Second baptisms 'can happen' says Monsignor

Hubert Murphy

Published 25/09/2013 | 05:28

Monsignor Jim Carroll baptised the child at the centre of the controversy a second time. Picture: Colin Bell

A COMPLAINT by a person attending a baptism in Drogheda more than a year ago further drew the spotlight on Fr. Iggy O'Donovan from Church leaders in Rome.

Fr. O'Donovan left Drogheda last Friday as part of a sabbatical in Limerick.

While he received the support of the Augustinian community, the Drogheda Independent believes senior Church figures 'upped the ante' in relation to Fr. Iggy's continued role as prior in the Augustinian Church.

The allegations over the baptism surround the pouring of water on the young boy's head. It has been claimed that Fr. O'Donovan invited parents/godparents to pour the water, but didn't do it himself.

The Drogheda Independent also believes that it was indicated a video of the ceremony also existed and this would be seen as a further element in the case. A debate in relation to the baptism has been raging for many months behind the scenes.

The parents concerned, who are local, did not issue the complaint and did not have an issue with Fr. O'Donovan's ceremony.

A close relation of the child confirmed to this paper on Tuesday that he made the initial complaint to Cardinal Brady.

'My only concern was to have him properly baptised and to ensure that there weren't others unbaptised because of this improvised ritual,' he claimed.

In correspondence, the cardinal asked him to make his complaint known to the parents and Fr O'Donovan.

The child was baptised 'a second time' by Monsignor Jim Carroll who spoke to the Drogheda Independent on Monday.

'I am conscious this is primilarly a family issue. It is not about Iggy,' he said. 'In the case of a sacrament or baptism there may be questions of validity and policy. A 'Conditional Ceremony' can be done at that stage.'

He said the ceremony is very important as it 'is a sacred moment in the reception of a child into the community of God.'

'They are a local family, really good people and I don't want to see them highlighted over this,' he continued.

In relation to a baptism being done a second time he said 'it can happen'.

The Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is known to have a series of documents in relation to Fr. O'Donovan going back a number of years.

Meanwhile Mayor Richie Culhane has defended his comments from the altar at Fr. Iggy's final mass, in which he criticised the Church heirachy for its part in his departure from Drogheda.

'I made it clear I was speaking as a civic leader, speaking on behalf of the people,' he said.

Accordingly a religious website blasted him for his comments, giving his contact details and imploring people to complain directly to him.

'Suffice to say, I received two emails,' the mayor said.

'I think the issue in relation to the baptism just shows the injustice that surrounds all this and how the Church decided his fate. Serious questions need to be asked.'

Drogheda Independent

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