Irish eyes aren’t smiling over New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s seminary probe
Cardinal Timothy Dolan loves to play up his Irish roots, which is no surprise given Dolan’s famous Gaelic gregariousness and his role as spiritual leader of such a prominent community of Irish-American Catholics.
But in the wake of Dolan’s scathing verdict on the orthodoxy of a major Irish seminary, and the sharp pushback by Ireland’s leading bishops, America’s best-known churchman might want to stick to his throne at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and steer clear of the old sod for a while.
Dolan’s report on the flagship Irish seminary in Rome – contained in a review commissioned by the Vatican – was marked by “a deep prejudice” that “led to the hostile tone and content of the report,” Ireland’s four archbishops said in the draft of a joint reply to the Vatican.
The reply, published by The Irish Times last Friday (June 15), also said Dolan’s report contained “significant errors of fact.”
In 2010, as revelations of the widespread sexual abuse of children by clergy rocked deeply Catholic Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI asked Dolan to a lead a team that would inspect Ireland’s Catholic seminaries to make sure they were preparing men properly for the priesthood. (The pontiff also named Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley and other churchmen to review Ireland’s four archdioceses.)
The Irish Times obtained a copy of Dolan’s report on the Irish College in Rome, which was sent to to the Vatican earlier this year, and it was forceful in its criticisms: the review accused Ireland’s archbishops of being “disengaged from college governance” in their role as trustees, and said the “general rule of governance is ‘Let’s keep doing what we have been for the last 35 years.’” [more]