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Irish priest encourages bishops to blame Rome for abuse

October 06, 2010

Ireland’s four archbishops, who have been called to Rome to help with planning for an apostolic visitation of the Church in Ireland, should reverse the direction of the inquiry and question the Vatican about its handling of sex-abuse problems, in the view of one outspoken Irish priest.

Father Sean McDonagh, a founding member of the liberal Association of Irish Priests, said that the apostolic visitation “should begin by scrutinizing Rome’s own handling of sex-abuse allegations.”

Despite the near-universal agreement that Irish Church leaders should be held accountable for their mishandling of abuse complaints, the net effect of Father McDonagh’s suggestion would be to distract attention from the problems of the Irish hierarchy and focus on the complaints—already well rehearsed in the mass media—about Vatican responses. Michael Kelly of the Irish Catholic observes:

It seems to me that there is a tendency among many of the ‘insiders’ of the Church in Ireland to try and prevent any scrutiny of their governance of the Church. A governance that has brought Irish Catholicism to the brink of catastrophe.


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  • Posted by: niall - Oct. 06, 2010 7:45 PM ET USA

    Michael Kelly of the Irish Catholic is absolutely right. Ireland NEEDS this visitation. No surprise though that the call for the Irish bishops to investigate the Vatican has come from Fr Sean McDonagh- one of the founders of the so-called "union of priests". We Irish Catholics now need to get our own house in order first & foremost, and such suggestions as those from Fr McDonagh are doing nothing but slowing this process which is so desperately needed for the recovery of the Church in Ireland