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Irish upset at Vatican investigation

DUBLIN (Agencies): The Leaders of Women’s Religious Congregations in the United States of America are not the only ones upset at recent Vatican investigations into aspects of Church life, with both the Association of Catholic Priests and the bishops of Ireland being highly critical of a report on the Pontifical Irish College, submitted by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, from New York, and resulting in the removal of the top three people in the college administration.

The priests’ association described the report as incompetent and demanded that Ireland’s archbishops “publicly repudiate this report in the strongest possible terms.”

Ireland’s four archbishops said in their formal response to the Vatican said that the report contained harsh judgments that are totally unsupported by evidence. reported on June 19 that the Irish Times noted that Cardinal Dolan said that he found “a certain tendency, not dominant, but nevertheless fairly widespread among priests, religious and laity, to hold theological opinions at variance with the teachings of the magisterium.”

The full content of the report has not been made available to the public.

But the Irish Times claims that it has procured a copy of both Cardinal Dolan’s report and the response from the Irish archbishops.

Cardinal Dolan sent his report to the Vatican after leading an apostolic visitation, ordered by the Holy See, of the Irish seminaries.

The priests’ association said that it finds fault with Cardinal Dolan’s conclusions. In a statement, it says, “It is disturbing, indeed frightening,” that Cardinal Dolan’s report was characterised by what Irish archbishops had already called a deep prejudice against the faculty of the Pontifical Irish College.

The association was critical of the American cardinal for suggesting that some faculty members should be replaced, asking whether his suggestions of misconduct were prompted by “just incompetence or perhaps homophobia?”

Meanwhile, the four archbishops are arguing that “a deep prejudice appears to have coloured the visitation from the outset and it led to the hostile tone and content of the report.”

They added that they believe the report contains some serious errors in fact.

Cardinal Dolan commented, “While obviously others do not consider themselves bound by the promised confidentiality—so necessary and understandable to assure a fair and honest gathering of information (as) requested by the Apostolic See—I certainly do.”

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