Church officials confirmed yesterday that Pope John Paul II has defrocked two priests convicted of sexually abusing children in Ireland, an unprecedented move in this predominantly Catholic nation.  The church declined to identify either man, but only two priests from the Ferns Diocese have been convicted of such abuse: Donal Collins, who was sentenced to four years in 1998 for abusing several boys, and James Doyle, who received a one year suspended sentence in 1990 for abusing one boy.  The most notorious priest, the Rev. Sean Fortune, committed suicide in 1999 while awaiting trial on 66 criminal counts of molesting and raping boys.  

(Dublin, Ireland)