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Bishop Fintan Monahan

Bishop was ‘hugely impressed by Pope’

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BISHOP of Killaloe Fintan Monahan believes the Pope’s visit to Ireland was a really positive event for the Catholic Church in Ireland.

He said it was a truly memorable event and he felt very privileged to be part of so many of the events.

“I was hugely impressed by the presence of Pope Francis to us in Ireland.  I find his personality, his gestures, his holiness, humility, compassion, his teachings, his writings very inspirational,” he added.

He said it could help people who have drifted from their faith to return to the Church.

“I would feel that some people who might have drifted from the faith might appreciate the beauty of the liturgies, the wonderful Christian heritage that was dramatised in Croke Park, the prayerful contemplation in Knock, the good spirits of the assembled gatherings, the sense of being united as a worldwide Church, the assembled body of Christ,” Bishop Monahan added.

When asked if Pope Francis went far enough in addressing the cover up of church scandals, Bishop Fintan did not directly address the question.

Bishop Fintan referred to what the Pope said in his speeches and acknowledged that he spoke on this painful and sensitive issue on almost every possible opportunity.

“He spoke also of the urgent need for firm and decisive action on this crucial and important area,” Bishop Fintan said.

But Bishop Fintan did not give his personal opinion on whether or not the Pope’s apology went far enough.

Bishop Fintan was lucky enough to shake Pope Francis’ hand and share a few words with him, but there was no time for a selfie (for which Bishop Fintan is known to have a liking).

“I almost got an opportunity for a selfie at the end of our gathering and formal individual photos, but he was in a hurry to board the plane and was whisked away by security staff at the end of our meeting.  Maybe next time!  Hope springs eternal!,” Bishop Fintan added.

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