Father Z writes today about a seminary in Ireland that seems to have gone bonkers. This is exactly what happened to seminaries in this country, and the result was the abuse crisis. The problem has, for the most part, been fixed in the U.S, but it still exists in places. But look at the results – it happened here; there was a child abuse crisis. It then happened in Ireland, and there was a child abuse crisis.
I received a note from a Irish priest friend about articles in the Irish Daily Mail concerning problems at the seminary in Maynooth. I had planned to write about it, but others have done some of the heavy lifting already.
This is depressing stuff. And it sounds exactly like what the seminary I was in the USA over 20 years ago.
Honestly, I thought this sort of thing was finally over.
Here is Fr. Mildew on the topic with my emphases and comments.
The Article by Mark Dooley is entitled Sin within the Church is born in Seminaries and my friend in Ireland who sent me the article tells me there is a follow up this week which he is sending me.
Mark has visited and lectured in Seminaries and reports that Irish Seminaries are hotbeds of serious moral decay which is devastating the Church in this country. Their culture is one which rejects piety and holiness in favour of religious laxity and moral confusion. This is resulting in priests who barely believe in the doctrine they were ordained to promote. Mark speaks then of courageous young men who have told him about what is going on, and even have to conceal their true piety at the risk of being thrown out of the seminary. [I’m having a flashback.] One seminarian complained to Mark he was not allowed to kneel during Mass. He has learnt that some professors have told him there is no such thing as transubtstantiation [Exactly what my waterloo was at my seminary… a prof, priest, who explicitly denied transsubtantiation.] and that he should not look to Rome as “they dont know anything”. Often the Rosary is frowned upon. Seminarians have been taught that the Mass is just a memorial of a past event and is only a “gathering of the Community“ to remember the event. [The same doctrine denying priest told us that when an “ordained minister says the words of institution over bread and wine, no real change takes place. It becomes a symbol of the unity of the community gathered there in that moment.” How many things are wrong with that?] Meanwhile in the Seminaries he claims, excessive drinking and dubious sexual practices are overlooked. [Yes… this is like a nasty flashback.] He claims that the seminaries are still refusing to accept that there is anything wrong with their training methods and refusing in effect to teach that the priest should be formed in the image of Christ . Later on the current erroneous teaching leads in part at least to the abuse scandals of today.
My own comment is that I have found small examples of this in the past in the training of priests over here….but many years ago. Students who were told to leave because of their piety; and even homsexuality cases. A recent case concerns a priest who was ordained 20 years ago who was teaching that one could not accept that the words used by Our Lord in the Gospel were ever uttered, and that what mattered at Mass was the Community. He has now been “retired”.