In a heartfelt letter as he announced his retirement due to ill-health, Bishop Liam McDaid of Clogher has urged people not to opt out of the Church over the failings of some priests and bishops.
In a letter to the people of Clogher explaining that his Parkinson’s disease had not left “much room for discussion” on the subject of retirement, Bishop McDaid used his farewell to appeal for the faithful to endure with their Church.
“Some Church members find it difficult to see beyond the bishop and priest and mistakenly take human failure on their part to be a failure in the way and teaching of Jesus Christ,” he wrote. “In any way of life, when we meet with human failures, we would be throwing the baby out with the bath water if we dismissed the profession itself.
“When adults and parents opt out of Church on account of the shortcomings and failures of the messengers, is this not impoverishing themselves and their children, effectively depriving them of the nourishment and guidance which they can find only in the message of Christ?”
Reacting to news of Bishop McDaid’s forced departure, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland, offered his praise for Bishop McDaid’s “gentle pastoral wisdom, his warm concern for others and his genuine dedication to furthering the mission of the Church [which] was evident in his fidelity to the work of the Bishops’ Conference”.
Meanwhile, the Diocese of Clogher has named Msgr Joseph McGuinness, Diocesan Secretary, Chancellor of the Diocese and Administrator of the Parish of Tyholland, to be Diocesan Administrator for Clogher with immediate effect.