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Irish national seminary to be closed? Rector denies report

March 24, 2011

The head of St. Patrick’s seminary in Maynooth has angrily denied a published report that the institution could soon cease to function as Ireland’s national seminary.

Michael Kelly of the Irish Catholic reported that an apostolic visitation of the Irish seminary had found serious problems with the quality of teaching at Maynooth. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who conducted the apostolic visitation, will recommend to the Vatican that Irish seminarians receive their training at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, Kelly reported.

Msgr. Hugh Connolly, the rector of St. Patrick’s, rejected the story. “Media reports today about the possible closure of the seminary are without foundation,” he said. In a slap at the Irish Catholic he added: “The media outlet leading with this incorrect story was sent a reply from us yesterday and its absence from the published copy is disappointing and damaging.?”

The seminary at Maynooth, which has educated Irish candidates for the priesthood for over 200 years, has drawn frequent criticism in recent years. Questions have been raised not only about the quality and orthodoxy of academic instruction, but also about the efficiency of maintaining a large seminary for a relatively small number of students. There are 72 candidates for the priesthood studying at Maynooth today, Msgr. Connolly reported.


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  • Posted by: Wolf of Gubbio - Mar. 24, 2011 7:19 PM ET USA

    Maynooth is like something out of Harry Potter. The massive building is no longer fit for purpose, and that is not to mention the quality of the formation.