28Jul Young Priests and Old Priests: Francis Moore

The younger members of the clergy do not belong to, or support the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP). They regard this group of aging trendies, as the “usual suspects”, who get too much air time on RTE. They are not representative and are ridiculed as the Assocation of Cranks and Pessimists (ACP).

24 Responses

  1. Association of Catholic Priests

    Association of Cranks and Pessimists — cute! I hope the younger members of the clergy find a forum to make their voice heard, instead of just nagging about their elders. I am sure RTE would be delighted to give them air time, since the usual suspects are indeed not terribly newsworthy, nor do bald pates and grey hairs appeal to tv audiences. The trouble is that no one but the usual suspects seems to speak up at all. The rest either have nothing to say or are keeping their heads under the parapet.
    Joe O’Leary

  2. Joe O'Leary

    I really know almost nothing about seminarians and young priests — are there any? I would like to know how they are living the stresses of the changing landscape. I would like the older brethren here to tell me something about what kind of advice they give these younger fellows.

  3. Eddie Finnegan

    I’m afraid, Joe, that in less than a year the ACP has become a mirror of the (Irish Catholic)Church. The ‘ACP’ has become the Admin, the leadership, the hierarchy, the three or four dependables whom RTE, Patsy McGarry or whoever can call on for a reaction, a story or who can be made the focus of a weekend review spread. (Fair dues to Brendan Hoban and Kathy Sheridan for last Saturday’s page, though.)
    But where are the 500+ ? Even on this site, if it weren’t for Joe O’Leary, Gerard Flynn and one or two others the Admin/leadership would be doing it all. And why do no ACP members ever respond to the Liturgical Resources? Some priests must find them useful. Do young or middle-aged priests read anything nowadays? Is there a future for such pastoral/liturgical/social justice resources, online or offline? Do priests even find time to read, say, The Furrow?
    We know, as Brendan Hoban said, where the 500+ are: in the parish “trying to do 1001 things and trying to do them the best they can.” Maybe what’s needed is for the diocesan ACP groups to be the leaven, drawing in the ‘young fogies’, while staying true to ACP main objectives. Slightly alarming, though, is that we haven’t seen many new reports of Diocesan ACP meetings in recent months. Clogher’s ACP, including +Liam McDaid, looked like a hopeful way forward. But where are all the other groups of the Armagh Province, for example.
    It’s also a little alarming, if predictable, to hear a young Cloyne priest, Sean Corkery, echoing the non-ACP thoughts of Vincent Twomey! Is Francis Moore ust more of the same?

  4. Fr. Gabriel Burke

    “I would like to know how they are living the stresses of the changing landscape.”
    For us younger clergy the landscape has always been changing. That is the main difference between us and the priests of the 70’s. We were born into change. I was born after the council, I worked before I entered seminary. I grew up in an Ireland completely different to the one experienced by most members of the ACP. We have a different view of the Council, not of people who were there when it was in full flourish or came into ministry when it had finished . We came along long after the event and could cast an historical eye on the council. To me Vatican II is just one of many councils. That I think is a fundamental difference.
    “I would like the older brethren here to tell me something about what kind of advice they give these younger fellows.”
    They don’t, they just tell us what to do. They will only listen when we agree with them.
    “It’s also a little alarming, if predictable, to hear a young Cloyne priest, Sean Corkery, echoing the non-ACP thoughts of Vincent Twomey! Is Francis Moore ust more of the same?”
    Do you need any more proof of the dismissive attitude of the older clergy?

  5. Mary Burke

    The tone and content of the succint piece are remarkably like the style of someone who has contributed to this blog occasionally. I’d speculate that, if I’m correct, the scribe, who is not in the first flush of youth, is operating from a base close to Midleton. Why he has to use a nom de plume is intriguing.

  6. Eddie Finnegan

    Respect to Fr Gabriel Burke, as a young(ish)representative of all who have VAT2 sorted and filed. But please don’t blame “the dismissive attitude of the older clergy” for any little anxieties I may express. You’re more likely to find me in the congregation some Sunday, struggling to get my head or heart around the hermeneutic of continuity – but probably not in Carrigtwohill.

