Monday, February 14, 2011

The Luck of the Irish

According to Fr. Tony Flannery of the dissident 'catholic priests association', Cardinal O'Malley met with the 'reform group' and had a 'serious discussion' about the need to turn the Church over to lay people before it collapses.

THE Pope will be officially told the Irish Catholic Church is "on the edge" of national collapse and has only five to 10 years to make a radical recovery by giving laymen and women a greater say in decision-making.

This warning will be submitted in the coming months in a confidential report to Pope Benedict XVI by an international investigator examining the state of the Irish church in the wake of the Murphy and Ryan reports into clerical child abuse.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, gave this commitment at a private meeting with members of the recently formed Catholic Priests' Association, Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery revealed at the weekend.

Addressing the annual meeting of The People of God, a lay reform group, Fr Flannery, who met Cardinal O'Malley, revealed that the US prelate engaged in "serious discussion" with the association.

Fr Flannery said Cardinal O'Malley told the association that the Irish church had a decade, at most, to avoid falling over the edge and "becoming like other European countries" where religion is marginal to society.

An American cardinal will tell Pope Benedict XVI that the Church in Ireland is facing a danger of “national collapse,” according to reports in the Irish press.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who is conducting an apostolic visitation in the Dublin archdiocese, reportedly promised a group of Irish priests that he would report to the Pontiff that the Irish Church is in urgent need of reform.

Previously sceptical about the Apostolic Visitation to Ireland ordered by Pope Benedict, Fr Flannery said that in the light of Cardinal O'Malley's undertaking, "there may be some gleam of hope".

Our friends at Catholic Culture are skeptical.

Editor’s note: These media reports should be read with some caution for two reasons: First, the reports came not from Cardinal O’Malley but from representatives of the Association of Catholic Priests, a dissident group with its own agenda. Second, Cardinal O’Malley, whose Boston archdiocese has suffered unprecedented losses during his tenure, is unlikely to overstate the problems facing another local Church.

But, what is there not to believe? Meeting with dissidents and turning teaching, sanctifying and governance over to them is precisely what the Cardinal has done here in Boston. It is not an exaggeration to say that in Boston the role of a Bishop is no longer in the picture. Three hundred years of building an infrastructure here in Boston was demolished in five years.

In 2005, there were 3,731,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston. Last year in Boston attendance at Mass was down to 286,000.

What's that about 7.5%?

Here it is, right out of the mouth of babes:

“Each time we go to Mass. . . . the pews seem emptier and emptier,’’ said Janet Benestad, secretary for faith formation and evangelization at the archdiocese.

By all means, don't let that stop you from rushing the blueprint over to Ireland.

What's the reason for the decline?

It really isn't complicated.

The credentials of teachers, administrators, lay men and women the Cardinal (and his luminaries) recruit to have a 'greater say in decision making' are not Catholic. Some of them are literally not Catholic and never have been Catholic. Others are baptized Catholics who are either not practicing because they reject the teachings of the Catholic Church or they have formally left for another religion. Some, like Fr. Flannery, have been working the vineyard internally to 'reform' the teachings of the Church by teaching the faithful the Catechism is antiquated.

As he is recommending in Ireland, this is the pool of candidates the Cardinal recruited to make decisions in Boston.

The decline in attendance is causally related to the empire of leaders who then teach the people in the pews to reject the faith. The numbers decrease because parents who are bringing their children to be taught the faith are actually taught to reject it. Consequently, they stop coming and the numbers keep plummeting.

This genius plan is heading to our beautiful Emerald Isle.

It makes me want to cry.

I read recently that a bishop in another diocese was doing his "reforming" by mandating teachers and professionals hired take an oath of fidelity to the teachings of the Church. The books, programs, resources and materials all zealously teach the wisdom and beauty of Catholic teaching.

It seems so odd that men smart enough to get elevated to a Bishop don't know how to choose between the fruit of recruiting people for decision making that will pass on their distaste and rejection to Catholics in the pews and the fruit of teachers and leaders who are on fire for truth and will ignite that fire in the pews.

What is there to say but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

A reader passed this Irish ballad about John 19:25 along to me a few weeks ago.

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.

