Friday, 20 April 2018

GERMAN BISHOPS AT WAR



Communion for Protestants has split the German Church – and now it's the Vatican's problem
Jon Anderson Catholic Herald

The German Church has been thrown deeper into controversy after seven bishops appealed to the Vatican against new guidelines that would allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion. If adopted, these rules would significantly relax the existing ones.
Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg and the bishops of Görlitz, Augsburg, Eichstätt, Passau and Regensburg have signed a three-page letter to Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and Vatican ecumenical chief Cardinal Kurt Koch. They have asked for a ruling on whether the text approved at the February meeting of the German bishops’ conference (DBK) has exceeded the national bishops’ competence and breached canon law.
Notably, the letter was sent without prior consultation with DBK president Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Five of the seven bishops are also from dioceses in Bavaria, where Cardinal Marx is president of the state bishops’ conference. For his part, Marx has rejected the seven bishops’ questions and stressed that the guidelines were only a draft and could yet be altered. He had previously said that the new document was merely a “pastoral handbook” and that “we don’t want to create any new dogma”.
The seven bishops’ letter is not unprecedented, but such an initiative is unusual. The last time Rome was formally asked to intervene in the German Church’s internal disputes was in 1999, when the majority of bishops voted to remain part of the state pregnancy counselling service. Cardinal Joachim Meisner appealed directly to Pope John Paul II and secured a Vatican ruling overturning their decision. But that was a solo effort from Meisner, the leader of the German Church’s almost defunct conservative faction. An appeal to Rome by seven relatively centrist bishops is a dramatic development.
Non-Catholic spouses receiving Communion isn’t, of course, an issue confined to Germany. Tony Blair famously received Communion regularly before his conversion, despite it being against the rules (as Cardinal Basil Hume later reminded him). In Germany the practice is quite common, just as it is common for civilly remarried divorcees to receive Communion, and there is a clear link with the Amoris Laetitiacontroversy. But, as we saw with Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, there is a difference between having an important rule that is widely disregarded, and changing the rule – even just to allow exceptions, because exceptions have a way of becoming the new norm. And, where the sacraments are concerned, the stakes are high.
The new German guidelines are framed as providing for exceptions to be made on a case-by-case basis, after the communicant has gone through a process of discernment under the guidance of a priest. Ultimately, it would come down to the individual’s conscience – that is, Protestant spouses wishing to receive Communion should decide for themselves whether they should be able to. There is an obvious similarity with the proposal for allowing Communion for remarried divorcees put forward by future cardinals Walter Kasper and Karl Lehmann in 1993, which was the basis for Cardinal Kasper’s intervention at the two family synods preceding the publication of Amoris. The superiority of conscience over the law is a common German Catholic position.
Why has the opposition been much sharper over intercommunion than over Communion for divorcees? There was resistance to Amoris from Cardinal Gerhard Müller, then prefect of the CDF, but he had very little support from German bishops. One reason could be that the arguments over divorce have been well aired since the 1993 proposal, and so the ground had been prepared. Or it could be that the case for admitting Catholics in irregular marriages seems more plausible than that for admitting spouses who aren’t Catholic at all, since the conditions under canon law for non-Catholics are both more explicit and quite strict. It could simply be that, as often happens in the Church, the modernising faction has gained the upper hand and pushed its agenda further and faster than the centre ground would bear.
The guidance on Communion for Protestant spouses is supposed to rest on Canon 844 (4) of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states that “If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.”
This does, however, raise the question of whether someone’s distress at not being able to receive Communion really counts as a “grave necessity” under the meaning of 844 (4). And “manifest[ing] Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments” is not obvious in the case of spouses who have not become Catholic and do not wish to do so.
Canon 844 (4) does soften the language of the 1917 Code, which stated bluntly that it was “forbidden to minister the Sacraments of the Church to heretics and schismatics, even though they are in good faith and ask for them, unless they have first renounced their errors and been reconciled to the Church”. This isn’t very diplomatic, but it does make clear that participating in the sacraments is a sign of unity within the Church.
The more fundamental problem with intercommunion is that, even if the form is similar, different religious communities often have very different understandings of what Communion means. The same issue can apply with other sacraments like baptism or marriage. For example, the Catholic Church recognises baptisms as valid if they are in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – but, crucially, this has to involve an actual belief in the Trinity. The Church doesn’t recognise Mormon baptism, even though it uses the same words, because Joseph Smith’s theology denies the Trinity.
The same issue applies with Communion. Either the sacrament is the Body and Blood of Christ, or it is not. If it is viewed simply as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice, that is another thing entirely.
This is why, under established Catholic teaching, intercommunion is possible with the Orthodox Churches – though limited in practice – but not with most Protestant denominations, simply because they don’t agree with the Catholic view of what Communion actually is.
Many other religious communities practise closed communion, restricting the sacrament to their own members. However, some large Protestant denominations practise open communion – crucially including the EKD, Germany’s main federation of Protestant churches. This means that the Catholic spouse in a mixed marriage can receive communion in a Lutheran church, but not vice versa. That creates a social pressure, which is part of the context for the German bishops’ decision.
Probably a larger motivation is the long-term decline of Christian life in Germany. Thanks to the country’s church tax system, both the Catholic and Protestant churches are extremely wealthy, but largely empty of worshippers. The current rate of Mass attendance in Germany is around 10 per cent, and the Lutherans, who have gone much further in accommodating German secular culture, have even lower rates of observance.
The shortage of vocations is so severe that, despite importing large numbers of priests from India, the German Church is now pushing for parishes led by lay pastoral workers to fill the gap.
Nobody in Germany seems to have a clear idea of how to arrest the decline, except for further relaxing the Church’s expectations of the faithful. This approach has been tried for decades with little success, with observance and vocations continuing to decline and record numbers of Catholics formally leaving the Church in order to opt out of paying the church tax. Ironically, although the German Church is making it easier for non-Catholics and those in irregular marriages to receive Communion, the sacraments are denied to Catholics who don’t pay the church tax.
The Vatican missed an opportunity to clarify the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia by not responding to the dubia (“doubts”) submitted by four cardinals. The dubia on intercommunion from Cardinal Woelki and the other six German bishops provide another opportunity to clarify whether historic Catholic teaching still applies.
Either a positive or negative response will be revealing, and have an impact well beyond Germany.
PAT:

