Sunday, 4 March 2018

THE LESSONS OF DROMORE

When a bishop loses the confidence of his flock, the sooner he goes the better


The Bishop of Dromore, Dr John McAreavey, has resigned his see. Dromore is the diocese that covers the counties of Antrim, Armagh and Down in Northern Ireland. The Bishop made a statement, published on the diocesan website, explaining his dealings with the late Malachy Finnegan, an abusive priest, prior to a BBC investigation into the case. Later, as the Irish Times reports, the Bishop decided to step down with immediate effect because it was clear that his decision to say the funeral Mass for Finnegan back in 2002 was the wrong decision and had caused hurt to the victims of the abuser, as well as a loss of confidence in the people of the diocese, some of whom were now wishing their children not to be confirmed by him.
Usually one congratulates a Bishop on his elevation to a see. In this case, the opposite is true. Dr McAreavey should be congratulated on doing the right thing, and doing it so swiftly. When a Bishop loses the confidence of his flock, it is time to go. How can he lead a diocese when some of the people no longer wish to be led by him? How can he be a focus for unity in such circumstances? Unable to do the job for which he was appointed, resignation is the best thing for him and the diocese.
Moreover, Dr McAreavey seems to have grasped the essential point about the toxicity of child abusers. No one has accused the Bishop of misbehaviour, but he clearly made a misjudgement in celebrating that funeral, for Finnegan by the time of his death was no longer a priest in good standing. (It is to be noted that the late Malachy Finnegan is no longer referred to as “Father’ having, by his actions, lost the right to that honorific.) Clearly Bishop McAreavey sees that trying to defend his decision of celebrating the funeral would in fact be attempting to defend the indefensible, so there is no recourse to the usual arguments along the lines of “At that time…” or appeals to “context”. Instead the Bishop has put his hand up and admitted a misjudgement. That is the right thing to do. His courage is to be commended. He has put the needs of the flock, and the survivors of abuse, first.
While the right decision has been made in Ireland, on the other side of the world, another Bishop – Juan Barros of Osorno – is still in office. Witnesses have claimed that he was in the room when Fr Karadima behaved in a most inappropriate way. Bishop Barros has denied allegations of wrongdoing. However, a large segment of his own diocese has made it clear that they do not want him. A considerable number of Chilean bishops seem to think the same. Barros has twice offered his resignation, but it has been rejected by Rome.
What does this tell us? It tells us that the Church in Ireland realises that child abuse is an abominable thing, and that the way the Church deals with it will have a huge impact on the Church’s credibility. Hence the swift response in Dromore. But the difference between Chile and Ireland tells us that the global Church has yet to adopt a uniform approach. They need to do this fast, and they could do a lot worse than following what has been done in Dromore.

PAT SAYS:

It is interesting for us in Ireland to look at people outside Ireland thought about happenings in Dromore
The above article was written by an English priest.
He suggests the the resignation of Bishop McAreavey should be a model of what Catholic bishops all over the world should do when their people lost faith an trust in them.
Of course people and priests should also have a say in the appointment of bishops in the first place.
I this day and age people look for accountability.
This must happen in every profession - the police, medics, the NHS and it should also apply to priests and bishops.
Dromore resigned as a result of the massive upsurge of public opinion that demanded he go.
I hope this sets a new precedent for bishops in the future.
We could e an call it The McAreayey Principle!

88 comments:

  1. Pat, I work in the NHS and thanks for all your help with us.

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    1. Was it 2002 or 2004?

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  2. Long gone are the days that the Catholic church had the final say. Thank God. Power to the people

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  3. Yes, the McAreavey Principle. What an epitaph for that episcopal fool, McAreavey.πŸ˜†

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    1. Sister Maggie, shouldn't you be polishing something for the PP (sounds like a euphemism)?

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    2. I would have more time anyday for McAreavey than for a total drunken fool like you Magna.

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  4. Jesus, are you still harping on about Dromore. It didn’t take you long, will you give it a rest. You’ve bled this story dry. You’ve exhausted it. Do you ever learn? This convinces me you are morally repugnant, obsessed, nasty, without any morality.

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    1. Wasn't aware that Jesus had said anything on the subject.πŸ˜†

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    2. Jesus didn't say anything on the subject only your big fat gob.

