Clerical sources in the Kilalloe diocese are claiming that Fintan Monahan asked Ger Fitzgerald to leave Cloughleigh parish over the female sex incident and that Ger is refusing to move!
Furthermore, rougher elements in the Cloughleigh community are backing Ger and telling him to stand his ground against the bishop!
If this is true, it is a very challenging situation for Fintan.
If he lets Ger away with giving him the two fingers it destroys Fintan’s authority with all the other priests. Authority wise, Fintan is dead in the water.
Thats a very bad place for a bishop to find himself at the beginning of his episcopacy. Fintan is only 50s with 20 + years to go as a bishop.
If he stands up to Ger he has quite a battle ahead:
1. He needs to suspend Ger’s faculties immediately.
2. He needs to order Ger to to vacate the church property in Cloughleigh.
3. If Ger refuses, Fintan then has to go to court to evict him and send the Garda and baliffs into Cloughleigh to effect the eviction.
Cloughleigh is a rough estate where I imagine the Garda are not welcome.
Imagine 20 Garda and the bailiffs evicting Ger in front of Cloughleigh’s “best”.
There would be a massive riot.
Ger has spent years gathering the Cloughleigh crowd around him as his fan club.
FINTAN’S BIG TEST:
This is a big test for Fintan.
It could decide his whole future.
I do not wish this test upon him – foisted on him by a lecherous priest.
In fairness, it has to be said that Fintan, the diocesan secretary Fr Nash and the diocesan safeguarding officer Cleo Yates, have acted very well with regard the woman in this story.
They have met her.
They have believed her.
They have offered some very practical support.
She herself, acknowledges their goodness and help.
I have been dealing with women involved with priests for 30 years now.
This is the best treatment I have seen for a woman by the diocese, the bishop and the diocesan staff.
PRIEST WHO MINISTERED TO ANOTHER WOMAN
Would the priest who commented on Thursday, saying he had ministered to another Kilalloe woman please make contact.
Even with Fintan, please.