Former Archbishop of Dublin was a good man forced into the wrong job
My father taught Archbishop Tomas O Fiaich at University College Dublin and always referred to canada goose outlet authentic him as „poor Tom Fee”, as he felt compassion for someone he thought had always been an amiable canada goose premium outlet man out of his depth as an historian and archbishop.
canada goose uk outlet The cardinal was not yet up, so I wandered about his cheerless living room and read the engravings on the innumerable gifts of Waterford glass. When he finally surfaced, he was so anxious I should have an alcoholic drink that I realised he was in dire need himself. Neither of us could open the tonic bottle, thus yielding the unforgettable image of the jovial Primate of All Ireland trying to prise off the cap between door and frame. canada goose uk outlet
canada goose He was very affectionate about my recently deceased father and insisted on ringing Very Reverend Godfrey Brown, the Presbyterian Church Moderator, another historian, who agreed to see me that afternoon. canada goose
cheap canada goose uk The canada goose outlet cardinal had been so lavish with the vodka that I had to stop the car and have a nap on my way to Belfast. I canada goose jacket outlet wasn’t surprised when he died of a heart attack in 1990 at only 66. He had terrible stress during his 13 years as prelate, caught between his dislike of violence and the republican sympathies so evident in many of his public statements which made him anathema to unionists and a source of vexation to those who took a tough line on terrorism. cheap canada goose uk
canadian goose jacket Next day, I drove to Drumcondra to see Connell, who was appointed the year before and was not yet a cardinal, and whom canada goose outlet london uk I knew slightly from UCD, where he had been canada goose outlet trillium parka black a professor. canadian goose jacket
buy canada goose jacket cheap He was shy, modest and kind and had integrity, and even the many academic colleagues who would not have been sympathetic to his extreme conservative Catholicism liked him a great deal as a human being. buy canada goose jacket cheap
Canada Goose sale I hated Archbishop’s House, which was bleak and lino ridden. We sat in canada goose outlet woodbury a depressing room and I got nowhere with what I wanted to talk about, as he began to tell me how much he missed UCD, his friends and his academic work. He wasn’t self pitying. Just lonely. Canada Goose sale
canada goose store I then called on Dr Donald Caird, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, who lived in a charming family home and was full of enthusiasm about Irish culture and life in general. I saw some other denominations along the way, but my abiding memory of that tour was how sad seemed the lives canada goose outlet phone number of O Fiaich (despite all the conviviality) and Connell, and how brutal the Catholic Church was in choosing bishops, who were conscripts, not volunteers. canada goose store
I didn’t know then both had been chosen by Gaetano Alibrandi, a meddling, aristocratic Sicilian with limited English who canada goose outlet vip was Papal Nuncio from 1969 to 1989, and was the key person in the appointment of 34 Irish bishops and archbishops. Alibrandi was a holder www.erinpsalzer.com of doctorates in divinity and civil and canon law and favoured academics rather than pastors, and so romantic was he about what he described as „the most Christian country in the world” that he deliberately promoted those with no bent towards modernisation.
Garret FitzGerald would write of Alibrandi’s tendency to „confuse Catholicism with extreme republicanism”, which made him pro IRA and antipathetic to any reforms designed to make the Republic more pluralist and unionist friendly.
O Fiaich and Connell led sheltered lives and had almost no pastoral experience. And though Connell proved to be deeply sympathetic to the disadvantaged including Travellers, the unemployed and asylum seekers like canada goose outlet ottawa O Fiaich, he hadn’t a clue about child abuse. O Fiaich was lucky to have died before it came out that he had taken no action when told about the prolific abuser Father Sean Fortune, but Connell, whose predecessors had dodged dealing with allegations, became consumed with what he later called „the issue which has devastated my period of office”.
Having listened too much to bad advice from canon law and civil lawyers, he would become in his own words „a lightning rod” for public anger when the scandal broke in the early 2000s. At a Dublin Mass, he was heckled and jeered.
Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin Eamonn Walsh told the congregation at the Pro Cathedral last Thursday of Connell’s reaction to the Mary Raftery documentary Cardinal Secrets, broadcast on RTE in 2002: „His countenance visibly changed, contorted in shock and horror at the unspeakable, depraved, degrading abuse unfolding before his eyes.” It was „a watershed moment that came too late for many”.
canada goose coats on sale Connell had been setting up strict child protection measures, but henceforward he was tormented by the recognition of his own historic inadequacies. canada goose coats on sale
buy canada goose jacket In 2004, at 78, just before his retirement, he publicly asked for forgiveness: „I ask pardon of all whom I have offended, especially of those who suffered unspeakable abuse by priests of the diocese and experienced a lack of the care that ought to have been provided.” buy canada goose jacket
Unlike Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin, who had the grace to praise some of Connell’s many virtues, President Higgins so forgiving of the sins of Latin American dictators only expressed his condolences.