Letter from Bishop Fleming to the faithful of the Diocese of Killala and to the people of the parishes of Ballina and Crossmolina

19 Oct 2014

My dear priests and people,

News of the recent court case which involved Father Gabriel Rosbotham came as a complete shock to me, to the priests of the diocese and I am sure to all of you.

This news has caused deep distress and I want you to know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.

For the past seventeen years Father Gabriel has ministered in this diocese, in your parishes, and he has received great appreciation for his pastoral care, his ability to relate to the young, his effectiveness as a preacher and, in particular, for his singing at Mass.

Since the court case ended I have met with Father Gabriel and he has decided to take some time to himself, away from the diocese, to reflect on his life, on the commitments he made and on his ministry, as well as to think about the future. I know that you will join with me in praying for him, as he seeks God’s guidance for the way forward.

I am deeply aware of the sadness of very many people in this community, as well as the great shock felt by so many at the revelations made during the court case. I am offering this Mass for all of you and for all those hurt, distressed or disillusioned by what has happened.

The Church and, in particular, the Christian community of which each of us is a member, is the place where we are joined to Christ, our Lord, and where we support one another in good times and in bad. It is also the place where we find forgiveness, hope, encouragement and healing. I hope and pray during these coming weeks and months that the Lord will be with all of us to renew our own faith, and the faith and trust of this community.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop John Fleming
Bishop of Killala


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678