Thursday, 11 February 2016


Is God a Monster? A Response to Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry doesn't believe in God. But he's furious with him. I can sympathise.


His God is an "utter maniac" who, despite being "all seeing, all wise, all kind, all beneficent", sits by while children die of bone cancer.
Judging by the reaction to his rant, this is the God that other people have in mind too. It's a God I've had in mind, and railed at, and hated.
So I'm not dismissive of the rant, because this isn't a God plucked from nowhere, a cartoonish fantasy that nobody with a faith has ever squared up to.
Fry knows this, because he starts his speech by describing it as "what's known as theodicy" (Wikipedia: "the attempt to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil"). People of faith have been engaged in this attempt for thousands of years: philosophers and theologians, and those with the best qualifications - people who have gone through the sorts of terrible things Fry has in mind when he describes God as "utterly monstrous".

C S Lewis

CS Lewis lost both his mother and his wife to cancer. If you really want to read some fantastic tirades against God I'd recommend A Grief Observed over Fry any day. Brutal.

Pete Greig's God on Mute, written after his wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour, should also be a classic.

Peter Greig

Nicky Gumbel, whose family died in the Holocaust, described Fry's question as "the biggest moral objection to the Christian faith, and no one has really ever come up with a satisfactory answer."

I appreciate that kind of honesty.
I watched my Mum die from cancer from when I was ten until I was 12, and there's nothing worse than hearing attempts to explain it that, even as a child, are utterly unconvincing (and infuriating):
"He allowed it to happen so that good could come out of it"
"It means that you'll be able to help other people who have gone through it".
I don't want this to turn into a Bible study, but having read the thing cover to cover (it took me two years and to be honest I skipped the bits about measuring things in cubits), I can confirm that Fry's material has been doing the rounds for a while.
"Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?"
Psalm 44:23-24
I don't have the answer to Fry's question.
But I have rejected his God.
I can't, and don't, believe in a God who is "capricious, mean-minded, stupid".
Neither do I believe in the sort of heaven presented in the film on death produced by the British Humanist Association, which he narrated - a place you hope to scrape into if you've done enough good things to merit a reward.

To be fair, Fry was responding to the sort of God given to him by the presenter: the bouncer at the "pearly gates".
(Incidentally, it was quite funny when this presenter said: "And you think you're going to get in?"
My personal impression of God post the two-year Bible read is that he has a soft spot for ranters.
I also imagine he found the Speckled Jim episode hilarious.)

Speckled Jim

So, no, I don't spend my life cravenly thanking a God who sits on a cloud just watching while we suffer.
The God I believe in is loving, compassionate, present - sometimes through other people - and cries with those who suffer.
"Jesus wept"
The last person I heard say this was watching The Voice with me.
But it's in the Bible and I love it.
I think we're a bit embarrassed about talking about the actual experience of faith here in the UK. But surely it's this that enables people to struggle with theodicy but believe in, love, and even trust in God anyway. It could be a feeling, a conversation, a dream, a sense during a prayer that he (or she) has heard, and cares.
Fry talks about a world of "pain and injustice" but in some of the countries that are arguably far less shielded from this than the UK, faith is thriving.
I'll always remember interviewing a survivor of the Cambodian genocide who became a Christian after a dream in which he saw a church shining. And the woman who lost her husband in the Rwandan genocide.
"I clung on to faith for a good long time after that, and God provided such a stability through the trauma," she told me. "But over the years it really challenged my faith, to the point where I was wondering: how could God let that happen, and is there really a God at all? I think in the long term, it has grounded me and strengthened me in my faith."
So the one thing I really take issue with is Fry's suggestion that: "The moment you banish him, your life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living."
It's a bit like the atheist bus sign that read "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life"
Pretty patronising.
I don't doubt that some people found it liberating.
But it discounts the people who take a huge amount of comfort and strength from their faith, precisely BECAUSE they actually have quite a lot to worry about.
I'll end with the bit in CS Lewis' The Magician's Nephew where the Boy asks the Lion for a cure for his mother, who is dying of cancer:

"Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself."

Tuesday, 9 February 2016


BY: Michael Brown.

