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
“Staff were critical about any emphasis on Rome, tradition, the magisterium, piety or assertive orthodoxy, while the students are enthusiastic about these features.”
The Dolan report recommended a change in the staff.
It also stated: “The apostolic visitor noted, and heard from students, an ‘anti-ecclesial bias’ in theological formation.”
Cardinal Dolan’s report also said: “The college suffers from the reputation of being ‘gay friendly’, however unjust such a reputation might be.
“I am eager to underline that I did not find any evidence of rampant immorality or a homosexual subculture, and that the overwhelming majority of the seminarians are committed to a faithful, chaste lifestyle.
“Likewise, we are convinced that the staff in no way condones such conduct.”
The report concludes: “If the college is to prepare men as leaders for the renewal of the church in Ireland, which the Holy Father is confident will come, the staff of the college must inspire trust and its programme of formation must engender a vibrant fidelity to Jesus and the teaching and tradition of His church with the fostering of a durable interior life, and a humble, confident sense of priestly identity and mission.
“Such is now lacking.”
Cardinal Dolan said he left the college: “Filled with affection and admiration for the students and, notwithstanding his criticisms, appreciation for the sincerity and hard work of the staff.”
A draft response prepared for the four Irish archbishops, seen by the Irish Times, said ‘a deep prejudice appears to have coloured the visitation and from the outset and it led to the hostile tone and content of the report’.
It said: “The visitation report would appear to prioritise its own view of orthodoxy, priestly identity, separation and devotion and its harsh judgments on staff members were unsupported by evidence.”
The paper says it is not clear how much of the draft response was included in the document the archbishops sent to the Holy See taking issue with the visitation report.
Since the report it has been confirmed that all four priests who were staff at the Irish College seminary in January 2011 are being replaced. Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal O’Brien received red hats last February.
Asked by The Irish Times to comment on questions arising from his visitation report, Cardinal Dolan responded: “While obviously others do not consider themselves bound by the promised confidentiality – so necessary and understandable to assure a fair and honest gathering of information [and] requested by the Apostolic See – I certainly do.”
The paper says he was therefore “unable to comment upon the report, other than to stand by the diligence of the six visitors and the accuracy of the data we found – both of positive and challenging nature – and presented to the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome.”
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