THE VATICAN HAS APPOINTED THE NEARLY 80-YEAR-OLD FORMER BISHOP OF RAPHOE TO RUN THE DIOCESE OF DROMORE AFTER THE 69-YEAR-OLD JOHN MC AREAVEY RETIRED IN DISGRACE.
WHAT A STRANGE APPOINTMENT?
This is happening of course because the small diocese of Dromore with a small number of priests has no senior priest to appoint as administrator because of the close association of all those priests with St. Colman's College, Newry and it abuser president Malachy Finnegan.
The question that needs to be asked is should Dromore be a diocese any longer when there is not one priest in it suitable to be an administrator while waiting for a new bishop?
And is it not ridiculous in this day and age to be appointing a retired man of 80 to a place where the church is in total disarray after various scandals.
The truth, of course, is that The Vatican simply do not want to know what to do with Dromore - and so they opted to put a bandage on the cancer instead of treating it vigorously.
And the non-smiling and uptight Boyce is a good bandage as he spent a lot of time in Rome, is well known there, and is nothing more than an old Roman parrot.
He may sit in the bishop's chair and he may do Confirmations but no one should expect that he will bring any warmth or healing to this ravaged diocese and its people.
Any victims or their relatives would be well warned not to go near him. He will look at them un-smiling, nod his head, make notes and send them on their way with the feeling that they have met a tailor's dummy.
It surely says a great deal about the Roman Catholic Church that they are sending Boyce to sit on the Dromore egg.
Is there no other cleric on the island of Ireland with bit more warmth and pastoral compassion that they could have sent in as caretaker?
If that is the case - then things are even worse than we imagined.
The RC Church really needs to examine the whole idea of what a bishop is and what is the ideal size of a diocese.
If a diocese is too small it is too incestuous and if a diocese is too big it is too impersonal.
Dromore is too small.
Maybe the answer is to take some parishes off both Armagh and Down and Connor and create a new, slightly larger diocese than Dromore with its twenty parishes.
But I do not see that happening in a Church that is unable to think outside the box.
So, for now, Boyce will stand with his finger stuck in the crack in the dyke until Rome can find a younger, CANONICALLY CORRECT, finger to replace Boyce's.
Of course, no one is wanting to talk about the fact that fingers cannot hold back the impending torrent forever.
And they all lived happily ever after......................................