Bishop Drennan's response to 4 questions
Open Letter to the Bishop of Galway
To Bishop Drennan
St Marys Palace
18. Jan 1010
Dear Sir / Madam.
In each of his replies made to him on four specific questions regarding what he knew , did not know, did, or did not do in respect of reported child sexual abuse- Dr Drennan has chosen obfuscation and evasion..over lucidity and clarity ''.a.break down in communications .. lack of clarity etc''
These replies would not stand up in a court room, not that he faces any court other than the court of public opinion and is he really facing that court ?
Dr Drennan was not 'doorstepped'..and thereby had time to offer clearer replies. ;He could have chosen to be more circumspect '' On mature reflection ''.But he choose not to do so.
If as he insists that he knew nothing about an errant priest in his administration against whom there was sufficient doubt about his abuse of 2 young girls , Marhta and Mary and for which eventuality the church had adopted the legal position that the Bishop was not responsible for a matter of ''criminal activity'' engaged in by the priest , In these circumstances is it plausible that whatever the commission's conclusions were ,that Dr Drennan could not have known anything was remiss .If he suspected something was even slightly remiss or that there was some doubt about not only a sin but evidence or allegations of a grave crime - would he not in conscience have deemed that it behooved him to follow the matter through and assist the Gardai in their investigation. If no investigation had as yet taken place should he not have initiated one .?
Should he not have spoken to the priest and asked him about any scintilla of evidential material that was circulating even by way of roumer. Would not his intervention have helped to minimize the '' lack of communication'' which he alleges took place.
Bishop Drennan has a conscience as we all do. If the question were asked '' did you do everything your conscience required you to do ? Did you allow the full rigor and personal scrutiny of your conscience to prevail? . Did you do everything you should have done irrespective of the legislative law , or Cannon law - did you do everything you could do to bring this suspected priest to justice.?
I strongly suspect Bishop Drennan did not do so.A recent local vox pop suggest that72 % of respondents do not believe that Dr Drennan should remain as Bishop of Galway.
Yet he retires fortressed behind the gilded halls of his expansive palace on Taylor's Hill and through his emissary sends out an obscure message suggesting that if the people think he should go , then he would go. But Dr Drennan maintains that the people want him to stay and were it otherwise , Dr Drennan would of course stand down .
What people he doesnt say. Perhaps a few relatives have contacted the palace . But the feeling in the city is that he should go.- 72 % is fairly irrefutable by even the most formidable rhetorical defence of Dr Drennan's position.
The people do not believe him
Is it too much to expect for a bishop who purports to carry the message of that Nazarine Carpenter , to decamp from the palace ; forgo the immense luxuries he enjoys , and live in the humility of a parish priest somewhere. ?
If he is not sufficiently acquainted with the true wishes of the people he is either too hubristic or too remote to command the respect which his office requires.
Besides he has long lost moral and respectful authority .
In the end it seems he may well have to be removed from office; , surely a less edifying spectacle than he making his own humble departure , at the latter stages of his career as a clergyman.
There is a lettter in today's Galway Independent which shifts the blame from Dr Drennan to Dr Martin . It is more Jesuitical than cogent in its rhetoric.
Moreover if Dr Drennan keeps avoiding his flock , what possible role does he serve them in his episcopal capacity.
And further , should he continue to withdraw from his congregations who then is he serving primarily ; Dr Drennan or The Faithful.?
As I received no reply from the Palace this letter was published in an emasculated form in our local paper
Things have moved on since and now all the irish Bishops have been summoned before the Pope on Shrove Tues. - Mardi Gras day
I wrote the folowing today 24 jan 2010 to the Bishop
I do not expect a reply , at least not here on booksie .
For the attention of Bishop Martin Drennan
Your Grace ,
You will have received my email to you apropos the child abuse investigation .
An emasculated version of this letter was published in this weeks Galway Advertiser. Some painful and trying days lay ahead for you personally .
Please be advised that it was never my intention to impugn your character . I am a sexagenarian and a feeble subject of the Catholic Church .
I have known 3 of your predecessors , but only one of these in a personal way.
Many people are supportive of your situation and please accept that I am not against you.I do believe that your congregation don't know you.
Had you chosen to speak to us , to talk to us as a leader of our faith ; chosen to challenge the remarks made about you ,defended your situation in a more open forum , I do believe you would have had much more support.You obviously shy away from publicity . That in many ways is admirable . But to act hermetically at this time serves no one well.
You are gifted with the' shepardry 'of the local church. You were appointed as a bishop to act as that Sheppard .Why do you seclude yourself from us and moreover refuse to reply to queries from Mr McGarry ( Irish Times) ?. I believe that this has been an error of judgement on your part.
I don't believe that Mr Mc Garry would wish to see you deposed anymore than I .Neither do I really believe that the 'survivors' will derive any pleasure from your being deposed . It would just seem wrathful if they did .
I wish you my prayers such as they are in your forthcoming visit to Rome and hope that there can be some finality to your personal turmoil , and equally an appeasement of the continued feeling of injustice which the 'survivors ' feel , in the days ahead.
This is your own Gethsemane .And it may well be the case that this is undeserved.
I hope that wisdom , council and fortitude go with you on this personal Via Della Rosa.
In good Faith,
Don mac Namara MD