Monday, 30 May 2016




"THE CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD IS NOW A GAY PROFESSION" is a statement that is often heard nowadays and many priests would agree that the statement is perfectly true.

Father Donald Cozzens

If the statement is true - and I am one of those who think it is - then the whole topic needs urgent, rational and compassionate addressing by the Catholic Church and all of us who are interested in Catholic Christianity and Christian ministry. 

That means that we do not need hysterical right wing Catholics going bananas and demanding that every gay priest should be expelled from the priesthood and that every gay seminarian should be expelled from the seminary.

It also means that we do not need hysterical gay activists screaming that we are guilty of homophobia for even discussing the issue.

In fact, in recent days, I have had to restrict comments on the Blog to "followers" after receiving threats and personal abuse from so called "members of the gay community" for having an open discussion on these topics. I introduced these restrictions after a couple of conversations with members of the PSNI and other advisers.

You will find one of the very best bits of writing on the topic of straight men and a gay priesthood in pages 97 to 110 in Father Donald Cozzens book THE CHANGING FACE OF THE PRIESTHOOD.

The topics that need discussion are:

1. Is there now a gay sub culture in the Catholic priesthood and in Catholic seminaries?

2. Is that gay sub culture aggressive and abusive and does it try to isolate and persecute, intentionally or unintentionally, heterosexual priests and seminarians?

3. Is the Catholic priesthood a place where insecure and self hating gay men think they will find a safe refuge?

4. What are the emotional and spiritual effects on heterosexual seminarians and priests of existing in a gay sub culture?

5. How is celibacy being lived in the Catholic priesthood at present and are both straight and gay priests indulging in the hypocrisy of sexually promiscuous lifestyles?

6. Would it not be more healthy for all if heterosexual priests were able to date and marry openly and if homosexual seminarians and priests could date and form committed partnerships that were recognised and blessed by the Church?

7. What should be done about all forms of sexual harassment in the Church and seminaries?

8. Does the Church and seminaries need to provide gay seminarians and priests with specially focused support and spiritual formation so that they can integrate their orientation into their personal, prayer and ministerial lives?

At the moment all these questions are simply been swept under the carpet and ignored. The result of that is a lot of unhappy people. 

WE as Church need to realise that in this 21st century we need to have a much more open discussion about all these things so that everyone in the Church can be themselves as God created them and that everyone can bring their gifts to the service of the Gospel and the world.

In the meantime read Father Cozzens book. You will get it on Amazon in both printed and Kindle formats.   

DATE OF BIRTH: May 17, 1939.
TITLE: Writer in Residence, John Carroll University.
EDUCATION: Ordained, St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland, 1965; master's of religious education, University of Notre Dame, 1973; doctorate in counselling psychology, Kent State University, 1976.
EXPERIENCE: Priest, Diocese of Cleveland; Diocese of Cleveland religious personnel administrator; president-rector, St. Mary Seminary; Writer in Residence, John Carroll University.
BOOKS: The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest, 1997; The Changing Face of the Priesthood, 2000; Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church, 2002; Faith That Dares to Speak, 2004; Freeing Celibacy, 2006.



Father Hugh Kennedy - in purple - on the streets of London yesterday
Those of you who foolishly thought that Father Hugh Kennedy the Administrator Emeritus of St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast, was in quiet exile in London, will have to pause for another thought!

In the picture above you will see Hugh in all his purple glory parading the streets of pagan London yesterday in his purple and cerise colours. 

He was one of the "dignitaries" taking part in the Archdiocese of Westminster eucharistic procession for the feast of Corpus Christi.

Hugh possesses some kind of honourary title from, I think the Grand Order of Malta, which allows him to wear a purple cape and a chain and medallion. 

As he has some kind of doctorate in liturgy he is also allowed to wear a red sash around his waist.

So here he is proudly marching the streets of London in all his regalia. 

I was sent the picture by a senior London priest who also added the following text:

"He really has ingratiated himself in the catholic toff scene in London. I hear that some of them have been mentioning his name as a possible Administrator of Westminster Cathedral. Big Hughy has built up a very close friendship with the director of music there (Martin Baker). Though I'm told that Card Nicholls is not a fan".

