Monday, 21 August 2017



The Eucharist was moving, dignified, uplifting and we all left afterwards touched by God and his/her Holy Spirit.

 The Eucharistic text which Bridget and Mary Teresa used was the one used in their US communities by THE ASSOCIATION OF ROMAN CATHOLIC WOMEN PRIESTS and therefore it was different.

On paper it seemed strange but when it was celebrated - along with chosen readings and music - it was wonderful.

The Eucharist was attended by regular Oratory goers and by a number of other interested parties.

One man present was a Presbyterian man called Graham Saunderson who has a dedicated ministry to truck drivers and their families - called Glory Road Ministeries.

From left: Bishop Bridget, Mary Teresa, Joan and Graham Saunderson.
The main points that Bishop Bridget made in her homily was:

1. God's all-embracing love for all his children regardless of gender, race, denomination,  orientation etc.

2. That the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is NOT LEAVING the Church - but LEADING the Church.

3. She recalled Pope Francis' recent decision to set up a commission to study on Women Deacons.

Image result for pope francis with a woman

4. She told us of a long meeting two of her women priest colleagues had with one of Pope Francis' senior advisers in Rome and their later attendance at a papal Mass where they were given places of honour and received Holy Communion.


During the Eucharist we prayed especially for all the dead and injured in Barcelona and all their family and friends. 

I have agreed with the ordination of women for 20 years.

Yesterday's experience copper fastened me in the belief that not only is it right and that GOD WANTS IT





Rebel female bishop on Northern Ireland crusade to recruit women into Catholic priesthood.

By Suzanne Breen

August 21 2017

A female Catholic bishop excommunicated by the Vatican is in Northern Ireland on a recruitment drive to expand her movement of women priests.

Bridget Mary Meehan said five women who believe they have a vocation had come forward in the Republic and she hoped for a similar number on this side of the border.

"We have 250 women priests and 11 bishops but I'm the only Irish-born one and I would love to change that," she said. "I ordained a female priest in Scotland in 2009, which was very exciting, but my dream is to come home next year to ordain women in Ireland.

"I believe our movement is in harmony with everything Pope Francis stands for in wanting a more open and inclusive Church."

The women, who belong to the US-based Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP), are defying the Vatican's ban on female clergy.

Bishop Meehan stressed that although she had been excommunicated, she still saw herself as part of the mainstream Church.

"As an Irish Catholic, Catholicism is in my DNA," she said.

"This isn't about leaving the Church, it's about leading it. This is about moving the Church towards equality and justice and healing the wounds of centuries of sexism."

She yesterday said Mass at the Oratory, the church of  Bishop Pat Buckley in Larne. He branded opposition to women priests as "sexism dressed up with theology".

Born in Coolkerry, Co Laois, Meehan was ordained a priest in 2006 and a bishop three years later. The 69-year-old currently ministers in Florida.

Her family support her stance.

"My late father Jack Meehan was 82 when I was ordained. He was very proud of me. He had been a dance band leader in the 1940s and he played music at Masses which I celebrated," she said.

Bishop Meehan said being branded "a white witch" and facing other insults didn't bother her.

"I grew up in a conservative Catholic tradition so I see those criticisms as part of the journey we're all on," she said.

She rejected the Vatican's argument that women couldn't be priests because the 12 Apostles were male. "The risen Christ appeared first to Mary Magdalene, not to the Apostles, and called on her to announce the good news of Christianity. Mary Magdalene was the Apostle to the Apostles," she said.

The ARCWP has significantly expanded from 2002 when seven women were ordained priests on a ship on the River Danube.

The organisation insists its ordinations are valid because the male bishop ordaining the first female bishops has "apostolic succession within the Catholic Church".

Bishop Meehan was excommunicated in 2007, but insisted: "Our actions are justified because we are disobeying an unjust law. No one can cancel my baptism - it's equal to that of any bishop, cardinal or Pope."

