Irish Augustinians apologise for Concelebration

Although it was hardly the most unpopular of moves, but the Dundalk based Augustinian Order in Ireland, whose three Dundalk based priests were behind the concelebration of Mass with a local Anglican vicar “deeply regrets the pain, confusion and damage caused as a result of the Easter Sunday Eucharistic celebration at its church in Drogheda”. A letter of apology was sent to the Archbishop of Armagh, Archbishop Seán Brady; to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto; and to Fr Robert Prevost, the Prior General of the Augustinian Order.

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  • smcgiff

    Deep breath – ah, the freedom that comes from not having anything personal to do with religion or any other superstitions.

  • David Michael

    “Pain, confusion and damage”?

    I must be slow today but whom did it hurt? Who was confused and why? What damage did it do?

    You’d think they were referring to something shocking like the serial rape of children. Now that generates pain, confusion and damage.

    Honestly, the things that get our clergy exercised…

  • Alan

    Down with that sort of thing!

  • Wang Kerr

    …and this is supposed to be one of the ‘root’ causes of the trouble & strife in NI.

    What an absolute, utter and complete nonsense.

  • David Michael

    Wang Kerr (nice nick!)

    “…and this is supposed to be one of the ‘root’ causes of the trouble & strife in NI.”

    Sure, but as any THINKING person knows, one of the most important root causes has to be the brutalization of children in NI. Though you’d never think it the way the facts are swept under the carpet.

    Here’s a little item from Monday’s BBC website that escaped the Slugger bloggers’ attention:

    And a quote from said article:

    “According to recent PSNI statistics, over 50% of sexual offences recorded in 2004/2005 happened to children under 17 years of age.

    “Two-thirds of the incidents involved young people between 11 and 16.

    “The children’s charity NSPCC said many young people had found the strength to call children’s helpline, Childline, but others were unable to do so.

    “NSPCC spokesman Martin Crummey said: ‘It is dreadful to think that a child calls Childline on average once every hour to talk about rape and other types of sexual abuse.'”

    Now, just in case that statistic didn’t hit home: Every hour in NI a child is either raped or otherwise sexually abused.

    That’s 24 children per day. Do the sums and find out how many that is per year. All new cases I might add.

    And those are the kids who’ve had the courage to phone Childline.

    Is it any wonder this place is so – literally – fucked up? Research shows that many of those kids will go on to become terrorists, criminals, drug addicts. Many will kill themselves, finding life unbearable.

    And where are the voices of our clergy and politicians? Yup, arguing the finer points of ecumenism and the price of wet fish.

    And with those statistics, indicating an epidemic of child sex abuse, I believe I understand the reluctance. To me, any man’s silence on this is highly suspect.

  • Jo

    I linked to this sexual abuse scandal and have been carrying this week several pieces on sexual abuse – unsurprising, perhaps in a week that saw a Belfast man jailed with raping and cutting up a 15 yo girl and the jailing of a 16 yo boy who raped a woman in her Belfast home.

    No wonder I spend as much time in Rostrevor…

  • David Michael

    Good for you, Jo! A voice in the wildnerness perhaps but the more the better.

    Did you catch Davy Adams’s great piece on Talkback today? Brilliant. Seems I’m not the only man who’s sick of this stuff.

    BTW what makes you think Rostrevor is immune? It’s everywhere in NI, in every parish, across all class divides. No one is prepared to concede just how sick this place is.

  • missfitz

    Whoa David

    The Drogheda rising was an important story, although it certainly doesnt take away from the side issue you have raised.

    Fr Iggy took Bertie and all the other notables at their word for Easter and invited the Prods over for Mass. While they were there, he even asked them to concelebrate.

    Now, while the rest of us thought this was a brilliant piece of ecumenism, many knickers got knotted and poor Iggy had to commit hari kari and apologise, proving that the big boys can call the shots, but the wee boys cant usurp them.

    It may seem trivial, but it was an important story to watch.

    PS, have you got a copy of the Ferns report? I have it on PDF if you want it

  • David Michael

    Side story, Missy? Yeah, I guess it is, but only coz nobody seems to think it worthwhile blogging, hint hint.

    Am I the only one here who’s totally gobsmacked by those statistics? One child an hour? At that rate all the children in NI will have been raped within a decade or two. Ye gods.

    I have the Ferns report, thanks. Sobering reading. Wonder when we’ll get the Derry report [rolls eyes]

  • missfitz

    I dont want to downplay this, but in fairness, the NSPCC says that a child phones to talk about the subject every hour, but it really doesnt day that a child is raped hevery hour.

    I know that this could get very emotive, but I think that we need very cool heads when talking about this. I would have to look very seriously and steadily at those kind of figures, and perhaps someone should follow up with the NSPCC before we all go leaping to mad conclusions

  • David Michael

    Missy, I said earlier that it’s rape or other form of child abuse. And let’s get real here: a child doesn’t ring for a trivial reason. She’s already suffered a lot of pain before she lifts the phone; maybe weeks, maybe months or years.

    Are these mad conclusions? I don’t think so. Children are committing suicide up and down the land because of this. So what’s the government doing? That’s right: the donkey work is being left to volunteers and charity workers. Is this how a civilized society conducts itself? You tell me.

    And we still haven’t heard the thoughts of other men on this. I wonder why. Have you ever noticed the silence of Ulstermen when phone-ins and the like feature paedophilia and incest?

  • missfitz


    As I said, I would honestly want to have more details. For instance, are we talking about one off calls, repeats, or calls about homework? Did you know that most calls to Crimestoppers are about things like missing cats and haemmorhoids? I know that my phone is used like a phone directory most of the time, people have no compunction about asking me to look something up if they havent a phone book to hand.

    I dont want to minimise Childline, but I think that the kind of numbers being cited are a bit far fethced.

    As to the silence? I dont know, its a hard subject for me. As I’ve said before, I was very involved in FF in Dublin in the 70’s and one of my best friends was Brian Curtin, the Kerry judge who was in the spotlight for possession of material last year.

    I have to say that Brian was one of the nicest, if not nicest men I ever knew, and if I had to name a hundred men, I would not have named him in connection with any of the ALLEGED activities.

    So where do you go? Can a young girl trust anyone or do we try and get the ‘just say no’ message across here like it was in the States?

  • David Michael

    “I dont want to minimise Childline, but I think that the kind of numbers being cited are a bit far fethced.”

    Why? These are the kids who’ve plucked up the courage to phone – and they ain’t phoning about homework. It’s the tip of the iceberg. Talk to teachers about their more “difficult” children. Then it won’t seem too far fetched.