Tuesday, August 5, 2014


The comments about the only young priests in Ireland by the uber liberal, almost schismatic Irish Association of Priests whose membership age averages 78, is funny if not so sad as one could use the same stereotypical description for the aging priests as for the young except the past for the old priests is the 1970's!

The following is from the uber liberal tabloid, the Tablet:

In a speech given in Melbourne, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin referred to a young curate who recently told his parish priest he was not at all happy with some things the Pope had said.
The young priest felt they “were not in line with what he had learned in the seminary” and he suggested that they were “making the faithful insecure and even encouraging those who do not hold the orthodox Catholic beliefs to challenge traditional teaching.”
The archbishop warned conservative and progressive Catholics against becoming “closed in” within our own ideas. He also acknowledged that Irish Catholicism had a strong tradition of strict teaching.
Responding to the comments, Fr Seamus Ahearne of the [uber waco] Association of Catholic Priests said the Archbishop’s words were “apt” and that the Church in Ireland needs to hear more comments like this.
He said the archbishop’s concern about the “young curate” was a familiar one as many were concerned that the few young priests there are in the Irish Church appear to embrace a very traditionalist view of Church.
They are “so locked into a past model of priesthood” he commented and said this manifested itself in “the way that they dress up, the way they celebrate Mass, and in their views.”
MY FINAL COMMENTS:  There is a another story about the Nashville Diocese, where I was recently for continuing ed, where the bishop there just ordained 9 young priests, the largest number ever for the diocese, ever! This diocese is also home to the Nashville Dominican Sisters which is a booming order of nuns with mostly young sisters.

Can anyone name me a liberal seminary, a liberal diocese or a liberal religious order that is recruiting new members? There aren't any! Period!

The various uber wacko, uber progressive, uber aging disobedient associations of priests in various countries such as Ireland, Austria and even here are a study in the problem as to why there are no vocations coming from progressive Catholicism of yesteryear (the 1970's mentality, that is).

There is nothing attractive about progressive Catholicism and its seminaries, religious orders and members.

The good Irish archbishop would have done better to quote what the wacko association of priests there thought about Pope Benedict and how their mentality has helped to destroy the Catholic Church in Ireland. The biggest problem Ireland has to face is the legacy of progressive Catholicism there that paved the way for the situation that today exists there which is not a happy one at all! Don't blame that situation on the only priests being ordained, the few young conservative ones.


Rood Screen said...

Why do our Progressive brethren omit the article "the" when referring to "the Church" or "the seminary"?

As for Nashville, it's not the diocese, but the bishop. When a bishop welcomes hard-core Catholics into the seminary, and when he backs-up his hard-core priests, priestly vocations thrive.

These EDLP's should read "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt.

Cameron said...

Because it's a way of delegitimizing or banalizing those things, JBS. If it's just "church" instead of "the Church" then it's an equivocation, clearly.

ex: "JBS, in the middle of our watching Hardball with Chris Matthews together--don't worry I brought the granola--let's discuss new ways of being church man! After that we can sit across from one another and see who can say 'Vatican II' the most."

Anonymous said...

The non-use of the definite article "the" is in no way a denigration of Church or seminary, for heaven's sake. It's simply a different way of speaking the same language.

In British English there is a distinction between "to school" and "to the school". If you say:

He went to school/church/hospital.

you imply that they went there for 'the purpose for which that place is designed'. On the other hand, if you say:

Jimmy's parents went to the school to meet the headmaster.

He wasn't religious, but he went to the church to help with the flower arranging.

With a bottle of arsenic in his pocket, he went to the hospital to visit his sick wealthy mother-in-law.

it implies that they went there as a visitor and not for the actual purpose of the building in question.

Anonymous said...

Continuing JBS’s comment, before the appointment of Bishop David Choby, the Diocese was predominately liberal (at least, in its priests and recent bishops), and hence had few vocations and fewer diocesan priests in the early 2000’s than ever before in its history. Nashville’s 9 priestly ordinations this year (his 9th year in Nashville) shows what a single steadfastly faithful and orthodox man can do in a diocese—if he happens to be its bishop.

Indeed, once a bishop has been in place sufficient time to establish his spiritual leadership of his diocese—that is, to begin to reign in any egregious holdovers from his predecessor--I think his quality as bishop can be reliably measured by the number of vocations he attracts. Irrespective of any other factors in a diocese, few vocations means the bishop is not doing his job.

James said...