Pope Francis has said the Church is unlikely to lift its ban on female priests but he has set up a commission to investigate whether women could be ordained as deacons, giving them the authority to marry couples and baptise babies, but not to celebrate Mass.

While Bishop Meehan sees him as "moving in the right direction", Bishop  Buckley is less optimistic. "Even if Francis wanted change, he is surrounded by a conservative cabal who will prevent it," he said.

"The battle for women priests will be far harder than that for married priests. Opposition isn't just in the Vatican, it's extensive at a grassroots level."

Bishop Meehan urged women who have a vocation to contact her at or

Belfast Telegraph




Sunday, 20 August 2017

Global campaign by priest’s son led to new guidelines for clerics with children

Bishops say principles were drafted in response to Doyle’s request Archbishop Martin agreed to fund support website for priests’ children

Vincent Doyle overlooks above the River Shannon in Athlone where he used to walk with Fr John J. Doyle who Vincent did not know was his father.

It was the early 1980s when Vincent Doyle’s parents first met at a wedding in Co Cavan.
Fr John J Doyle (44) was a Co Longford Spiritan (Holy Ghost) priest, home from the US diocese of Camden, New Jersey.
His mother was a married woman with three children.
Fr Doyle (JJ) arranged for his transfer back to Ireland, to the diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, and to Longford town near where she lived. The priest would later serve in Ardagh, Co Longford and finally in Edgeworthstown, where he died of lung cancer in June 1995.
By then, his son Vincent was 12. He would be 28 before his mother acknowledged that Fr Doyle was his father. As a boy, he had a very good relationship with the priest, who was also his godfather, he told The Irish Times. “I spent a lot of time with him,” he said.
It was, he feels, probably his father’s influence which later led him to Maynooth where he took a degree in theology, philosophy and English. He then studied for a master’s degree in chaplaincy and pastoral care at the Mater Dei Institute in Dublin and spent a year at a seminary in Spain before deciding the priesthood was not for him.
He has since qualified as a psychotherapist and become engaged. He remains a practising Catholic, with desire to hurt the Church.
It was in 2012 he first had the idea of setting up a website for people like himself whose fathers were priests. It arose from a discussion he had with a woman who was a priest’s daughter.
He went to see then papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Browne, who was very supportive and arranged for him to have a front seat at a general audience no in Rome with Pope Francis on June 4th, 2014, the anniversary of his father’s death.
There he passed a letter in Spanish to the pope, later acknowledged. He had sent a similar letter to the Irish Catholic bishops, asking what they proposed to do about children fathered by priests.

(FOR FUTURE PROJECT. DO NOT PUBLISH.) Handout family photo from Vincent Doyle. A photo of Vincent, left, on June 4, 2014, meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican---he met His Holiness on the anniversary of his father's death.

Back in Ireland, he went to see Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin who, as with Archbishop Brown, he found “very accommodating”.
When he mooted the idea of a website, Archbishop Martin was “very encouraging, really helpful, saying we should do it right”. The archbishop agreed to fund the new website,
In 2015, Doyle contacted the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe in the US as “I wanted the story to go international”. They asked him to keep all under wraps while they researched the story more broadly. He agreed to do so. This week the Boston Globe ran a series on children fathered by Catholic priests.
In the interim, Doyle continued contacts with the Irish bishops. They finally agreed the Principles of responsibility regarding priests who father children while in ministry, yet to be published by the bishops in Ireland.
A spokesman for the bishops said yesterday that the text was originally drafted in response to a request from Vincent Doyle.
Signed off
“The principles, having been approved in draft form by the spring 2017 plenary meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, were sent to Vincent for his review. Having been favourably received by him, the principles were signed off by the standing committee at its meeting on May 29th and were forwarded to Vincent on that date.”
Asked why these principles had not been announced publicly, or published since on the Catholic bishops’ website or any diocesan website, or referred to in the published summaries of the bishops’ 2017 spring or summer meetings, the spokesman said, “it was presumed that Vincent would publish these principles as he saw fit as part of his raising awareness of this issue.”

