Monday, May 31, 2010

Pope assigns Cardinal O'Malley to help abuse-wracked Dublin Archdiocese

Pope assigns Cardinal O'Malley to help abuse-wracked Dublin Archdiocese

May 31, 2010 - Globe Staff

Pope Benedict XVI today named Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston to assist the Archdiocese of Dublin, which is the largest of several Irish dioceses reeling from a clergy sexual abuse crisis.

O'Malley will remain the archbishop of Boston, but will also have new duties as an "apostolic visitor" to the Dublin archdiocese, a job that will require him to "explore more deeply questions concerning the handling of cases of abuse and the assistance owed to the victims,'' according to a statement issued by the Vatican press office. He will also be asked to "monitor the effectiveness of and seek possible improvements to the current procedures for preventing abuse.''

The new assignment marks the fourth time in his career that O'Malley, 65, has been asked to intervene in a diocese that had been seriously damaged by clergy sexual abuse. In 1992 he was named the bishop of Fall River, a diocese roiled by the serial pedophilia of the Rev. James R. Porter; in 2002 he was named bishop of Palm Beach, where the two previous bishops had acknowledged sexually abusing minors; and in 2003 he was named archbishop of Boston, replacing Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who resigned over criticism of his failure to remove multiple sexually abusive priests from ministry.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has recently been struggling to cope with revelations of multiple abuse cases in church-affiliated institutions there.

O'Malley was born in the United States, but is a proud Irish-American who frequently talks of his Irish heritage. And the Archdiocese of Boston has rich and deep historic links to the Irish church; many local priests and parishioners are of Irish heritage.

Here is the statement issued this morning by the Vatican:

Following the Holy Father’s Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, the Apostolic Visitation of certain Irish dioceses, seminaries and religious congregations will begin in autumn of this year.

Through this Visitation, the Holy See intends to offer assistance to the Bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful as they seek to respond adequately to the situation caused by the tragic cases of abuse perpetrated by priests and religious upon minors. It is also intended to contribute to the desired spiritual and moral renewal that is already being vigorously pursued by the Church in Ireland.

The Apostolic Visitors will set out to explore more deeply questions concerning the handling of cases of abuse and the assistance owed to the victims; they will monitor the effectiveness of and seek possible improvements to the current procedures for preventing abuse, taking as their points of reference the Pontifical Motu Proprio "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela" and the norms contained in Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland, commissioned and produced by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.

The Visitation will begin in the four Metropolitan Archdioceses of Ireland (Armagh, Dublin, Cashel and Emly, and Tuam) and will then be extended to some other dioceses.

The Visitors named by the Holy Father for the dioceses are: His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, for the Archdiocese of Armagh; His Eminence Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, for the Archdiocese of Dublin; the Most Reverend Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, for the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly; the Most Reverend Terrence Thomas Prendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa, for the Archdiocese of Tuam.

In its desire to accompany the process of renewal of houses of formation for the future priests of the Church in Ireland, the Congregation for Catholic Education will coordinate the visitation of the Irish seminaries, including the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. While special attention will be given to the matters that occasioned the Apostolic Visitation, in the case of the seminaries it will cover all aspects of priestly formation. The Most Reverend Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, has been named Apostolic Visitor. For its part, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life will organize the visitation of religious houses in two phases. Firstly it will conduct an enquiry by means of a questionnaire to be sent to all the Superiors of religious institutes present in Ireland, with a view to providing an accurate picture of the current situation and formulating plans for the observance and improvement of the norms contained in the "guidelines". In the second phase, the Apostolic Visitors will be: the Reverend Joseph Tobin, CSSR and the Reverend Gero McLaughlin SJ for institutes of men; Sister Sharon Holland IHM and Sister Mairin McDonagh RJM for institutes of women. They will carry out a careful study, evaluating the results obtained from the questionnaire and the possible steps to be taken in the future in order to usher in a season of spiritual rebirth for religious life on the Island.

His Holiness invites all the members of the Irish Catholic community to support this fraternal initiative with their prayers. He invokes God’s blessings upon the Visitors, and upon all the Bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful of Ireland, that the Visitation may be for them an occasion of renewed fervour in the Christian life, and that it may deepen their faith and strengthen their hope in Christ our Saviour.

Cardinal O'Malley has just issued his own statement:

With deep respect for Pope Benedict XVI and sincere humility, I have accepted the Holy Father’s request to serve as Apostolic Visitor to the Archdiocese of Dublin during the upcoming Apostolic Visitation of the Church in Ireland. I look forward to meeting with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and our working together.

The Church must be unfailingly vigilant in protecting children and young people. Our ongoing efforts in the Archdiocese of Boston to ensure their safety will be helpful for the visitation. It will also be important to respond to the concerns of the Catholic community and the survivors in the manner that will promote the process of healing.

