Archbishop stops trainee priests going to Maynooth

Irish Times

Paddy Agnew, Patsy McGarry

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin is to cease sending trainee priests from the diocese to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, because of a worrying “atmosphere” at the national seminary.

Meanwhile a former Maynooth seminarian has in recent days made a complaint to the Garda in Dublin about alleged sexual harassment at the college between 2007 and 2009.

Asked why Dublin is to send its three seminary students next autumn to the Irish College in Rome rather than to Maynooth, Dr Martin told The Irish Times he “wasn’t happy” with Maynooth.

“There seems to be an atmosphere of strange goings-on there, it seems like a quarrelsome place with anonymous letters being sent around,” he said in Krakow, Poland, where he was attending World Youth Day. “I don’t think this is a good place for students. However, when I informed the president of Maynooth of my decision, I did add ‘at least for the moment’.” …

A former Maynooth seminarian told The Irish Times yesterday how, as a seminarian there from 2007-2009, he felt he was being continuously sexually harassed by an individual. He made a formal complaint to authorities. An internal inquiry was set up which found the allegations unproven.

Senior church figures

College authorities tried to persuade him to forget it and stay on but he said he felt so aggrieved he could not. He brought his complaints to other senior church figures and it was suggested he might attend a seminary abroad.

Now in his mid 30s, he is married and works in Dublin.

He said it remained a concern to him that the individual about whom he had complained at Maynooth never faced any discipline, while a seminarian who witnessed an incident he complained about was badly treated later.

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