This is a very interesting dispute in Germany but it affects the Catholic Church in every country including Ireland.




When Jesus Christ celebrated the First Eucharist at The Last Supper - he as the celebrant was a Jew and all those who received the Bread and Wine from him were also Jews!

Over time - and with manmade laws and thinking - the Eucharist or Holy Communion in the RC Church was reserved for Catholics only - and those Catholics had to be in the state of grace and not in "mortal" sin.

Every Sunday at my 12 noon Mass at The Oratory in Larne the congregation is comprised of people who used to attend Mass in "official" Catholic church and is also comprised of others who used to be members of "Protestant" congregations like Anglicans and Presbyterians.

And EVERYBODY who wishes to comes forward and received Holy Communion in the form both of the "Bread" and the "Wine".

I have never in my life, thank God, refused anyone Holy Communion.

We bishops and priests do NOT OWN the Eucharist. It belongs to God and therefore I think it is a most serious thing for a priest to refuse Holy Communion to anyone who sincerely wishes to receive it with all due respect.

And at all the Wedding Masses I celebrate all over the country and the world I invite all who wish to receive Holy Communion to come forward - pointing out that Holy Communion is a gift from God, a way of uniting us with God and a source of spiritual healing and nourishment.

The RC Church does not OWN the Eucharist. God owns it. 

It is not a reward for BEING GOOD.

It is food for the spiritually hungry and healing for the spiritually and physically infirm.

Some people say: "Let's wait for Christian unity before we share Holy Communion".