    Even greater respect to your diocesan colleagues,Fr Bill Bermingham and Fr Tim Hazlewood. Like me, they may disagree with Fr Flannery’s unnecessary remarks about some well-loved priests of Cloyne, but they do not go speculating through non-ACP websites about his political links, his ghost-writing abilities or his misunderstanding of Joseph Ratzinger’s more recherche instructions.

  7. Anthony Mc Mahon

    There are some younger members of the ACP! I attended Portlaoise and diocesan meeting. There is a great need for a good association at this time. It is not easy at the moment. The tide is very much out and most of my friends and relations cannot unedrstand what I am doing in ministry. The Sunday after the Cloyne Report was awful. It is the fourth time in 10 years of priesthood giving ‘the sermon’ and facing the people from the pulpit after a report. It is getting harder and harder to do it. I went to Maynooth in 1995 and the world’s press were there for the Brendan Smyth revelations. I left in 2002, again the press baying after Bishop Comiskey’s resignation. Ten years later still no light at the end of the tunnel. My older colleagues in ministry have been wonderful, we have sat and talked and talked and they stare on with the same disbelief. Many young priests have left and prefer to work outside the country. The new mass translations coming in Autumn and Advent are very unhelpful to say the least. We all love the Church very much and want what is best. The priesthood contains a very wide range of voices which all need to be heard. Respect is important and opening a younger / older priest debate is not a good idea.

  8. Association of Catholic Priests

    I have conducted some further correspondence with the originator of this post, Francis Moore. I’m afraid he refuses to reveal anything about himself. He now disowns the slur on the ACP, and instead attributes it to a “young Redemptorist”. Since I am a Redemptorist, and these men are colleagues and work companion of mine, I find it a fairly low tactic to try to cast a shadow over them, and their relationship to myself.
    Maybe Anthony McMahon, in the previous comment, is correct when he says that this type of discussion is not helpful; especially when it is initiated by someone who is unwilling to be unfront and open.
    Tony Flannery

  9. Fr. Gabriel Burke

    Eddie , you are being disingenuous. Obviously you have read the post on my blog and you will have seen in the first three sentences why it was written. I respected the decision of the ACP not to allow comments on that particular issue but you would deny me the right to speculate on my own blog.

  10. Eddie Finnegan

    Fr Gabriel, I cannot deny you the right to speculate about anything anywhere. As a layman I am very appreciative of the ACP’s openness to non-members. I just think the more Christian and fraternal thing would be to chat over your speculations with Fr Flannery and/or his brother. Your extension of all this to who attended or officiated at Garret Fitzgerald’s funeral or graveside suggests to me that the faithful of Carrigtwohill could make better use of your time and imagination.

  11. Fr. Gabriel Burke

    your last comment finished with speculation. Do you not “think the more Christian and fraternal thing would be to chat over your speculations with” me?

  12. Eddie Finnegan

    Fr Gabriel,
    Indeed it did. I’m happy to see that, after consultation, you’ve moderated your blog – if not with gimlet-eye, at least through clenched teeth. Maybe we should all keep our speculations for our private diaries.

  13. Fr Gabriel Burke

    Yes I moderated the post and was happy to do so. There was no clenched teeth. It is a pity that the ACP have not moderated their website regarding Fr. Flannery’s comments the day after the Cloyne report. This was requested by Frs. Bermingham and Hazelwood on the ACP website.

  14. Gerard Flynn

    Mary appears to be suggesting that Francis Moore and Fr Gabriel Burke are one and the same person. Is she correct, Fr Gabriel?

  15. Eddie Finnegan

    Fr Gabriel,
    In that I agree with you fully. I too was amazed that Fr Hazelwood’s very gentle but principled complaint did not receive an immediate response more than a week ago.