The Holy Father’s letter to the Catholics of Ireland this past March made clear the priority of pastoral care and concern for all who have suffered from the sexual abuse of children by clergy and religious. His prayer that, “by drawing nearer to Christ and by participating in the life of his Church – a Church purified by penance and renewed in pastoral charity – [we] will come to rediscover Christ’s infinite love.’ will guide our efforts in this visitation. I ask for the prayers of the Archdiocese of Boston for me and for our brothers and sisters in Ireland. May the light of Christ, which is not overcome by any darkness, lead us forward.

And here is a news release from the Archdiocese of Dublin:

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin welcomes the Press Statement of the Holy See announcing that the Apostolic Visitation of the Church in Ireland, already announced by Pope Benedict XVI in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, is to begin shortly.

Archbishop Martin looks forward to receiving the Formal document which will define the nature and the precise terms and objectives of the Visitation. The Visitation is an important element in the broad process being set in place by Pope Benedict to assist the Catholic Church in Ireland in its renewal.

Archbishop Martin welcomes in particular the announcement that the Visitation is being asked to evaluate the current response to victims and the quality of the assistance which the Church in Ireland owes to survivors.

The Archbishop warmly welcomes the nomination of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley Archbishop of Boston, as Apostolic Visitor to the Archdiocese of Dublin. Cardinal O'Malley's experience and personal commitment render him particularly suited to bring ecclesial solidarity to the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Dublin at this moment, in which the Church in Dublin addresses the truth of a dark moment in its history and undertakes a period of conversion, purification and renewal.

The appropriate structures of the Archdiocese continue in their reflection on the grave facts identified in the Murphy Report and are offering full cooperation in the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by An Garda Siochana in the wake of the publication of the Report.


It is a very great honor, indeed, for Cardinal O’Malley to be chosen by our Holy Father for this very important and sensitive assignment. It just reaffirms the high regard in which the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston is held by the Vatican. All Hibernians should be very proud in view of the fact that Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is a member of Tomas Cardinal O’Fiaich, Division #14 in Watertown, MA. Division #14 also counts among its present and former members President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador Raymond L. Flynn, Fr. Aidan Troy, and is the only Division in our noble Order to have been the home division of three Past National Presidents of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America.

Jack Meehan, Past National President

Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Top economist 'inaccurate and pessimistic'

Top economist 'inaccurate and pessimistic'

Department of Finance slams Professor Morgan Kelly's prediction that the country will 'go bust' Shane Coleman, Political Editor - Sunday Tribune

CLAIMS by an eminent economist that it is no longer a question of if but when Ireland "will go bust" have been strongly rejected by the Department of Finance, which says the comments are "extremely pessimistic and based on a number of very serious inaccuracies".

UCD economics professor Morgan Kelly – who correctly predicted the banking and property collapse some years ago – wrote an article in yesterday's Irish Times stating that the government's open-ended bank guarantee would trigger a "borrowing crisis" for Ireland which would represent "an early test of the shaky EU commitment to bail out its more spendthrift members".

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said Kelly had rightly recognised that the new governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, and the financial regulator, Mathew Elderfield, are first rate, "but yet he then goes on to completely ignore all of their comments in his key points".

"The governor of the Central Bank and the financial regulator are the two leading independent banking experts in the state and both of them have stated that they believed the bank guarantee was a necessary step to protect the Irish economy," the department spokesman said.

He added that Kelly's calculation of losses in the financial sector – the professor said the banks are on track to lose nearly €50bn and more likely closer to €70bn – was "completely undermined" by comments made by Honohan two weeks ago. Honohan has said most of the banks started the boom "with such a comfortable cushion of shareholders' funds that they would be able to repay their debts on the basis of their own resources. This includes the two big banks". He added: "The government's capital injections of last year into these two institutions look like being well remunerated". Honohan has also said the state's exposure to the banking crisis was entirely manageable.

Kelly's proposal for a default on financial institution bonds – "as the institutions that bought them did so in full knowledge that they could default and charged an appropriate rate of interest to compensate themselves for this risk – was "incorrect", the spokesman said. The vast majority of bonds were so-called senior bonds – equivalent to deposits and on which no risk premium was paid.

"Professor Kelly cites Uruguay as an example of how his policy works. Would Irish citizens, public servants and social welfare recipients be satisfied with Uruguayan levels of public services, pay and social welfare? I think not."

And the spokesman described as "completely false" Kelly's suggestion of a "direct power struggle between the financial regulator and the minister for finance", arguing that it was the minister who "set in train the process to recruit Mr Elderfield as financial regulator and has fully supported him since his appointment".


Now that the Irish economy is beginning to show faint glimmers of a turnaround from the disastrous collapse of recent years, perhaps it would be advisable to listen to Professor Kelly. The fact that he correctly predicted the property and banking fiasco would warrant a closer look at his theory. After all, the government doesn’t have an enviable track record in these matters and Professor Kelly might be right once again. If so, Ireland would owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Monday, May 24, 2010

North faces £128m budget cut

North faces £128m budget cut

Mon, May 24, 2010 – Irish Times

Northern Ireland faces £128 million in spending cuts following Britain’s emergency budget.