Hugh's new friend Martin Baker

Hugh has also becomes friend with the general secretary of the Conference of Bishops of England and Wales - Father Christopher Thomas.

Hugh's friend Christopher Thomas
So, our Hughie, has come a long way in a short time - from his "difficulties" in Down and Connor to being one of the most talked about priests in the Metropolitan See of Westminster.

What is that old expression - HE WENT OUT TO DO GOOD - AND HE DID WELL!

Sunday, 29 May 2016



FATHER MATTHEW DESPARD of the Roman Catholic diocese of Motherwell, Scotland, has been left in Limbo after exposing the corruption that is rife among Catholic priests in his own diocese, in the chaplaincy services of the British Armed Forces and in the priesthood in general.

Father Matthew Despard
Father Despard is heterosexual. He says he has no problem with gay priests as all priests - hetero and gay promise to be celibate and therefore sexual orientation is not an issue.

But he says that as a "straight" man he has been suffered sexual harassment persecution from gay men while he was in the seminary, while he  chaplain in the Forces and while he lived in presbyteries with actively gay priests.

He claims that this "gay cabal" set out to destroy him because he was different and would not play the game.

In my first two years as a priest two older priests gay sexually harassed me. One pinned me to a chair in his presbytery and tried to kiss me on the mouth and another pushed me to the ground and literally jumped on me. 

A former seminarian from The Pontifical Irish College in Rome refused to join gay parties in the college and was harassed by having his underwear stolen from the laundry room, having "love letters" pushed under his door and receiving obscene telephone calls in the middle of the night.

Irish College, Rome

When he complained to the authorities - he was asked to leave - and members of the gay gang were treasured and ordained !!!

Father Despard talks a lot about homosexual activity in the seminaries in Scotland and in Rome. And on the topic of Maynooth Seminary, which featured this week on this Blog he says:

"I am reminded as I write of a conversation I had only a few days ago with a friend who was once a seminarian at Maynooth Seminary in Ireland. He is now married with three children. Reflecting on his own experience at Maynooth, he told me there was a massively huge percentage of  the seminarians who were active homosexuals and they were able to make life extremely difficult for the heterosexual students. He simply said that he himself "couldn't take anymore and just left". ) p 61)

We know from the article that Anthony Murphy published on this Blog this week - and from one of our correspondents "Mary" that recently three seminarians left or were sent away because they complained about other sexually active seminarians. 

To me it is a great tragedy and injustice that heterosexual men are driven out of seminaries and a priestly vocation by a gay gang!


I am a gay priest with a partner for the past seven years. We have had a Civil Partnership Ceremony.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with being a gay priest. But I do think that its hypocrisy to be a sexually active gay priest (or seminarian) and at the same time be preaching, teaching or upholding the Roman Catholic Church's teachings about homosexuality and homosexuals.

Such men who want to minister should find a church in which their beliefs are in line with their lifestyles - such as The Meterpolitan Church - or indeed be independent priests - as some are already.

Also, sexual harassment and persecution is not only wrong and immoral but it is often a crime. This is true whether such harassment is perpetrated by men or women or by straight or gay people.  

I also disagree with what I call the homosexualisation of the priesthood. Gay people represent some 5% of the population. Can anyone give me any reason why 5% of the priesthood should be gay and the rest of it being like society is?

This healthier position would be much more easily achieved in the Catholic Church ordained married men and women. 

Not only would heterosexual men feel very ill at easy - or even profoundly unwanted in a predominantly gay seminary - but they also need to be a priest and also have wives and children.

I think that Father Despard's book gives us all food for thought. It can be read on the Internet at:


Saturday, 28 May 2016



Eamon - birthday snap

In a recent interview with the Hot Press magazine Eamon Martin has declared his sexual orientation - he is heterosexual / straight.

He told Hot Press:

"On clerical celibacy, the archbishop admitted that he had dated a number of girlfriends before joining the seminary and thought that he was in love a few times.
Even since becoming a priest, he has “met many women to whom I’m fairly sure I would be attracted and in another life might have considered, ‘Would I like to be married to this person? Have children with this person?’” But, he said, he had made a commitment that he had to try to be faithful to".