I say: "Let's create Christian unity by sharing Holy Communion".


------------------------------------


Thursday, 19 April 2018

STRADBALLY PARISH

STRADBALLY PARISH

DIOCESE OF KILDARE AND LEIGHLIN


FATHER SEAN MAHER

LETTER FROM REGULAR BLOG READER:

Dear Bishop,

I have read your blog with interest over recent months and was wondering in your travels have you ever heard of a Fr Seán Maher who is currently a priest in the Kildare and Leighlin Parish. at present he is out on leave- he was the parish priest in Stradbally. There has been a lot of disquiet recently over the way he has acted in the parish and especially that he denounced the principal of one of the local schools- Timahoe ns from the pulpit. He is due to return to the parish in the next few weeks. 
yours
A very concerned parishioner






A Laois parish set to welcome Romanian priest
 -
 13th January 2018

BISHOP NULTY WITH ROMANIAN BISHOP AND PRIESTS



The Parish of Stradbally is all set to welcome a new priest this weekend.
Fr Marcelin Rediu, from Romania, will replace Parish Priest Fr Seán Maher who is set to travel overseas after Sunday mass where he will continue his studies.
Bishop Denis Nulty welcomed Fr Marcelin Rediu to Kildare & Leighlin diocese towards the end of November where he took up residence in the Cathedral Presbytery in Carlow.
While staying at the Cathedral parish he has become a familiar face at Cathedral where he has celebrated Mass regularly.
Fr Marcelin comes to the diocese having spent the last sixteen years ministering in parishes in Norway.
He was originally ordained for the Diocese of Iasi in Romania in 1998.
Fr Marcelin is the second priest from that diocese to serve in Kildare & Leighlin, he follows in the footsteps of Fr Eugen Dragos Tamas who arrived last August.
Fr Eugen currently resides in Tinryland and helps out in Askea and surrounding parishes as the need arises.
Last Sunday Bishop Denis introduced Fr Marcelin to the people of Stradbally at masses in Vicarstown, Timahoe, and Stradbally itself.
Fr Marcelin will cover the couple of months study leave which Fr Sean Maher commences this coming weekend.
While Fr Sean Kelly will take charge of the administration of the parish, Fr Marcelin will be a huge presence in every aspect of parish life.
Bishop Denis also envisages that Fr Marcelin will also cover some duties in neighbouring Portlaoise parish as the team there also assist in the programme of duty in Stradbally during Fr Sean Maher’s study leave. 

PAT:

Dear Xxxxxxx,

Thank you for your letter.

Does any reader have any more information on this matter?

Did Father Maher condemn a school principal from the pulpit? And for what?

Apparently, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin announced in January that Father Maher was going away for FURTHER STUDIES.

Now the parishioner tells us that Father Maher is coming back from those studies three months later in April.


That seems to be a very short academic course - three months?

In Father Maher's absence, the parish has been run by the retired PP - Father Kelly PE, CC and by a Romanian priest on loan to Kildare.

On this Blog before we have discussed about how priests seem to "disappear" either for a while or permanently.

The sequence of events in Stradbally are strange:

1. Father Maher appointed PP.

2. Alleged condemnation of school principal from pulpit.

3. Father Maher sent "overseas" for 3 months study.

4. Romanian priest appointed.

5. Father Maher is now, allegedly returning.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

THE RUGBY PLAYER SCANDAL




THE RAPE TRIAL INVOLVING IRISH RUGBY PLAYERS PADDY JACKSON AND STUART OLDING HAS BEEN A SAD SAGA AND IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE NO "WINNERS" AND THAT ALL INVOLVED ARE "LOSERS".

These two men have been found legally not guilty and therefore from the purely legal perspective they must be regarded and treated as not guilty.

Of course, we must also remember that when you go to court you do not always get JUSTICE. Very often you just get LAW.

There is a world of difference between justice and law.

Many guilty people have been found innocent by the law. And many innocent people have been found guilty in law.

