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.