Personally I am reassured that after all these gay scandals in the Church we now have a Primate of All Ireland with full blown testosterone in every cell in his body - and who unlike Irish bishops before him - ie: Eamon Casey - has never given in to the temptation to behave inappropriately with a woman. 

The recent exposure of his Master of Ceremonies as being a gay man seeking no strings gay sex on the Grindr app must have been a great sadness to Eamon. I'm sure he had no idea, until the scandal broke, that Father Coyle was as bent as a corkscrew. However in spite of his own straightness the word from Armagh is that Eamon handled the scandal with deep compassion. Its not easy for a straight man to understand a gay man. But I'm sure for Eamon its not about sexual orientation. It is about Christianity and forgiveness. Lesser men would not have been so understanding.

I, of course, am gay. I came out in 1999. But of course I always knew I was gay and had to wrestle with my orientation for many years. 

On one occasion a priest in my seminary actually asked me to dress up as a woman! 

The priest in question was the Maynooth theologian Dr Tom Marsh. Dr Tom taught me systematic theology but also twice a year he directed plays in which the seminarians had to play all the parts - men and women!

Tom Marsh

One year the play was by Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Being Ernest and Dr Marsh insisted I play the role of Lady Bracknell. I refused. But he then threatened to fail me in my theology exams and I had to give in and play Lady B.

Pat as Lady Bracknell - 1974
I actually enjoyed the part. There's no better witty dramatist than Oscar Wilde.

I wonder in Archbishop Eamon would have been willing - as a straight man - to play that part?

He might have done it well? Who knows?  I wonder what he would look like as a Lady Bracknell? Would he look like this:

Ah no! I much prefer Eamon as a man. 


Friday, 27 May 2016


Published: 25 May 2016

This article from Catholic Voice was sent to this Blog by "Mary".

It is about the latest gay scandal from Maynooth seminary.

Anthony Murphy

The time has come for the laity to demand a thorough reform of St. Patrick’s Seminary

“If a man has the power to do good, it is sinful in him to leave it undone”. This short line from the Epistle of Saint James is a stark reminder of the duty of every Christian believer to do what is right. Why then, we may ask, are our bishops not taking an active role in bringing about a sorely-needed reform of our national seminary, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth? 

Seminary has been enveloped by controversy for many years

Last May, this paper carried an article which alerted readers to the fact that out of a class of ten seminarians, for no less than sixty per cent of them it was recommended that they take “time out” from formation. One of the primary reasons given in these dubious reports was that they were “theologically rigid” – in other words, they were not willing to compromise their Catholic faith. Some of these seminarians were criticised openly in these reports because they chose to kneel – as is the universal norm of the Church – during the consecration of the Mass. This same article drew readers’ attention to the damaging heterodox theology being taught by certain members of the faculty – for example, there have been outright denials of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, a questioning of the divinity of Jesus Christ (by suggesting that Christ might have sinned), and the notion that salvation is merely “living well”.

Another newspaper, The Irish Catholic, drew attention to the same situation. It highlighted the fact that the Apostolic Visitation ordered by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, which included a visitation of Maynooth seminary, has had little practical effect. The article, which claimed that certain bishops had intervened to ensure that three out of the six “theologically rigid” seminarians be allowed to return to seminary, also drew attention to the fact that controversy surrounding the programme of priestly formation in Maynooth seminary is nothing new. It mentioned the claims made a few years ago that a number of seminarians who wished to kneel at Mass were suspended from seminary. This is a crucial point: the issues raised last summer were not isolated. Neither are the charges relating to heterodox theology a new development. The plain fact is that the seminary has been enveloped by controversy for many years. To use the familiar phrase, there is no smoke without fire. 

Homosexual sub-culture

One of the controversies which has persisted for many years is that of the existence of a homosexual sub-culture among some seminarians. 

Again, this is not news. However, this newspaper understands that this sub-culture is still very much active. As a matter of fact, it has come to light that in recent weeks a seminarian was suspended from seminary for uncovering the existence of homosexual behaviour. 