Outspoken British atheist Stephen Fry was recently asked what he would say to God if such a being really existed and he encountered him/her/it after death. His reply was passionate, eloquent, defiant and irreverent. I wonder what God might say to him.
How would the Creator respond to being characterized by a mere mortal as "utterly evil ... capricious, mean-minded, stupid" and "monstrous," among other choice descriptions?
The first error made by Fry was assuming he would be able to speak at all in God's presence, having no idea that he would suddenly encounter perfect purity, unimaginable love, absolute goodness, untainted justice, blazing truth and unadulterated light.

In a moment, he would be overwhelmed by his own sinfulness—not so much as an atheist but as a human being—his selfishness, his arrogance, his carnality and his hypocrisy.
Rather than rebuking God, he would be reproaching himself, wailing aloud, "I am so very, very sorry for who I am and what I have done. Could you possibly have mercy on a wretch like me?"
But what of the substance of his remarks? What if he could have his say with God? How would the Lord respond?
Fry was outraged that an allegedly loving and compassionate God could allow such terrible suffering among His creation, stating that he would say to the Deity, "bone cancer in children, what's that about? How dare you. How dare you create a world where there is such misery that's not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil."
God might say to him, "I applaud you for your moral indignation. In fact, you got it straight from Me. If you were simply the result of a freak, unguided evolutionary accident and your brain waves were just the result of neurons firing, you would have no more moral indignation than a zebra being eaten alive by lions or a fly being devoured by a spider.

"The very fact that you care and that you know that such suffering is not right is a reflection of my image in you. But in reality, you don't know the half of it. I am in constant pain because of the suffering of my creation. The cries and agony are in my ears day and night."
As explained by the German Christian leader Basilea Schlink, "Anyone who loves as much as God does cannot help suffering. And anyone who really loves God will sense that He is suffering."
The Lord might also say, "There's something else you're missing. Your own race commits the most horrific, barbaric atrocities day and night—willfully and with premeditation—from burning people alive in a cage to raping little children, from kidnapping and torturing innocent victims to blowing up hundreds of people at a time.

"Yet I don't just step in and wipe them all out. Why? Because I am more longsuffering than you could ever imagine, and I have created you with a free will so that you could choose to love Me or hate Me. Would you prefer that I take your freedom from you? Or would you prefer that you never existed?"
Of course, Fry had his guns fully loaded, stating that he would say to God, "Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"
The Creator might reply, "What you fail to understand is that for Me to create a world inhabited by free moral agents involves the possibility of evil and great suffering, and it is the freedom of the human race that has produced the agony of the human race."
"But," Fry would surely protest, "bone cancer in children is surely not their fault. Natural disasters that wipe out thousands in a moment of time are surely not our fault."
Or to quote his exact words, "Yes, the world is very splendid, but it also has in it insects whose whole life cycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind ... ."
In response, the Lord might say, "Doesn't it seem contradictory to you that I could make such an incredible universe and world, filled with such beauty and splendor and majesty, with human beings standing as the pinnacle of my creation, crafted with precision and skill beyond all mortal calculation, and yet a world filled with those deadly insects you mentioned?  Did you ever wonder about that?
"If only you had seen the world before what we call 'the Fall.' You would have been utterly stunned by its beauty and perfection. And if you could see the world to come, a world devoid of pain and heartache, a world devoid of plague and pestilence, a world devoid of murder and rape, a world of indescribable wonder and beauty, you would be astonished beyond words.
"It is human sin that has polluted this world, and I am in the process of turning this terrible evil into something incredibly good. And although this completely transcends your understanding—remember that what you don't know is infinitely greater than what you do know—it will be worth it all in the end."
According to Fry, "The god who created this universe, if he created this universe, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish. We have to spend our lives on our knees thanking him. What kind of god would do that?"
To this God might say, "Does anyone force you to look at beauty? Does anyone require you to appreciate good? I call on My creation to worship Me to remind them of who I am and who they are—after all, it is My prerogative as Creator—but in doing so, as they gaze on me and recognize My holy qualities, they are raised up in character and attitude and faith, becoming more and more like Me, coming into the fullness of My image in them.
"Whatever I do for My glory I also do for your good, if you only recognize who I am and humble yourself before Me."
Fry claimed that "atheism is not just about not believing that there is a God. ... It's perfectly apparent that he is monstrous. Utterly monstrous and deserves no respect whatsoever. The moment you banish him, life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living in my opinion."