I suppose all that proves is that human justice is flawed and that all human legal systems are far from perfect.

Personally, I was very disturbed by the vicious cross-examination had to endure at the hands of the defense barristers in this case. I imagine her time in the witness box was at least as painful as the time in the bedroom.

She seemed like a piece of meat being torn asunder by the highly paid, flesh-eating barrister hounds.




It's like the old question: "What is 2 + 2"?

"The mathematician says it is 4.

"The philosopher says: "Let us reflect on these concepts".

And the lawyer says: "What would you like it to be"?

It makes us understand how few raped women - and men - come forward and make a complaint. Why would anyone, recovering from a rape, put themselves forward for such treatment?

Those genuine rape victims who do come forward are to be congratulated for their utter courage.

I am hoping that the women in this case, who I believe was a medical student, can find healing and go on to have a happy and productive life.


And I am not without sympathy for Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding. Its so easy in the rough and macho world of rugby to get yourself into bad places - especially when alcohol becomes involved.

I do think that the Rugby authorities in Ireland and Ulster were right to withdraw their licence to play.  Leaving legal guilt and innocence aside, the whole episode did bring their game into major public disrepute. 

In fairness to Paddy Jackson, he did say after his licence was revoked that he had fallen well below certain standards.

Maybe the playing ban injects a little bit of justice into the equation?

I hope that these five young people - the young lady and the four young men - manage to get over everything that has happened and that they all manage to secure a happy future.

And I hope that they will all learn important lessons from what has happened - especially the lesson that they will not make the same mistakes in the future.

"It's not what happens to you in life that is always important. It is how you handle it".





Monday, 16 April 2018

IRISH BISHOPS AND ABORTION AMENDMENT

Repealing Eighth ‘could lead to euthanasia and eugenics’
Bishop says there are effects if society decides ‘human life is disposable’
Barry Roche The Irish Times 






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Repealing the Eighth Amendment to allow for abortion in Ireland could pave the way for the introduction of euthanasia and eugenics, two Catholic bishops have warned.
Bishop of Cork and Ross Dr John Buckley said the debate about repeal had failed to make any mention of “the rightness” or “wrongness”of human behaviour despite all authorities on moral matters agreeing the deliberate taking of innocent human life was always wrong.
“We can be sure that if a society decides that human life is disposable at its beginning, it will not be too long before it decides the same for human life at its end...human life is sacred and precious...this is true in every moment of life from its first beginning to its natural end.”
In a pastoral letter on the right to life read out at all Masses in all 68 parishes in the diocese on Sunday, Dr Buckley said there was a danger people may confuse abortion with necessary medical intervention, which, he said, has never been denied to any Irish woman as a result of the Eighth Amendment.
“In 1983 the Irish people voted into the Constitution an amendment that would give the unborn child the same legal right as the mother. Under its provisions no life-saving treatment is ever, or legally can ever, be denied to an expectant mother.
·         Abortion: The Facts
 “The Catholic Church has never taught that the life of the child in the womb should be preferred to that of the mother. A doctor may give any treatment that is necessary to either mother or child without deliberately intending harm to the other.”
Abortion, on the other hand, was a “deliberate medical intervention to end the life of an unborn child”, said Dr Buckley. He pointed out that the Supreme Court had ruled that the unborn baby enjoys only one constitutional right, namely the right to life, thanks to the Eighth Amendment.

Eugenics
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Dr Denis Nulty warned that repealing the Eighth Amendment would create an “abortion culture” in Ireland which could lead to the advent of eugenics, with serious implications for those with disabilities.
In a pastoral message read out in all 56 parishes in the diocese which covers all of Carlow and parts of Laois, Offaly, Kilkenny, Kildare and Wicklow, Dr Nulty said he could not agree with those who hold the view that a pregnant woman has “an absolute right to choose the fate of her pregnancy”.
He said he believed that life begins at conception, and it did not serve the truth to minimise the reality of abortion and how prevalent it can become. The “hard truth” was evident in statistics on abortion from the UK and elsewhere, he said.
“Once we deny the right to life of the unborn we can no longer defend ourselves from what flows from an abortion culture. For instance, we are in deep denial if we cannot recognise that an abortion culture fundamentally alters our attitude towards disability.
“I believe that a culture that permits abortion cannot be separated from a culture that seeks full control over the gift of life. In recent years I have the sense that we are walking with our eyes closed into an era of eugenics, unwilling to look where we are going but still continuing on.”