Cutting the cost of quangos was among the measures announced by British chancellor George Osborne to address the budget deficit.

The Northern Ireland Executive will meet to discuss whether to defer action until next year and how the savings can be achieved.

Selling off surplus government buildings could be among measures taken as ministers strive to avoid cutting frontline staff such as doctors and nurses.

The Scottish and Welsh First Ministers are due in Belfast later today for talks following the budget announcement.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will meet Scottish leader Alex Salmond and Welsh chief Carwyn Jones to consider their financial strategies.

All three devolved administrations are expected to push for more cash to match some of the regeneration money being spent in London for the 2012 Olympics.

The devolved administrations are required to reducing spending by £704 million.

Mr Osborne unveiled plans for an immediate £6.25 billion cut in “wasteful” public spending today - insisting the government is “getting on with the job” of tackling the deficit.

The chancellor, standing alongside his Lib Dem deputy at the Treasury, David Laws, said the reductions would be made while maintaining “frontline” services in key areas such as the NHS. He also announced schools spending would be protected.

Some £500 million will be “recycled” to boost employment and skills, and the rest will be used to cut the Government’s debt.


Forget all the rhetoric that you heard during the recent election campaign. That was then and this is now. The reality is that there will be drastic spending cuts in the North as the new British government attempts to get their fiscal house in order. Let the games begin.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Obama's aunt given OK to stay in United States

Obama's aunt given OK to stay in United States

Boston Globe - May 17, 2010

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

A Boston immigration judge has granted asylum to President Barack Obama's aunt, Zeituni Onyango, clearing the way for her to stay in the United States and possibly to become a US citizen, her lawyers said today.

Immigration Judge Leonard I. Shapiro, after hearing closed-door testimony from the Kenyan native in February, granted her plea on Friday. Reached by telephone, Onyango referred questions to her lawyers.

"I'm tired," said Onyango, whose case caused a stir when it was revealed she had been living illegally in a South Boston public housing complex.

In Cleveland, Onyango's lawyers Margaret Wong and Scott Bratton said that now Onyango will be allowed to receive a work permit, a Social Security number, and a driver's license or state identification card. She must wait for one year to apply for legal permanent residency, or a green card, and five years to apply for US citizenship.

Onyango, who turns 58 this month, is the half-sister of Obama's late father, and she was featured in Obama's memoir, "Dreams from My Father." She had applied for political asylum in 2002, but a judge rejected her application in 2004 and told her to leave the country.

Instead, she lived quietly in the public housing project until it was revealed shortly before the 2008 election that she was here illegally. She quickly became a lightning rod in the national debate over illegal immigration.

After the publicity, she fled to Cleveland, hired Wong, and petitioned immigration judge to allow her to stay in the United States.

Shapiro agreed to reopen Onyango's case in December 2008.

In February, Wong said Onyango would testify that she should stay in this country because she suffers health problems and because she feared that she would become the target of tribal violence if she were forced to return to her homeland. Onyango suffers from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.

During that hearing, Shapiro heard five hours of testimony by Onyango and two physicians.


This is, without doubt, the most outrageous miscarriage of justice that I have ever heard of in my entire life. The President of the United States should hang his head in shame at this incredibly blatant case of nepotism.

Jack Meehan, Past National President

Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

Friday, May 14, 2010

Volcanic ash cloud forces US troops out of Ireland

Volcanic ash cloud forces US troops out of Ireland

PATRICK COOPER - Staff Writer - Friday, May 14, 2010

The volcanic ash clouds have stopped US troops en route to Iraq and Afghanistan passing through Shannon Airport.

The carrier Omni Air, is diverting all flights to Oslo because of disruption from the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano.

The decision has a major impact on the Shannon region economy.

A Shannon-based catering firm, EFG, stated that it has laid off 30 of its 75 staff.

"It is a significant part of our business and nobody can put a time frame on how long Omni Air will be out of Shannon. But they are happy with us and happy with the airport," said EFG managing director Ean Malone.

Omni Air was sending three flights per day through Shannon. About 20,000 troops were going through Shannon each month this year.
More than 1.5 million US troops have gone through Shannon over the past decade.

"It is something that is beyond our control with the volcanic ash cloud," a spokeswoman for Shannon Airport said. "The airline has told us that they will be coming back. We just don't know when at this time."

However, protesters hoped it would become long term. Dr. Ed Horgan stated he hoped the move would "become permanent as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, the consequences of the ash cloud on Irish airports have been clear.

Air traffic at Dublin was down 26.8 percent, Cork was down 25.3 percent, while Shannon recorded a massive 57.1 percent


I am sure that the above mentioned Dr. Horgan and his radical socialist “whack job” supporters who continue to cling tenaciously to the fallacy of Irish neutrality are positively delighted. They will get a reprieve participating in their repulsive demonstrations designed to insult, cajole, and ridicule our valiant American troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction. May God Bless our troops and the great nation that they serve.

Jack Meehan, Past National President

Ancient Order of Hibernians in America