This is amusing in a dark way… sort of like a movie about a screwball dysfunctional family.
Just how dysfunctional is the Catholic Church in Ireland?
From the Irish Times and the annual meeting of the ultra-liberal Ass. of Catholic Priests:
Priests told to stop calling bishops ‘spineless nerds and sycophantic half-wits’
Annual meeting of priests hears bishops ‘not all as bad as painted’
Priests must stop calling bishops “spineless nerds and sycophantic half-wits”, the former Abbot of Glenstal Mark Patrick Hederman has said.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the [ultra liberal] Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Athlone, he said most bishops were “not all as bad as painted by your leadership” and accused priests of adopting the wrong approach.
“If the ACP [Ass. of Catholic Priests] is trying to change things and to galvanize the bishops of this country into positive action, [I shudder to think… action for what?!?] then even the most junior politician and unseasoned diplomat would tell them that they are going about it the wrong way.
“Calling the bishops spineless nerds and sycophantic half-wits is not going to encourage them to adopt your point of view.” [LOL! No, no! Don’t give up! Surely you’ll get your way eventually.]
Defending bishops, he said: “In fact, for the most part, many of their flock would hold that they are more pleasant, less pompous, and more approachable that others from the past”. [Folks, I promise that I didn’t write this as a satire.]
Separately, the meeting on Tuesday heard a confidential helpline for priests may need to be set up. [May I also suggest “safe spaces” with stuffed animals and coloring books?]
The event heard depression was “very common” amongst priests and concerns were expressed about the number of priests dying by suicide. [They’re killin’ me, too.]
Redemptorist priest Fr Gerry O’Connor presented a summary of matters raised at seven regional meetings of the ACP throughout Ireland over the past year, which took place in 19 dioceses out of the 26 and which were attended by a total of 253 priests.
He told the approximately 250 priests in attendance at the Athlone meeting that it was clear from those regional meetings that “priests need to learn to say ‘I need help’,” and also “to say a respectful ‘No’.” [In many cases, priests would do well to learn to say “no”. But here, I suspect, they don’t mean “No” for Communion for the divorced and remarried couples… unless they’re not “gay”.]
There was, he said, “no tangible Church vision for the future” while priests themselves “have enormous grief about disappearing faith communities.” [Gentlemen, if you are looking for reasons why they are disappearing… LOOK IN THE MIRROR.]
The relationship between bishops and priests had become “damaged and soured” with some priests feeling “bullied.”
A major concern of priests was how those of their number who faced abuse allegations were being treated by church authorities. [Okay… now this is no joke. I know men who have been falsely accused of thing and have been treated appallingly by their bishops.]
Fr Tim Hazelwood, who was himself falsely accused, said “there was no consistency in how [ACCUSED]priests are treated.” Guidelines were not being applied correctly and he cited three recent cases as examples.
He also raised concern about funeral rights [sic … rites?] for priests out of ministry which can mean currently that there is no death notice placed in the papers and no concelebrated funeral Mass, he said.
The report from the ACP regional meetings stated that in this context, “priests statutory rights are being denied”, he said. It was also “unjust that a priest is asked to stand down on the basis of an anonymous accusation.”
A presentation was made on behalf of the ACP to solicitor Robert Dore for his “untold” work on behalf of priests, and on a pro bono basis.
Making the presentation, Fr Tony Flannery, said that “without Robert we would never have been able to establish there was such a thing as a false allegation.” [Ahhh,… Tony Flannery. Look him up HERE.]
Mr Gore [sic … Dore?] received a standing ovation from all the priests present.
While there is some truly serious stuff in this column, you can also read it with the lens of black humor.
It seems to me that the Catholic Church in Ireland, or what’s left of it, is now eating itself alive.
Not too long ago, I posted a story about the vocation crisis in Ireland. HERE
At that time I wrote:
It’s a vicious circle by now, a tornado of failure, a hurricane of identity suicide.
The vocations crisis was in part manufactured. In Ireland it is so bad that it is a self-perpetuating vortex of self-inflicted wounds.
Talk about manmade climate change!
I’m reminded that Benedict XVI, in his Letter to the Irish people, recommended a return to traditional practices.
[QUAERITUR] Do you want where you live to look like Ireland?
Pray for vocations. Be willing to offer your own children. Support your priests and seminarians.
Stop coddling perversity. Return to the Mass of our forebears as much as possible. Bring back our devotions and processions and many seasonal and festal blessings. Use sacramentals. Pray the Rosary.
Do penance for sins and offenses against the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart.
So very very sad.
Perhaps if the Irish people pray, perhaps if their priests and bishops pray and pray and pray and offering penances and sacrifices, God will raise up a great saint in Ireland to help with a reform and to lead them onto a new path.
BTW… I have a hard time watching movies about screwball dysfunctional families. While there are some funny bits here and there, most of the situations are not funny at all. They make me feel troubled and sad more often than not and I have to turn them off.
St. Columba, intercede for the Church in Ireland.
St. Brigid, intercede for the Church Ireland.
St. Patrick, intercede for the Church Ireland.