Fr Ger Fitzgerald outside a church, a priest who formerly studied at Maynooth seminary

Former Maynooth Priest Denies Claims Of A ‘Gay Culture’

Fr Fitzgerald, a former student at the Maynooth seminary, denies claims of Grindr and alcohol at the seminary

 

Limerick priest Fr Ger Fitzgerald, from Castleconnell, has denied claims that Maynooth is a “golden house of debauchery, sin and squalor.”

The thirty-six year old priest attended Maynooth from 2005, completing his studies five years ago in 2011.

Although Fr Fitzgerald has not been at the institute for the last five years, he seems confident that Maynooth’s reputation is being unfairly tarnished.

Allegations of priests using Grindr amidst other homosexual behaviour at Maynooth have led Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin to send his trainee priests to the Irish College at Rome to continue their training.

“The church that I love with all my heart is once again taking a battering. This goes further than just the institution of Maynooth College. This strikes again right to the heart of the church in Ireland,” the Limerick priest said.

 

Sheltered

“In my time this was not the case. No parties were had and there were no drinks in rooms. This simply did not happen during my years,” Fr Fitzgerald said.

When Fr Fitzgerald commenced his studies in 2005, a smartphone was a Blackberry with a physical keyboard and access to email. The original iPhone was released in 2007, with gay dating app Grindr initially released in 2009. Fr Fitzgerald finished his studies two years later.

The somewhat sheltered life at Maynooth, where priests shirk worldly possessions and celibacy is being preached, could explain why Fr Fitzgerald’s experience doesn’t line up with reports from 2016.

“I cannot speak for any other student, perhaps even less so for the students who are there now,” Fr Fitzgerald said.

 

the 2009 iPhone left vs the iPhone 6s showing that a lot can change in five years, like it might have in Maynooth

The 2009 iPhone (left) and the 2015 iPhone (right). A lot can change in half a decade.

A Different Time

“As students in my time, we were all there with a purpose in mind. We all wanted to be close to God because we love God and were trying, in our own flawed way, to serve him in his church.”

Priests at Maynooth today have had six years of Grindr being readily available on a smartphone, same-sex marriage is now legal in Ireland, and same-sex couples can adopt children.

Homosexuality has become less marginalised with politicians coming out. 2016 is a very different year to 2005, when Fr Fitzgerald began his time at Maynooth.

 

Horror Stories

Now, another Limerick priest is due to commence a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Maynooth seminary reports the Limerick Leader, although he will discuss the matter with the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, to decide if this course of action is the correct one.

Responding to the allegations of abuse at Maynooth Fr Fitzgerald said: “I must also say that even just one case of abuse be that verbal, physical, sexual or in a any form is one case too many and should be investigated rigorously.”

Speaking of the horror stories that have been reported, Fr Fitzgerald said: “If [they are] ongoing then things have certainly changed in the five years since I left Maynooth.”

 

 

 

 

2 comments on “Former Maynooth Priest Denies Claims Of A ‘Gay Culture’”

  1. I know there are many who are big fans of Dr. Martin, where he is seen as liberal, compared to many others in the Church. I guess Dr. Martin is hoping to be made a cardinal. For that he has to show his positions are consistent with orthodox catholic magisterium teaching. He has increasingly come under fire from right wing elements in the Church, who feel he is not conservative enough. I’ve never doubted Dr. Martin’s conservative credentials. And I think his latest power play is a further example of a wily diplomat, aiming for promotion.
    He should deal with issues where there is concrete evidence of lingering problems within his remit. He has plenty to keep him busy on that score and he has largely chosen a baseline level of recognition for very murky historic practices in his diocese. For example, he is aware of how religious orders in his diocese have mislead the court system in order to crush solitary claims of pedophile clerical abuses. He knows full well how much has not being investigated and he simply does not do enough, beyond pastoral responses. The church has way too much social capital and reserves off our backs and is given way too much wriggle room in its governance structures which are not as benign as we are often led to believe. I know this is very negative. This is my position at the moment.

  2. anon seminarian says:

    I was there with Ger. He was not celibate.

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