To the contrary, as countless millions will attest, it is the moment you truly come to know Him and experience Him that life takes on real meaning. And we come to know Him most fully through Jesus.
Perhaps God would have ended things on that note, saying, "What you have completely overlooked is that I am not some indifferent bystander. I get involved in the pain of my creation.
"In fact, through Jesus, I entered into this world and took the place of sinners and rebels and tyrants and scoundrels and mass murderers and every other foul expression of humanity, giving My Son as a payment for your transgressions so that you, along with every other person who has ever lived, might go free and might enjoy My blessing forever.
"Are you really going to reproach Me, Stephen?"
A caller to my radio show suggested that at the root of atheism was a sense of divine betrayal, as if God had somehow let the person down in their moment of greatest need, after which they concluded that He must not be there at all.
As my friend Dr. Frank Turek often says, what many atheists really feel is: "There is no God, and I hate Him."
Perhaps this is what happened to Fry as well, or perhaps, as a homosexual, he felt excluded by the church and rejected by God.
Either way, I imagine in this encounter beyond the grave that the Lord might have pinpointed the root of Fry's atheism, at which moment he might have dissolved in tears, for the first time seeing the love of the Father.
The good news is that Stephen Fry is yet living and breathing, and where there's life, there's hope.
Let's lift up a prayer on his behalf.

Monday, 8 February 2016



Sean Brady


Parishioners say that the protest and presbytery siege ended with Father Moore addressing people in tears from a presbytery window.

Sean Moore PP 
Some of the parents are objecting to Sean Brady conducting the confirmation ceremony because of his involvement in the cover up of the child sexual abuse case surrounding the notorious Irish priest paedophile Father Brendan Smyth. 

Father Brendan Smyth
Also involved in the dispute between the parents and the church in the past week has been the administrator of Armagh Cathedral Father Peter McAnenly

Peter McAnenly Adm
The Parish of Middleton is a completely separate parish with its own parish priest. It is thought that Father McAnenly is involved because he has been approached about the dispute by a Middleton parishioner. 


The amazing thing about this dispute is the total physical and leadership absence of the man in charge of Armagh and its confirmations - Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Eamon Martin

He is the one who should be sorting out this dispute - not the tearful Father Moore or the marginal Father McAnenly.

Is Eamon Martin gone into hiding in his Mammy's House?


Sean Brady retired early in disgrace over his handing of the Father Brendan Smyth case. He should stay in retirement. He in already in his 70's.

If I were a Middleton parent I would NOT want Sean Brady confirming my child.

But where is the leadership in Armagh. Where is Eamon Martin? He should leave his Mammy's House and go to Middleton and meet Father Moore, the school principal and the parents and arrange to confirm the children himself on February 21st.

Its a disgrace that concerned parents should be carried out of church property by the PSNI.

Friday, 5 February 2016




While all this stuff about rabbits is funny and causing much laughter it does not and cannot detract from the inescapable fact that the diocese of Down and Connor,once proud and rich in history, is descending into a complete mess! 

Priests,who should be living lives enriched by the sanctity of grace at ordination are now engaging in sexual relationships,sometimes quite openly. 

Live in lovers,both male and female,are being flaunted in some parishes to the disgust of parishioners who have to listen ( or not as is becoming apparent in some parishes) to these hypocrites proclaim the Gospel. 

Their behaviour is scandalising those of us who work hard at being faithful to our sacredotal vows and promises. But perhaps the greatest scandal of all is that nobody in authority seems to care any more. It is as if an edict from on high has instructed our bishop (and others) to " turn a blind eye" to these sickening behaviours.

When I think of the many fine and good priests who have served in this presbyterate with great diligence,charity and humility over the years and compare their devotion to priesthood and the people they served with what is going on in many parishes now my stomach turns

Bishop Treanor is a good man with many fine qualities I have no doubt but I honestly feel that he is out of his depth in this diocese and unable ( or maybe unwilling) to sort out the immoral morass that D&C is becoming. In Gods name will someone,somewhere take the bull by the horns sort this out.

I know this blog is read closely by the clergy. If you feel as hurt and offended as I do then make your feelings known through here. It may save you from being victimised if you speak openly at a clergy gathering.

De Profundis


Thursday, 4 February 2016


We all know that Breenie has Pink Rabbits. Years ago the man who occupied Breenie's chair probably had fewer pink rabbits than he had Brown Rabbits. However there were still active Pink Rabbits in the old days. There was Charlie Rabbit who started life around Garron Tower and ended his days at Finaghy Road North. There was Sean Rabbit who was well known in the fields around Glengormley. In Andersonstown at a time there were two Pink Rabbits sharing the same patch at the same time - Tom Cunning Rabbit and Doylie Rabbit. There were others too.

