A senior official of the US Catholic Church has resigned after allegations that he used the same-sex dating program -Grinder.
The Roman Catholic magazine, The Pillar, claimed that the data obtained by the magazine showed visits to same-sex bars and the use of dating programs depending on the user's location.
Monsignor Geoffrey Borrell was General Secretary of the American Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The US Catholic Bishops' Conference said it had taken the allegations seriously, but there were no allegations of misconduct against children.
"To avoid being a source of disruption to the activities and operations of the conference, Monsignor Borrell has resigned immediately," the statement said.
Claims against him
The information obtained from the data provider was "commercially available", and analyzed to identify location and usage information for each device. One mobile device associated with Monsieur Borrell and the Grindr app have shown.
The figures show a visit to gay bars while Monsignor Borrell is on his way to the US Catholic Episcopal Conference.
A spokesman for the Grindr program told the media houses that the allegations were about "same-sex love and have no basis at all."
The activities that are alleged to be listed in this app post in an anonymous form, are not guaranteed, and are highly unlikely to happen, he added.
The allegations did not directly answer media houses questions but in a statement posted on Twitter, its editor-in-chief JD Flynn wrote that the paper had carefully considered the balance between personal privacy and public interest and was confident in our conversations. The Washington Post quoted an expert as saying that the use of data in this way was not illegal in the United States "very likely."
Andres Arrieta, from the digital rights group Electronic Fruitier, told the media houses that this data should not be available.
The availability of this type of software on the phone, he added, is an indication of "highlighting more benefits from user privacy and personal security".
He cited a report last year by the Norwegian Consumer Council which criticized how the Grindr app and other applications handle sensitive mobile phone data.
Pastor James Martin, who advocates for homosexual inclusion in the Roman Catholic Church, expressed his concern on Twitter about what he called a "detective" operation.
He asked if any priest or any church could withstand such an investigation in their personal lives, and wrote on Twitter, "Who, in the end, will remain in the church?"
He added, "As the Psalmist wrote: If thou, Lord, seeest the evil, who shall arise?"
"On Monday, the Catholic News Agency reported that, in 2018, it had rejected an offer from an alleged party" to have technology that could identify clergy and others downloading popular dating programs, such as Grindr and Tinder, and access them usingcomputer networks or their mobile phones.
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