Image result for father jj doyle

Bishops create guidelines for priests with children

The wellbeing of the child should be the primary consideration for any Catholic priest who becomes a father, guidelines approved by Ireland’s Catholic bishops state.
The guidelines say the priest “should face up to his responsibilities – legal, moral and financial. At a minimum, no priest should walk away from his responsibilities.”
In arriving at any decision concerning his child, it is “vital” that the mother, “as the primary caregiver, and as a moral agent in her own right, be fully involved”, the document states. It was also “important that a mother and child should not be left isolated or excluded”.
The guidelines, Principles of Responsibility Regarding Priests who Father Children While in Ministry, were approved by the bishops last May, but have yet to be published on their website or any Catholic diocesan website in Ireland.
They were prepared following discussions with Galway-based psychotherapist Vincent Doyle (34), whose father, Co Longford priest Fr JJ Doyle, died of lung cancer in 1995.
Mr Doyle contacted the Boston Globe and, this week, the American newspaper ran a series on children fathered by priests. Mr Doyle has also set up the website www.coping to help people, such as himself, whose fathers were priests. The website has been funded by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.
The guidelines state: “In justice and in love, the needs of the child should be given the first consideration. In the case of a child fathered by a Catholic priest, it follows that a priest, as any new father, should face up to his responsibilities – legal, moral and financial.”
They continue: “At a minimum, no priest should walk away from his responsibilities. His relevant church authority (bishop or religious superior) should also direct such a priest in addressing his responsibilities.”
The Irish Episcopal Conference
Upon ordination priests promise to live a life of celibacy in their dedication to Christ and to pastoral ministry in the Church. However if, contrary to this obligation, a priest fathers a child, the wellbeing of his child should be his first consideration.
The following principles of responsibility attempt to articulate a position based on natural justice and subsequent rights regarding the children of priests. This does not replace the responsibility of arriving at practical decisions which pertains to those children with the common good (whether in the family, Church, or State)

(FOR FUTURE PROJECT. DO NOT PUBLISH.) Ireland, 11/2016, A family hand out photo of Reverend John J. Doyle, the priest who was the father of Vincent Doyle, who created the website Coping International to help connect the children of priests all over the world. (Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff) The Rev. John J. Doyle (cq)with his son, Vincent Doyle (cq).
The birth of a child to a couple brings into being a unique person with a mother and a father. The parents have a fundamental right to make their own decisions regarding the care of their new-born child.
In justice and in love, the needs of the child should be given the first consideration. In the case of a child fathered by a Catholic priest, it follows that a priest, as any new father, should face up to his responsibilities - legal, moral and financial. At a minimum, no priest should walk away from his responsibilities.
His relevant Church authority (bishop or religious superior) should also direct such a priest in addressing his responsibilities
Each situation requires careful consideration (*) but certain principles present themselves on which the decision of the priest should be made
The best interests of the child
Dialogue with, and respect for, the mother of the child
Dialogue with Church superiors
Taking into account civil and canon law (**)
It is vital in discerning a way forward that the mother, as the primary care giver, and as a moral agent in her own right, be fully involved in the decision.
In arriving at a determination regarding these cases, it is important that a mother and child should not be let isolated or excluded.
*In particular, cultural contexts can have an important bearing. However, the moral agency of the mother will remain important to the cultural contexts
**Such laws or norms may include rights of custody and maintenance (civil law) or the process of laicization (canon law) Approved May 2017

