"Springtime of Vatican II" Update
by Christopher A. Ferrara
On June 20, 2005 Catholic World News reported that "The Irish Catholic bishops have released a report showing that the hierarchy ignored complaints about theological novelties and sexual harassment at the national seminary in Maynooth."
What strikes me about the conclusion of the Irish bishops report is that it could be used as a template for a report by any national hierarchy concerning just about any major seminary today: "The [fill name of country] bishops have released a report showing that the hierarchy ignored complaints about theological novelties and sexual harassment at the national seminary in [fill in name of diocese]."
As CWN notes, the Irish bishops released their report, commissioned three years ago, only "in response to repeated requests from the Sunday Business Post," a local Irish newspaper. As always, it is bad publicity that forces the bishops to give an account of themselves. It was, in fact, bad publicity that brought the whole scandal of the seminaries to light throughout the Western Church in the first place.
The Irish bishops report focused on "the record of Msgr. Michael Ledwith. Msgr. Ledwith resigned in 1994, after 10 years as president of St Patrick's College at Maynooth, amid allegations that he had been engaged in sexual harassment of students. The report found that a dean at Maynooth, Father Gerald McGinnity, had been dismissed after warning about Msgr. Ledwith's misconduct. Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh conceded that Father McGinnity had been wrongly punished "
An old familiar pattern in the "springtime" of Vatican II: the misdeeds of wayward authorities are covered up, while the orthodox priests who try to expose them are punished. The case of Father Nicholas Gruner, who continues to expose the misdeeds of certain Vatican officials, comes to mind.
CWN quotes the unjustly punished Father McGinnity, who commented on the bishops report from the parish to which he was transferred when he blew the whistle: "I have suffered, not only in the cruel removal from my position of respectability and responsibility at Maynooth, but also from the professional and emotional destruction caused by my subsequent 20 years in the wilderness. I must now wait and see how serious the Church authorities are about their apology, and whether it will be followed by any restorative action." Some advice to Fr. McGinnity: dont hold your breath.
As for Msgr. Ledwith, the man the Irish bishops protected for 20 years, he "moved to the US, where he now teaches at the Ramtha School of Enlightenment, a New Age institution in Washington." Well, of course he does!
Meanwhile, there are virtually no priestly vocations in once-Catholic Ireland. Thus progresses the "springtime" of Vatican II.