Expectant mother
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Alan McGuckian, has said in a message to Mass-goers in 33 parishes in his diocese that abortion was never justified, and an expectant mother, particularly if her pregnancy posed a serious crisis for her and her family, deserved the support of everyone around her.

“A mother may be informed her baby faces serious challenges or is perhaps terminally ill. She might be pregnant as a result of rape. In such cases recommending abortion might seem like a gesture of compassion. Even in those tragic cases the unborn child needs to be loved and cherished.”




PAT:

I believe that because of the widespread abuse of children by Roman Catholic bishops and priests - and the widespread cover-up of that abuse by Roman Catholic bishops and priests - that these people have absolutely no moral credibility when they pontificate about sexual and reproductive matters!

If they had an ounce of decency in them they would remain silent about a matter where they have found to be the most guilty of all.

I am opposed to loose abortion laws but I am also aware that many people find themselves in very tight corners - people like victims of rape and people like mothers pregnant with a non-viable baby.

The Irish people are ethical and moral enough to make their own decision on this matter without the help of the organization that has been a historic abuser of women and children.
The picture below says more about their hypocrisy than I can say in words:



Sunday, 15 April 2018

THE SHINNERS, THE DUPPIES AND ME



FOR THOSE WITH NO SENSE OF HUMOUR

THE PIC ABOVE IS A JOKE :-)

OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS I HAVE HAD SOME VERY IGNORANT AND VICIOUS COMMENTS SUBMITTED TO THIS BLOG BY PEOPLE ANGRY THAT I HAVE SAMMY WILSON MP HELPING ME WITH MY CURRENT PRISON VISITING ISSUE.

MOST OF THEM WERE UNFIT FOR PUBLICATION.

I am neither a Republican or a Unionist - and I am not even a Nationalist.

I am not interested in the traditional notion of a "United Ireland" - but I would like to see a NEW IRELAND where all communities get along - and a democracy that is plural and secular in the good senses of those words - and where religion of any kind does not play a big role in everyday public life.




FALLS ROAD:

My first parish in Northern Ireland (1978 - 1983) was in Republican West Belfast at the time of The Troubles.

I had reason every day to come into contact with Sinn Fein, the IRA, the IRSP, the INLA and the Official IRA.

I also had reason to liaise with the RUC, the British Army and all the various parts of the Northern Ireland state.

While my first priority was always to serve my own people first, I did find that in order to help them I had to deal with the police, the army, the prison authorities, the N. I. Housing Executive etc. I seemed to be able to balance all these forces reasonably well.

While not being a member of Sinn Fein - I did vote for Sinn Fein - not because I believed in any way with the "armed struggle" but because I thought Sinn Fein had very progressive social policies and were also close to people on the ground.

KILKEEL:




When I was moved to Kilkeel in 1983 I found myself in a very deeply divided community but as on the Falls Road, while putting my own people first I had decent relations with others.

I had a spat with the UDR who were misbehaving but had a good relationship with their colonel who was an English man.

I had another spat with the INLA who were involved in actions that negatively affected my parishioners.

But I got on really well with the Kilkeel parishioners and both they and I were sorry to part in 1984.

LARNE;




When I moved to Larne in 1984 I found myself in an 83% Protestant town in which discrimination in various ways was alive.

I was elected to Larne Borough Council in 1989 as a community candidate with the second highest vote after the DUP.

I had my spats in the council chamber with unionists.

