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.

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 19, 2007 12:09 PM ET USA

    Let's not be uncharitable. Wait until Fr McGrath has concluded his appeal and then see what sort of rip-roaring denunciation Bishop Duffy comes out with. Or not, as the case may be.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 19, 2007 8:43 AM ET USA

    Bp Duffy's lines are written in AmChurch-speak.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 18, 2007 11:08 AM ET USA

    I have to take issue with 'Ex Cop', the Bishops are judgmental on certain issues: race, immigration, ecology, etc. Which makes me even more concerned, to be honest, about those issues which they 'soft-soap'.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 17, 2007 5:51 PM ET USA

    Now the Bishop wouldn't want to be judgemental would he? I am SO tired of hearing the "can't we all just get along & love one another", "let's not be judgemental" junk flowing from the mouths of the clergy. Let's BE judgemental. Let's tell it like it is and, above all, let's DO something about problems which exist. Mealy mouthed expressions by our leaders do NOTHING but provide an excuse for mistakes & misbehavior to continue. Gee, I screwed up and nothing bad happened--I'll do it again.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 17, 2007 9:48 AM ET USA

    "Bishops who do nothing about them are unworthy of the office they hold and should be removed by the Holy See." But it doesn't happen. Two things: 1)Recent Popes and Bsihops are like Aaron, who while Moses was on the mountain allowed the people to "break loose..." 2) Faithful American Catholic Llaity are the key to this problem in this hour of crises, because unlike the priests and the laity of past ages we cannot be manipulated by the Bishops. Let us then be courageous and serve God.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 16, 2007 8:11 PM ET USA

    As far as I know Fr. Jeremiah did not rape any child. What he did was to have sex with a man who later on decided that instead of sex with old priests he preferred sex with prepubescent girls. Fr. Jeremiah was convicted of giving a rather large amount of money to the paedophile to which he used to 'woo' the little girl. Somewhere along the line a lot of myths about homosexuality/paedophila being an 'orientation' seem to have been demolished. Just plain evil would do to describe the events.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 16, 2007 8:06 PM ET USA

    Here are the appropriate penalties for a priest who rapes/molests children: permanant and irrevocable removal from the clerical state, ex-communication, being publicly shunned. While I recognize that the Church desires to reconcile repentant sinners, for serious offenses such as this it should only happen after a lengthy and arduous penance, say 10 years. Bishops who do nothing about them are unworthy of the office they hold and should be removed by the Holy See.