Archbishop Richard A. Burke, S.P.S.
Accused 2009 of 1983 sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl in Nigeria. [See victim’s statement.] Resigned 2010, age 61, per canon 401.2. Admitted “failure to observe his oath of celibacy.” Sued RTÉ, claiming victim was 20, not 14. Suit settled 2015: RTÉ paid legal costs but made no concession on victim’s age. Benin City archbishop emeritus.
Bishop Eamonn Casey
Resigned 1992, age 65, after revelation that he fathered a child in 1970s. Fled Ireland, worked in Ecuador missions, then English diocese. Accused 2005 of sexual assault of girl, age 5, 30 years earlier. Casey denied accusation. Not charged. Returned to Ireland 2006. Retired to nursing home 2011. New accusation April 2016 by a Limerick woman. Remained Galway and Kilmacduagh bishop emeritus until his death March 13, 2017. News report March 2019 that victim who reported Casey in 2005 was his niece; she says she was raped and sexually abused by Casey for a decade beginning at age 5. News report also revealed settlements with two other victims: the Limerick woman who came forward in 2016, and another woman compensated by the Redress board in 2005. Both women allege being sexually assaulted by Casey as children in the 1950s and 1960s.
Bishop Brendan Oliver Comiskey, SS.CC.
Resigned 2002, age 66, per canon 401.2, after revelations that he protected serial abuser Fr. Sean Fortune. Ferns inquiry in 2005 reported two allegations against Comiskey: 1990 complaint of misconduct toward young woman over age 16, and accusation by Fortune in his 1999 suicide note. Comiskey denied both. Ferns bishop emeritus.
Bishop John Magee, S.P.S.
Stepped aside but didn’t resign 2009 after internal watchdog report that he had mishandled two abusive priests. State launched its own inquiry. Resignation announced 2010, per canon 401.2. State’s report 2011 revealed more cover-up and 2008 report to church of Magee’s inappropriate behavior toward teen, age 17-18. Magee admitted conduct, denied sexual intent. Not charged. Cloyne bishop emeritus.
Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, C.S.Sp.
Retired 1971, age 76, as Dublin archbishop. Died 1973. First accused of sex abuse in 1999 book. News in 2011 that McQuaid was cleric described in 2010 supplement to Murphy report with two complaints of child sex abuse, including of a 12-year-old boy in 1961, and one “separate concern.”
These are the cases we know about.
There have been, are and will be others.
I’ve always doubted the story of McQuaid trying to seduce a publicans 15 year old son in the upstairs of a Drumcondra pub.
The mention in the Murphy report supplement is more worrying.
As are the other concerns.
It is reputed that two Garda files on McQuaid were made to disappear?
The other cases suggest a pattern.
AUGUST 4 TH – FEAST OF ST JOHN VIANNEY – PATRON SAINT OF PRIESTS.
The body of St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, entombed in the Basilica of Ars, France.
In 2009, the Church’s Year for Priests, Pope Benedict XVI wrote compellingly on the lessons of the saint:
The Curé of Ars was very humble, yet as a priest he was conscious of being an immense gift to his people: “A good shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy”.
He spoke of the priesthood as if incapable of fathoming the grandeur of the gift and task entrusted to a human creature: “O, how great is the priest! … If he realized what he is, he would die… God obeys him: he utters a few words and the Lord descends from heaven at his voice, to be contained within a small host…”.
Explaining to his parishioners the importance of the sacraments, he would say: “Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we would not have the Lord. Who put him there in that tabernacle? The priest. Who welcomed your soul at the beginning of your life? The priest. Who feeds your soul and gives it strength for its journey? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, bathing it one last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest, always the priest. And if this soul should happen to die [as a result of sin], who will raise it up, who will restore its calm and peace? Again, the priest… After God, the priest is everything!
… Only in heaven will he fully realize what he is”.
These words, welling up from the priestly heart of the holy pastor, might sound excessive. Yet they reveal the high esteem in which he held the sacrament of the priesthood. He seemed overwhelmed by a boundless sense of responsibility: “Were we to fully realize what a priest is on earth, we would die: not of fright, but of love…
Without the priest, the passion and death of our Lord would be of no avail. It is the priest who continues the work of redemption on earth… What use would be a house filled with gold, were there no one to open its door? The priest holds the key to the treasures of heaven: it is he who opens the door: he is the steward of the good Lord; the administrator of his goods … Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest, and they will end by worshiping the beasts there … The priest is not a priest for himself, he is a priest for you”.
EATING IS HARD WORK.