Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fr Oliver Brennan: from Armagh diocese, Horrendous experience in being removed from his Parish

Priests from Cork & Ross and from Cloyne Diocese gathered at Ovens Parish Centre for their ACP meeting on 29 January – including some who had not come to a such a meeting before.

Fr Oliver Brennan from Armagh diocese was our guest speaker – he spoke movingly of his horrendous experience in being removed from his parish (with just five hours notice) on foot of an allegation, with the PSNI clearance coming relatively quickly within a year, and the archdiocesan permission to return to ministry following painstakingly slowly. The coldness of his treatment by church authorities made an impression.

Attendees asked questions, shared experiences and commented on his story.

Members suggested that the ACP prepare a manual for priests, a useful reference in case of such an allegation. They also felt we need to be mindful of each other, and particularly sensitive to anyone who finds himself out of ministry on foot of an allegation.

- Association of Catholic Priests, IRELAND