Wary Irish welcome for O’Malley, the Visitor

At the risk of comments going in multiple directions from several different topics in one post, we have broken this article from the Boston Globe about Cardinal O’Malley’s visitation to Dublin into a separate post from the previous one about “Catholics Come Home.”  Sorry for any confusion.  If you have not watched the video testimony of a woman brought back to the church after seeing one of the “Catholics Come Home” televisions ads, you can watch it here.

 A wary Irish welcome for O’Malley, the Visitor” (Boston Globe)

Dispatched to Dublin to assess the clergy abuse crisis, the cardinal has won over many with his warm presence. The harder challenge is the church’s — retrieving the estranged.

In Dublin, drawing on his experience in the United States, he set about meeting with virtually everyone who requested to speak with him. O’Malley and a team of Boston aides met with more than 200 people during three weeklong visits in November, January, and February.

They began early each morning and continued late into the evening, rarely venturing off the grounds of All Hallows College, a Catholic school on a grassy campus in central Dublin. They offered all who met with them a rare opportunity: to convey a message, albeit indirectly, to Pope Benedict XVI.

The cardinal heard unvarnished anguish, those who met with him said, and outrage about the Vatican’s role in the cover-up of abuse. He heard concern from child protection advocates about policies that, while much improved, still have holes. He also heard frustration from priests and laity about the leaders of the church in Ireland…

O’Malley’s mission was pastoral as well as analytical…Some of his liveliest and most personal conversations in Dublin seemed to be with priests.

“He wanted to know about our morale and the well-being of priests in the midst of all the revelations,’’ said the Rev. Joe Mullan, who led a delegation of Dublin priests who met with O’Malley.

The notion of time allocated from the Cardinal’s schedule so every lay person or priest who wanted to speak with him about their concerns sounds like a great idea.   The desire by the Cardinal to know about the morale and the well-being of priests is fantastic.  His willingness to listen to frustration voiced by priests and laity about the leadership of the church is welcome news.  If it worked for Dublin, why not for Boston next?

Assuming the visitation in Dublin is nearly ended, we welcome the prospect of our own “Cardinal Come Home” to Boston, where perhaps a modified sort of “visitation” can be done here.  If priests and laity can voice their frustrations with the current leadership, and the morale and well-being of priests here becomes a high priority–and something will actually be done about those concerns (an important caveat, which cannot necessarily be assumed), that would be awesome for the Catholic Church in Boston. It would also mean a lot less blogging by BCI.

What do you think?  Will there be any takers at 66 Brooks Drive?

16 Responses to Wary Irish welcome for O’Malley, the Visitor

  1. FR B says:


    This describes no one I know !

    How can he be two different people?

  2. FR B says:

    A friend called after he read this post and clarified the difference … this is foreign campaigning for the Triple Crown !

    Now I understand!

  3. unwelcome in Braintree says:

    Perhaps the Holy Father could scare up a Bishop who cares about the people and clergy here in Boston. Rome could ship him in and we could chat??

    • Another former employee says:

      Sounds like a good plan to me! Maybe we can discuss the pension plans for the clergy and the lay employees.

    • Michael says:

      I had something important … really … to talk with O’Malley about. He sent me on a mission and I needed to report my findings to him. He said several times he would speak to me about them. This was over the period of a year and a half and me having to re-ask to speak to him about it each time I saw him again. He did not want to hear what I had to say and so I have never had a meeting with him. It is shocking to me that a Cardinal would act that way.

  4. FR B says:

    Right now the only local bishop who seems to care about the priests + all the locals is Bishop Hennessey.

  5. Mack says:

    When I saw the Globe article yesterday, it struck me that the Cardinal does seem to have a gift for dealing with the pastoral end of the sex abuse crisis.
    So it might be all for the best if the Pope were to assign him to do just that full time. He could travel around the world and meet with people, etc., and boost morale.
    It doesn’t seem that his gifts lie in administration. So as part of his new assignment, he would resign as Archbishop of Boston, and someone else with the gifts we need right here, right now, could take over and hopefully fix the mess.

    • FR B says:

      You are a very kind man !
      Your kindness reminds me that I have a long way to go. With God’s grace + the example of many members of the laity like yourself I may become the priest He wants me to be!

      We are all companions on The Journey.

      • Mack says:

        Thank you, Father. I’m sure you are a wonderful priest! Thank you for your life of service to Jesus Christ and his Church!

    • q says:

      Mack; we will have to nickname you “hammer”, you hit the nail on the head. The Cardinal has many, many great qualities. He never stands on formalities, is genuinely humble (it is no act) genuinely pious and LOVES being a Priest, and all that goes with it. I’m not so sure he likes being Bishop, or the administration tasks that go with it.

      Problems arise when the vacuum(s) that arise are filled by those who shouldn’t fill them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It seems that O’Malley is the visitor here. I can’t help but draw comparisons to the TV series “V”.

  7. "Just Wondering" says:

    I’m “Just Wondering” … if my Cardinal could take the time to spend just three weeks with his Priests —
    and I don’t want it in the Chancery, at Boston College or some similar place — but come out to the rank and file. Hear us. Hear our cry. Hear our need for help. Hear our need for guidance. You are right “Fr. B” – Bishop Hennessey is a shining bright light. Thank God we have him and we need MORE like HIM.

  8. A. J. Constantino says:

    I wrote it once before and I’ll restate it:

    Since his Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Hennessey committed to caring for his brother priests – he is a man who has backed up his words with deeds!

  9. FR B says:

    We must pray for him !
    The other auxilaries are not bad men … they too need our support … strengthened by grace, they all may be able to open the ears and heart of the metropolitan ordinary so that he too may disentagle himself from the negative influences which surround him.

  10. Matthew says:

    True: Bishop Hennessey is the only Bishop who trully cares for priests.
    He sees the injustce being levied again them by priets at Brooks drive who think of themselves only and thier ambitions to highter power.
    They speep the issues on innocence and reconciliation under the rug…………they are cruel and mean both to priests and lay people.
    Bishop Hennessy cares and sees the hypocricy of the priests who are intrusted to caring for others.

  11. FR B says:

    Oh ‘q’ I really wish I could believe your evaualtion of Eminent Friar Sean … I truly hope you are right + I am wrong … We will probably never Know until the Lord opens the Truth to us all in His Kingdom.

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