The Roman Catholic Church in America was founded and built by Irish priests and nuns and brothers and laypeople.
It was long identified as an Irish church of sorts — until it started transforming into an Hispanic church in many parts of the country.
So it seems somehow fitting that Archbishop Dolan and Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley will play key roles in the Vatican’s response to the debilitating sex-abuse crisis in Ireland.
They are among nine prelates who will investigate what went wrong and seek ways to prevent future scandals.
Dolan will lead a study of Irish seminaries and the broader issue of priestly formation in Ireland. He is a former rector of the North American College, the elite seminary in Rome for American priests-to-be.
O’Malley will investigate the troubled Archdiocese of Dublin.
Both archbishops have experience at trying to unravel and deal with sex-abuse scandals.
O’Malley, in particular, is as well-versed as anyone. As a bishop, he had to face terrible scandals in Fall River, Mass., and Palm Beach, Fla., before taking over for disgraced Cardinal Law in the eye of the storm, Boston.
Dolan had to clean up a mess in Milwaukee before he came to NY.
Dolan released this short statement over the weekend:
I am happy to accept the Holy See’s invitation to serve as a member of the upcoming apostolic visitation to the Church in Ireland, with special attention to their historic seminaries.
My love for the faith of Ireland, and my own background in priestly formation, make me grateful for this assignment, and I look forward to close cooperation with my brother bishops, priests, religious, and the faithful of Ireland. I await further information and instruction from the Holy See on the specifics and timing of the visitation.