Friday, December 18, 2009


David Quinn has an interesting article in the Irish Independent. He is relieved that Bishop Murray is to go but rightly wonders how if the decision was made on December 1 did it take 16 days for it to become public? Why the wait and the anguish for the Church and the victims? Rightly too does he call for the resignation of those bishops who have not been investigated but did not handle accusations as they should, who let the wolves continue to savage the lambs. He finishes with this thought:

Pope Benedict XVI has said he will clearly indicate the initiatives that are to be taken in response to the abuse scandals in a pastoral letter to be written especially for Ireland.

The two best initiatives he can undertake would be to force the resignations of all those bishops who acted as Donal Murray did, and then to replace them with as many strong, fearless and capable bishops as he can. That would help to re-energise the Irish Church very quickly indeed, restore morale, and allow Christianity to be properly proclaimed in Ireland once again.

The problem though is do we have in Ireland this kind of man in sufficient numbers? Let us hope and pray that there are enough "strong, fearless and capable" but also orthodox priests who are willing to become bishops.

Perhaps as rumour has it Rome will take the opportunity to cut the Irish Church down in size and reduce the number of dioceses to around 12 - perhaps three to a province. This would make it easier to find candidates since fewer would be needed but it might also make it easier for the clerical cliques to influence the choice.

1 comment:

Convenor said...

Dear Father,

It'll never happen. Of the 26 Dioceses, 14 have a Catholic population of over 100,000 and 12 a Catholic Population of under 100,000 (Annuario Pontificio 2005), so the proposal assumes that any Diocese smaller than that is ripe for amalgamation. These are Ferns, Clogher, Raphoe, Cashel & Emly, Ossory, Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Elphin, Dromore, Kilmore, Killala, Achonry and Clonfert.

Ferns (99k) and Ossory (78k), Clogher (86k) and Kilmore (54k), Killala (38k) and Achonry (35k) - perhaps in commendam with Tuam (120k) or Elphin (68k) or Ardagh and Clonmacnoise (73k) seem obvious candidates.

However, out of 215 Dioceses in Italy, 42 are 'below the line'. Out of 30 Dioceses in England, Wales and Scotland, 10 are below that line (mostly Wales and Scotland). On the other hand, France has 93 Dioceses only 2 of which are below that line and Germany has 27 with only poor little Görlitz having less than 100,000 Catholics. I'm excluding all Exarchates, Territorial Abbeys, etc., from that.

That's one reason why it will never happen. The other reason is that no Bishop (or Priest with ambitions) will ever recommend it. But the real reason is that, never mind finding quality Episcopal material in Ireland, could you find anyone in the whole of the Curia who would make that big a decision?


Related Posts with Thumbnails