This is unfathomable – the one who spoke up was punished, while those engaging in behaviour which the Church regards as objectively sinful remain in formation for the Catholic priesthood. It is common knowledge among current seminarians that one seminarian (who is no longer in formation) last year boasted that his formation in the seminary helped him to discover his “true self” (i.e. as a homosexual). Having helped this man to discover his “true self”, this same seminarian was invited to continue his formation the following year. Is it any wonder that there was no uproar from the seminary authorities last year when the campus was saturated with posters advocating a “yes” vote in the marriage referendum?

Naturally, following the controversy which arose last summer in particular, the President of St. Patrick’s College, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, dismissed the claims being made about seminary formation. 

Hugh Connolly

Writing in The Irish Catholic, he rubbished claims that seminarians would be targeted for being too conservative. Why then, one might ask, was it considered acceptable or even important to note in a number of end-of-year reports that certain students knelt at Mass? Quoting David Quinn, Monsignor Connolly wrote, “David Quinn is right to remind us that ‘Catholic theology cannot stray on the fundamentals from the teachings of the Magisterium’. Neither for that matter should a priest or seminarian so stray”. Why then are seminarians reporting year after year that they are being taught much theology which has indeed strayed from the teachings of the Magisterium? Indeed, in some instances it has more than merely “strayed” – judging on what has been reported over the years, much teaching can only be described as outright heresy. Again, there is no smoke without fire.

Faithful have the right to demand action from bishops

A sincere Catholic cannot but be outraged by the controversy surrounding Maynooth. They cannot but be outraged that men are being formed for the Catholic priesthood in such an environment. They cannot but be outraged when they consider how those who are charged with forming men in the likeness of the Supreme Priest, Our Lord Jesus Christ, can actively and knowingly jeopardise or even destroy the vocations of those men whom He has called and chosen. Our seminarians deserve better – they deserve a Catholic formation which is in full agreement with the mind of the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, you, the faithful, deserve better – especially since you are the ones who pray for, and financially support, the formation of our future priests.

Sadly, despite your many fervent prayers for vocations to the priesthood, many men are not answering the call – one of the reasons given by many is that they cannot enter Maynooth seminary while it remains in its present state. As faithful Catholics you have a right to have your concerns listened to by your bishops – in many cases the cries of their own seminarians have been ignored. Perhaps they will listen to you. Indeed, there is something very, very wrong when those who expose wrong doing are expelled while the offenders are allowed to continue as if nothing happened. This cries out to Heaven for vengeance and surely no person of good will can ignore such a dreadful situation, we have a duty to act. 

I therefore urge you, dear faithful readers, to make your voice heard on this matter. The Code of Canon Law tells us that the faithful have a right and even a duty to make their concerns known to their pastors for the good of the Church (Can.212). Indeed, it is surely now time for those priests who have, by the grace of God, survived the trials of Maynooth seminary to make their voices heard. Please consider contacting the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, stating your concerns about our national seminary, and asking him, as President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, to initiate a serious discussion on the state of affairs in the seminary when the bishops’ conference next meets in Maynooth on June 7, 8, and 9. You have the power to do good – do not leave it undone. 


Homosexuality has been a feature of Maynooth for many years now - and indeed a feature of many Catholic seminaries.

Is is also a feature of many modern seminaries that the seminarians are often right wing.

Many of the seminarians, who later become priests, combine their right wing Catholic views with active and promiscuous gay life styles.

Its all a very strange phenomenon. 

I'd welcome readers views.

Thursday, 26 May 2016



Pageviews today
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history

United Kingdom
United States

Above you will see the visitor's stats for this Blog for today, May 26th 2016 at 12.30 PM

You will see from the above that quite a lot of people visit this Blog everyday. Some people visit because they are curious. Some visit because they like the Blog. And some visit because they dislike the Blog and look for reasons to criticise it.

One the regular criticism goes like this:

"Pat Buckley tells us he is a busy priest and bishop but if he was how has he got so much time to write this blog".

Another regular criticism is: 

"If Pat Buckley is the true pastor he claims to be then why does he not write more about Christian and spiritual matters? Why is he so interested in the Catholic Church he no longer belongs to"?