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  5. I got the impression it was only after the Nolan Show he, finally, quit, otherwise he would have continued unrestrained by a sense of shame.

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  6. Pell returns to court.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-43281940

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  7. Bishop Barros offered his resignation twice to Francis but it was refused. Why?

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    1. If a bishop really wants to resign then the Pope can’t really stop him. McAreavey just walked off the pitch - papal acceptance or not. Barros has far more reason to resign than McAreavey.

      Barros is using the Pope as an excuse. Barros is a complete lunatic for ever even imagining that he would be accepted by the priests and people of that diocese. He is obviously a delusional narcissist intoxicated with his own desire for self-aggrandisement.

      Given that he himself is accused of improprieties with Karadima (french-kissing Karadima whilst his victims looked on) his acceptance of episcopal office is, in itself, shocking beyond words.

      If Barros had any decency he would simply tell the Pope, “I’m out of here!”

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  8. Comparing the behaviour of John McAreavey with the actions of Brady and the allegations against Barros, is it possible the pope will also not accept McAreavey’s letter of resignation?

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    1. You haven’t seen Scicluna’s report, 8:41. It would be wiser to hold your thunder until it’s published.

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    2. You haven't heard then. Scicluna was taken ill as soon as he arrived in Chile and is confined to hospital. Could he have been poisoned? The "investigation" is going ahead without him.

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    3. He had a gall bladder operation, by keyhole surgery, and was back on the job within three days.

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    4. Francis, as always off the cuff (he's not a thinker) has boxed himself into a corner. If Scicluna finds that Barros is guilty, Francis is exposed as a liar when he said there was no evidence presented, and a denier when he declared calumny.

      If Scicluna returns to Rome and says "all clear, boss" the victims will be called liars.

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    5. Scicluna is familiar with his previous so-called "investigation" into the disgraced Keith O'Brien.

      The outcome of his investigation was "no further action".

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    6. Quelle surprise!

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    7. 18:44, Francis has already been exposed as a potential liar over his denial about receiving evidence (the content of Cruz's letter).

      If Scicluna's intention is to save papal face (and this possibility should surprise no one), he will have to convince a highly sceptical public that what was in the letter actually did not constitute evidence. This carefully nuancΓ©d outcome would then ennable Scicluna to declare that Francis was correct in his denial: yes, he did receive the letter, but no, he did not receive any evidence against Juan Barros.

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  9. The McAreavey Principle? Perhaps. But we are now in the post Jimmy Savile era of zero tolerance. Would O'Brien and Brady got off so lightly nowadays? I wonder.

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    1. Of course you are correct , poster @ 8.59
      Negligent authority figures would be held responsible much more rapidly nowadays. They know that for the most part. That holding to account is a sign of welcome progress But we will always be inclined to look at the events of many years ago with today's wider open eyes and be shocked at what passed then as normal or trivial and how tardy people were in their responses. I condone absolutely no wrong behaviour whatsoever but I do think we have to see events in their historical setting as a means of understanding why people reacted or didn't react in ways that we should definitely expect nowadays. I think the Pope is probably more aware of that than he is given credit for...

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  10. Shame on the editor of The Catholic Herald who allows an ignorant cleric to assert that "Dromore is the diocese that covers the counties of Antrim, Armagh and Down in Northern Ireland."

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    1. Typical. I hope the apologist for the CH who appears here in order to castigate Pope Francis on one point or another, pace CH, is taking note.

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    2. Protect the Pope!

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    3. Does Dromore have bits of those counties? This criticism is a bit like mistaking the wood from the trees? Is the essential message false?

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    4. You sound like Trump denouncing CNN lol.

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  11. Perhaps there should be a division between the spiritual and business side of the church. The Sacramental nature of orders is not denied but the hiring and firing is done on a more business like model

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    1. Very good point, Sean. A sort of job description for clerics, which, if ignored, would result in disciplinary measures, up to and including dismissal.

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    2. Sean @11.43 ‘A more business like model’. You are sounding like an Anglican each day dear. Let’s do it any old way, change it every other day, sound familiar?

