Casey Suspension 'a Disgrace' - Priest
The Irish Times - Friday, March 7, 2008 by PATSY MCGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent
THE CONTINUING suspension by Catholic Church authorities of Bishop Eamon Casey (81) from saying Mass in public has been described as "a disgrace and a scandal" by Fr James Good.
He was himself similarly treated by the church when he disagreed with Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae encyclical of 1968, which banned Catholics from using artificial means of contraception.
In August 2006 the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided he would not be bringing any charges against Bishop Casey following a Garda investigation into 13 allegations made against him concerning incidents that a woman claimed had taken place in Ireland more than 30 years previously. The woman had made similar unproven claims against others.
A separate internal inquiry by the church into the allegations, made in November 2005, was expected to be completed within weeks of the DPP's announcement, church sources said at the time. In other such cases church investigations have been completed very shortly after such a DPP announcement, and the accused has been allowed resume full ministry.
"It is a disgrace and a scandal in the church that he [Bishop Casey] should be suffering from the ultimate penalty that can be imposed on a priest - being 'silenced' and forbidden to act publicly as a priest. Having experienced such unjust suspension in my own life, I appreciate the suffering and humiliation which it entails," Fr Good told The Irish Times .
He continued: "I have noticed a universal feeling of warm affection for Eamon Casey among ordinary Irish people today . . . It is time for the authorities in the church to show the world the forgiveness of Christ by forgiving Eamon Casey and cancelling the suspension which should never have been imposed in the first place."
Casey Still Unable to say Mass in Public
The Irish Times - Monday, February 4, 2008 by Lorna Siggins
Former bishop of Galway Dr Eamon Casey is still awaiting permission from the Vatican to say Mass in public, two years after his return to live in Ireland.
Neighbours of Dr Casey (80) in the south Galway village of Shanaglish are believed to be concerned at the Vatican's delay, given that a Garda investigation into allegations made against the former bishop found that there was no case.
The decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions in August 2006 had come as an "utter and absolute relief" to Dr Casey at the time.
A separate internal inquiry by the Catholic Church into allegations made by a woman living in Britain in November 2005 was expected to take a matter of weeks.
The 13 allegations had concerned incidents which the woman claimed had taken place in Ireland more than 30 years ago.
The woman had made similar unproven claims against others in the past, and was reported to have suffered ill health in recent times.
Dr Casey returned to Galway in February 2006, some 14 years after his resignation over revelations that he had fathered a son, Peter, and had used diocesan funds to make financial payments to the boy's mother, Annie Murphy. He was invited by Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan to take up residence in the parish house in Shanaglish, as the community had lost its priest in a collision at a rail crossing in Oranmore several years before.
Since then, Dr Casey has been precluded from involvement in public ministry.
He can, however, say Mass at home in private.
Parishioners in Shanaglish, who did not wish to comment publicly, have expressed a wish that the Catholic Church would allow Dr Casey to participate fully.
"There is a shortage of priests, we all know that, and why continue to punish the man?" said one resident to The Irish Times.
Dr Casey recently attended the funeral of writer and philosopher Dr John O'Donohue in Co Clare.