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?