But things have changed. There are more Pink Rabbits in Rabbithood than ever. What does Breenie think about this?

Well, like many other issues, Breenie has never made his views on Pink Rabbits or even on Pinkiness itself known. So in the absence of a declared position we can only assume that Breenie holds the same position as his colleagues in the NACITAV. That is - its not a sin to be Pink but it is a sin to act out your Pinkiness. 

So in Breenies patch we can safely assume that there are three kinds of Pink Rabbits - Pink Rabbits who act out their Pinkiness and Pink Rabbits who do not act out their Pinkiness. The third kind could be called "Super Pinkies" - as they "breed" all over the place and "breed" with anyone and everyone they can "breed" with. 

In past years it was possible to sight Pink Rabbits around the Giant's Ring and Malone House in South Belfast - some of them with a penchant for black leather. 

I have several Rabbit Spotters who keep in touch with me and in recent years they have reported definitive sightings in Portstewart, Coleraine, Portglenone, The Glens, Glenavy, Lisburn, Lower Falls, New Lodge, Carryduff, Dunmurry and South Down.

I think that we can say with confidence that the Pink Rabbit species is thriving and is in no danger of extinction. 

The author of this Blog has a DNA base and more detailed information of the various Pink Rabbits sighted in the sights mentioned above and elsewhere if anyone needs any more information for good and valid reasons. 

In fact I am also aware of some Senior Special Rabbits from at home and abroad


Wednesday, 3 February 2016


Once upon a time there was a rabbit called Mars who lived in the lovely green fields that lie to the south of the great city of Belfast . Mars was an old rabbit and like all old rabbits his fur had begun to turn grey especially around his ears and on the top of his head. But he was a lively rabbit and showed no sign of his age. He ran in and out of his burrow at great speeds and if you watched him negotiate the fields you be struck at his jumping powers. He could jump as high as most younger rabbits. In fact he liked to boast that he was "an older, younger, rabbit".


Mars, in the earlier part of his life, had been, as they say, "unlucky in love". On the one hand that made him sad - but on the other hand he had made a definite decision many years ago that "better late than never" so mentally, emotionally and physically he had never given up hope of finding the rabbit of his dreams. Like many of those who never stopped dreaming he found one day that his dream had come true. He spotted and fell in love with a beautiful lady rabbit some years younger than himself. Her name was Duffy.


Being a bachelor rabbit he had lived in a bachelor burrow. It was not the most comfortable and beautiful of burrows but it was a fine burrow on a hill overlooking the flowing hills. Initially Mars invited Duffy to visit him in his burrow. Duffy liked Mars and his burrow and started to put the female touch to the burrow which pleased Mars greatly. Eventually Duffy started staying over the odd night and this made Mars even more happy. 

Some of Mars neighbouring rabbits, who were set in their ways, did not appreciate the arrival of Duffy. They complained about Duffy's presence to each other and they even went as far as complaining about Mars and Duffy to the County Down Senior Rabbit - a rabbit called Breenie.


But Breenie was a very self centred Senior Rabbit and did not care what the rabbits in his area did as long as it did not cause him any personal grief or trouble. So Breenie never even mentioned Duffy to Mars.

Spurred on by Breenie turning the myxomatosis eye to the situation Mars was emboldened and suggested to Duffy that she move in permanently with him and into his burrow and let out her own burrow to some other rabbit. In this way both Mars and Duffy would have all the pleasures and privileges of a shared burrow life and also have extra income to finance their new and special life together.

Of course neighbouring and far away rabbits continued to complain about this situation but Mars and Duffy just ignored them and got on with their new life together. As Mars said to Duffy: "There's only one thing worse than being talked about and that's not been talked about".  

At this stage one cannot say that Mars and Duffy lived happily ever after. But one can say that to date no one has upset Mars and Duffy's apple (or carrot) cart. 

We will keep you updated on the ongoing saga of Mars, Duffy and their many friends :-) 

Monday, 1 February 2016


Three days after his successor at St Peter's Cathedral took over Hugh Kennedy was still as large as life at the 11 am Schola Cantorum Mass - praising all and sundry and humbly receiving a standing ovation from the gathered Mass goers.

He was accompanied by three other clergy - the two Redemptorists who kept St Peter's going while Hugh was "on leave" and his old "friend" - Father Kevin McMullan - who he said had given him his love for music.

