Wednesday 13 December 2017

John Cooney: Bishops won't reform until faithful withhold donations


THE Bishop of Ferns, Dr Denis Brennan, ignited a furious national reaction with his tentative move towards persuading Wexford parishes to contribute financially to the crippling costs accruing from settlements with victims of clerical child abuse.

It was an almighty public relations disaster for the mild-mannered Bishop Brennan, who was appointed by the Vatican after the resignation of Bishop Brendan Comiskey and who has been to the fore in post-Ferns Inquiry episcopal efforts to install sound child protection safeguards in the schools and parishes of all 26 dioceses.

In an effort to quell public wrath, Fr John Carroll, the diocese's press officer, circulated a briefing note saying that "going to the parishes is but one option the diocesan finance committee has put to parish finance committees in response to some requests from individuals within the diocese as to how we might help to complete the work of justice and healing".

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