Ballad of the three keening Marys

An é sin an maicín a d’iompair mé trí ráithe? (Ochón agus ochón ó!) Nó ‘n é sin an maicín a rugadh ins an stábla? (Ochón agus ochón ó!) Nó an é sin an maicín a hoileadh in ucht Mháire? A mhaicín mhuirneach, tá do rós-bhéilín gearrtha. Chrochadar suas í ar ghuaillí arda ‘Gus chuireadar anuas í faoi leacrachaí na sráide Buailigí mé féin ach ná bainidh le mo mháithrín Maróidh muid thú féin agus buailfidh muid do mháithrín. Cuireadh culaith róin air le spídiúlacht a namhaid ‘Gus cuireadh an tsleá thrína bhrollach álainn. Cuireadh go Calvary é ag méadú ar a pháise Bhí sé ag iompar na croise ‘gus Síomón lena shála Éist, a Mháthair ‘gus ná bí cráite Tá mná mo chaointe le breith fós, a mháithrín.

Here’s the English version. . . seo leagan Béarla de:

Is that the dear son I carried for three seasons? Or is that the dear son who was born in the stable? Or is that the dear son who was reared in Mary’s bosom? My little darling son, your rosy mouth is bleeding. They lifted her up on high shoulders And they cast her down on the stones of the street. Beat me, but do not touch my mother. “You we will kill, and we will beat your mother. ” A hair shirt was put on him through malice of his enemies And the spear was thrust through his lovely bosom. He was sent to Calvary, increasing his suffering He was carrying the cross, while Simon followed after. “Listen, O Mother, and do not be tormented, The women who will keen me are yet unborn, dear mother. ”

My family came from Waterford and Dublin. I'm praying for the women of Ireland. Praying Mothers will see it for what it is and call on St. Patrick to once again drive out the snakes. Pray with me.


Anonymous said...

One of the destroyers reports on the destruction.

shane said...

What on earth was the pope thinking? Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor is just as bad.

Jeanette O'Toole said...

You cover such important topics, Carol. Great article. And the video? I have tears in my eyes.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Carol, the Catholic Church is collapsing because it has ceased preaching Christ. It has effectively stopped teaching what the Gospel is and what it means. It has long since abandoned Gospel values for a monarchistic pretentiousness that encourages institutional arrogance, a sense of entitlement among its leaders, effective isolation from the God (let alone the faithful) they claim to serve, and effetively creates a class system in which the priests treat the laity as serfs and the prelates do the same thing to the priests. Until Church leaders repent by eschewing their collective arrogance and humbling themselves before the Triune God, no real reform will ever take place.

Word verification: Arize.

Anonymous said...

"Last year in Boston attendance at Mass was down to 286,000."

Carol, are you serious? If so, this is beyond disastrous for the Archdiocese of Boston.


Carol McKinley said...

Shane, It's the same old good old boy network that's plagued the Church for decades.

Jeanette, thanks for your kind words. The video rocks doesn't it - glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Joseph, here I can say I'm in full agreement with you...with one caveat. Whatever happens, the gates of hell do not prevail against Her.

Veronica - It's absolutely true. The numbers came right from the diocese. I have put the link into the post. Scroll down to the last story.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Carol, the idea that "the gates of Hell will not prevail" does not contradict the idea that God would punish or scourge those who abuse the authority He gave them. Many of the OT prophets preached such a messages (for example, see Ezekiel 34). Also, see 1 Samuel 2: 12-36.

It seems to be that too many Catholics use the "gates of Hell" idea either to disregard or downplay the seriousness of ecclesiastical misbehavior and malfeasance. (I'm speaking generally; I'm certainly not saying you are one such person.) The problem with that is the resulting unspoken complacency and sense of entitlement.

Jack O'Malley said...

Carol a chara,

You should do a second blog on Irish music you have found on youtube or elsewhere. You are a true woman of Ireland, despite your Viking ancestry. :-) Meself, I'm just a old fisherman's grandson from Kerry. Simon Peter, let it be recalled, was a fisherman.

A propos of the subject of your post -- I am ashamed that an O'Malley should have been elevated to the rank of Prince of the Church only to have so tragically fallen from such high estate. Then again he might just be one of those O'Malley's. The ones from there. I pass over in silence his flawed pedigree. Can one but doubt his forefathers' apostasy to the Cranmerians? I'm brought low with a bloody sweat at the thought.

Thank you for this post. Keep doing what you're doing, i.e. the Lord's work. Go mbeannaigh Dia 's Muire 's Pádraig dhuit.

Carol McKinley said...