Let me respond:

1. I am an experienced writer. I have written 3 books and am just finishing a 4th. I have worked in journalism, as well as ministry, for over 30 years. It might take some of my critics 8 hours to write a blog. I do it in less than an hour. 

2. I was always told: "If you want something done quickly ask a busy man to do it." And in the course of my life I have found that to be so true. 

3. People say I should write about "Christian topics". 

Is the state of the Roman Catholic Church - with 1.2 billion (nominal) members not a Christian topic?

Is the hypocrisy of popes, bishops and priests, teaching one thing and doing another not a Christian topic?

Is the misappropriation of monies paid to the Church by Christian congregations not a Christian topic?

Is the abuse of children and vulnerable adults not a Christian topic?

Are not the various abuses of "clericalism" not Christian topics?

Of course I know that vested interests would like me to write blogs about the Virginity of Mary; The Trinity; The Beatific Vision; Angels etc. That would be very nice would it not?

It would take the heat off. It would turn off the light that shines into dark corners. 

But this blog is called THINKING CATHOLICISM.

It is not called Sleeping Catholicism. It is not called Heavenly Catholicism. It is not called Catholicism for Dummies.

Its about real people. Its about the real issues that affect real people in their everyday life.

It is about Rasharkin Parish being left without a priest and its old people dying about the Last Rites.

Is is about Father Rory Coyle, Master of Ceremonies to the Catholic Primate, preaching sexual abstinence to the laity and seeking no strings attached sex by night on Grindr.

It is about the alleged rape of a woman by 5 Down and Connor priests.

It is about bishops spending millions of pounds on their houses.

Of course my Catholic critics would prefer me to wax on lyrical about the Virgin Birth.

Sorry folks! That's not going to happen. 

And if you don't like it stop adding to this blog's daily visitor statistics.  

Wednesday, 25 May 2016



Noel Treanor
In a very surprising move the Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor, who is tied up in Church European affairs, has asked me to make this year's diocesan changes. 

The following are those changes to take effect on Friday June 3rd 2016.

1. The Diocesan Seminary on Cliftonville Road to be closed as of June 1st and the students there to be sent to St Patrick's College, Maynooth. The seminary is to be sold and the proceeds to be used for diocesan pastoral work.

2. Father Oliver Treanor to be PP Rasharkin.

3. Father Eugene O'Hagan to be PP St Teresa's Belfast.

4. Mrs Gloria Duggan DCL to be Diocesan Chancellor.

5. Father Joe Glover to be PP Coleraine.

6. Miss Tanya Byrne to be Diocesan Secretary.

7. Father Brendan Mulhall to return to his religious order.

8. Father Paul Flemming to be PP Dromaroad.

9. Father Peter Donnelly PP Dromaroad to retire. 

10. Father John Murray PP Rasharkin to be chaplain, The Poor Clare's, Tenerife.

11. Father Niall Coll to be PP Our Lady Queen of Peace.

12. Sr. Angela Casey DD to replace Father Niall Coll in St Mary's Training College. 

13. Father Gerard Fox to be PP Randalstown.

14. Father Colin Grant to be CC St Peter's Cathedral.

15. Father Timothy Bartlett to be CC St Paul's Belfast.

16. Father Eddie McGee to be PP Drumbo. 

17. Father Joseph Rooney to be PP Lisburn.

18. Mr Jarlath Devine DCL to take on Father Rooney's canon law duties. 

19. Father Michael Spence to be chaplain City Hospital.

20. Father Andrew Black to be CC Ballymurphy.

21. Father Brian Waters to be CC Newcastle. 

22. Father Hugh Kennedy to be chaplain Maghaberry Prison.

23. Mrs Mary Doran to be Diocesan Press Officer. 

24. Father Con Boyle to be PP St Oliver Plunkett Belfast.

25. Father Darren Brennan to be Adm Ballyclare.

26. Father Ciaran Dallat, Father Aidan Brankin, Father Rory Sheehan, Father Martin Kelly and Father Dermot Mc Caughan to retire on health grounds.

