‘Irish Stew’; A tacky soap opera? Part of Irish Church history? Lord save us!

The following is part of Voris' series on Ireland, and doesn’t come with cooking instructions. It's part of the recent history of the Church in Ireland, and not the plot of a tawdry soap opera. Am I forgiven for confusing one for the other? In Ireland, apparently one priest was 'allowed' to take over – Fr Ledwith – at Maynooth Seminary. Fr Ledwith became head of St Patrick’s Seminary Maynooth in 1985. Previous to becoming head of Maynooth, six seminarians brought forth charges that Ledwith had sexually harassed them… Then in the 1900s Fr Ledwith made a financial settlement to a man who said that Ledwith abused him as a minor.

Oh, and Ledwith has been laicised and is now a well regarded speaker on new age religion. I’d bet he doesn’t mention that he was accused of rape and sexual misconduct, when he’s explaining New Age doctrine such as those swinging crystals that trap good energy. But it's not fair of Michael Voris to keep reiterating that 'homosexuality' was the prime factor in the disgrace surrounding Ledwith. Ledwith may be homosexual - and that's his private business - but the problem was that he was sexually bullying seminarians, and was not called to account. According to Catholic teaching, all those (be they heterosexual or homosexual) who were complicit in letting Ledwith carry on, share in his guilt.

Michael Voris sometimes barks up the wrong tree; such as arbitrarily saying “The single most prevalent issue that brought down the Church in Ireland was homosexuality...”. That's just not true, and risks tarring all people who have same-sex attraction with the same brush. It was sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, the silencing of someone who sought to bring justice, and 'the cover up'. If Ledwith had sexually harassed women, could it be said that heterosexuality had been the biggest problem? No, we would concentrate on the illegality of the issue; that Ledwith was a sexual predator whose crimes were odious.

Voris speaks about a ‘few Irish Catholics foraging among the ruins’. That might be us, but if I doubt that it’s right for us to take pride in this matter; after all, with Church leaders employing someone like Ledwith, it’s harder to blame Catholics in Ireland for not being faithful.

Comments

  1. As someone who generally likes what Voris does, and is attempting to do, I am a little confused as to your take on this video. Could you expand for someone like myself who is a little more simple?

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  2. Hi Joe, I'm reeling after learning how Fr McGinnity was treated... Very sad. But I think that Michael Voris sometimes barks up the wrong tree; such as randomly saying “The single most prevalent issue that brought down the Church in Ireland was homosexuality...”. That's just not true, and risks tarring all people who have same-sex attraction with the same brush. It was sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, the silencing of someone who sought to do something about it, and 'the cover up'. If Ledwith had been sexually harassing women, would Voris say that heterosexuality had been the biggest problem?

    Perhaps the videos could be a little more succinct, other people have got in touch with me to say that the videos were 'rambling' and that they didn't have time to watch all the series on Ireland during, say, a lunch break.

    God bless always Joe,
    Mary

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  3. That fella is awfully fond of his own voice, I would say. He seems to have Ireland all sewn up with a three day visit or so!
    I might be doing a post on him myself later in the week. He has used , ageist, sexist and homophobic language in one of the Irish videos where he speaks of grey haired lesbian nuns!

    Humph! Not happy. I shall invoke St Patrick, and Michael wants to watch he doesn't get chased out, like the snakes!

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  4. Mary, Mr. Voris does indeed paint with a broad brush in his video editorials, and this video in particular. Thank you for pointing out the distinction, which wasn't that obvious as he, like a previous poster noted, seems to be paid by the word at times.

    The problem in our faith, both in Eire and the US, is exactly as you put it: ". . . sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, the silencing of someone who sought to bring justice, and 'the cover up'."

    While we (the laity) do seem to be addressing these issues as best as can while continuing to be faithful Catholics, Mr. Voris does us a service by pointedly targeting our bishops as the ones who have clearly often abdicated their past responsibilities. They seem to answer to no one but themselves, experiencing the occasional peer pressure from their respective 'conferences.'

    But using the broad brush to target a complex issue doesn't do anyone any favors - thank you for this post!

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  5. Thank you for your great comment Coyboypapist.

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  6. "Irish Stew" is an interesting video but he treats his subject far too simplistically. He's wrong to scapegoat Fr Ledwith. The problems at Maynooth go back to the 60s and were exposed by Mgr Patrick Francis Cremin (a peritus to Abp. McQuaid at Vatican II) in a series of articles in the Irish Independent in the late 70s.

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