If DERMOT LEDWITH FARRELL is forcing sick priests to consult an archdiocesan medic – it raises very serious questions about human rights and medical privilege and privacy!

If he is forcing priests to be medically assessed with an obligatory HIV test it is a reach of human rights and medical privilege.

An unknown, but not tiny, number of Dublin priests are HIV+.

There is absolutely no reason why DLF would be entitled to that private information.

It’s simply none of his business!


Medical Privilege/Clerical Confidentiality.says:
May 26, 2022 at 11:00 am

In light of the comments made by “AB’ House” at 08:04 if it is true that Archbishop Farrell will not accept the professional recommendations of independent clinical professionals that is a very serious situation for the priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

It would be incredibly STUPID for any priest to agree to be assessed by a doctor/psychologist/psychiatrist CHOSEN by the Archdiocese of Dublin or any other diocese for that matter without the following safeguards.

It would behove any priest who is requested by his Ordinary to undertake any kind of evaluation to have a written undertaking that the consultation will be subject to medical privilege between the cleric and the medical/clinical professional.

This undertaking should be confirmed in writing by the diocesan solicitor on behalf the Ordinary. Of course, the Ordinary will refuse to give such an undertaking via his solicitor because he will be bound in law. However, compromise is always advisable; the cleric should settle for an agreement where the Ordinary signs a document recognising the existence of the medical privilege. Within any document that signed it should be acknowledged by all parties that the “findings” of the consultation are to remain confidential at all times.

The document should explicitly acknowledge that any report produced cannot be released to the Ordinary under any circumstances without the written and witnessed consent of the cleric. It is appropriate to remind readers that when the reputation of a priest is at stake — Canon Law for certain juridical acts — requires the attestation of a priest notary. If the matter is potentially going to be contentious — then the priest should insist upon the involvement of a legal professional.
The cleric needs to navigate the difficult balance between threats from his Ordinary that failure to undertake the assessment could constitute disobedience with the adage that obedience is owed to the Ordinary in everything that is lawful and just.

And the “chosen” medical/clinical professional must further confirm in writing that the consultation and the report that emanate from same will remain at all times confidential and subject to clinical confidentiality, unless the cleric gives written consent for the report to be shared with the Ordinary. In heels is totally unacceptable.

If the cleric does not take positive steps to protect his good name and reputation he is (potentially) in the most naïve manner imaginable facilitating and providing potentially justification for Farrell to suspend/remove his faculties by a Decree. Because it would be foolish to think that Archbishop Farrell would act at any time in the best interests of any cleric in a contentious matter

And if the matter is sufficiently serious (a delict) the medical evidence obtained (with the consent of the cleric) if it is not subject to privilege can be utilised/weaponised in an administrative/judicial penal process. In the United States, priests that are not economically productive their lack of productivity to preserve the patrimony of the diocese has been used as a justification for laicisation.

I completely agree with his final observation that Farrell is only interested in money.

When PADDY WALSH came after me in D& in 1998, I refused to communicate with him except through my solicitor.

That sent Walsh around the bend and I hot no letters afterwards.

Priests – if DLF or any other bishop pursues you find a good Protestant or Humanist solicitor and hide behind his shirt

He can make a lot of trouble for your bishop.