FATHER FRANKIE LEE - GALWAY
A very persistent Blog reader has been in touch with me for days to say that Father Francis Lee - the former PP of Barna in had been laicised by the Vatican at the request of the Diocese of Galway.
And yet the inclusion below taken from the Galway Diocesan Website says something very different.
Very Rev Francis Lee
Ordination: Moycullen, 1989
Current appointment: Study Leave
Address: 5 Pine Grove, Moycullen, Co. Galway
It says that Father Lee is on "STUDY LEAVE".
To clear up the matter I telephoned the Galway Diocesan Administrator - Canon Michael McLoughlin - to make enquiries as there is no bishop in Galway at present.
Canon Mc Laughlin is also the PP of Moycullen which is the address given for Father Lee.
|CANON MC LOUGHLIN - ADMINISTRATOR - GALWAY DIOCESE|
The very pleasant Canon McLoughlin confirmed for me that Fr Lee has indeed been laicised and that the piece on the diocesan website was just an oversight that had not been corrected since the laicisation.
On checking this morning I see that Father Lee has been REMOVED from the diocesan website.
However Father Lee had a very public ordination in Galway and went on to have a very public ministry eventually becoming THE VERY REVEREND PP.
If the diocese went on to have him laicised by The Vatican should that laicisation not also have been made public - and public reasons given for it?
It may be that Father Lee was laicised for some obscure canonical reason?
But it may also be that he was laicised for some more serious reason the public should have been made aware of?
Our Blog reader claims that Father Lee had a very public encounter with a Garda car at night on a Galway beach?
That encounter DID NOT lead to any action by the Garda.
However Father Lee has gone on to train as a SCHOOL COUNSELLOR.
If he has finished that course and gets a job in a school I think that the school and the parents are entitled to know that he was removed from the priesthood by the Catholic Church.
You do not get removed from the priesthood petty reasons.
They have not even tried to laicise me :-)
You are laicised for very serious causes.
All of this may be perfectly innocent.
Or it may not be.
But the public - especially the People of Galway are entitled to know those reasons.
In 2013 Father Lee's parish co-ordinator in Barna had threatened to protest outside Mass after complaints she made had not been addressed:
IRISH INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER:
Mass protest called off after court steps in
THE Labour Court has stepped in to resolve a dispute between a Catholic parish and a former employee.
The parish co-ordinator at Barna Parish in Galway, Ann Marie Horan, was threatening to picket Masses at the church tomorrow in an attempt to highlight her apparent grievances.
Ms Horan, who had been employed by the parish for the last six years, alleged that a number of complaints she had raised had not been dealt with by her employer.
SIPTU confirmed that the Labour Relations Commission had scheduled time next week for a preliminary meeting in relation to the dispute.
"It has been decided to suspend a planned protest outside the Church of Mary Immaculate Queen in Bearna, Co Galway," SIPTU sector organiser Adrian Kane said.
Was this protest connected to Father Lee who was / had been PP of Barna?
|FATHER LEE - BACK ROW - FIRST FROM LEFT|
CHURCH SECRECY AND IMPLICATIONS:
In this 21st century the Church should be more transparent. I thought they had learned their lessons from all the scandals we have had?
Its worth noting that in the famous case of the BOSTON GLOBE the journalists found out a lot about clerical sex abuse by looking at DIOCESAN YEAR BOOKS and following the cases of priests who had the following after their names:
1. c/o Bishop's House.
2. On sabbatical.
3. On study leave.
4. On loan to another diocese.
5. On sick leave.
6. Looking after a sick relative.
You might be interested to look through IRISH DIOCESAN WEBSITES to see how many of the above there are.
There are quite a few.
In fairness to Father Lee I called him some days ago and left a message for him to call me - so that he could put his side of the story. I postponed publishing this blog to await his call.
To date he has not returned my call.
Has this case anything to do with the recent early retirement ON HEALTH GROUNDS of the Bishop of Galway - Martin Drennan?
|BISHOP DRENNAN WITH FATHER LEE AND OTHER GALWAY PRIESTS|
BISHOP PAT'S CONTACT:
UK: 07900 287283
IRELAND: 01 5133199
Catholicism - WIKIPEDIA
Members of the Catholic Church clergy may be dismissed from the clerical state, an action known as laicization. The term "defrocking" is not normally used within the Catholic Church, although journalistic reports on laicization of Catholic clergy sometimes use it. Laicization differs from suspension. The latter is a censure prohibiting certain acts by a cleric, whether the acts are of a religious character deriving from his ordination ("acts of the power of orders") or are exercises of his power of governance or of rights and functions attached to the office he holds. As a censure, suspension is meant to cease when the censured person shows repentance. Laicization, on the contrary, is a permanent measure, whereby for a sufficient reason a cleric is from then on juridically treated as a layman. Laicization is sometimes imposed as a punishment (Latin, ad poenam), or it may be granted as a favour (Latin, pro gratia) at the priest's own request. New regulations issued in 2009 regarding priests who abandon their ministry for more than five years and whose behaviour is a cause of serious scandal have made it easier for bishops to secure laicization of such priests even against the priests' wishes.