A reliable source with access to the Irish College in Rome has informed us that there is a huge and well coordinated plan afoot to have Deacon Michael "Gorgeous" Byrne ordained to the priesthood at the earliest possible moment.
The process involves a well planned project to reduce his public profile by having him abstain from all social media and a well laid out plan to make sure that he does not appear in any photographs either inside or outside the Irish College.
If you go on to the Irish College website you will find absolutely no trace of Gorgeous at college functions.
Its as if he no longer exists.
Our source also tells us that he has received a full assurance from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin that he will be ordained "as soon as feasible" and that he will be given a ministry in Dublin that will allow him relative anonymity - such as a hospital chaplaincy.
Diarmuid Martin apparently has not yet decided if he will be ordained in Dublin or in Rome.
There has also been talk of another bishop doing the ordination to distance Diarmuid from it?
The archbishop has apparently concluded that appointing him to a parish is not an option until such time as his public profile decreases. In the archbishop's thinking a hospital chaplaincy will allow him to do pastoral work away from the public gaze.
One person in the Irish College has been appointed to oversee his profile - to keep him out of all photographs and to help him manage his withdrawal from social media - to which, in the past he has been relatively "addicted".
He has also been asked to limit his contact with priests working back home in Dublin and has been advised particularly to stay away from old haunts like the Pro Cathedral.
His trips back to Dublin and any holidays he takes to places like Spain also need to be "run past" Diarmuid and an appointed Irish College "minder".
Our senior priest contact in the Dublin archdiocese when asked for a comment told us:
"I cannot, for the life of me, understand the massive operation there is in place to have this deacon ordained a priest regardless of all other considerations. In all other cases seminarians and deacons are like beggars waiting to hear that their ordinations will go ahead - and only if they have been on the best behaviour.
In this particular case it seems that all the "power" resides with the deacon and not with the archbishop or seminary authorities. He seems to be cracking the whip and Diarmuid seems to be jumping to it. We must ask ourselves why is this?
The whole scenario is the talk of the Dublin presbyterate and those Dublin priests who do not like AB Martin are looking forward to this being his undoing. It is all very, very sad".
In my 47 years as a seminarian, priest and bishop I have NEVER seen a seminarian with such POWER.
I really do not know what is behind it all.
But like everything else - in time - it will all come out.
PS: Meanwhile there is no news from Kerry about the ordination of Sean Jones who continues to serve as a deacon in Listowel after being dispensed from his final year of study for the priesthood.
|JONES ON RIGHT|
Again - another mystery. I have never heard of a seminarian being dispensed from his final year of study - except if the seminarian was seriously ill or dying!
What is going on ................................ ???