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Priest's PowerPoint to parents takes risque turn

An Irish priest preparing parents of children for Holy Communion finds that the USB stick he's using contains gay porn. The priest says he knows what happened, but not how.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Many people enjoy it when technology works automatically. Sometimes, though, a little stick-shift principle might be the wiser course.

I make this entirely free suggestion on having heard about Father Martin McVeigh, a priest in County Tyrone, Ireland.

McVeigh was making a presentation to parents of children preparing for Holy Communion. Like any modern pastor would do, he prepared a PowerPoint and carefully inserted his USB stick into a computer.

For reasons that seem not entirely clear, scenes of gay pornography appeared on the screen. Yes, in a slideshow.

The Associated Press offers that the parents at St. Mary's Primary School seemed somewhat surprised.

Indeed, though the police reportedly declared that there was no evidence a crime had been committed -- there are reports that an 8-year-old was present -- parents are dissatisfied that McVeigh hasn't been suspended.

You see, his explanation for what may have been engendered by the Auto Play feature is a little on the subtle side. For he told the AP: "I don't know how it happened but I know what happened."

Might this be a suggestion that the images were the flight of fancy of another priest? Might it suggest that there was some sort of subterfuge? Or an unseemly prank?

It seems that McVeigh genuinely felt denuded by the sudden exposure of naked males and fled the room when the images appeared.

However, he reportedly returned near the end of the presentation -- which another priest had taken over -- and was said to have offered "that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the church."

McVeigh told the AP that he wasn't the only church official to have been privy to that particular stick. He presumably did not have the requisite technical chops to know who might have been involved in such a way with that USB. He was therefore demanding a church investigation.

It is not known when the investigation will enjoy an outcome. However, some parents have taken precautions by withdrawing their children from church services.