But I did find that I liked the DUP better than I liked the Ulster Unionists - simply because you knew where you stood with the DUP and you did not know where you stood with the UU's. The DUP said what they thought to your face.

During all this time I still voted for SF who received a tiny number of votes in unionist, loyalist East Antrim.

When Sammy Wilson became MP he did not do so on my vote.

SAMMY WILSON MP


But at the last general election, I voted for Sammy - not because he was DUP but because as my local MP he had helped me greatly with a very difficult situation.

It was only at this time that I got to know Sammy Wilson.

I'm quite certain that Sammy Wilson and I have very different views about many things - including same-sex marriage.

But since getting to know him I have found him warm, welcoming, friendly, ordinary and willing to help any constituent with anything.

I also like the fact that he is a larger than life character, with a good sense of humour and no airs and graces about him.

Never before has any political representative given me his personal telephone number - and of course I do not abuse that trust.

So when I got this prison bar problem he was the natural one to turn to.

And whatever the outcome, I will vote again for him again - for the simple reason that he has made himself available to help me. 


We should always judge a person - not by public opinion - but by how we find them when we meet them.

Can I also say that Gerry Adams has always been gracious and friendly to me when we met and I know he would help me if I asked him?




In these parts, we have got to get away from thinking that all on our side are angels and that all on the other side are devils.

There are good and bad people in all communities. 


BUT WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IS THIS:

WHEN YOU ARE UP AGAINST THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH - THERE ARE NOT TOO MANY CATHOLICS WILL COME TO YOUR AID!




Friday, 13 April 2018

RC CLERICS OPPOSING MY PRISON VISIT

WEEKEND BLOG FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 




THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPLAINS AT MAGHABERRY PRISON, JUST OUTSIDE BELFAST HAVE BLOCKED ME VISITING A PARISHIONER OF MINE WHO IS ON REMAND IN THE PRISON!

On Thursday afternoon Assistant Governor Savage told my local MP - Mr. Sammy Wilson that he was blocking my visit to my parishioner after being told to do so by the Roman Catholic chaplains.


SAMMY WILSON MP - EAST ANTRIM

Mr. Wilson was absolutely astounded that in 2018 the Northern Ireland Prison Service was blocking a prisoner having a pastoral visit from the clergyman of his choice.

Not only is the prisoner a parishioner of The Oratory in Larne - but he is also a man with serious mental health issues and I have been supporting him for decades.

Assistant Governor Savage did not say which of the Roman Catholic chaplains gave him instructions not to allow me into the prison.

But the Down and Connor website lists the prison chaplains as:


HM Prison Maghaberry
Old Road, Ballinderry Upper, Lisburn, Co Antrim, BT28 2TP
Tel: (028) 9261 4825

Pastoral Team:

Rev Frank Brady SJ,
Bro Brian Monaghan,
Rev James Madden
Rev Ciaran Dallat

I am wondering if the RC chaplain's objection to me is based on the fact that this Blog dealt with the case of Father Ciaran Dallat making a parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Belfast pregnant when he was PP there?



Is this Ciaran Dallat's way of trying to pay me back for helping the woman he made pregnant and then dumped?

If so, should be he allowed to use the civil service and the needs of a mentally ill prisoner to get his "revenge"?

And, of course, should the Northern Ireland Prison Service be allowing themselves o be used in this way?

After Father Dallat's disgrace, Bishop Treanor obviously felt that it would not be prudent to send Dallat into a parish?

So, instead, Treanor sent him to Maghaberry as a chaplain.

And as a chaplain, Dallet is being paid a handsome salary out of the Northern Ireland taxpayer's pocket.


I am not seeking to minister to the prisoner in question as a Roman Catholic cleric.

I belong to a totally separate religious body called The Oratory Society.

The prisoner in question attends Sunday Mass at The Oratory in Larne.

I am seeking to minister to my parishioner as the senior pastor of The Oratory.

That is not the business of any other church - including the Church of Rome.

The Church of Rome has absolutely no connection with me and has no authority over me.