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    3. 11.43 That would be a good idea. I read quite a lot of very sound spiritual books and the constant scandals in the church turn my stomach. I have put under such a lot of pressure to work for the diocese, which I don't want to do, that it has made me very ill. In the end I contacted an enclosed nun who told me that the bishop has no rights over me and his behavior was unconscionable and I was being treated very shabbily. It is unfortunate that my friends in the parish think the bishop is some kind of saint. I have an honest streak. I wouldn't last two minutes up in the cathedral.

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    4. MournemanMichael5 March 2018 at 17:23

      Good thinking Sean. Indeed an excellent idea to separate off pastoral service from the many other roles clergy get over involved in. I'm thinking here of PPs "running" parishes and making financial, organisational and management decisions they have neither the aptitude for or the good sense to harness the skills of parishoners.
      MMM

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    5. MMM you don't subscribe to Catholicism and yet, here you are pontificating about it. Make up your mind man, if you don't agree with it all then what the hell are you doing on here slabbering about it.

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    6. 17.23 - MMM - since you have no attachment to Catholicism or parish communities, how can you say so conclusively that we -priests - have neither the aptitude or the good sense to harness the skills of parishioners. Untrue, unfair and very condescending. You should open your eyes a little more. Certainly the parish where I work is very vibrant and alive, where we continually look for ways to involve more and more parishioners in all kinds of activities. I find these generalisations of judgment by you to be offensive. It fits neatly into anti catholic sentiment.

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    7. MourneManMichael6 March 2018 at 08:36

      Anon @ 20:12: you are certainly right that I do not subscribe to Catholicism, but, Anon @ 21:51 I do have an 'attachment' to it, albeit one of sentimentality from my childhood remembering the many fine priests I met then, and later during my seminary years.
      When i said "PPs running parishes" I did have specific PPs in mind so I apologise in not being clear that I was not referring to all PPs. I could have been more specific, but I leave to others to consider the applicability or otherwise of my comment to their own experience of priests running parish business and organisational affairs.

      Let me give an example.
      Canon Cahill, PP of Drumaroad in the early 1950's had a 'bee in his bonnet' about a supposed Franciscan monastery believed to have existed centuries previously in Upper Drumnaquoile, Co Down, part of his parish. Few parishoners had any interest in the matter, but nevertheless church money was used to build a huge granite cross and an altar on the Drumnaquoile hillside, marked on NI OS 20 map @348436.
      Now long abandoned and rarely visited, it remains as a 1951 monument to his unfettered use of RC laity money to pursue his personal interests, with the only thing to commend it being the superb view from it down to the sweeping panorama of Dundrum Bay and the Mournes.
      I'm sure others will have similar examples.
      MMM

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  12. 'For the times they are a changin'.' But changing neither enough nor fast enough in the institutional Roman Catholic Church.

    We have a so-called 'Pontifex Maximus', who, despite the apparent warmth and humility of his public words and conduct, behaves like an absolute monarch by stubbornly and offensively standing by such a man as Juan Barros.

    Don't be fooled by John McAreavey's resignation: it wasn't an act of decency, but of personal expediency. He was FORCED to resign by good ole Joe and Jane Public.

    These men love position and power, and they will not easily let go of it. If Juan Barros had any integrity, he would stand down whatever Francis might say or do. The people in Chile have roared a collective 'Fuck off, Barros', and Francis and Barros have raised a very public two fingers to these people's wish and concerns.

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    1. I don't appreciate your bad language and it shouldn't be attributed to the people of Chile who can make their point a lot more convincingly without it.

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    2. It hasn't worked so far, has it.

      And I don't appreciate your obtuseness. But we all have our crosses t'bear, don't we?πŸ˜†

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  13. M C 12.00 Thank You I wanted to keep it a secret but I was reminded of it by my preparation for formal licensing on 1 July

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    1. May that day be a great and memorable one for you and for your family, and be rich with God's blessings.

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    2. 16.59 MC I hope it will be a great day. It legally returns what laicisation took away albeit in a different jurisdiction. Clarice is eying up dress shops and I'm seeing £ signs. Let her have her day in church. I won't be drinking this time round.

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    3. Do you not mean the 1st April. Who cares about your licensing into the Protestant Church.

