Crisis at St Patrick’s seminary


Sir, – Yet another jolt to the Catholic Church and its laity as ongoing difficulties at the Maynooth seminary have come to light. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin is to be commended for taking a stand and giving leadership, the lack of which the church has been severely criticised for in the past.

My hope is that the debate will rise above the alleged “gay subculture” in Maynooth and focus on the question of the educational and training needs of clerical students so that in their future ministry they will be capable of meeting the enormous challenges facing the church in Ireland.

I further hope that this will finally end the concept of the clerical club where, as the Dr Martin might put it, meals are served and that we will soon find, as Pope Francis might put it, that the shepherd smells of sheep.

My faith may yet be restored!

– Yours, etc,



Sir, – I read with dismay and deep sadness of the changes afoot within the Dublin Diocese for future Catholic seminarians to receive their formation in Rome instead of the national seminary in Maynooth.

While one should not doubt Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin’s better appreciation of such matters, it is most regrettable that the Catholic hierarchy could not address issues internally.

In my view, Dr Martin’s well-meaning decision does nothing to promote the integrity of the Irish church as a whole.

– Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.

Sir, – Once again the first and only bishop to raise the question of sexual morality within the cloisters of Maynooth, is Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, only to be left as a lone voice among his fellow bishops.

Last time he followed his informed conscience and spoke out, often and sometimes in the wilderness, about clerical abuse of young children, but like many good men of the cloth, he was ignored and excoriated during that particular scandal.

So who will support him now? Publicly, very few.

– Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – Why doesn’t the Catholic Church take its usual time honoured response to such problems?

Simply move its personnel to a different Catholic university, diocese or parish?

– Yours, etc,


Pearse St,

Dublin 2.

Sir, – Since it is hoped that seminarians will eventually become priests in a multicultural society, then surely it is best that they undergo their formation in a multicultural third-level institution, of which there are many in Ireland, including Maynooth?

The present debate is reminiscent of the time when ordinary Catholics had to ask permission of Archbishop John Charles McQuaid to attend Trinity College.

– Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.