27. Mrs Carole Hamilton BA, BL to be the new Diocesan Complaints Officer to initially handle all complaints about parishes, clergy and finances. 

28. Dr Ciaran O'Grady MD, FRCP to be Diocesan Safeguarding Officer. 

29. Dom Edward Gibbons OSB to be Spiritual Director to the bishop and clergy to organise monthly Days of Prayer and the Diocesan Priest's Retreat.

30. Dr John Harkin  D.Coun. to set up a confidential priest's counselling service to be funded by The Priest Provident Fund. This service will not interact with any church official. 

31. Brother Stephen OFM  D.Liturgy to be diocesan and episcopal Master of Ceremonies. 

32. Harvey Jones Accountants to be controller of all diocesan and parochial funds and to issue a full diocesan and parochial public statement of accounts annually. 

33. Mr Jack Drummond, formerly Unison, to be employment rights and conditions advocate for diocesan priests and other employees.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Normally comments are made on the blog in response to something I have published.

However without any prompting from me the comments below about Bishop John McAreavey started arriving on the Blog.

I publish them to allow further discussion if people so require.



 I 1. I actually recall someone telling me the scandal of Newry Parish Centre. As other people on this blog are from Newry they can perhaps clarify. As I understand the Diocese purchased a former nightclub on the Mall, Newry for a large sum. I think it was over 1 million. They lobbied the parishioners in Newry to give, give, give for this excellent asset to the Parish. I was in it just after it opened. Very modern and clearly a lot of money spent on it. It had appropriately themed rooms like John Paul II room etc. Well, I am told that no sooner was the ribbon cut than all the Catholic themed room names were changed. The Catholic art including a painting of John Paul II which I did see myself was banished to the broom cupboard and the entire building was renamed "Newry Conference and Banqueting Centre". It seems it was quite the scandal at the time. Newry parishioners were told to cough up for a Parish Centre and when they did, they got a Conference Centre. Is this the main jist of the tale? Am I missing any details?

2.   2. Anonymous (17.56) you haven't quite got the facts correct. Pat, I'm disappointed that you make a judgement and post that comment without confirming the full facts. As I recall there was no fundraising campaign. The diocese already had the money in a fund for "Capital Projects" I think they call it. Where this money came from I am not sure although I am certain at its origin was with parishioners. I can't remember the cost but I am certain it was substantially more than 1 million. I do remember there was such controversy over the Parish Centre that Canon Francis Brown was forced to explain and defend the project in the bulletin. That was when he explained how it would be funding. It seems that a lot of people had made it clear that parishioners neither needed or wanted the Parish Centre. Everything else you say is correct. No sooner had it opened than it was de-Christianised and renamed Newry Conference and Banqueting Centre. It has been a bit of a flop. They had planned to rent it as a wedding reception venue but I've never heard of any taking place. Not longer after it was de-Christianised, the industrial kitchens that were fitted out to the hilt with top quality equipment were cleared out and sold (I am sure at a fraction of the price). It seems to be a total white elephant. I think very few, if any events, are held there. There were a number of parish events that took place at the start but I'm not aware of any taking place since it was turned into the conference centre. I don't know if that is because it is being run as a business and is now charging the community or not. Please confirm this Pat before you pass comment on speculation. One thing is sure, it has turned from a vanity project to a total white elephant. Another example of John McAreavey's poor leadership. No wonder the diocese is always pleading poverty when this is what they spend their money on..

3.     3. The only thing from above that I don't know for a fact is whether the conference centre charges parishioners to use it. As for McAreavey. I'm sure he makes sure it is a pleasant life. he guy is so lazy and uninterested in the diocese beyond getting free dinners and getting his face in the paper. He is dreadful. No dromore diocese laity or priest will tell you any different.

4.    4. Bishop McAreavery is a pretty decent man as far as bishop's go in Ireland. It is very obvious he is way out of his depth in leadership and more importantly in 'stewardiship' of the Diocese of Dromore! Dromore is dying but Rome refuses to see this as do many PP's in Dromore also many good decent people of Dromore - sad...sad...very SAD!

