Friday 28 October 2016

Martin further isolated as six more bishops give support to Maynooth

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 04/08/2016 | 02:30

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

An archbishop and five other bishops yesterday confirmed their intention to keep sending seminarians to Maynooth.

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In further evidence of Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin's isolation, the senior clerics insisted to the Irish Independent they had no plans to change their policy towards the seminary.

Following the lead of Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly, Archbishop Michael Neary said he would continue to send trainee priests to Maynooth.

Diocesan secretary Fr Fintan Monahan, speaking on behalf of Archbishop Neary, said: "The Archdiocese will continue to send students to Maynooth. This year we will have six students in Maynooth and one student in Rome. Two of the students are new this year, with one going to Maynooth and one going to Rome."

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is the only senior cleric in the church to signal his intention not to send students to the embattled college.

He cited a "quarrelsome" atmosphere at the college and allegations that seminarians were using the gay dating app Grindr as part of his decision.

However, five further bishops defended the seminary and told the Irish Independent they had no problem sending trainee priests to the college.

Yesterday, Bishop Phillip Boyce of the Diocese of Raphoe said he would continue to send students to Maynooth.


A spokeswoman for Bishop Boyce said: "Bishop Boyce will continue to send students from the diocese to Maynooth College and to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome."

Bishop John Buckley of the Diocese of Cork and Ross said all three students from the diocese would be returning to Maynooth in September.

He said: "Cork and Ross currently has three students in Maynooth. Another was ordained from there in June. All three will be returning there in September and, at this stage, it seems that the diocese will have a number of first-year students, all of whom will be going to Maynooth."

Bishop Brendan Kelly of the Diocese of Achonry also indicated that he would have no problem with his trainee priests going to Maynooth in the future.

His spokesman said: "The bishop would not have any issue about continuing to send students to Maynooth. Students have been sent to both Maynooth and to Rome in the past and there would be no issue about continuing to send them to Maynooth and Rome. Unfortunately, at present, no one from the diocese is currently a student at Maynooth or Rome."

Bishop Ray Browne of the Diocese of Kerry also confirmed his students would be returning to the college. He said: "Seminarians for the Diocese of Kerry will be continuing their studies at St Patrick's College Maynooth."

A spokesman for Bishop Donal McKeown, of the Diocese of Derry, said: "Derry has no plans to change its current practice. Current practice in Derry Diocese is that philosophy students go to St Malachy's in Belfast and theology students go to either the Irish College in Rome or St Patrick's in Maynooth. This year there will be no students entering theology."

A number of other bishops were unavailable for comment.

A staff member in the Diocese of Ferns told the Irish Independent that Bishop Denis Brennan was on his holidays and his spokesman was on annual leave.

Bishop Michael Smith of the Diocese of Meath is in Poland and was unavailable for comment.

Irish Independent

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