900 years of celibacy… and children

The Catholic church has forbidden priests to marry and have families since 1139, but that hasn't stopped them from having children.
  • Following along tradition, celibacy requirement for priests is affirmed at a meeting of the Second Lateran Council
  • Pope Alexander VI is elected by the College of Cardinals after fathering four children as a priest
  • The celibacy requirement is affirmed again at the Council of Trent
  • Pope John XXIII convenes Vatican II, raising hopes that the Church will relax the celibacy requirement
  • Pope Paul VI issues Papal Encyclical re-affirming the celibacy requirement
  • Bishop Eamonn Casey of Ireland resigns following revelations that he fathered a son
  • The Rev. Marcial Maciel of Mexico is forced to resign as leader of the Legionaires of Christ following accusations he sexually abused seminarians and fathered several children by at least two women
  • Bishop Gabino Zavala of Los Angeles resigns after revealing he is the father of two children
  • Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, later Pope Francis, says priests who father children should resign to support their offspring


After 1500 + years of treating the children of priests and their mothers like dirt on their shoes the Catholic Hierarchy are beginning to move on the question of priest's children.

This movement is to the credit of people like Vincent Doyle and others around the world who have campaigned on this issue.

It is also a credit to the modern media - like the BOSTON GLOBE - who is capable of holding the Catholic Hierarchy to account in ways not possible before.

I have had pastoral experience of helping the women who were pregnant by priests deal with the Hierarchy - and my experience is NOT GOOD!


Image result for bishop laurence ryan

Ryan was Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin from 1987 to 2002.

During that time I brought a woman to him who had a baby for one of his priest - a priest he had simply moved from Newbridge Parish to Portlaois Parish.

The woman and I drove in the driving rain on a winter's day to meet Ryan. He sat 15 feet away from us, said nothing, did nothing and never even offered us a cup of tea as the woman wept bitterly in his presence.


In very recent years I referred a woman to Treanor who had been made pregnant by her parish priest - Father Ciaran Dallat.

Treanor would not allow me to accompany the woman to the interview with him.

The woman found him cold and aloof.

Ciaran Dallat had not only made her pregnant but had gone out to dinner with friends KNOWING that the woman was miscarrying the child in her bathroom.

He called in at midnight on his way home to his presbytery.

Since then Treanor has appointed Dallat as chaplain to Maghaberry Prison.

Has Dallat had other women? Other children?

Only God and Treanor know.


Image result for bishop eamon casey annie murphy and peter

We know how Bishop Eamon Casey treated Annie Murphy and their son Peter.

First denial.

Then attempted adoption.

Then a bribe of £70,000.

Then running away to South America.

Don't be fooled by these "GUIDELINES".

The first thing a bishop will do when a priest fathers a child will be to call in his lawyers to protect Church money from the woman and child.

If a priest father's a child while representing the Church the Church should be financially liable to the woman and child.

But wait and see. Any such help for such a woman or child will be covered by a "gagging" clause and a  "no further liability" clause.

These guys could teach Putin how to suck eggs!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Melbourne's archbishop says he'd rather go to jail than report child abuse heard in confession

Image result for archbishop denis hart

Denis Hart says ‘communication with God is of a higher order’ after child sex abuse inquiry calls for failure to report to become a criminal offence.

Archbishop Denis Hart says Catholic priests would rather be jailed than violate the sacramental seal. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

The archbishop of the archdiocese of Melbourne, Denis Hart, said he would risk going to jail rather than report allegations of child sexual abuse raised during confession, and that the sacredness of communication with God during confession should be above the law.
He was responding to a report from the child sex abuse royal commission calling for reforms that, if adopted by governments, would see failure to report child sex abuse in institutions become a criminal offence, extending to information given in religious confessions.
Speaking to ABC radio 774 in Melbourne, Hart said he stood by comments he made in 2011 that priests would rather be jailed than violate the sacramental seal.
Clergy who fail to report child abuse heard in confession should be charged – royal commission

Read more
“I believe [confession] is an absolute sacrosanct communication of a higher order that priests by nature respect,” Hart said on Tuesday morning.
“We are admitting a communication with God is of a higher order,” he said. “It is a sacred trust. It’s something those who are not Catholics find hard to understand but we believe it is most, most sacred and it’s very much part of us.”
He said much of the abuse that occurred was historical and awareness of abuse was greater now, and he believed it was unlikely “anything would ever happen” today.

