Monday, January 28, 2013

Institute of the Incarnate Word barred from Irish diocese?

For more about Ireland read this post here.

From the Irish Examiner (emph. added):
A South American religious order, the Institute of the Incarnate Word, whose priests had been working in a rural parish in Co Wexford, has been suspended by Bishop Denis Brennan. This follows the unexplained departure last month from Kilmyshall parish, outside Bunclody, of Argentinian-born Fr Ignacio Mikalonis. 
It's not clear what happened to Fr Mikalonis.  Was there some sort of abuse and was he forced out or did he just leave the order (which as we mentioned is very, very common)?

What is clear is that, because of the IVE's lack of response, they have been barred from the  diocese (emph. added):
As a result of the confusion in relation to Father Ignacio, Bishop Brennan has deemed it necessary to suspend the ministry of the Institute of the Incarnate Word whilst the review is under way. Father Carroll said, 'Father Ignacio is answerable to the institute first. Recent events left us in the position where we've asked for clarification on some of the issues surrounding Father Ignacio. When the necessary clarification was not forthcoming, the decision was taken to suspend the ministry of the Institute while the investigation is under way.'
This is important: they were not kicked out because of the actions of their priest.  They were barred because they refused to answer their Bishop's questions.  This lack of cooperating with Bishops is a pattern of behavior we outlined previously and it begins almost immediately after their founding in Argentina.

We do not know why the IVE failed to respond to the Bishops request for information.  We do know they had no such reluctance telling the US Bishops about Fr. Mikalonis.  They warned the entire USCCB to be on the lookout for the priest.  You can see a Diocesan memo on Google Docs here.

That seems like a strange step for the institute to take, but maybe they think Fr. Ignacio will attempt join his brother - also ex-IVE in the diocese of San Jose, California, and they want to make that move difficult for him.  If they were really interested in transparency, they'd be honest with the Irish bishop.

Again, there is no indication that Fr Mikalonis actually did anything wrong.  He may have just left the order.  It's unfortunate we can't get more information or clarity.

Just google "Fr Ignacio Mikalonis" or "Ignacio Mikalonis" for more info.  Or you can email his cousin, Marco Mikalonis, who was also at the Irish parish with Ignacio.   He seems to invite questions, so feel free to reach out.