Irish Archbishops slam Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s report on Rome Irish college
Cleric accused New York cardinal who also investigated "gay friendly" reputation of college
Cardinal Timothy Dolan has been attacked by four Irish archbishops for a misleading report which had led to major changes at the Irish College in Rome.
The Irish Times reports that the four archbishops are heavily critical of Cardinal Dolan’s role in a visitation and review of the College ordered by the Pope.
The four archbishops, Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh; the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin; the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, and the Archbishop of Cashel, Dr Dermot Clifford, were sent a copy of the visitation report by the Vatican.
They say Cardinal Dolan’s report, which has resulted in the college hierarchy being sent back to Ireland and may see it close down, is riddled with errors.
Under orders from Pope Benedict, Cardinal Dolan led a root and branch review of all structures and processes at the famous Irish seminary in the Vatican.
His report expressed concern about ‘the atmosphere, structure, staffing and guiding philosophy of the Irish College in Rome’.
But now four of Ireland’s leading clerics have hit out at the report.
In a statement to the Irish Times, they said: “As part of the process involved in the visitation to the Irish College, Rome, the trustees were given an initial report by the Holy See.
“This initial report contained some serious errors of fact, including named individuals. Attentive to the importance of applying due process, and respecting the rights of those named in this initial report, the trustees made a detailed and considered response to the Holy See.”
Cardinal Dolan was still an Archbishop when he led the apostolic visitation to the Irish College in Rome last year.
He was assisted in the visitation report by the then Archbishop of Baltimore in the US and now Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Msgr Francis Kelly of the Northern American College in Rome and others.
The Irish Times reports that it has seen a copy of the unpublished visitation report which was presented to the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome.
The report calls for ‘substantial reform’ at the college.
The four Irish archbishops, the college’s trustees, were criticised in Cardinal Dolan’s report as ‘seeming to be disengaged from college governance, with meetings, minutes, agenda and direct supervision irregular. The general rule of governance is ‘Let’s keep doing what we have been for the last 35 years’.
In response, the Irish archbishops told the Irish Times that they made a ‘detailed and considered response’ to the Holy See.
The Irish College was founded in 1628 and educates students for the priesthood. It is also a popular wedding venue for Irish couples who wish to get married in Rome.
The visitation report said: “A disturbingly significant number of seminarians gave a negative assessment of the atmosphere of the house.
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