A report on the Irish College in Rome by the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has the four archbishops of Ireland unhappy, accusing Dolan of factual errors and basic errors such as getting peoples names wrong.
Among Dolan’s main recommendations was that three of the priests on the staff be replaced and one be sent for further training in his particular discipline. He too has subsequently returned to Ireland.
All four staff at the College were given no right of reply.
Ireland’s four archbishops, Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh; the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin; the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, and the Archbishop of Cashel, Dr Dermot Clifford, Trustees of the College, told The Irish Times they had made a considered response to the Vatican, suggesting corrections of error and fact, including named individuals.
Responding the Dolan’s comments, the Archbishops reportedly told the Vatican that the visitation (Dolan’s) report “would appear to prioritize its own view of orthodoxy, priestly identity, separation and devotion” and its “harsh judgments on staff members” were “unsupported by evidence.”
The Irish Times, which has seen a copy of the report, says Dolan
- reports of a disturbingly significant number of seminarians giving a negative assessment of the atmosphers of the house
- says staff are critical of Rome, church tradition, the magisterium, piety or assertive orthodoxy
- identifies an anti-ecclesial bias in theological formation
- says the college suffers from being gay-friendly (although he found no evidence of rampant immorality or a homosexual subculture)
- notes the staff of the college did not inspire trust
- is critical of the college’s programme of formation that does not engender a vibrant fidelity to Jesus and the teaching of His church, and says that
- the college program also does not foster a durable interior life and a humble confident sense of priestly identity and mission.
Cardinal Dolan was assisted in the visitation report by Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, then-archbishop of Baltimore, and Msgr. Francis Kelly, who runs Casa Santa Maria at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Cardinals Dolan and O’Brien are former rectors of the North American College.
Responding to questions arising from his visitation Dolan stood by the reports accuracy.
“While obviously others do not consider themselves bound by the promised confidentiality – so necessary and understandable to assure a fair and honest gathering of information – requested by the Apostolic See, I certainly do,” in a statement to the Irish Times.
“Thus, I am unable to comment upon the report, other than to stand by the diligence of the six visitors, and the accuracy of the data we found – both of positive and challenging nature – and presented to the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome.”
- Irish Times - Vatican report critical of culture and ethos of Irish College in Rome
- Irish Times – Cardinal Dolan statement
- Irish Central
- Image: Voice of Justice
News category: World.