Important Message to ACP members from our Solicitor

The Leaderhsip Team have received the following from the ACP solicitor, Robert Dore, and he has asked us to inform all the members of the ACP. The message goes as follows:
“Recently I have been consulted by a number of priests who are members of the Association.
Prior to meeting with me they have been requested by their bishops to undergo assessments, and they have all done so.
To a man the findings of these assessments have been hugely prejudicial.
It is my earnest advice that, in future, should any of your members be asked to undergo an assessment, and if they are minded to do so, they should insist on being assessed by a completely independent eminent professional, preferably a psychiatrist.”
Robert Dore.

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  1. Padraig McCarthy says:

    On priests being asked to undergo assessments, I would ask some questions, which perhaps you might be able to answer:
    1. Did they ask for what reasons they were asked to undergo the assessments?
    2. Your notice mentions “requested by their bishops”. How many bishops were involved?
    3. What was the nature of the assessment?
    4. What is the background of the assessors?
    5. Who did the assessments? Were a number of assessors involved, or was it the same assessor in each case?
    6. What does “hugely prejudicial” mean?
    7. Have there been consequences for the priests who were so assessed?
    8. Those who contacted Robert Dore reported it as prejudicial. Do we know whether some were assessed who did not find it prejudicial, and so did not contact Robert Dore?

  2. Get independent assessors. Don’t accept this. Not if biased, prejudicial and is an exercise in pulling in your horns.

  3. June McAllister says:

    Maybe it would be a good idea if the bishops were to undergo assessment.

  4. “To a man the findings of these assessments have been hugely prejudicial”
    Why would a Bishop ask a priest to undergo a psychological assessment if he wasn’t concerned about serious reports of the man’s behaviour?
    Naturally, the psychological assessment will only bear out what has already been observed – it will be ‘prejudical’.
    Any bishop who isn’t prepared to pay for an asesessment by a highly reputable psychologist with expertise in the area of sexual abuse would be very foolish.
    To insist on being assessed by a psychiatrist is to equate sexually abusive behaviour with a mental illness. This would be like going to an orthopaedic specialist for heart problams.
    We can think legalistically or we can think about the safety of children and vulnerable adults. I wonder which way is the right way?

  5. Mícheál says:

    You may have seem this or similar before:
    “Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for management positions in your new organisation. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
    It is the staff’s opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in back-ground, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking.
    Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew does not have qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, sons of Zebedee, place personal interests above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel it our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James, the son of Alphaes, and particularly Simon the Zealot have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale. Thaddaeus is definitely sensitive, but he wants to make everyone happy.
    One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.”
    On a more serious note, George asks “Why would a Bishop ask a priest to undergo a psychological assessment if he wasn’t concerned about serious reports of the man’s behaviour?” Given the attitude of bishops toward priests where ‘stepping down’ is automatically required, irrespective of whether this is just or not, caution s good advice here. Some priests have become the collateral damage of their bishop’s desires to look good in public. Child protection remains paramount but let justice be done though the heavens fall. Sadly, one would have to be very naive in the present climate to think other than undertaking an assessment at the bishop’s request is tantamount to professional suicide. This is not a question of thinking legalistically: it is, rather, about thinking justly and asserting the human, civil and canonical rights of the individual priest.

  6. So, to have a theological opinion or to associate with others would might have theological opinions about an issue or issues, is to be considered an act of instability requiring an ‘assessment’. Is this what we are not reduced to?

  7. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Assessments should have been conducted by the ACP for a long time now. Questions, questions and more questions – it’s very important to demand answers. Besides, who polices the police when need be? The community does, that’s who. If we as concerned Catholics feel that Church governance at some point in time fell into the wrong hands and requires reform, a proper assessment of the highest levels of the Vatican from the top on down is in order. We can demand it and they can either comply or resist but at least it will be known what choice they have made. So now they are asking the important questions and are the first ones at it. This will create further impediments that detract from the Associations at large. It’s one thing to take on the creation of the ACP; it’s another to be able to lead it successfully to its next level.

  8. I am shocked. Do the bishops seek to imply that any priest who is a member of the ACP needs psychological assessment? Psychological assessment of priests is fair and reasonable for anyone who presumes authority among the vulnerable – but are the bishops using/abusing their authority by focusing particularly on members of the ACP? If it be the case that the bishops are using this assessment protocol to intimidate members of the ACP, then shame on them. The Catholic church is dying in the hands of outdated autocrats who should all be retired. The priest, much as the nun, are the coal face of the church, and for the bishops to act prejudicially toward members of the ACP is gross.

  9. Dr Matthew McConville says:

    If its true and it probably is, then some Irish Bishops have resorted to Stalinist countermeasures to further resist open discussion and reform for reasons best know to themselves. From a medical point of view its a rather bazaar kind of response if its members of the ACP of Ireland that are being targeted for this special attention. It smacks of desperation and street fighting rather than followers of the way.

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