But if someone were to confess they had been sexually abused or they knew of someone who had been, Hart said it would be adequate to encourage them to tell someone else outside of confession. For example, he would encourage a child to tell a teacher, who are already mandated under law to report.

Confession, he added, was “perhaps the only opportunity where a person who has offended or a child who has been hurt can have the opportunity for broader advice,” he said.

Meanwhile, the attorney general, George Brandis, responded to the commission’s recommendations by saying there were “important issues of religious freedom” to consider.

Speaking to ABC’s Radio National program on Tuesday morning, Brandis said he was yet to read the recommendations from the child sex abuse royal commission’s report, released on Monday, due to “other ambient political events of the day”, presumably questions around the deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce’s citizenship.

But he said: “The law does and always has protected certain categories of intimate professional relationships.”

In its report the commission said it understood the significance of religious confession, “in particular, the inviolability of the confessional seal to people of some faiths, particularly the Catholic faith”.

“However, we heard evidence of a number of instances where disclosures of child sexual abuse were made in religious confession, by both victims and perpetrators. We are satisfied that confession is a forum where Catholic children have disclosed their sexual abuse and where clergy have disclosed their abusive behaviour in order to deal with their own guilt,” the report said.

“We heard evidence that perpetrators who confessed to sexually abusing children went on to reoffend and seek forgiveness again.”

Father Frank Brennan, a Jesuit priest and professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, joined Hart in saying he would not adhere to any legislative changes.

“And if there is a law that says that I have to disclose it, then yes, I will conscientiously refuse to comply with the law,’’ Brennan told the Australian.
‘‘All I can say is that in 32 years no one has ever come near me and confessed anything like that. And instituting such a law, I say, simply reduces rather than increases the prospect that anyone ever will come and confess that to me.’’
The CEO of the Australian Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, who has previously expressed frustration at the church’s lack of action in addressing child sexual abuse, said the seal of confession was one of the universal laws of the church.

 Even for child abusers, confessional confidentiality is sacrosanct
Joanna Moorhead

4He said should Australia change the law, priests would be expected to obey the law, like everybody else, or suffer the consequences.

“If they do not this will be a personal, conscience decision on the part of the priest that will have to be dealt with by the authorities in accordance with the new law as best they can,” he said.

Brisbane’s Catholic archbishop, Mark Coleridge, said the relationship between priest and penitent in the sacrament of penance is unlike any other relationship, because the penitent speaks not to the priest but to God, with the priest only a mediator.

“That needs to be kept in mind when making legal decisions about the seal of the confessional,” he told his diocesan newspaper the Catholic Leader.

“So too does the need to protect the young and vulnerable in every way possible.”


The "Seal of Confession" has always been regarded as sacred and absolutely binding by Catholic priests.

Confession is about:

1. The Confession of Sin.
2. True sorrow.
3. A firm purpose not to commit the sin again.
4. The performance of a penance given by the priest.
5. The obligation on the penitent to make restitution to anyone harmed.

The priest being told by an abuser in Confession that he has abused - or worse still IS abusing is being put in avery difficult position.

Obviously if the abuser does not promise to stop abusing in the future most priests would refuse absolution.

A doctor or a counsellor in the same position is advised to let the authorities know about the crime.

Some would say that the same obligation should be placed on Catholic priests?

Very often of course the priest will not know the person is or where they are from.

I think a wise priest would advise the penitent to hand themselves over to the authorities and gey help - even if it means also being punished.

This is a big dilema for both the Church and civil authorities.

I would be interested to know readers views on this.



Image result for mary bridget meehan

Bishop Mary Bridget Meehan will celebrate a Eucharist Service at The Oratory, Larne, tomorrow at 12 noon.

She will speak about her movement in the USA and her desire to spread it world wide.

There will be discussion and dialogue after the Eucharist Service.