Good news and bad news for the people of St. Brendan’s…
05 October 2010: Convicted priest poses no threat to parish, archbishop says
The good news?
(1) According to Archbishop Currie Father Michael J Walsh will not be taking over when Father Dino leaves
(2) Happily, I was wrong. According to Archbishop Currie Father Michael J Walsh will never “be given any responsibility for any ministry on St. Brendan’s or anywhere else here in Newfoundland.”
And, oh yes, the Archbishop apparently added: “Take that to the bank.”
The bad news?
(1) The Archbishop intends to meet with parishioners one on one, not as group. As the anonymous resident said, many people will be reluctant to show up for fear of being seen by others.
(2) Archbishop Currie told Father Walsh that he, Walsh, could sit with the other priest during Mass. That means that, for whatever reason, Currie thinks its alright for a convicted clerical molester to be present in the sanctuary during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
(3) There is no indication that Currie has not revoked Walsh’s faculties to say Mass and hear confessions.
(1) I am happy to hear that Walsh will not be parish priest. That will certainly allay some fears. But, what of, as has apparently happened and/or been proposed, Father Walsh filling in for the parish priest? And what of, as has apparently happened, Father Walsh saying Mass on weekdays?
Father Walsh is a convicted child molester. He truly should not have faculties to say Mass period. Nor should he be present functioning as a priest as a priest during weddings or baptisms.
(2) What in the name of goodness is going on? Father Walsh can sit with the priest during Mass.
This is ridiculous.
Why would Currie tell Walsh that he can sit in the sanctuary during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Why? For what purpose?
Father Walsh is going to sit in the sanctuary during Mass and NOT concelebrate? Come on!
But, even if that were the case, what’s the point? If he can’t concelebrate, why would Walsh even want to be in the sanctuary?
Why does Archbishop Currie think that it’s alright to have a convicted clerical molester sitting in the sanctuary? What does he expect parishioners to think? What’s the message conveyed to parishioners who see this man ensconced in the sanctuary?
Is he vested?
Does he assist with the distribution of Holy Communion?
What’s the message to parishioners.
(3) Bishop Currie said “I may even tell him he’s not even to go to church anymore out there.”
Again, come on!
Father Walsh can say his own private Mass. There is absolutely no need for him to attend Mass with the community. He is not being denied recourse to Holy Communion in any way shape or form. What is this all about?
(4) Bishop Currie says he can not prevent Father Walsh going to a school concert because it’s “a civic event.”
Seems to me this is dancing on the head of a pin.
True, there are no separate schools in Newfoundland, therefore no Roman Catholic schools. However the fourteen students at St. Gabriel’s are all Roman Catholic, and they’re all Roman Catholic because everyone in St. Brendan’s is Roman Catholic. So, it’s true that school activities are not controlled or administered by the diocese, but surely under the circumstances Archbishop Currie could tell Father Walsh that as a priest and convicted child molester he, Walsh, should not attend school functions?
Besides, how can it be possible in this day and age that it is acceptable for a convicted child molester to freely interact with children?
(5) Who decided that sick and dying veterans at the Vicxtoria General in Halifax could benefit from the services of a convicted clerical molester?
(6) Father Walsh obviously had faculties to say Mass and hear confessions in Halifax. Has that changed? Has Archbishop Currie given Father Walsh faculties to say Mass and hear confessions?
(7) Why the one on one meetings with parishioners? Why not a public meeting which leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind what the bishop has to say and where he stands as Father Walsh is concerned?
I sense a little circling of the wagons here. But, that’s fine. If it means Father Walsh will absolutley not be saying Mass, hearing confessions or in the sanctuary, that’s fine. At the end of the day I pray only that there is satisfactory resolution to this mess for the poor souls in St. Brendan’s. They should never have been put in this situation.
Enough for now,