Why then should it be in a position to instruct the Northern Ireland authorities how to deal with me?


AND - are the Northern Ireland Prison Service not very fooling to used by their Roman Catholic chaplains to basically become involved in RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION?

As a first step to address this instance of religious discrimination Sammy Wilson is writing to the Governor of Maghaberry Prison - Mr. David Kennedy.


MAGHABERRY GOVERNOR - DAVID KENNEDY

Hopefully, Governor Kennedy will look further into this matter and resolve it before it becomes both a parliamentary or judicial issue - especially in view of Maghaberry Prison's Statement of Good Practice:

"Examples of good practice

The prison service has a duty to provide for the pastoral needs of prisoners of other faiths and a register of pastors and ministers of minority faiths, willing to provide pastoral care for prisoners, is maintained. When the need arises, prisoners registered as other faiths for which no chaplains are appointed, may on request receive a visit from a Pastor or Minister of their own religion.  


Maghaberry Chaplaincy say;

“No matter how pleasant the surroundings prison can be an unpleasant place. The prison chaplains are here to show prisoners that, no matter what the crime, it does not mean that God has given up on the offender. There are chaplains for Church of Ireland, Free Presbyterian, Methodist, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic prisoners. Arrangements can be made for those of other denominations or religions".


Thursday, 12 April 2018

'I ask forgiveness of all those I have offended,' Pope says in letter to Chilean bishops
Catholic Herald 11.4.2018

Pope Francis has apologized for underestimating the seriousness of the sexual abuse crisis in Chile following a recent investigation into allegations concerning Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.
The Pope said he made “serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information”.
“I ask forgiveness of all those I have offended and I hope to be able to do it personally in the coming weeks,” the Pope said in the letter, which was released by the Vatican. Several survivors apparently have been invited to the Vatican to meet the Pope.


KARADIMA

Abuse victims alleged that Bishop Barros – then a priest – had witnessed their abuse by his mentor, Fr Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Fr Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys. Fr Karadima denied the charges. He was not prosecuted civilly because the statute of limitations had run out.
Protesters and victims said Bishop Barros is guilty of protecting Fr Karadima and was physically present while some of the abuse was going on.
During his visit to Chile in January, Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the sexual abuse committed by some priests in Chile.
“I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some of the ministers of the Church,” he said.
However, speaking to reporters, he pledged his support for Bishop Barros and said: “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I will speak. There is not one piece of evidence against him. It is calumny.”


BARROS

He later apologised to the victims and admitted that his choice of words wounded many.
A short time later, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis was sending a trusted investigator to Chile to listen to people with information about Bishop Barros.
The investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, is president of a board of review within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The board handles appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse or other serious crimes. The archbishop also had 10 years of experience as the Vatican’s chief prosecutor of clerical sex abuse cases at the doctrinal congregation.
Pope Francis said Archbishop Scicluna and his aide, Fr Jordi Bertomeu Farnos, heard the testimony of 64 people and presented him with more than 2,300 pages of documentation. Not all of the witnesses spoke about Fr Karadima and Bishop Barros; several of them gave testimony about abuse alleged to have occurred at a Marist Brothers’ school.
After a “careful reading” of the testimonies, the Pope said, “I believe I can affirm that all the testimonies collected speak in a brutal way, without additives or sweeteners, of many crucified lives and, I confess, it has caused me pain and shame.”
The Pope said he was convening a meeting in Rome with the 34 Chilean bishops to discuss the findings of the investigations and his own conclusions “without prejudices nor preconceived ideas, with the single objective of making the truth shine in our lives”.
Pope Francis said he wanted to meet the bishops to discern immediate and long-term steps to “re-establish ecclesial communion in Chile in order to repair the scandal as much as possible and re-establish justice”.
Archbishop Scicluna and Fr Bertomeu, the Pope said, had been overwhelmed by the “maturity, respect and kindness” of the victims who testified.
“As pastors,” the Pope told the bishops, “we must express the same feeling and cordial gratitude to those who, with honesty [and] courage” requested to meet with the envoys and “showed them the wounds of their soul”.
Following the release of Pope Francis’s letter, Bishop Santiago Silva Retamales, president of the bishops’ conference and head of the military ordinariate, said the bishops of Chile would travel to the Vatican in the third week of May.
The bishops, he said, shared in the Pope’s pain.
“We have not done enough,” he said in a statement. “Our commitment is that this does not happen again.