The new administrator, Father Martin Graham was conspicuous by his absence. Down and Connor clergy tell me that Hugh and Martin do not get on and have had their clashes - even though Martin Graham is reputed to be musical himself?

Martin Graham

At the end of the Mass Hugh made all his "thank you" remarks:

- To Martin Graham for permission to say Mass.

- To the parishioners who had been kind to him.

- To the 11 am congregation.

- To those who work in the sacristy and presbytery.

- To the parish sisters who were his inspiration.

- To Nigel McClintock the choir master for his "vision".

Hugh and Mr McClintock in Rome

- To the boys of the Schola.

He also invited everyone to tea and coffee made by lady parishioners in the adjacent parish centre.

So, the end of an era as Hugh heads off to London.

It appears that Cardinal Nichols of Westminister has received some correspondence on Hugh's appointment in Westminster.

We will see what the future brings. 

Sunday, 31 January 2016


Cardinal Bertone Returns $200,000 to the Bambino Gesù — Baby Jesus — Children’s Hospital
by Christopher A. Ferrara

Cardinal Bertone, the former Vatican Secretary of State, was the Vatican’s go-to man for managing the Third Secret cover-up, as I document at great length in my book on the subject
Well, it seems Bertone has been involved in another cover-up — not that I am surprised. La Stampa reports that he has just made a $200,000 “gift” (€150,000) to the Bambino Gesù — Baby Jesus — Children’s Hospital. Why? Because that sum was paid out by the hospital foundation for the renovation of the lavish penthouse apartment, a combination of two smaller apartments, in which Bertone resides.

Top apartment with view of St Peters Square

That’s right: the coffers of a children’s hospital were raided to pay for Bertone’s penthouse, which he insists is not “his,” technically, because he only lives there.
This outrageous misuse of charitable funds was revealed, says La Stampa, in the course of “Vatileaks 2 and the publication of Gialuigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi’s books ‘Merchants in the Temple’ and ‘Avarice.’” Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Bertone has now replaced the cookies in a big hurry — or rather, will put them back a few cookies at a time, with installment payments, as BBC reports. Think of it as a kind of mortgage on Chez Bertone!
The hospital’s statement on this scandal is a classic of artful Vaticanese: “Cardinal Bertone did not receive any money directly, however, he acknowledged that all that which happened damaged our hospital and our foundation … and thus he is making amends to us with a donation.”
A picture says a thousand words!

Translation: The hospital’s money went into Bertone’s penthouse, not literally into his pocket. In other words, the money was effectively stolen from ailing children — indirectly, of course. Which is why Bertone is “making amends” for “damage to the hospital” — that is, making restitution of what was misappropriated to his benefit.
To quote the BBC story: “Cardinal Bertone said he had paid for the work on his residence himself. However, documents leaked to reporters earlier this year allege the €200,000 came from the Bambino Gesu Foundation.” The BBC story notes that, even as he returns the money, Bertone has the audacity to insist that he didn’t take it: “It’s not reimbursement, because I personally haven’t done any damage…” That’s like a child telling his parents he didn’t steal from the cookie jar, his hand did.
Back in May 2014, I reported here that Bertone was under investigation “‘for a discrepancy of around 20 million (€15 million) that somehow made it from the Vatican Bank (known as the Institute for the Works of Religion) to a private television company called Lux Vide,’ which is operated by one of Bertone’s  friends.” It would seem the penthouse affair is the tip of a very large iceberg.
Man proposes - God disposes !

But let us not forget Bertone’s co-conspirator in the Third Secret cover-up: his predecessor, Cardinal Sodano, who “interpreted” the execution of “the Bishop dressed in White” outside a devastated city filled with the dead, as seen in the visional aspect of the Secret, to signify John Paul II not being executed in 1981, so that the Secret “belongs to the past.” Right. This is the same corrupt prelate who “was instrumental in covering up for decades the immense scandal involving Father Marcial Maciel Degollado.”
How fitting it is that the two foremost promoters of a corrupted Message of Fatima in the hierarchy today are also involved in the corruption that Pope Francis vowed he would expunge from the Vatican. But, nearly three years into this “hope and change” pontificate, it appears to be business as usual, as Bertone escapes punishment by giving back what he took a little at a time — and then only after the incriminating documents appeared in a book. This too is no surprise.