This reminds me of a recent article in the Irish Times which blamed the decades of dwindling vocations on the 'new missal'!

I used to work in Maynooth (at the college, not the seminary!), and it was tragic to see how a once massive seminary had dwindled to fewer than a dozen vocations per year. It's astonishing and frightening to see how the Irish church managed to dwindle from unquestioned authority to irrelevance in less than a generation.

Primo Carnera said...

They also like to replace the term "Mass" with "Eucharist" sans article: "Let us all come to Eucharist."

This whole pathetic story should not surprise the regular readers of this blog. First, the criticism is from a typical aging lefty. Second, the archbishop who made these remarks is IRISH. You would be hard-pressed to find any country where the Catholic Church has suffered more decay and abuse than Ireland.

Somebody observed the other day that most bishops would prefer to permit a Black Mass than the Extraordinary Form. Of course, that's ridiculous, but many of them act in a way that leads us to such ridiculous conclusions. These young priests are the best hope we have of leading the Church out of its stupor.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, very interesting, about British English. (Though I'm not sure the particular usages you mention are different from American English.)

But in American English, there's certainly a difference in certain contexts between "Church" and "the Church". For instance, if one hears "We are Church", he knows that intent the speaker is indeed to denigrate the concept of the institutional church.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My Canadian relatives would say "She went to hospital" whereas I would say, "She went to the hospital. And of course we all know how they mispronounce "schedule" and the don't say "zeee" but "zed" for Z.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

And don't get me started on the metric system especially for temperatures!

Anonymous said...

And I assume everyone who speaks any kind of English in any country would say

"I went to school in the 1970s"

rather than

"I went to the school in the 1970s"

Meaning and intent are always determined by context.

Tevye said...

I just finished reading the bios posted on the Nashville Dominicans website. The young women shown there seemed nice, sincere, in many instances naive, inexperienced...I was reminded, though, of the young people who once talked to travelers in airports, or the young Mormon missionaries in their white shirts and ties...a little bit "cultish".

I may be long gone by the time it happens, but for those of you who see them, and their young priestly counterparts as the salvation of the Church and, perhaps, see the Tea Party as the salvation of America...of the world, I wish you the very best of luck.

Anonymous said...

No offense. But weren't many of scandals of the Catholic Church in Ireland pre-Vatican II. I'm thinking especially of the Mother and Baby Homes and the Magdalene Laundries. Those institutions were around after Vatican II but the peak of the scandal was during the 1950s and 1960s. So I think that Archbishop Martin has a point, I'm not sure how priests that a return to the pre-Vatican II Church is what Ireland needs.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No one, not even the new young priest who might like some elements of pre-Vatican II times are advocating going back to the clericalism of Ireland's pre-Vatican II Church.

However, let's make it clear that in the 1950's as in any other time, there was/is perversion and abuse of power. It happens today and quite frequently in the post-Vatican II Church as well.

What we are looking for in the current day is fidelity to the Church and her moral teachings. Rank and file Catholics were very faithful to the Church prior to Vatican II even if the clericalistic clergy were not or were hypocritical.

In this country, the greatest abuse of minors (teenagers by the way) occurred at the height of the silly season post-Vatican II, in 1974 according to the John Jay Study.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The blind spot today, in terms of lay or clergy infidelity has to do with the ideology of the pro-choice movement in amongst Catholics that has led to the slaughter of millions of children. While sex abuse and slaughter are both mortal sins and both should be criminalized, please don't suggest that it would be better to be slaughtered than to be sexually abused. Neither are acceptable, but one seems to be more serious than the other in my mind.

Rood Screen said...

Fr. McDonald,

Thank you for 3:52pm comment. Personally, I know a goodly number if US priests who advocate reverent liturgy, acts of piety and works of mercy, but I've never heard a single one of them ever say anything against the texts of the 2nd Vatican Council. I suspect the same may be true of these new Irish priests.

The ongoing accusation that priests who love reverence, piety and mercy also adopt a heretical rejection of VCII, is nothing more than a ruse to avoid an honest dialogue on the texts of that council.

David Müllner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Müllner said...


I think all young people (myself included) are naive. One of the privileges of the young I guess. But those young sisters, brothers and priests are indeed the future of the Church, if simply by the fact that young people who follow the train of thought of the 70's innovators to its conclusion see no reason to go to Mass. If the Church has no authority, if Mass is just a meal with other people, then I can find better times elsewhere.

PS First time post, how do I know it posted?

