MIC lecturer calls theology appointment ‘unconscionable’

MIC lecturer calls theology appointment ‘unconscionable’ Mary Immaculata College (MIC) in Limerick

A senior lecturer in Mary Immaculate College has written a letter of protest to the Irish bishops over the apparent appointment of a senior priest in Limerick to the head of the theology department of Mary Immaculate College.

Dr Catherine Swift writes: “Pope Francis has written more than once that lay people must bear witness to Christian values in the secular world, including in the workplace. As was recognised recently in the Oireachtas by the then Taoiseach, Catholic religious institutions have played a crucial life in Irish life, especially in healthcare, education, housing addiction services and poverty alleviation.

“It is, however, unheard of, to my knowledge, that bishops in twenty-first century Ireland would chair interviews for third level positions funded by the state as public service posts. For bishops to do so, while at the same time, publishing in the Irish Catholic Directory (in both 2023 and 2024) that they are awarding the position (without interview) to their Vicar-General appears to me, as a Catholic laywoman, unconscionable.”

Dr Swift adds: “I am writing to protest such behaviour as likely to cause damage to the reputation of the Catholic Church in Ireland. I include a copy of a letter written to the authorities of my college, the HR manager and my union representative.”

Until now, the head of the department of theology in Mary Immaculate had been vacant for two years.

The Irish Catholic contacted the Bishop of Limerick regarding the letter but did not receive a response before going to print.