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    4. 20:15, Jesus cares, very much indeed. For he has other sheep, not of this flock.

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    5. 20.15 You do enough to respond. If you don't like it write to the Queen. Im not bothered and I feel sorry for anyone who is a victim of bigotry.

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  14. Has Pope Francis explained his conduct over the evidence he claims he didn't receive (a letter) from one of Juan Barros' accusers? I don't believe he has.

    It shows the measure of that Latino's greasy arrogance that he seems to believe he's answerable to no one, not even his comatose conscience.

    Bishop Pat, Francis should not be allowed to duck this very serious matter. I hope you re-visit it.

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    1. Archbishop Scicluna of Malta has been asked to investigate this whole case by the Pope. Though in your nasty little mind he’s probably “greasy” also, eh, MC?

      In any case, I’m sure the Pope is wringing his hands frantically, as we speak, at his not being allowed to “duck” this matter, by you and Pat Buckley.

      You are a conceited, bombastic, puffed up moron. What are you? That’s right - a conceited, bombastic, puffed up, moron of a fool. Have another drink there Magna.

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    2. 16:19, I have absolutely no confidence in the ability of a Vatican archbishop to investigate, impartially, Pope Francis' (shall we say 'controversial') conduct. But you, being a rather too obvious papalphile, would disagree, wouldn't you?πŸ˜†

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  15. I’m sure Barros is quaking in his boots and shi**ing his pants at your ranting and raving. What is it today? Rum, vodka?

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    1. Magna at 12:54 - I laughed out loud - not at your racist slur - but at how utterly delusional you are - that the Pope is answerable to you and Buckley’s blog!!!

      Drunk with your own importance, as well as whatever rocket fuel you’ve poured down your gullet today already. ROFL

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    2. Why are you, 13:33, facilitating Pope Francis' moral duplicity? Why aren't you troubled by this?

      Stop sticking your head in the sand. Show a little courage and stand up to papal wrongdoing.

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    3. 16:11, if I'm delusional, then you're illiterate. There was nothing in my post even remotely suggestive of what you claimed.

      There are remedial classes in literacy for adults. I promise I shall tell no one if you attend them.πŸ˜†

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    4. Maggie, luv, yer a geg so y’ar. Honest til Jayzus she’s a geg when ya get ‘er started! :-D

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    5. Sweet Lord, do you hear Magna Carta the courageous and fearless keyboard warrior??

      We stand awestruck at your bravery MC in standing up to “papal wrongdoing” - we really do.

      Could someone recommend a good rehabilitation facility for this man Carta?

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    6. Thank you, 16:54, for 'really' commending me on my bravery. I do so wish to do my bit, however modest that might be.πŸ˜†

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    7. So speaks the Barros defender. Who speaks for the children?

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    8. Yes, I can recommend such a facility for Magna Moronic. It's called Muckamore Abbey.

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    9. Oh please....! Have some respect an compassion for the good people in Muckamore. Surely you would not wish that on them!!

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  16. Magna Carta, you are so unreasonable that when we read your name we just keep scrolling.

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    1. No, you don't.πŸ˜† Which is why you posted at 17:12.πŸ˜…

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    2. No we all don’t 17.12

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  17. Pat ,why didn’t you acknowledge the English priest in the appropriate place...that is at the beginning of the article.

    I don’t care if McAreavy celebrated a mass or 2...this is not the concern
    The abominable fact that he knew from 1994 about the abuse and did nothing.
    HE DID NOTHING ABOUT THE ABUSE THAT HE WAS INFORMED ABOUT IN 1994.

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  18. As Lent has unfolded, there hasn't been one article of benefit to our spiritual nourishment. Nothing inspiring or reflective. Nothing that would make you feel that we're keeping Sacred the momory of Jesus. Pat, you've facilitated too much invective, venom and hatred dominate, too many comments that are pornographic in content and innuendo. Somehow, I think you delight in a pathological way in the dowfall of others. Your blog is trailer trash mostly.

