Who Will Be The New Bishop of Galloway?editor
Below, an article entitled ‘Clergy Abuse’, published in the Catholic Truth newsletter, Issue #21, September, 2002…
If they’re not playing record requests on the radio in their capacity as DJs like Fr Fitzsimmons and Fr John Irons or other similar media “ministries” our allegedly hard working clergy are to be found gathering in the top hotels for “conferences” or “assemblies”. The Assembly of the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, 23 May 2002 was addressed by Father Willie McFadden, Vice-Rector of Scotus College. You won’t want to miss this, folks. Fasten your seatbelts and make sure you’ve got a drink nearby. And we are not talking tea or coffee here. You’ll need a not-so-wee dram of the hard stuff when you hear what our seminarians are being taught.
71 priests attended the Assembly in May. This included Monsignor Gilmartin who was Diocesan Administrator prior to the appointment of Archbishop Conti. In other words, he is a big fish. He welcomed everyone to the assembly and clearly had an important part in it. His very presence as a senior priest of the archdiocese beggars belief as you will see when you read some excerpts from the mountain of error that was presented by the keynote speaker, Father Willie McFadden, Vice-Rector of Scotus College, our soon-to-be-no-more national seminary. What you will read below represents a small fraction of what can only be described as abuse of the clergy by the clergy.
Father McFadden, please note, was not giving this talk for the first time. This is crucial. All the errors that you are about to read below were articulated before, at the Annual Conference of Priests and Permanent Deacons of Scotland when it was held, 25-27 September 2001 in Fort William. Indeed, his address to the Assembly of Glasgow priests was virtually word for word what he said in his talk to the National Conference last year. Thus, from a number of sources, we have come into possession of the contents of Fr McFadden’s disgraceful attack on the Mass and priesthood. So, what did he actually say?
First of all, Fr McFadden plays the old trick of trying to cover up his assault on the teaching of the Church by talking about “models”. If you’ve been through a Catholic teacher training college or a seminary in the past 30 years, you will have heard all about “models of Church” where the “model” given to us by Christ Himself – the hierarchical “model” – is deemed the unacceptable one. Once that has been agreed, you get to pick the “model” you like best. Similar twaddle permeated Fr McFadden’s outline of “models of priesthood” where, and I quote: “…the cultic (priest offering sacrifice) model of priest works from a static viewpoint, tending to receive the world as an ordered and structured reality. For him, truth is timeless and certitude through strict definition and logic is possible. With its static perspective, his theology has little appreciation for development of doctrine, pluralism in theology or ambiguity in moral questions. It prefers to work from the top down, beginning with Church doctrines and applying them to the task of living the Christian life. For him, the Church is a hierarchical institution which carries on the work of Christ and a perfect society which has the task of guarding and proclaiming the truth. Within this theological framework, the cultic priest sees himself as another Christ, taken out of the world for service in the Church.”
Much better, Fr McFadden opines, is the “prophetic-leader model” which puts emphasis on “proclaiming the Word” and “the relationship between the priest and the faith community”. [Ed: much better than offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?]
What you have just read is a mere snippet. A toe in the water of the ocean of error peddled at this meeting of priests of the Archdiocese of Glasgow… Publishing the talk in its entirety would mean that your local off-licence would run out of stock in no time. This is truly shocking stuff. Later, Fr McFadden rubbishes the “indelible character” of the priesthood, adding that “within this viewpoint the priest’s main task is to provide the sacraments, especially Mass and Confession.” And it goes without saying that celibacy is attacked as well, in this not very subtle assault on both Mass and priesthood.
Who would have thought that we’d have lived to see the day when one of the senior priests in the seminary attacked, with such venom, the priesthood of Christ and the Mass? And who would have thought that a senior priest, presumably with the full knowledge of the archbishop, would sit there quietly and let him? Disaster for the shepherds who lose and scatter the sheep of my pasture, Yahweh declares. (Jeremiah 23:1)
Editor writes, 9 February, 2022…
Note: (1) the above is the tip of the dissenters’ iceberg, but it is sufficient to kick-start discussion. I will add information in the comments as appropriate. (2) Scotus seminary in Glasgow is now closed, and Fr McFadden is currently parish priest of a string of parishes, such is the dearth of vocations in the Diocese of Galloway. He is also the Vicar General in Galloway, which puts him in line to be considered for the office of Bishop, now that Bishop Nolan is moving to Glasgow.
The key question is: should Fr McFadden be appointed to episcopal office? I know what I think – what do you think?