PAT

So, the pope admits he was wrong about clerical sexual abuse in Chile?

So much for Papal Infallibility.

It was quite clear to the rest of us that there was a major sexual abuse problem in Chile - as there is and has been in every country around the world.

In fact, one of the big scandals yet to come will the amount of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic missionary priests - including Irish missionaries - in places like Africa and South America. I believe that these missionaries will have abused countless thousands of people in Africa and South America.

One of the main reasons that this abuse has not yet come to light is the primitive media situations in these countries.

As this media situation develops this juggernaut scandal will hurtle down the Roman Catholic highway.

It is also now very clear that the Bishop of Rome and his staff have played a major covering up role in sexual abuse around the RC world.


The top is about to come off the Chile sexual abuse box very soon. That will be followed by thousands of reports and information from all over South America and Africa.

It will probably be a greater scandal that the abuse in the West has been.

I once celebrated the wedding of an Irish nurse who had worked with a religious order in Africa for a number of years. There were 17 Irish priests on the mission. The nurse told me that she knew for certain that 16 of them were sexually active with men, women, and others!

The next big wave of Catholic clerical sexual abuse will come out of the so-called "Third World".

While many innocent Irish Catholics were collecting pennies for the "Black Babies" many of those babies / children were being abused.




Wednesday, 11 April 2018

MEANWHILE IN ARMAGH...




THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH - EAMON MARTIN - HAS BEGUN AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSE BY A PRIEST OF THE DIOCESE, OF A WOMAN WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AFTER A COMPLAINT WAS LODGED BY ONE OF THE WOMAN'S CHILDREN.

The alleged abuse is not recent and goes back to twenty or more years ago - but the priest is still in ministry in the archdiocese.

The alleged relationship in question appears to have had a very profound effect on the whole family.

I have been aware of the allegation for many years as the woman in question approached me many years ago and claimed that the priest had taken advantage of her.

At the time I wrote to Sean Brady about the alleged abuse and I also put the woman in touch with several other women who had been in what they themselves described as "abusive relationships" with both diocesan and religious order priests. 

That began the formation of a group of women called "Bethany" - a support group for women who claimed to have had abusive relationships with priests.

One of the founders of Bethany was a Cork woman. She came forward in the wake of Bishop Eamon Casey scandal.

Cardinal Cahal Daly had said on RTE Radio that my claims that there were hundreds of such women in Ireland were malicious rumour-mongering.

The Cork woman was incensed by Daly's comment and range RTE and stated publicly on the radio that she was "another one of the malicious rumours".

Another founding member was a woman from England who had been abandoned by an Irish priest who had also given her two children.

Another still, was a Northern Irish woman who had been involved with a religious order priest who was involved with three women at the one time - a married woman, a widow, and a nun.




This priest had worked out for himself that he was "spiritually married" to the nun and that allowed them to have penetrative sex. He generously restricted himself to non-penetrative sex with the married woman and the widow.

I once introduced two women in the Munster area so that they could support each other. Over dinner one evening they discovered that they had both been sleeping with the same priest. They later nicknamed him "Father Rabbit".




Today, I have written to Amy to say that I will be available to be interviewed in the course of his current investigation.


The whole issue of priests having relationships with woman and fathering children was a much bigger issue in the past when the Catholic priesthood had more heterosexual men in its ranks. 

Nowadays with seminaries and younger priest being mainly homosexual, it is probably a lesser issue.

But I suppose that even today the odd heterosexual man manages to get himself ordained.