The Catholic Communications Office has said it is a matter for the Diocese of Waterford if the Bishop there decides to send letters to parishioners regarding sex offenders.

The office was responding to news that the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Alphonsus Cullinan, sent a letter to parishes and local primary schools warning them about a convicted paedophile ex-priest.

The man is currently living in the Waterford city area.

It is understood he is complying with the terms of a sentence he received previously in relation to informing gardaí where he lives and he is not under investigation.

The man sexually abused children while serving as a parish priest in California from 1973 onwards and is not in any way associated with the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore.

In 1993, he was convicted for molesting two brothers over a ten-year period while in the US, and served a seven-year sentence.

Just before Christmas, Bishop Cullinan sent a letter out in which he advised priests and teachers in the area, especially those working with children, to be aware of the man's identity and history.

The Bishop had been contacted by a mother in Waterford city who had become acquainted with the man after meeting him at mass.