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  19. 18;25. I can see why you think that about this blog but it provides a forum for dissatisfied folk to express their anger or concern about what is happening in the Church , particularly the more unsavoury aspects of things. It is also a place where, mainly under the cloak of anonymity, clergy can voice their frustrations and concerns without being subjected to retribution. Make no mistake even though they would be loath to admit it I would suggest that every bishop or senior cleric on these islands reads this blog. They would be fools if they didn’t.
    So while some of the stuff on here is a bit ‘off’ at times the contributions will be noted by the powers that be, believe me.
    I do agree that Pat needs to clamp down on the Magna ‘show’ which can get out of hand at times.

    Senior Priest.

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    1. "Magna 'show' "? SHOW?! You have damned me, sir, with such pale praise!😈

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    2. Well that's what you get for carrying on like a bitter old drag queen, dear.
      If you'd tidy yourself up a bit, try to put what little brain you have into gear before you open your gob, and most of all treated others with respect you might have a friend or two to talk to in the real world.
      And don't try telling me you've got a friend - she's the centrefold out of a magazine, and no amount of talking to her will turn her into a friend.

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  20. Why bother reading here then...save your own soul and stop preaching.
    For lent, you could have given up reading and saved yourself from posting such a denigrating venomous and hatred dominate.18.25

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    1. 21.35: If you expressed yourself in a more literate way, I might pay attention but I stand by my words at 18.25. So, take a hike....

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  21. +Pat, how have the seminarians been behaving themselves at Maynooth lately? I do hope you have some sort of scandalamity to report soon.

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    1. Surely you would hope the opposite?

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  22. Pat, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, WOULD YOU GIVE US ALL A BREAK FROM THAT LOUD-MOUTHED IGNORANT BULLY, MAGNA CARTA???

    The man is a domineering bombast. For God’s sake, would you curtail him? Does he have to comment on every single post? He’s like a very rude and nuisance heckler.

    He’s completely OTT. I - and I am sure I’m not alone - am thoroughly bored and sick of his incessant nastiness and vitriol.

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    1. You need a very stiff drink, m'boy, t'settle them frayed nerves of yours. But buy yer own!πŸ˜†

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    2. MC at 23:55 - Feck off!

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    3. MC Blue - your attempts at “humor” are akin to Maggie Thatcher had she ever tried to do a stand up routine in a Working Men’s Club in Lancs. Lol

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    4. Pat's always asking if Dermo's compromised. Is Pat compromised with MC? That could explain things.

      Though there are some who believe that Pat is MC and he posts to get a rise out of people and to drive up blog traffic.

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  23. Just in case there is anyone who hasn't had enough of the Magna show it's on youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UuE0DcJ1F0

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  24. As Catholics are we not all entitled to a funeral mass in the church we were baptised into and if we went to on a regular basis, even if we did not live a very Christian life. There was people doing wrong while Jesus was walking on earth, and he refused to condem them. In saying this I know what many of the people in Jesus time were not doing wrong to the same degree as father Finnegan. As a Catholic (albeit a not very good one) wasn't he entitled to have a mass celebrated after his death one which the bishop celebrated. If it was a parish priest or curate celebrated it would people be calling for him to resign.

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    1. We seem to have forgotten already that Pope Francis did what was expected of him at Cardinal Law's funeral in the Vatican. Often enough a priest will know a great deal about the people he is asked to provide a funeral for and he might well feel squeamish about saying the prayers over them.

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    2. They pray for their souls, and not for us to judge.
      I’ve no problem with Mc Areavy saying the masses.
      He shouldn’t have apologised and used theses masses as excuses.
      His resignation was needed because he covered up the abuse of little boys.

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    3. Why was it thought bad for Bishop McAreavey to preside at Fr Finnegan's funeral but it was ok for Pope Francis to do the final commendation at Cardinal Law's funeral?

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  25. He resigned because he covered up abuse since 1994.
    It’s just a pretent saving face to say he resigned because of mass saying.
    All will out in due course.
    COVER UP should be the name of most bishops
    None of them have any integrity.

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    1. Its a very dangerous thing to tar all of them with the one brush.

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    2. Which of them has a clear record?
      SeanBrady ?
      Heagarty ?
      OConnell ?

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  26. I haven’t counted the posts of M Carta but I have had to do a lot of scrolling. If earlier form is anything to go by quantity and quality are in inverse proportion.

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    1. God help your wit 19.05 , keep going, you’re sure to get a prize someday.

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