Martin needs to end the gossip by telling Catholics what is going on

Irish Independent

David Quinn

Following one official report after another into the disastrous handling of clerical child abuse scandals by the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, at the end of 2010, announced an ‘Apostolic Visitation’ to Irish dioceses, religious orders and seminaries.

To put it more simply, he sent an inspection team to investigate the church’s child-protection systems. In the case of the seminaries, in particular St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the national seminary, the purpose was to see how well they were being run.

The man who headed up the inspection of the seminaries was the Archbishop of New York, the ebullient Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was himself rector for a time of the National American College in Rome – that is the North American seminary in Rome, the American equivalent of our Irish College there.

The details of his subsequent investigation into the seminaries were never published. All we got was an outline of his recommendations.

One recommendation was that the ‘episcopal governance’ of the seminaries be improved; that is, the bishops should exercise more oversight. In the case of Maynooth, that means those who are its trustees.

What must Cardinal Dolan be thinking now, several years on from his inspection, assuming he has heard that Dublin will not be sending any of its trainee priests to Maynooth this autumn?

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