Sunday, 25 November 2012



The Redemptorist priest Father Gerard Moloney has, in recent days, launched a huge defence of Ireland's priests that reads like a "poor us, poor me" treatise.

He claims that Irish priests have problems in six areas:

1. Priests are over worked!
2. Priests are lonely!
3. Priests are suffering from the fall out of sex abuse by fellow priests!
4. Priests are finding it hard to pray!
5. Priests are suffering because the world has become more secular!
6. Priests are not getting enough support from each other and bishops!


Its nonsense to say that priests are over worked. They might have to say a few Masses everyday and celebrate funerals and weddings. So what?

I am the oldest of 17 children. My Dad, Jim, initially worked 8 - 12 hours a day on a building site and in a factory just to put enough food on the table and to keep us warm and clothed. Later in life he had two jobs - a day job and an evening job that kept him going from 9am to Midnight. I never heard him complain that he was overworked - even though he was. What priest works as hard as that?

Most priests I know have a very easy life. They say a few Masses a day and do the odd wedding or funeral and have loads of time off to go golfing, attend clerical dinners and gambling sessions, wine and dine with middle and upper class parishioners and have several holidays a year.

They drive new / newish cars, build holiday and retirement homes, leave tens of thousands in their wills and have a free house for life with all their bills paid. 

I work seven days a week myself, travel the country celebrating weddings and my door bell and telephone never stops ringing. But I'm not complaining. I was ordained to serve God and others and I'd much prefer to be doing what I'm doing than having to spend 8 / 10 hours on a building site in hail, rain or show. And I have no income from the church and have to raise all my own income and pay my bills. I have no savings, no clerical pension to look forward to when and if I retire.

To say that most priests are over worked is bull shit.


More bull shit. Most priests nowadays have secret partners in their lives - a man if they are gay and a woman if they are straight. They are also part of the "Clerical Club" and wine, dine and holiday. There might be the occasional oddball priest who is lonely. 

I run an organization called BETHANY for women who are or who have been involved with priests.  We have 120 women as members. They are all involved with or have been involved with secular priests (parishes) or Order priests like Father Moloney's Redemptorist. Several of them have had babies for priests and 6 of them have had priest babies aborted. 

Sometimes priests and nuns are involved in sexual relationships called "Spiritual Marriages". Lots of other priests are involved with married or single women. Many priests are "Jack the Lad" and keep several women on the go at a time.

Father Molomey says that if a priest has a female friend it should be in the open and involve family and friends. But family and friends are not always around when the priest and nun or women sneak off to a caravan, a country cottage or a hotel for a bit of "How's Your Father". I challenge Father Moloney to say publicly that he does not know of many priests with women and men in their lives.


Of course all of us in the priesthood are affected by priestly sexual abuse. I have been verbally abused on the street of Dublin by people.  So what?

Those really hurt by the abuse are the victims. And If I, as a priest, have to be a channel for people's anger so be it. Its my Church and my priesthood too and if people need to vent their frustrations on me my shoulders are big enough to take it.  Jesus died on the Cross to take the blame for all of us. If I have to take a bit of verbal abuse as a follower of Jesus - BRING IT ON!


I find it hard to always have faith and pray. But I persevere at it every day and as a leper among priests I have very little opportunity to pray with other priests. A few years ago when I tried to go on a retreat to the Redemptorists at their HQ at Marianela in Dublin they would not let me in their door in case my presence there embarrassed them with the Irish bishops. 

Trying to maintain a spiritual life in this world is not easy. It was never meant to be. Jesus told us we would have to take up our cross everyday and follow him. Fathers - get on with it!


Of course the world is secular and materialistic. But we Christians and priests are supposed to be a Light in the Darkness, the Salt of the Earth and a Lamp Shining in a prominent place. That's our mission. For too long being a Christian and a priest in "Catholic Ireland" was cushy and easy. Not anymore. We have to earn our respect now. We have to wrestle with other ideologies. We have to leave the nice wooly white sheep and go off into the desert after the lost sheep. But that was the job description I signed up to 36 years ago and all priests sign up to. As they say in AA - WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH - THE TOUGH GET GOING.


We all need support. When Cathal Daly threw me out of my parish 26 years ago I lost all support from the Church and priests. But that threw me back on the support of God, the people I work with and a few family and friends. And that has got me through this quarter of a century. Jesus had no support in the Garden of Gethsemane. At the Cross he only has 3 women and 1 man left supporting him out of the thousands who had cheered him on a week before. 


The real problem that most priests have today is that they have no balls!  On the one hand they want to be part of the Church organisation and on the other hand they want to talk liberal, have secret partners and not stand up to the bishops, the hierarchy and Rome. I'll give Father Moloney and his priest whingers a prescription for happiness and integrity:

1.   Take over your presbytery and church and tell your local bishop you are going to run it your own way from now on. Even if they bring you to court it will take them years to get you out and they will not bring HUNDREDS of priests to court.
2. Take a partner - be it a woman or a man - and love them openly before your people, your bishop and the Boys in Rome and then you won't be lonely.
3. Publicly state that you are in favour of married priests and women priests.
4. Start remarrying divorcees in your churches.
5. Start doing gay and lesbian and gay blessings for your gay and lesbian parishioners.
6. Appoint a good layman to run your parish finances.
7. Appoint good lay people to run the schools that you say takes up all your time.
8. Meet weekly with your fellow priests and their husbands and wives for prayer and a meal together.
9. Wear your collar proudly and if someone gives you grief over church scandals tell them you agree with their grievances.
10. Let more lay people help you if you have a busy parish or parishes and make use of married and women deacons.

 There is only one big question for you to answer father and it is this;


Bishop Pat Buckley

1 comment:

  1. Pat,

    Your critique is somewhat harsh and from my perspective lacks kindness. I hold no banner for the institute of Catholicism but have been blessed by the kindness experienced through people's of great faith who exude positive energy. I hope you find your peace, and can share that with everyone you meet.
    Stay well.