Good enough. That’s where he belongs.
Some details regarding Archbishop Martin Currie’s visit to the poor souls in St. Brendan’s.
(1) The Archbishop is scheduled to take the 11:30 am ferry from Burnside, Newfoundland this morning (Friday, 08 October ’10). He should arrive in St. Brendan’s around 12:30
(2) Arhcbishop Currie will be at the rectory from the time of his arrival until Mass at 4 pm. During that time frame (12:30 – 4 pm) he will be available for one on one meetings with parishioners who wish to speak to him
(4) Mass will be offered at 4 pm
(5) The archbishop will depart for the mainland on the 5 pm ferry
And, a few things which must be re-iterated
(1) When concerns were expressed to Archbishop Currie regarding Father Michael Walsh’s presence, the archbishop said that Father Walsh would NOT be allowed to say Sunday Mass but that he could say weekday Masses if requested to do so. The Archbishop also said that he told Father Walsh that he, Walsh, was not to live in the rectory
The Archbishop said that there had been a few charges against Walsh but everything had been resolved. There was apparently no mention made of the conviction, not that Walsh had spent time in jail.
No one knows what if any restrictions have been placed on Walsh as a convicted child molester. Various attempts were made to find out through local civilian agencies. They were unsuccessful. The only thing that is known with certainty is that Walsh can not live in the rectory, and the assumption is that he can not live in the rectory because of its proximity to the school, but, that’s simply an assumption.
(2) Father Walsh has been saying weekday Masses and hearing confessions since his arrival nearly a year ago
(3) Father Walsh has routinely concelebrated at Sunday Masses. At one time he was scheduled to fill in for Father Dino and say the Sunday Mass. Some people were upset that Walsh would be saying the Sunday Mass – In that instance Father Walsh was replaced by a deacon
(4) Before his arrival Father Walsh sent all of his personal effects from Nova Scotia to the Church rectory in St. Brendan’s – he clearly assumed he would be living in the rectory and would be allowed to live in the rectory. Was she told that he would be allowed to live in the rectory? Or, did he just decide that he was going to move in?
Whatever the reason, Father Walsh thought he would be moving into the rectory – his belongings were packed and addressed to the rectory.
It is unknown if there were complaints (the rectory is behind or in front of the school), but, whatever happened, the bishop at some time told Walsh he could not live in the rectory and he ended up living elsewhere. I don’t believe he spent any time in the rectory at all – there was concern from the moment there was word that he was coming to St. Brendan’s and would be functioning as a priest.
(5) Father Dino was supposed to be leaving shortly after Father Walsh’s arrival. Rightly or wrongly the understanding of parishioners was that Father Walsh would replace Father Dino. Due to health and passport issues Father Dino did not leave. He will be leaving soon.
(6) The fact that Archbishop said Walsh could say weekday Masses if requested would mean that Currie was permitting Currie to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If he could say Mass on weekdays I have no idea why Walsh presumably could not say it on Sundays, but, even at that, Walsh was routinely exercising his priestly faculties by concelebrating the Sunday Mass.
All priests must have the permission of the local bishop to say Mass and hear confessions in that diocese. Their faculties can be revoked by a bishop. The revocation is for that diocese. The faculties of clerical molesters are often and I believe rightly revoked. It seems that such was not the case with Walsh. Indeed, not only has Father Walsh been allowed to say Mass and hear confessions in the Diocese of Grand Falls, he had those faculties for the many years he was in the Diocese of Halifax.
This truly is both a scandal and a sacrilege.
So, Archbishop Currie now says Father Walsh will not be ministering anywhere in Newfoundland. If that is the case, and in order to ensure there is not confusion in the future, the Archbishop should publicly announce that he has permanently suspended or revoked Father Walsh’s faculties.
As for the one-on-one meeting, how many of the poor souls in St. Brendan’s will go for a one-on-one meet with the Archbishop tomorrow? I have no idea. My guess is not many. There are many who would like to go, but who won’t go. For a variety of reasons many are afraid – not that they will be shot at sunrise, but that, for example, they might be ostracized, or reviled, or have difficulty articulating their fears and concerns. In a community of 1700 souls it will hard for anyone to pay a visit to the rectory without virtually everyone knowing. Such a shame.
If Archbishop Currie really thinks a meeting is necessary, how much more apropos it would have been to have a general community meeting – and how much better to have allowed people to write their questions and outline their concerns in anonymity on a piece of paper and pop it into a box.
But, unless things change, that’s not the way it will be.
The weather will play a role in this too. Bad weather means the ferry doesn’t run. Last evening the winds were gusting at 110 km/hr. If that keeps up the ferry may be cancelled.
Would that be good or bad? I don’t know. I really don’t know.
Let’s pray for the poor souls of St. Brendan’s, and pray that all goes well, and pray that God’s will be done.
I will be watching for news of the visit. If anyone has any information to share please blog or send me an email (email@example.com)
Any reports on what happened in court yesterday re Monsignor Roger Bazin? I can find nothing.
Enough for now