Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Dublin diocese is an unhappy place
Without trying to re-hash controversy about it again, apart from the riding rough shod over the rubrics regarding the gender of the owners of the feet the Pope washed last Holy Thursday. I was disappointed that the feet the Pope washed were not the feet of priests, it is not in the rubrics, but it has been the custom of the Roman Pontiff to wash the feet of priests who are from his diocese. It is an important sign for the world's bishops and clergy.
A good bishop's first responsibility must be to his clergy, before he is the Father of anyone else he is the Father in God of his co-workers, his priests, the promise of fealty made by the priest to his bishop at ordination places the both in unique position in the modern world, it is not one of the managed and manager, and certainly not one of employer and employed which increasingly it tends to become today, the model is actually that of God the Father, the loving Father of his sons, to them he is supposed to be the good Shepherd. Above all he is supposed to strengthen them, first of all because he loves them and secondly so that through them he might serve the flock of Christ.
I occasionally get emails from clergy in the Dublin diocese, it is difficult to tell from this distance whether they are typical or exceptional. No where in Ireland does the Church seem to have lost the faith more quickly, no where do the clergy seem to have been more bruised and battered by the fall out of the child abuse crisis than in Dublin. From across the water for a long time Archbishop Martin seemed to be the only effective Irish Bishop, the only one to address the terrible history presented in the media of the Irish Church, it seems almost as if all his efforts and energies have been spent on this issue.
Fr Eamonn Whelan has published his own reflections on the relationship of Dublin's clergy with their Archbishop, who rather than offering healing and paternal care seems to be bullying and domineering and damaging further those who have traumatised by the faults of their confreres. What what I hear and from what Fr Eamonn reports Dublin is an unhappy place.
Charity begins at home!
Posted by Fr Ray Blake