The Irish Catholic newspaper reports that 216-year old Maynooth College (the Ireland’s largest Catholic seminary) may be shut down because of serious academic deficiencies and other formation-related problems:
Maynooth College may soon cease to function as a Catholic seminary marking the end of a 200-year-tradition, The Irish Catholic has learned.
The national seminary, which has educated Irishmen for the priesthood since 1795, may be set for closure after the recent Apostolic Visitation by New York’s Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. It is expected the report will recommend that Pope Benedict XVI move all Irish seminarians to a reformed and restructured Pontifical Irish College in Rome.
The historic shift would bring an end to concerns about falling academic standards at Maynooth and claims by some that the college in no longer ‘fit for mission’. One senior academic told The Irish Catholic that the Apostolic Visitors were ”appalled” by some of the standards in Maynooth. Rome would give access to heavyweight universities under direct scrutiny from the Vatican.
It is understood the plan would include the Irish College in Rome dramatically reducing the number of non-Irish students enrolled in the seminary to make way for the seminarians from Maynooth.
The Irish college would also have to be reformed to take account of an expected raft of recommendations from Archbishop Dolan’s report.
During his visitation to Maynooth, Archbishop Dolan requested from moral theology lectures copies of class notes and presentations to students to assess the suitability of the content. A wholesale move to Rome would address concerns that some of the theology taught at Maynooth is not sufficiently orthodox for future priests. . . . (continued)