report concluded that the encounter was consensual,” he said. “Nevertheless, I had broken my promise of celibacy.”

Neverthless, responding to Msgr. Harrington’s statement, the diocese disagreed with his characterization that the report concluded that the encounter was “consensual,” saying that “the board did not make a finding on the issue of consent.”

“The board concluded that this behavior violated the Code of Conduct and he should have known better,” the diocese added.

In response to the diocese, Msgr. Harrington said he “stands by” his statement.

A spokesperson for the Pontifical Mission Societies USA thanked Msgr. Harrington for his ministry leading the organization.

“We thank Msgr. Harrington for his service and dedication to the Church’s mission,” the statement reads. “Under his tenure, TPMS has taken specific steps to increase levels of transparency, accountability, and oversight.”

Msgr. Harrington was appointed to his role as national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in April 2021 by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. With Msgr. Harrington’s resignation, the Pontifical Mission Societies USA board of directors has asked Father Anthony Andreassi to serve as interim national director, according to the spokesperson.

“The work of The Pontifical Mission Societies is more vital than ever before, facilitating life-changing encounters with Christ, who calls us to serve others. It is not my intention to distract from this great cause,” Msgr. Harrington said.

Prior to his role with the Pontifical Mission, Msgr. Harrington served as vicar for communications in the Diocese of Brooklyn from 2006-2021. In 2011, he created DeSales Media Group — the communications and technology ministry that operates as a nonprofit within the diocese — and he served as its president and chairman. DeSales Media owns The Tablet and Currents News.

Between Msgr. Harrington’s ministry in the Diocese of Brooklyn and with the Pontifical Mission Societies, he has been a priest for 22 years.

“I pray to see what God may ask for me next,” Msgr. Harrington said. “I’m sorry to have disappointed my colleagues, friends and parishioners. Without any right, I continue to ask and rely on their prayers.”
Source: The Tablet of the Diocese of Brooklyn