March 29, 2006

Young priests fail to see a futurein Fr D’Arcy’s kind of faith

Irish Examiner

By Rónán Mullen
A FEW years ago I took part in a Late Late Show discussion about child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church. On the show that night were Fr Brian D’Arcy and a number of people who had suffered abuse by Catholic priests.

Fr D’Arcy had to leave immediately after the show but, on our way out to the hospitality suite, he spoke to one of the abuse victims in a voice of great familiarity and intensity. “Won’t you mind yourself?” he pleaded.

Chatting to me afterwards, the person in question commented on ‘how upset’ Fr Brian seemed to be. “Do you know him well?” I asked. The person didn’t know him at all, it turned out.

On one level, Fr D’Arcy’s obvious compassion was commendable. But I was left wondering, nevertheless. Was this man a hyper-emoter, a man far too in touch with his touchy-feely side, too ready to feel everybody’s pain? How was it that he was never to be found on the unpopular side of a controversial argument, that he never defended his Church against unfair criticism, and that the only people he criticised over the years were erstwhile authority figures such as Cardinal Daly or the Vatican - people who were, by then, easy to criticise.

However, a lot of people have great time for Fr D’Arcy. He is, by all accounts, a compassionate man who has been of great support to many people over the years. Like many priests, he has been there for people at crucial moments and they will not forget it. Nor should they.

Posted by kshaw at March 29, 2006 08:00 AM