A case of Two Bishops

Two Irish bishops are in the spotlight at the moment, and it is hard to say that either of them is handling it well.
First we have Kieran O’Reilly, bishop of Killaloe for the past three years. I suppose it could be said that he took on a difficult assignment, coming in after Willie Walsh, who was by far the most popular bishop in Ireland. So much so that the Vatican rapidly accepted his resignation when he came to the proscribed age. He was noted for speaking clearly and openly on all topics, and not being afraid to face the media.
Now Kieran is in trouble for announcing that he wants to introduce the position of permanent diaconate in the diocese. As i explained in an earlier post, a number of women, all of them very involved in ministry, has strongly objected to this male-only institution. At the time of writing their objections have taken fire, and are gathering momentum by the day. They have called a public meeting for Monday week, and all the indications are that it will be well supported. The local radio, ClareFM, has given them plenty of coverage, and they have acquitted themselves well. The radio station has consistently invited the bishop to come on and explain his position, but he hasn’t appeared; and he uses spurious excuses that hardly convince anyone. A couple of days ago he sent one of his priests out to bat for him. It was a mistake. The priest was fluent, but his language was far too clerical, and his reasons were unconvincing. And at least three priest of the diocese that I know of have strongly supported the women in public.
Increasingly Kieran is looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights, and not knowing how to handle it. From the point of view of the official Church I don’t think this will be pretty!!

And then we have the bishop of Galway, Martin Drennan, attacking a charitable organisation called the Vincent de Paul, for donating forty five thousand euro to the upkeep of a centre of LGBT people. He did go on the local radio, Galway Bay FM, but he is a very poor speaker, very indistinct, and he did himself no favours. He talked too much about morality, and turned a great many people off, particularly the young who are very open on these questions.

Both of these situations are embarrassing for the Church, and further convince those of us who believe that the policy of episcopal appointment pursued for the past thirty years or so have left us with very inadequate leadership.