“I completely reject this decision,” Neil Horan, 57, said after he was informed of the ruling at a meeting with the Archbishop of Southwark in south London yesterday. “I appeal to the much higher court of heaven and the court of Jesus Christ,” (he said), dressed in his now customary brown kilt, Irish green waistcoat and green beret.
“I now cannot preach, I cannot give out communion – I am little more than a pagan. I feel extremely let down. I have given my life to the church and I feel terrible about how they have handled the whole situation.”
Earlier Horan arrived at the Archbishop’s House armed with press releases and a mini tape recorder. Before going into the meeting he performed an Irish jig and preached the importance of the bible.
Horan was given a one-year suspended sentence by a Greek court last September after leaping on Brazilian runner Vanderli de Lima during the marathon, ruining his chances of winning the gold medal. The Roman Catholic priest claimed that he was highlighting the “second coming” of Jesus Christ.
Horan was cleared in London last October of charges of indecency against a seven-year-old girl in 1991.