Thanks for pointing out that people will sometimes use 'the gates of hell will not prevail' to silence righteousness. It definitely was not the context I used it in and wouldn't want it to be taken that way.

What's happening is very serious and calls for Catholics to draw the line in the sand.


Caroline said...

Carol..I'm Italian by heritage, but since being part of the Legion of Mary for several years, I have felt like an adopted daughter of Ireland. I love her Catholic heritage. We have 3 saints in the making to intercede for for the Irish people;

Frank Duff
Adele Quinn
Alfie Lambe

I'm praying with you.

Carol McKinley said...

Jack, mo chuisle!

A Viking? LOL. With me black hair, brown eyes and dark skin, I'm afraid the Moors parked their shoes under a bed somewhere along the way!

We miss when you're out fishing.

I'm going to try to get some old pictures of my relatives up here with the music during the month of March. Barring shenannigans at 66 Brooks Drive that take up all our free time, of course. Don't be a stranger!

Go bhfana í ngrá linn,
Iad siúd atá í ngrá linn.
Iad siúd nach bhfuil,
Go gcasa Dia a gcroíthe.
Agus muna gcasann Sé a gcroíthe
Go gcasa Sé caol na coise acu
Go n-aithneoimid iad as a mbacadaíl.


Carol McKinley said...

Caroline, we are lucky to have you as a sister!

Thanks for letting us know about these saints in the making and the prayers. You have mine also as I know you are suffering down there as well.

Whenever I start to gripe about the state of affairs to one of my friends, he tells me, we ain't seen nothing yet, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Ugh. :O)

Terry Nelson said...

Excellent post Carol!

Carol McKinley said...

Thanks Terry!

I love your fire.

Anonymous said...

"Whenever I start to gripe about the state of affairs to one of my friends, he tells me, we ain't seen nothing yet, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better."

My husband tells me the same thing, Carol! What joy!!!


Maria said...

"Anyone who does not think that a loyal Catholic today must be ready to live a martyr’s life is living in a dream".
--Fr. John Hardon SJ

Good work, Carol. You know, I am starting to understand the meaning of perseverance...

gaiusjulius said...

I have to say as a Bostonian... I am appalled at this article! The level of writing, and factual evidence is horrendously misleading and down right sinful and dangerous. Her figure of mass attendance is accurate. It has gone down from 300,000, to 285,000. Not the 3 million this article would lead us to believe. But that was due to the Bostonians anger towards the Church and its Cardinal Law's response to the sexual abuse, or more accurately.. .lack thereof.
Cardinal O'Malley is a holy and good priest, and humble servant of God. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO ARE ATTACKING HIM!!!!!

Carol McKinley said...


You have misunderstood. Nobody thinks there were 3 million in the pews with us in 2005. It is factual over 3 million baptized Catholics.

In 2007, there were 373,000 attending Mass. Nearly one hundred thousand of those have gone bye-byes.

During his tenure, things have dramatically gone down. This had little to do with the sexual abuse crisis as by 2007, it had been cooking in the press for close 7 years. These close to 400,000, were Catholics who had held on through the crisis.

I am sure he is a holy man. But sadly, he believes he can appoint, hire and delegate others to teach the flock to reject the teachings of the Church while he, himself, goes on in his holiness.

I am not edified. Neither is anyone else whose children have been scandalized by the teachers and programs and policies he has put in place whose salvation is now at risk.

He has lost the flock with this nonsense. Crowing about town and on his blog about his own personal holiness is worthless to us.

Lots of luck to him telling Christ how humble and holy he is on his day of judgment.

His job was getting people into heaven. Instead, he stocked teachers who rejected the faith and led them into the abyss.

Don't come around here calling people sinful and dangerous - or telling people they should be ashamed of themselves for putting these facts on the table. That's what we call spiritual abuse around these parts.

God Bless.

Kelly said...

I just saw this. I 'm sure you already know about it, but my question is (please forgive my simpleness) what is the tone of this blog? I don't read it regularly, and don't get how to read this presentation. ?

Carol McKinley said...


I did know about the service - I hadn't read Rocco's piece.

When you read Rocco, think National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Gumbleton, Sister Joan Chittister, Commonweal and America Magazine - etc. That's the tone - or should I say tome?!

It is painful for me to read through the drivel but suffice it to say I'm on board with the people who are sick of these stunts.

There isn't a nickel's worth of changes in how to report corruption and have it acted upon.