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Maynooth seminary will not be closing, says president

By on Thursday, 24 March 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is leading the visitation of Ireland's seminaries (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is leading the visitation of Ireland's seminaries (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

The president of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, has denied that the seminary is going to close, after speculation following the end of the Apostolic Visitation.

Mgr Hugh Connolly spoke after the Irish Catholic reported that the Apostolic Visitors to Ireland, and in particular Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, will recommend that Maynooth be shut down and the seminarians moved to the Irish College in Rome, which will be reformed.

Mgr Connolly said: “There are 72 men studying for the priesthood in Maynooth, making us the largest in Europe. Media reports today about the possible closure of the seminary are without foundations.

“St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, is a vibrant centre of seminary formation and theological research.”

He added that Maynooth “is confident of its contribution to the future of the Church in Ireland”, and said that the Apostolic Visitation was a “positive and affirming experience for the whole college community”.

The Irish Catholic suggested that Archbishop Dolan was unsatisfied with the orthodoxy of the theology teaching at Maynooth, and quoted an anonymous academic at the college that the Visitors were “appalled” by the standards at the college in county Kildare.

Archbishop Dolan is said to have requested class notes from moral theology lectures as well as presentations to students at the college in order to assess the suitability of what is being taught there.

Maynooth College has also come under pressure due to staffing problems. The seminary currently employs only one full-time canon law lecturer, and relies upon part-time lecturers from the National University of Ireland.

The Visitors are expected to present their report to the Pope in the next few months.

  • Eoin

    Judging by the calibre of many Priests in Ireland, and the infantile liturgies there. Perhaps a seminay re-think is not a bad idea.

  • AgingPapist

    Close all Roman Catholic seminaries ,not for being “unorthodox”, but for being breeding grounds for sexual perversion. Often launching pads for hierarchical careers devoted to secrecy, perfidy, and the obstruction of justice.

  • Philip Ogilvie

    I would have thought that one full time canon law lecturer is quite sufficient for 72 seminarians. After all, surely they don’t have more than an hour a day each.

  • Anonymous

    Get your facts straight. There are more Protestant ministers convicted (not just accused) of child sexual abuse, according to a (non-Catholic) employee in a rehab centre for these offenders, in, of all journals, the anti-Catholic “Tablet”.

    So, as well as getting your facts straight, you might want to do something about your bias – it’s showing again.

  • Anonymous

    The liberal establishment in Ireland are particularly vicious, if the response of the priests’ group to the new Missal is anything to go by.

    So, my money is on Archbishop Dolan having been correctly quoted and the truth-challenged liberals making it up as they go along – as per usual.

  • Gorbacet

    The Dean of Studies at Maynooth … nickname … The Fairy Queen … Need we say more!

  • Lamb

    As Sir Humphrey Appleby in “Yes, Prime Minister” says – “NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING UNTIL IT’S BEEN OIFFICIALLY DENIED!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Josephsoleary

    The New Missal is a disaster and all Irish priests are wresting with it manfully. I was happy to note in a Dublin church last Sunday that the congregation used “And also with you” and that the priest ignored the philistine “acclaim” in the Preface and the vulgar and pretentious “chalice” in the Canon — also he read “for you and for all people” not “for many”. He showed pastoral tact, something direly lacking in the rightwing ideologues who have engineered the fiasco.