MAYNOOTH - WHAT THE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE!
Ireland, especially when it comes to Catholic Matters is often years and decades behind what has happened in the USA and on the Continent of Europe.
MAYNOOTH SEMINARY has had a "gay" reputation for a number of years now.
BUT as experience from the USA and Europe tells us - seminaries in which abuses are not tackled strongly - ONLY GET WORSE!
Below is one experience from AUSTRIA.
With Irish Catholic Bishop inaction and neglect Maynooth is on the path to becoming like this Austrain seminary = St Polten - became. Here is a summary from the New York Times:
"The date on the door of the Roman Catholic seminary in this Austrian provincial capital is 1455, when it was founded by Franciscans, but that image of hoary old age has not protected St. Pölten from disclosures of sexual misbehaviour that have set off a major scandal in this country.
It started early in the week when the Austrian weekly news magazine Profil published photographs of the rector and deputy rector of the seminary, the main school for future priests in this area just west of Vienna, in which they appeared to be kissing and fondling seminary students.
|PRIEST STAFF MEMBER AND SEMINARIAN KISSING|
The publication of the photographs came some months after thousands of images, apparently downloaded from child pornography Web sites, appeared on seminary computers, prompting a police investigation.
The disclosures took on added importance because the person in charge of the St. Pölten Seminary is Bishop Kurt Krenn, for decades a prominent and outspoken conservative. Venerated by members of Austria's small ultraconservative Catholic groups, he is reviled by many liberals, who have long seen him as a major obstacle to reform.
Bishop Krenn may have given some ammunition to his critics, when he seemed to dismiss the allegations against the seminary leaders, saying they were guilty of nothing more than ''boyish pranks'' that may not have been homosexual in nature at all. All week there have been calls by prominent Catholic figures for Bishop Krenn to resign, though he has said he will not do so.
A Vienna prosecutor is expected to announce early next week the results of a police investigation into the child pornography allegations, and whether formal charges will be filed. On Friday, Austrian radio reported that the prosecutor, Walter Nemec, had found child pornography on several computers in several locations in the seminary, suggesting that viewing such images, which is illegal in Austria, was widespread.
The Vatican is reported to be investigating the allegations of sexual impropriety and possible criminality at St. Pölten and is expected to rule on whether Bishop Krenn can remain in his post.
''The papal nuncio here in Vienna is informing the Vatican about all that is going on,'' the Rev. Erich Leitenberger, the spokesman for Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, the highest-ranking Catholic official in Austria, said in a telephone interview on Friday. ''It is very clear -- and the Austrian bishops said this very clearly -- that in a Roman Catholic seminary there is no room for pornography or for a homosexual network,'' Father Leitenberg said.
Bishop Krenn was unavailable for comment, but his spokesman, Michael Dinhobl, defended the comments the bishop had made in the case. While the photographs published in Profil suggest serious impropriety, he said, they were not conclusive evidence and should not be used to destroy the reputations of the people pictured. Bishop Krenn, he added, has been trying to protect the two seminary leaders from, as he put it, ''being destroyed in the press without a real investigation.''
Father Dinhobl also said that in the matter of the child pornography, it was Bishop Krenn himself who had brought the matter to the police.
The scandal comes at a delicate time for the Austrian Catholic Church, which has been striving to rebuild its image, tarnished by allegations of sexual abuse directed against Cardinal Schönborn's predecessor, Hans Hermann Groer, who resigned in 1995. Bishop Krenn was an auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Groer and defended him against the allegations that he had molested boys decades earlier. Cardinal Groer died last year.
''The Austrian church was very damaged after Cardinal Groer, and Schönborn has been doing a very good job,'' Paul Zulehner, dean of the Catholic Theological Faculty at the University of Vienna, said in a telephone interview. ''Acceptance of the church was improving, and now this scandal is terrible.''
Since the Groer scandal, the church has created ombudsmen in the various Austrian dioceses who are charged with investigating any accusations of sexual misconduct made against church officials. But Bishop Krenn blocked the appointment of such a ombudsman in St. Pölten, Mr. Zulehner said, making it the only diocese without one.
''There's no question that he should go immediately, not in some months or after the investigation has closed, because he is a real problem for the investigation,'' said the Rev. Helmut Schüller, who is ombudsman for the diocese of Vienna.
The pictures published in Profil, three in all, do not seem to support some of the more sensational allegations that have appeared in the Austrian press about orgies at the school, fuelled by alcohol and pornography. There is no nudity or partial nudity in any of the pictures.
|FATHER WOLFGANG TOUCHING A SEMINARIAN|
But one does show the deputy rector, the Rev. Wolfgang Rothe, embracing a seminarian, whose face is blurred in the Profil article to protect his identity, and kissing him on the mouth. In another photograph, the rector of the seminary, the Rev. Ulrich Küchl, is shown in what looks like a T-shirt with his hand over the genitals of another man, who is wearing a priest's collar.
''The priests' parties were quite open,'' Christian Rainer, the editor in chief of Profil, said in a telephone conversation. Mr. Rainer said the magazine had been investigating allegations of sexual misconduct at St. Pölten for several months.
''It was quite easy,'' he said, ''because there are so many people there who want to get rid of this bishop and wanted the scandal to surface.''
MAYNOOTH is in a bad state. But it could and can get worse. To get worse all that is needed is:
1. The Irish Bishops to do nothing.
2. Unsuitable staff members to be left in place.
3. Compromised bishops covering up for compromised priests and seminarians.
4. The unspoken acceptance in Maynooth of sexual activity.
5. The unspoken acceptance in Maynooth of internet / mobile sex sites.