5.     5. When I was in Maynooth he was indeed kindly and came across as a decent man. One of the few professors who would acknowledge you. But I suppose kindness and decency aren't the only qualities you need to be a bishop. But it's a start.

6.    6.  I was at an event when I was younger. He practically ignored us until the Newspapers arrived and then he suddenly felt the urge to be surrounded by us and craic jokes. We were instantly fascinating. But as soon as the photo was taken he cleared off without a bye or leave. I think his biggest problem is he isn't interested in people which is a shame. A bishop should love his flock and a Christian should be full of zeal for spreading the faith. He doesn't seem to have either. Dromore Diocese has so much potential. He could have set it alight with evangelism but he doesn't seem to be bothered. It funny that Pat is so critical of Eamon Martin because we are so envious of Armagh. They have loads of initiatives and stuff going on. Dromore has nothing - unless it's all being held in secret.

7.     7. I think he was made bishop because he wrote some book on Canon Law that towed the party line. I wouldn't say it's a poisoned chalice. I don't think Dromore had the same historical abuse issuescover ups that other dioceses have had to deal with, as far as I know. I'd say it's a cushy number and he has made the most of it. I remember he spent a pure fortune totally renovating the bishop's palace. It's the same old thing. The diocese is utterly skint - but yet they always seem to find the money from somewhere when there is something they want.

8.   8.  I think it is absolutely incredible that we have so many amazing priests in Dromore Diocese - I mean truly great priests - but Rome chose to totally over look them in favour of a book worm like John McAreavey. I'm sure he was an excellent Canon Lawyer but he was never going to be a man of the people. Spend 5 minutes in his company and you get the measure of him. And he comes up very short. Dromore definitely deserves better. (Theresa, Banbridge)

9.    9.  He may well have been a nice man when he lectured in Maynooth. I agree that kindness and decency are a great start for being bishop. The problem is John McAreavey must have started about 15 years ago so if it hasn't become evident by now, its hardly likely to. It's news to me that Dromore will amalgamate with Armagh when he goes. Is this for definite?
1  10. He gave a radio/tv interview some years back about celibacy. He came across as most unconvincing and uninspiring. Just platitudes and spouting off canon law. It sounded as if he didn't really believe what he was saying himself. Company man is right. Just putting in the time before retirement.
1  11. You've no idea. I know people who will see Bishop McAreavey come out on the altar in Newry Cathedral and sneak out and go to another mass. There is no love for him. I saw that interview on the front of the Newry Reporter when he came back from his holiday. Personally I think he knew people (including the priests) were pissed off. This rubbish about realising the priests were over worked and the laity needed to play a role was just trying to negate the negative feelings towards him. That must have been 2 or 3 years ago and if he did genuinely come to that conclusion he definitely hasn't done a single thing to act on it.
1 12. My two cents on John McAreavey would be he is lazy/indifferent. That is without question. He is also incredibly weak minded. Speaking as someone formerly involved in Newry Parish, it seems a small kabal of lay people seem to have influence with the bishop and have free reign to build their own little kingdoms. They try to control everything and when they can't they run to the bishop to get his "authority" (yeah. I laughed when the wrote that word) behind them. If they still can't control they destroy. I've seen several initiatives attempted in Newry Parish by good hearted lay members that this kabal attempted to seize control over and often succeed. When they do get control they seem to either run it into the ground or else lose interest once the opposition have been driven out and the thing dies. If they can't get control of it they will do everything they can to destroy it. I've seen it time and time again in Newry Parish. Canon Brown in Newry is just as weak. He seems to have allowed these monsters to grow until they have become uncontrollable and the whole parish is dictated by 2 or 3 controlling members of the laity (I won't name them, but I have no doubt people in Newry Parish would know exactly who I am talking about). So I don't think the problem is just indifference. It is also weakness of character on the part of the bishop and also the priests in Newry that mean we have little of no evangelization or faith development. And it's not because there aren't lay people who want it badly. It's because of the authority of a small number of laity who see any attempt to bring new people into the church as a threat to their own self appointed positions.

13. So I wouldn't blame Bishop McAreavey for not evangelizing. he does allow it. Unfortunately
14. He is DREADFUL!