Yesterday a reader questioned me:
Thank you for your honest reply. I suppose what I meant was if Ger had remained on good terms with you would he be the example pulled out of the hat today, as opposed to another.
To be honest I felt worse when he came out about Maynooth being great when he was there. I know from many sources that it was not – but I sometimes wonder was his arm twisted by someone to make the statement. I honestly think that ministry will never get the best out of him as long as celibacy is required.
He is also a member of a class that appears here regularly. One of the Kalendariums on my shelf records him as having joined with Fergal O’Neill, (mentioned here earlier today), Thomas McHugh, Ryan McAlear… and others. Not many went on to be ordained from that class; and it appears several have already left. Some made it to deaconate but that was all. Their dean that year was newly appointed, and followed them into the role as senior dean before leaving priesthood himself. A bleak time for ‘return on investment’ under Archbishop Farrell & Hughy Connolly.
My Dear Friend,
I had another blog ready to go.
The Ger story arrived into my inbox from a concerned person.
My first thought was NOT to do a blog about it because it was a story about someone I knew and liked.
I also know members of his family.
But if I handled it that way would I not be as bad as some of the bishops and religious superiors I criticise?
Ignoring a story because I knew or liked the central character who was at fault?
I blogged about it with a heavy heart.
But you see this is not really all about Ger. Its about the priesthood and the state it’s in.
The Church wrongly imposes universal celibacy. And in return some priests decide “I am not bound to obey an unjust law”.
But the problem is that on the day of his ordination the priest makes a public profession that he is not ever going to engage in sex with anyone, for the rest of his life.
In return the Church gives him a position, a prestige, a pedestal to stand on – and a house and salary etc.
Its a contract. The priest promises celibacy and the Church in return offers him prestige and his keep.
But if the priest breaks his promise he is breaking a solemn contract – like a married man who commits adultery. In the married mans case it leads to divorce.
In the priests case it leads to a double life. The priest continues to enjoy all the benefits of the contract but refuses to adhere to the obligations of the contract.
This is unjust, dysfunctional and destructive.
Inevitably it leads to collapse and exposure.
Let’s remember that there are two women whose lives and emotions caught up in this too.
Plus there is the important aspect of scandal causing people to lose faith.
YOUR OTHER POINTS
I do not know why Ger gave such a public defence of Maynooth in 2016.
He knew things were not right there.
He knew he was challenged, albeit in different ways.
You are right about Ger’s class.
There is Ryan McAleer 😬
And indeed Thomas.
PATS SERMON 21.3.21
I published my new episode Mar 21, 2021 CRUELTY, EVIL AND THE OPTION TO LIVE., please check it out