Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Catholicism In Ireland In Disarray!

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin - "unhappy about an atmosphere that was growing"
Irish archbishop moves priests after gay culture claims at Catholic seminary - BBC News.

From being the major power in the land in the Republic of Ireland just 25 years ago, Catholicism continues to degenerate into farce and disrepute.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin has now said he will stop sending trainee priests to the Republic's top Seminary, St Patrick's College, Maynooth and will be sending them to Rome's Irish College instead. This is because of what Archbishop Martin called a "poisonous culture of anonymous letters" amid persistent rumours and whistleblower attempts to expose a growing gay culture at the seminary.

Ironically, a major blow to the Catholic Church's reputation in Ireland was dealt by the referendum in May 2015 which overwhelmingly supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage despite a vigorous campaign by the Church opposing it. Only a few years earlier, the mere opposition of the Church to such a measure would have been enough to kill it stone dead. In fact, such a referendum would have been unthinkable.

Maynooth is a seminary that was built for 500 students - it now has 60 [to] 70. I think a lot more structural reform will be needed at Maynooth. We probably need a different way in the long-term. I would prefer to have my seminarians living in the reality of Dublin life. The formation, I believe, would be better outside the closed, strange world of seminaries.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, quoted in BBC News
A series of sex and child-abuse scandals involving Catholic bishops, clerics and institutions had earlier just about destroyed any moral authority the Catholic Church in Ireland had, culminating in the Cloyne Report. The revelations in this report into abuses of power and trust and in particular the systematic abuse of young girls by nuns and priests in the 'Magdalen Laundries' so shocked Ireland that the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, denounced the Church in the Dail in such unprecedented terms that the Vatican withdrew the Papal Nuncio - the Vatican's equivalent of breaking off diplomatic relations with Dublin.

The seminary now in question was once one of the leading Catholic Seminaries in the world, training 500-600 priests a year from all over the Catholic world. It now has a student population of 60 to 70 and Dublin is chronically short of priests being unable to recruit replacements. The seriousness of this situation for the church was shown in a 2013 survey into the age profile of Catholic priests in Ireland which showed that 75% of priests were between 45 and 75 years old. Only 12% were under 45! The church is not recruiting and training fast enough to replace natural wastage.

If substantiated, this revelation of a growing gay culture amongst St Patrick's College's population will further highlight the Church's hypocrisy in its public opposition to homosexuality and continued stigmatisation of homosexuals. This continues unabated despite Pope Francis' public attempts to moderate the strident homophobia coming from his bishops and cardinals. There is clearly a growing gap between the behaviour of priests and the behaviour they demand of others.

The stink of hypocrisy will hopefully accelerate the demise of this odious institution.

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1 comment :

  1. The hypocrisy of the Catholic church is legion. The quicker the institution withers, the better for all mankind.

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