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Irish archbishops fault critical report on Pontifical Irish College

Catholic World News - June 15, 2012

A Vatican-ordered report on the Pontifical Irish College in Rome contained “harsh judgments” that were “unsupported by evidence,” according to a response prepared for the Irish archbishops.

In May, three of the top administrators at the Irish College were replaced. The shift in leadership appeared to be the result of an apostolic visitation led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, as part of the larger Vatican inquiry into the life of the Irish Church. In his report on the Irish College—the training ground for Ireland’s most promising young clerics—Cardinal Dolan had found “a certain tendency, not dominant but nevertheless fairly widespread among priests, religious and laity, to hold theological opinions at variance with the teachings of the magisterium.”

Although Cardinal Dolan’s full report to the Vatican was confidential, the Irish Times has obtained a copy of that report, as well as a response drafted for the signature of Ireland’s four archbishops. That response argued that “a deep prejudice appears to have coloured the visitation and from the outset and it led to the hostile tone and content of the report.”

In comments to the Irish Times, the four archbishops said flatly that the report by Cardinal Dolan “contained some serious errors of fact.” Asked to comment on the matter, Cardinal Dolan replied: “While obviously others do not consider themselves bound by the promised confidentiality--so necessary and understandable to assure a fair and honest gathering of information [and] requested by the Apostolic See--I certainly do.”

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  • Posted by: msgrtom - Jun. 18, 2012 10:18 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Tim Dolan was a student at North American College in Rome as a seminarian and later served as Rector there. I am sure he had his own opinions on what goes on there and on the leadership. American and Irish students play sports together and visit back and forth for meals, so it is not like he is commenting on an entity unknown to him before the visitation! And if anything, Irish-Americans would tend to idolize anything from the "old country" and find it difficult to criticize.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Jun. 15, 2012 10:53 AM ET USA

    "...to hold theological opinions at variance with the teachings of the magisterium." This seems to be an extremely common problem today amongst lay, religious, and ordained Catholics these days - eeveryone seems infected with it. What gives? If you think the Magisterium is just another opinion that you can disagree with, why remain Catholic at all?

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