Thursday, March 24, 2011

Maynooth, R.I.P.

The Republic of Ireland looks like it's about to lose its last (and oldest) seminary.

According to The Irish Catholic

Maynooth College may soon cease to function as a Catholic seminary marking the end of a 200-year-tradition, The Irish Catholic has learned.

The national seminary, which has educated Irishmen for the priesthood since 1795, may be set for closure after the recent Apostolic Visitation by New York's Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. It is expected the report will recommend that Pope Benedict XVI move all Irish seminarians to a reformed and restructured Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

The first reason given is "failing academic standards". In fact, "appalling" academic standards. If you read far enough you also find that there were "concerns that some of the theology taught at Maynooth is not sufficiently orthodox for future priests." Ahem. Indeed. Hamish Fraser thought the same but phrased it more bluntly 40 some years ago in his pamphlet on Maynooth.

What a shame for Ireland. I was only in Maynooth once; I remember a breath-takingly beautiful chapel. The place was numinous.


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