Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Priests apologise over joint Mass

This story really left me scratching my head with bewilderment.

Three Catholic priests at the centre of a controversy after they concelebrated Mass with a Church of Ireland minister have apologised for their actions, it emerged tonight.

Fr Richard Goode, Fr Ignatius O’Donovan and Fr Noel Hession, all of the Augustinian Order, held an Easter Sunday Mass at Drogheda with the Rev Michael Graham.

The clergymen were heavily criticised by senior bishops, including Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who described the service as a very serious matter.

In a statement issued tonight, which I'm guessing was meant to be taken seriously, the Irish Province of the Augustinian Order said it deeply regretted the pain, confusion and damage caused. (Pain?)

The order said the three Augustinians, having reflected on the seriousness of their actions, have written to Archbishop Sean Brady, the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto and to Fr Robert Prevost, the Prior General of the Augustinian Order in Rome:

"Their letter apologises unreservedly for the ill-considered celebration and gives an absolute commitment as to future conduct in matters liturgical".

"In an effort to bring closure to the issue, neither the Augustinians involved nor the Augustinian Order will be making any further statement in relation to the matter."

The special Easter Mass was held at the Augustinian Priory in Drogheda, in commemoration of the 1916 Rising.

But following the Mass, Church of Ireland Archbishop Robin Eames and Archbishop Brady reminded all involved of the canonical disciplines prohibiting such concelebrations. Archbishop Brady said:

"I welcome today’s statement … of the Irish Province of the Augustinian Order and the expression of regret which it contains.

"I have received correspondence from Fr Goode, Fr O’Donovan and Fr Hession and I note in particular their undertaking to respect the discipline of the Church regarding the celebration of the Eucharist in future.

"We are all aware of the pain caused by the divisions among Christians and of the need to constantly recommit ourselves to pray and work patiently for the healing of those divisions."

So it's better to "pray and work patiently" - which strikes me as a fancy way of continuing to do nothing - rather than actually work together as these men of God chose to do?

What planet are these Archbishops on? I would have thought the one thing that everyone could agree on is that following the teachings of Christ was paramount. However these Archbishops seem more intent on following Church guidelines.

Didn't Christ urge us to "Love they neighbour"? So why the big fuss over a concelebration which has respecting the teachings of Christ as the main objective?

The God that I believe in would not have felt "pain" over Catholic priests and Church of Ireland ministers working together. Far from it.

I think the Church is in danger of overlooking what is most important - belief in and reverence for Jesus Christ.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

© 2008 United Irelander.