Visit Report Challenged

Four Irish archbishops told the Vatican that a report on an apostolic visitation to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome contained factual errors. The four archbishops—Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin; Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam; and Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel—were the college’s trustees. They allegedly were criticized in the report as seeming to be “disengaged from college governance, with meetings, minutes, agenda and direct supervision irregular.” The archbishops said that the visitation report “contained some serious errors of fact” and charged that it “would appear to prioritize its own view of orthodoxy, priestly identity, separation and devotion.” They said its “harsh judgments on staff members” were “unsupported by evidence.” The visitation to the Irish College in January 2011 was led by New York’s Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan. Cardinal Dolan declined to comment on the claims, pointing out that the apostolic visitation process was confidential.

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