A senior priest in Dublin has called a statement regarding marriage by Cardinal Kevin Farrell as “preposterous, juvenile and destructive.”
Cardinal Farrell – who is the most senior Irishman in the Vatican – said that priests have no credibility when it comes to training people for marriage.
The comments angered, Fr. William Dailey who took to Twitter to vent his frustration at the comments which led to him to call for Farrell’s resignation.
“This statement is preposterous, juvenile, and destructive. It seems to me to merit his resignation from a post he’s perhaps not insightful enough to hold.
“Of course a priest, as celibate, cannot offer first-hand experience as marriage preparation. That’s hardly news.
“A priest will have the human experience of friendship with married people, of a walking with many in ministry through their struggles and triumphs, of listening to their experiences and insights.
“He can weigh, combine, and learn from them in a way unencumbered by his own choices and biases. He knows what married people can give by living their vocation well that he cannot. He knows this because he needs it, because the world needs it.
“Of course, marriage prep should include more than celibate voices. But the priest can offer pastoral wisdom from his experience, spiritual guidance about, e.g., the life of prayer and how to incorporate it into a relationship, and, yes, the Church’s theology of marriage. I am flabbergasted that a Cardinal in his post would say something that is so false and destructive. Many couples have reported to me that our conversations were fruitful, and have returned to keep them going long after the wedding reception was a distant memory.
“I learn from them, we learn together. Priestly ministry must always be humble. But we learned that at the washing of the feet. It also can be confident that it hands on a spiritual treasury and offers leaven to those who will be the first teachers of the faith to the young. It’s possible the cardinal lacks credibility to talk to married people; far be it from me to challenge his self-indictment. But his undermining of the work of many is manifestly false, unjust, and counterproductive.”
You can read Farrell’s comments in full here.