Yesterday we published the letter from the executive secretary of the Bishop’s Conference Gearóid Dullea. Today we are publishing a post by Mick Power who was present in Achill on the day the Archbishop references in the statement. Mick’s post is just under this introduction.
It seemed that a meeting which was about the bishops discussing how to assist the Archbishop in Tuam was in the end not about taking action in the present regarding the serious issues facing us but the Archbishop merely reiterated a statement made in 1998?. While the bishops were meeting last month Fr Gerard McGinnity was in fact in the States giving succour to the Houses of Prayer while being a priest in good standing here in Ireland. Having been in touch with Tuam after the bishop’s meeting in June in Maynooth it is clear they are minded to preserve their current position of doing nothing about the open sore which is the House of Prayer. This is based on the argument that they do not recognise the House of Prayer and as a result feel no obligation to do anything further. They do not wish go beyond this 2009 document which is hard to find on their web site.
We have heard that due to the upcoming Synod in Rome this item was hardly given any attention at the September meeting and will be given much more time at the upcoming December meeting of the bishops.
As the Director is meeting Archbishop Martin next week, he sought clarification from the Archdiocese of Tuam about their position yesterday so he was clear about the two separate issues facing us now.
- The issue of the continuance of Christina Gallagher in the Diocese and the fact that people are coming from around Ireland and the world to her under the assumption that she is a Catholic in good standing. The fact that the Achill House is a private business entity and is not recognised is really of no consequence. The issue is, she is claiming to be a Catholic and nothing in any statement issued by Tuam nullifies this.
- The important issue of Fr McGinnity not just assisting someone who is not recognised, but going to a diocese where he has been asked to not come is a major blemish on the unity of the Catholic Church. There is no evidence too date that Armagh has any problems with his weekly trips to Mayo. This is the issue for the Archdiocese of Armagh. What are you going to do about it?
Yesterday we took the liberty to contact Tuam about their current stance and we will publish in due course the response we get before our meeting with Archbishop Martin. Obviously points 1 and 2 are separate but also connected.
Dear Mike and friends and all..
Yes it was with some dismay and disappointment that I read the response from the Episcopal Conference today in which Bishop Neary just reiterated a statement which he made back in 1998.
Just to put this into perspective I was present that day on the 16th July 1998 when the statement from the Bishop was released and which I remember very well.
On that particular day crowds descended on the HOP and a document was circulated to all of the pilgrims.This document was the result of an investigation set up by the Archdiocese of Tuam to investigate this whole phenomenon which is the HOP in Achill.
In this statement Bishop Neary stated that there had been no findings of a supernatural nature but that he appreciated that the works of the HOP were in good standing with the Catholic Church.
So therefore he stated that he wished to integrate the HOP into the mainstream running of the Diocese.
So he desired that the HOP be integrated into the parish of Achill and that the HOP be subject to the diocese of Tuam as it was originally intended by Archbishop Cassidy when he opened it in 1993.
It was intended to be a place of retreat for priests to come there contemplate and rejuvenate their spiritual lives.
So then he made the following recommendations.
(1) that the sacraments of the Catholic Church be disallowed in the HOP ie. celebration of the mass, hearing of confessions.and of course those others such as matrimony,baptism, holy orders, confirmation, and the anointing of the sick.
He also stated that he wished to appoint a spiritual director to CG from the diocese of Tuam and that Fr. G Mc.Ginnity should have no further involvement with preaching or saying Mass in the HOP.
He also stated that this should not be a place of pilgrimage for the Catholic faithful.
He then stated that all moneys, donations etc. received within the HOP be submitted to the Archdiocese for perusal by their accountants.
To cut this story short Christina appeared on the podium that day and announced that she had no choice but to close the HOP due to the restrictions which she said she had to endure from Archbishop Neary.
There was much hysteria in the crowds, much crying and sobbing, but CG was remarkably calm as was Fr. Mc.Ginnity.Later that day I witnessed Christina ordering him to remove the Blessed Sacrament from the chapel and I watched him in full vestments take the short journey of just a hundred yards to the parish Church in Achill Sound.At the time I did not realise the significance of this but of course now I know.
Once the Blessed Sacrament is removed the bishop no longer has any jurisdiction over its place of previous residence. This effectively turned the HOP into a private business where she no longer had to be obedient to her bishop and she was now free to spew her vitriol and which she has done so and indeed lined her pockets and destroyed so many people in the process.
I am quite sure that when the bishop required her to produce the financial records she saw red and quickly devised a plan to overcome this new obstacle. The rest is history but there can be no doubt that this cunning plan was aided and abetted by her right hand man Fr. McGinnity.
God Bless….Mick Power
Filed under: House of Prayer |