A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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A Letter to Dominic Meehan and Others


Recently, in the pages of The Furrow, two priests – Ignatius McQuillan (May, 2017) and Dominic Meehan (June, 2017) – have responded to my article, ‘A Lost Tribe’ (February, 2017), about the well-being of priests. I thank them both, not just for putting pen to paper to make their sensible and balanced points but for the sensitivity and kindness of their contributions.
While I wouldn’t agree with all they say, I find it difficult to disagree with most of it. In regard to Ignatius’ contribution all I would say is that while I accept his point that loneliness and isolation are movable feasts depending on the whims of personality, not all retired priests are as blessed as he obviously is in the support-systems around him. My article, I hope, didn’t suggest that every retired priest was in need of company or even care but that for some, possibly I suspect for many, there’s a problem here that needs to be addressed. And my sense is that it’s getting worse.