VOTFI statement to the Derry Media on the Stewardship Trust Fund and the Derry Diocesan Office 17-05-05

(Explanatory note: Asked by a reporter on the Derry Sentinel to comment on her inability to get information from the Derry Diocesan Office on the use of the Stewardship Trust Fund for compensation for clerical child abuse claims in the diocese, Sean O’Conaill issued this statement.)

Voice of the Faithful exists to support victims of clerical child abuse, and also to support priests of integrity – the overwhelming majority. The interests of both are seriously compromised by a lack of information from the diocesan leadership on these matters. This policy of zero information is being interpreted already as a concealment of abuses which should be in the public domain.

The authority of the bishop’s office requires that this interpretation be rebutted as soon as possible.

So does the integrity of the Stewardship Trust Fund. Any possibility that this fund has been, or could be, used to shield perpetrators of clerical child abuse will seriously discourage, if not completely prevent, contributions to it.

2 thoughts on “VOTFI statement to the Derry Media on the Stewardship Trust Fund and the Derry Diocesan Office 17-05-05

  1. Many Irish clergy were in the USA where they pikced up golf, altar smashing, coffee table Masses, feminism, the pill/contraception and liberal theology without letting go of clericalism. The idea of tolerance of all religions/ relativism. Yet in Catholic Ireland these expediencies did not belong. Using the old authority and clerical approach they poisoned each other and the laity under a false obedience. This also happened in other countries of the Irish diaspora. Obedience was used to destroy. Well now Catholics are told freedom is an absolute and everything we had was wrong….authority was used to disconnect and nullify. How many Irish priests have I met in the USA and Australia who are just unthinking men who encourage others to sin. For sure the Irish preserved the Faith but it was and is a rather stripped down basic type of faith unable to withstand the fruit of the French Revolution which is freedom to do anything and everything. Our Irish priests used to say the Pope tells the bishops who tell the priests who tell the laity . Ignorant and clearly a view that is stupid! Authority in Ireland used the priests club to destroy.

  2. I was fortunate to encounter an entirely different variety of Irish Catholic cleric when at college in Dublin (UCD) during Vatican II – clergy who were liberationist without being at all lax. For example the Dominican, Fergal O’Connor, who opened my eyes to the principle of the separation of state powers. We are far from doomed to be disciples of either Pius IX or Timothy Leary – and there are Irish clergy, even alumni of Maynooth, who can steer this better course. Under Pope Francis there is a real chance for the Irish church to uncover the deeper well of Irish Christianity that enlivened western Europe so long ago. Ultramontanism and abuse are far from being the whole story of the Irish church, even when ultramontanism was in its pomp – thank God.

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