According to his lawyers, former Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) has reported the name of the Catholic priest who allegedly abused him as a teenager to prosecutors. The priest, Anthony Mercieca, has disclosed details of his involvement with Foley to the Florida newspaper Sarasota Herald Tribune, admitting to the intimate and sexually inappropriate nature of their relationship. Foley, who resigned from the House of Representatives last month after he was accused of having highly sexual online conversations with young, male Congressional pages, announced that he had been abused by a clergyman as a youth, has been living as a closeted gay man, and is currently struggling with alcoholism.
Mercieca spoke with reporters with the Sarasota Herald Tribune, acknowledging that his two-year relationship with Foley had been intimate and could be perceived as sexually inappropriate.
The Catholic diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, Foley’s home district, has been rife with scandals. The past two bishops in Palm Beach, Anthony O’Connell and J. Keith Symons, both resigned after allegations of sexual abuse. O’Connell admitted to repeatedly abusing a teenage boy, and Symons admitted to molesting five teenage boys, the Boston Globe reports. Additionally, the same day that the Foley scandal broke, the current bishop of the Palm Beach diocese apologized on behalf of two priests who were accused of stealing $8.6 million dollars from the church, the Palm Beach Post reports.