  16. Fr. Gabriel Burke

    Gerard ,
    No, absolutely not. As you are well aware I put my name to any post or comment that I make. Nor do I have any idea who Francis Moore is.
    I can honestly say I had never heard of the ACP described as the Association of Cranks and Pessimists until I read the post here.
    Francis informed Fr. Flannery that he got it from a young Redemptorist.
    I don’t have any contact with Redemptorists young or old. The nearest house to us is somewhere in Cork City. The last time I spoke to a Redemptorist was last year when they held a mission here.
    If Mary Burke was hinting at me she is well off target.

  17. Andrew Harper

    Could this person be one of the columnists in Alive or The Voice, I know that those papers are very dismissive of this group and saw an interview with cardinal Burke where he said that this association was false and should be viewed as such. I suspect the younger clergy are still career minded and hence they keep out of controversy – not surprising given the current climate that they would opt of silence.

  18. Eddie Finnegan

    Andrew, I hope you’re not confusing Cardinal Burke with Fr Burke or Mary Burke on this thread. (joke, Fr Gabriel!)
    I believe over in Westminster a couple of years ago Archbishop Burke was ready to stride into the cathedral to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form in full regalia for the Pius X Society but Cormac Murphy-O’Connor drew upon his rebel Cork roots to put a stop to his gallop and asked one of his auxiliaries to celebrate instead. Now of course with his red hat he has no problem walking all over Vincent Nicholls who hasn’t, to celebrate anywhere with his extraordinary water-silk cappa magna and all the fripperies. Honestly, these guys should be on the catwalk – but they’re getting every encouragement and example from SCV (Se Cristo Vedesse! sí! if only . . .)

  19. Andrew Harper

    Ha ha – no confusion but the comments made by Burke will no doubt carry weight in some quarters. It is unfortunate that non of the bishops have come out to support the ACP then again non of them of them came out to support the Vatican either – they don’t seem to have a position on anything.

  20. Gerard Flynn

    Burke was to have addressed a Pro ecclesia et pontifice gathering in the UK recently. He decided not to attend because some of the literature advertising the event was critical of the UK bishops. Very wise.

    I cannot think of a greater accolade for the Association than his comments. If that’s his view, the Association is doing something right.

    It’s a pity his declining of the invitation didn’t extend to Ireland.

    Here’s a link to Little Red Riding Hood.


  21. martin gordon

    I chanced on this site by accident, and had feelings of sadness as I read some of the postings. How the priests of today are so engaged with controversy surpises me. When I was functioning as a priest in a central London parish 1960-65, 200 yards from Sadler’s Wells Opera, our main concern seemed to be how much money the bingo and football pool was making. The Provincial Superior, PALLOTTINE FATHERS, resided in the presbytery, and he was one of the reasons I left the ministry in 1966.

    I know Fr.Brendan Hoban very well, having lived in Ballina for 27 years, until a near-death experience just over two years ago, decided me to move to Cork, with my Cork-born wife, to be near the consultant who saved my life.

    I wish your Association success in your attempts to reform the church from within.

    God bless,


  22. Andrew Harper

    I don’t think Burke has come to Ireland yet but I think he is here in September at Knock?

  23. Eddie Finnegan

    Correction! I see at No.18 above I managed somehow to confuse the Latin Mass Society with the Lefebvre outfit, SSPX. My apologies to the LMS, the SSPX and Cardinal Bolero for any mutually perceived insult they may have taken from my linking them together.

    Apologies, too, for my too many postings above which may have helped distract attention from much more relevant responses by Anthony McMahon(7) and Martin Gordon(21) to the mysterious ‘Francis Moore’s’ attempt to dismiss the ACP’s representativeness.

  24. Fr Gabriel Burke

    Andrew ,
    I think Cardinal Burke celebrated or attended a traditional Mass already in Cork . It was in July and connected to the St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy conference.
    When I meet traditionalist in France they always ask me am I related to Cardinal Burke. Now I just say yes and when the ask how we are related I usually say through Adam and Eve.

    I am not a great fan of the Cardinal. I recently attended a conference in Rome and his talk was to say the least poor. I also think his attachment to certain traditionalist groups is unhealthy. Remember Cardinal Hoyos and the Legionaries. It is good to encourage new groups but there should be a line drawn between these groups and cardinals.
    I also think wearing garb that was abolished by Paul VI is wrong.

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