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Irish bishops reject plan to ask 'conservative' students to leave national seminary

July 03, 2015

Under pressure from bishops, the Irish national seminary at Maynooth will welcome back several seminarians who had been asked to leave because they were viewed “too conservative,” the Irish Catholic reports.

The newspaper reports that six seminarians—in a class of ten-- were told that they should take time off to reconsider their vocations. But three will be returning to St. Patrick’s seminary, after their bishops disagreed with the evaluations by seminary faculty.

Msgr. Hugh Connolly, the rector of the Maynooth seminary, told the Irish Catholic that there was “nothing out of the ordinary” in the decision. He said that the seminary always works with bishops, “who must be involved in the pastoral formation of students.” Msgr. Connolly said that the issues raised about the six students involved “not a question of conservatism” but a matter of “getting the right experience.”

In the past, the Irish Catholic notes, seminarians at Maynooth complained that they were carefully screened to eliminate those who were regarded as conservative. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI ordered an apostolic visitation of the Irish seminary system. The investigation, which was headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, 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.”


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  • Posted by: feedback - Jul. 05, 2015 1:23 AM ET USA

    "In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." [2 Timothy 3:12]

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 03, 2015 11:08 PM ET USA

    Reminds me of the good ole days when the prelate of a Midwestern diocese complained for two years that he could not send any men to the seminary because they were all "too conservative."