Mass card company’s row with Church escalates

Church accused of “financial greed” and “sanctimonious hypocrisy”

One of the country’s largest commercial pre-signed Mass card distributors, which is taking an appeal to the Supreme Court to block a provision in the Charities Act dealing with Mass cards, has accused the Church of “financial greed” and “sanctimonious hypocrisy”.

An appeal to the Supreme Court is still awaiting a hearing date after Thomas McNally of MCC Group in Longford, failed in his constitutional challenge in 2009 against the new law which prevents the sale of Mass cards without the permission of a “recognised person”, which is defined as a bishop or head of a religious congregation.

Mr McNally subsequently hit the headlines when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison in October 2011 after a Longford Circuit Criminal Court jury found him guilty on two counts of possessing child pornography.


He is challenging his conviction and was granted bail last year, but is apparently no longer actively involved in MCC Group.

MCC Group continue to sell pre-signed Mass cards and in a statement to The Irish Catholic said they are “fully compliant with the laws of the Irish State” but refused to disclose the name of the “recognised person” who authorises their cards because they view it as “commercially sensitive information”.

MCC Group’s statement said that if they provided this information “it is safe to say that Maynooth would be contacting that bishop’s palace within seconds of your receipt of this letter and that he would be advised to immediately end his association with MCC Group.

Such unscrupulous and familiar actions of the Hierarchy are well documented by ‘recognised persons’ and are a blatant demonstration of the Church’s all-pervading financial greed, cloaked as it is in a thin veil of sanctimonious hypocrisy.”


According to the Courts Service both parties to the Supreme Court appeal certified they were ready to go ahead in July 2012 and the case is on the waiting list for a court hearing, but no date has been allotted to it yet.