feeling let down?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 16, 2007

The following is a public statement released today by Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher, Ireland. He made the statement at a vigil Mass in Roslea, the home of a missionary priest who's in the headlines this week:

The statement by Bishop Duffy is presented here in its entirety. My comments are in italics.

I am sure that by now you will be aware that Fr Jeremiah McGrath was sentenced to five years imprisonment following his conviction last month.

No, actually I hadn't heard. Thanks for the notice. But what is it, pray tell, for which Father McGrath was sentenced? I would like to know; it is part of the story.

I have been told that he intends to appeal against the conviction, so I am not permitted to comment on the details of the case.

Fair enough. But couldn't you mention the reason for the court's sentence? Never mind; a quick news search supplies the details. Father McGrath was convicted of paying a convicted child rapist to act as his procurer.

However, it is obvious that some areas of Fr McGrath’s lifestyle fell short of what you, and I, would expect of a priest. Indeed, Fr McGrath himself acknowledged this in the evidence that he gave during the trial. We all feel very let down.

No, I'm afraid you're wrong again. When a priest is involved in raping children, I don't feel "let down." It's stronger than that. Outraged? Still too weak. Livid? Now we're getting there.

This is a very sad and tragic case and I ask you to keep everyone involved in your thoughts and prayers.

Somehow I think the prophet Jeremiah would have found stronger language to use. Tell me, Bishop Duffy: Would you like to make any comment at all about the offenses with which this miserable priest is charged? [snip]

The Church is committed to the protection of children. For my part, I will see what lessons can be learned from this case. I am committed to, and support without reservation, the child protection policy of the Church.

Wow. Good to know the bishop is on the case, fully committed to the protection of children. And if another priest is caught raping children, we can rest assured that the bishop will feel "let down" once again.

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