Saturday, 30 January 2016


Fr John Gallagher

The diocese of Palm Beach has hit back at claims by one of its priests that he has been ostracized for helping to prosecute a suspected pedophile priest who was jailed for six months for having shown a 14-year-old parishioner up to 40 pornographic images on his phone.

The Catholic Whistleblowers network, which is dedicated to exposing abuse cover-ups, has weighed in in support of Fr. John Gallagher, claiming the diocese of Palm Beach demoted him because he wasn't "silent about alleged sexual abuse of minor children."

Irish-born Gallagher has served in Palm Beach since 2000 and claims he was stood down from his role in the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in West Palm Beach for reporting abuse-related activities concerning Franciscan​ Fr Jose Palimattom, a visiting priest from India, who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ for just four weeks in December 2014 when a complaint was made.

Fr Pallimatom
Speaking to the Pat Kenny Radio Show Jan. 27 in Ireland, the 48-year-old priest also claimed that when he contacted the diocese to report the incident the morning after it had been reported to him, the diocesan official told him, "We've dealt with this before, we normally put them on a plane and send them back."
When he told the diocesan official that he was cooperating with the sheriff he was told, "Well you don't have to give them all the information."
According to Gallagher, when he related the fact to the official that the incident between Palimattom and the boy had been captured by a security camera, "they asked me not to reveal that information to the sheriff's office."
In his radio interview, Gallagher alleged that the diocese removed his possessions from his parochial house and changed the locks on his home and his office.
He said shortly after April 1, 2015, "things came to a head between the diocese and myself. They told me you don't think and operate with the same mindset as we operate with."
Police believe Palimattom was grooming the teen. Palimattom served a six-month sentence and was given a year's probation and deported from the U.S.
 On Thursday, Jan. 28, the diocese of Palm Beach issued a news statement in which it revealed that Palimattom had been invited to serve in the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ by Gallagher. It said that during its screening process, no prior misconduct was revealed.
The statement, which was issued by Dianne Laubert, communications director for the Florida diocese, said it was "deeply disheartened and troubled" by the allegations of Gallagher and stated that it could no longer stand by in "relative silence when we know the allegations are a complete inaccurate representation of the facts."
Elsewhere it stated Gallagher "was not named as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Church for a number of reasons not related to the incident involving Father Palimattom," and that "access to [Gallagher's] residence was never denied him, nor was he refused sacraments."
"At his request, he was placed on leave and continues to receive salary, health insurance and benefits," the statement continued.
According to the diocese, the County Tyrone-born priest was assigned to a different parish as parochial vicar and was due to begin there July 1, 2015, but he never took up the assignment because he asked to be put on medical leave, which was granted by Bishop Gerald Barbarito.

But Gallagher told media that he was "threatened by the diocese, offered a denotation, and I was asked to resign from priesthood."
In his interview with the Pat Kenny Radio Show he said the diocese told him "We are not happy with your performance or what you have done."
According to Gallagher, he had been operating as a one-man parish with nine Mases. "My collection went up 12% and I took $147,000 off the debt in the time that I was there. The people voted with their feet and their support and our Mass attendance went up."
He also highlighted that when he came out of the hospital after his suspected heart attack, the interim pastor in the parish, in addition to changing the locks, had "asked for my keys from Sr. Ann Monahan, a Dominican of over 67 years, and because she had been in my room getting stuff for me he fired her instantly on the spot and he escorted her off the premises like a criminal."
Gallagher said that he contacted both the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors about this matter, but he received no reply or acknowledgement.
He also revealed that Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who heads up the Vatican safeguarding commission, telephoned him from Rome on Oct. 8, and told him to take a vacation.

NCR sought a response from the archdiocese of Boston on this but received no reply.
According to Gallagher, he decided to go public about the row because after 24 years as a priest, his "legal counsel said to me you have nowhere else to go but into the public domain -- you've given the church every opportunity."
The Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee demanded in their statement that the officials of the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, "intervene justly in this matter."
"It is outrageous that Fr. John Gallagher, who has been complimented and lauded by law enforcement officials for contacting them about alleged sexual abuse of a minor child by a priest, is not being treated as a hero by Catholic Church officials, including his bishop," they said.
The Catholic Whistleblowers group demanded that Gallagher "be restored immediately to priestly ministry with all related faculties, benefits, and apologies."

In addition, they said Barbarito should be fired immediately by Pope Francis for his mishandling of the matter.