All four priests at college opted to leave


DEPARTURES:ALL FOUR OF the seminary staff who were at the Irish College in Rome when the visitation team, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, arrived there in January 2011 have left or are on their way out.

This is in line with the recommendation in Cardinal Dolan’s report “that there needs to be a change in the staff” at the college.

He noted that one priest had already let it be known he was leaving and commented in the report: “This is good.”

It said the presumption was that this priest’s successor should not be either of the two men expected to fill he post. “Neither of these men should be appointed,” he said.

Of another priest at the college, he said: “He is seen by a majority of students as embodying the values and attitudes that have created mistrust in the community. He, too, should move on.”

He said a third priest “appears to be overworked, unprepared”. His report concluded of the three priests referred to so far that they showed “an exaggerated deference to the notion that the seminarians themselves are their own formators”.

It seemed they had interpreted the Pope John Paul II document on the formation of priests, Pastores Dabo Vobis, “in such a way that their role becomes too passive and non-direct”, the cardinal said.

In his report, Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said said of a fourth priest on the staff that “while widely admired by the seminarians, [he] seems reluctant to address the unique identity of the priest”.

He continued: “He also seems to rely exclusively on sacred scripture, with rarely if ever references to the fathers, the saints, the classics of ascetical theology, or documents of the magisterium.”

However, the report recommended that this priest continue in his role but that “he seeks some further education in his field . . . ” This fourth priest, however, requested that he, too, be allowed leave the college.

It means that none of the staff at the Irish College when Cardinal Dolan and his apostolic visitation team arrived there in January 2011 decided to remain in their positions after the subsequent report to the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.