Friday 30 September 2016

Maynooth’s gay cloister an 'open secret in church'

Bishops, Martin to discuss scandal with seminary chiefs

Sarah MacDonald

Published 06/08/2016 | 02:30

St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Picture:Arthur Carron
St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Picture:Arthur Carron

The gay culture at the national seminary in Maynooth has been an open secret for decades, according to former student priests.

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A former St Patrick's College seminarian is the latest to claim the existence of a gay culture within the seminary has been well known in church circles for decades, and that the trustees of Maynooth have long been aware of it. The man, who studied in Maynooth in the 1990s, said there were gay cliques operating within Maynooth and heterosexual students were pressured to say nothing.

And a leading expert on religious affairs has warned the hierarchy that churchgoers are "entitled to know" how their future priests are being trained.

Writing in today's Irish Independent, theologian Gina Menzies says: "The secrecy hovering over Maynooth reflects the lack of transparency in the handling of clerical child abuse."

Meanwhile, the Maynooth controversy will be discussed with college management at the autumn general meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference in Maynooth in September. The meeting will be attended by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

Irish Independent

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