Anonymous said...


We have Nashville Dominicans in some of our schools in my diocese. They are wholesome and down to earth in every usual "girl next door" sense. Nothing about them that would seem "cultish" to anyone who's actually observed them, whatever his secular or religious politics. (It's really not a good idea to base such speculation on superficial internet perusals.)

newguy40 said...

An interesting article and comments here.

We attend Mass and support a local men's religious group. Very small number of religious men in the US. ~50. The new provincial has made a strong effort at out reach for more vocations to their order. I've kept an interested eye on the young adults who come to the vocations week ends and monthly hour of prayer for vocations at the shrine. The young men and women all look so young and fresh. I am not able to discern new saints. Maybe they will be the next Little Flower or Cure d'Ars or Pio. God knows, not newguy. But, it is very very encouraging to see all of their love and interest. It's very heartening to this old man.

Gene said...

Speaking of liberal Priests, I see our man in Rome has lifted the suspension of a radical Leftist Sandinista Priest from one of those banana republics down there somewhere. But, hey, who are we to judge. Che lives…maybe the Pope is channeling him.

Nathanel said...

To try and link a “conservative” young, old, or middle-aged priest to members of the Tea Party by ideology is an insult; as is to compare a certain order to the Hare Krishna devotees. It betrays a predictable point-of-view.

This reminds me of the recent examination of President Nixon in the past weeks in anticipation of the anniversary. Everyone has to peg the man into “good” or “bad.” I could have stood Watergate if it meant an end to the Cold War and no Presidents Ford, Carter, or Reagan. People are more complex than the talking points that easily perpetuate the same-old,lame talking points to get the same old reactions.

But! Speaking of talking points:

1. The Tea Party is a well funded front for certain business interests as they advance the same old economic policies which have destroyed the American middle-class.
2. “Conservatives” in the Church aren’t that well funded are they?

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald,
Actually, I don't know the Irish priests that Archbishop Martin was referring to, so I don't know what their attitudes are to the abuses of the Irish Church in the 1950s. I have met some younger American more conservative priests whose attitudes toward women are concerning. Apparently, it is sinful for me to wear jeans. I've also gotten an earful of being an unmarried career woman in my 30s and my married friends have gotten an earful for not being stay-at-home mothers. We avoid these priests like the plague.

I also think that some more conservative Catholics refuse to criticize the priests and the hierarchy on anything. I think that this sort of attitude was encouraged by the Church in Ireland in the 1950s. I think that the attitudes prevalent in the pre-Vatican II Church were also prevalent after Vatican II; that the laity weren't important. Just because the language of the liturgy changed doesn't mean that the attitudes of the clergy changed. Attitudes don't change because a Council decrees that they do.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The priest is 81 and I suspect in poor health and petitioned to have his suspension lifted. He is no longer a governmental official and requested that he be allowed to celebrate Mass. A little mercy goes a long way, as Jesus of course taught us.
Evidently, though, this leftist priest had the common good sense not to celebrate Mass while he was suspended. Can we say this of all the suspended SSPX priests (each of them still is).

Gene said...

FR, The SSPX may be the only hope for our badly compromised and divided Church. Your comparison is absurd.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My comparison is canonical.

Gene said...

True, it is…but, I think you are too dismissive of SSPX and their, what I view, as right intention. Deep down in your little heart of darkness you must have some…what…sympathy…understanding…for their dilemma…your ambivalence and struggle with Vat II shows through in many of your posts and comments.

George said...

I would only hope this leftist priest represents the last remnant of the Liberation theology movement which hopefully will be, in the not to distant future, a distant memory.

It looks like the Tea Party is being defeated by well funded Establishment candidates representing certain business interests as they advance the same old economic policies which have destroyed the American middle-class.
Although as far as the last part
part the "progressive other side" of the political spectrum shares a large share of the blame.

Pater Ignotus said...

The Tea People movement is a populist movement and like all populist movements it has reached its crest and is dissolving back into the morass from which it came.

It has never been a "grass-roots" movement, but has been funded and organized from the beginning by radical right-wing Republicans and those with libertarian leanings.

I think the crest for the Tea People was also its worst moment - the candidacy of Gov. Palin for veep.

Gene said...

Hey, I'd love a Cruz/Palin ticket or a Perry/Palin ticket. How nice it would be to have a real man and a real woman running instead of fags and dikes and wannabe Mussolini juniors. Not to mention the fact that they love the country and are Christian. Wow!