Saturday, 15 June 2013


"The Catholic priesthood is now a gay profession".

So says a priest friend of mine who was ordained for an English diocese and who completed his priestly studies in Rome - where he was bedded by priests, monsignors and bishops.

His statement is backed up by this week's news that Pope Francis is concerned about the "gay lobby" in the Roman curia.

Francis' concern emanates from a secret report that the retired pope left for him in a safe - a study by three top cardinals, one of whom studied the Irish seminary at Maynooth in Kildare and the Irish College in Rome. 

Up until recent years there was a special corridor at Maynooth called the "Pink Corridor" which acted as an inside private cruising area for seminarians who wished to have sex with each other. It was also well known in the Dublin gay community that the wooded area at the back of Maynooth seminary was a great place to cruise for sexual encounters.

After the cardinal's report into the Irish College in Rome it was initially decided by the Irish Catholic Bishops that the 400 year old college should be closed. 

Several former students of the Irish College, now ordained, have told me that the gay lobby in the college was very active and even very aggressive to the other students who did not want to participate.  

There was even a special evening every week where the sexually active gay students used to gather in a designated room to have sex. Those sexually active students also went cruising in Rome's gay cruising clubs and public parks and were regularly seen hanging around Rome's central railway station - a well known pick up point. 

There was a time in the Irish priesthood when the majority of priests were heterosexual and either observed celibacy with various consequences or had secret women in their lives - who often posing as their "housekeepers". 

But nowadays most priests are gay and while a small minority of them observe celibacy most of those gay priests are sexually active.

Recently a Belfast gay man told me of a sexual encounter he had with a priest in a secluded part of a Belfast public park. Another gay man from County Antrim told me of a sexual encounter he had in a public toilet. The following Sunday the man went to Mass and the man from the toilet walked out on the altar to celebrate Mass.  

A number of years ago a Dublin curate had a heart attack and died in a Dublin gay sauna. Fortunately there were two other priests in the sauna at the time who were able to give him general absolution and the Last Rites.

It is not unusual in Ireland either for two priests to be in a long term sexual relationship.

Nor it it unusual for Irish priests (and the occasional Irish bishop) to holiday in Thailand where a variety of services are on offer.

A young serving Irish priest told me of being invited to dinner for two in the bishop's house and the bishop after, a few drinks spoke openly and in an animated fashion of his appreciation of the penis. The young priest said that at no time did the bishop behave improperly towards him. 

As a gay man who is also in a Civil Partnership, I have absolutely no problem with homosexuality and indeed gay priests.

But I do have a problem with sexually active priest, whether gay or straight, living double lives during the week and lecturing everyone else on Sundays about sexual morality or being hard on people in confession who confess sexual sins.

I think that all priest should be allowed to marry or have partnerships and that these things should happen honestly and openly.

I also think that the Catholic Church needs to drag itself into the 21st century on matters of sexual morality.

The current situation is corrupt not because sex is bad but because of hypocrisy and double standards.

Bishop Pat Buckley. 15.6.2013.


  1. 'Lord, let me change the whole world, beginning with myself'.

    Chinese Missionary Prayer.

    My Lord Bishop,

    In this most remarkable post you appear to be telling shocking tales of homosexual activity amongst the clergy whilst on the other hand telling us you are homosexual yourself.

    A case of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. Moreover using the seven veils of , 'Exposing hypocrisy ' whilst doing do.

    An astonishing feat of illogical engineering. Not so much a case of people in glass house should not throw stones , more a case of 'People should not throw stones at their own glass house house.

    A kind of sophistical suicide.

    1. Padraig, I do not get YOUR logic. Do you not think its strange for the Catholic Church to condemn homosexual acts, gay marriage and adoption by gays when it is run by active homosexuals itself?

  2. When I was 15 I used to rant and complain about every thing and everyone under the sun, Your Lordship. This was part and parcel of the child being plunged into the cold bath of adult hood, with its consequential icy shock.

    This quality may be attractive or at least understandable when found in a teenager but may become tiresome in the ranting of a middle aged man.

    There is an old saying, 'No one has become a man until he has forgiven his father? '

    With respect Your Excellency , you have not even started down the path of forgiving your father, the first step in which path is to begin to understand yourself. For how can we begin to understand and come to terms with others limitations if we do not even begin to understand our own?

    But I thank you for one thing. I never knew there was such a thing as a homo homo phobe.

    I do now.

    1. Padraig, your last blog above says a lot more about you than it does about me.

      Also take note of what the priest responder has written below

  3. I am a Priest in Ireland and whilst I find this type of blogging uncomfortable it must be said; there are very serious issues in the Catholic Priesthood!! I am no expert as I am not a health professional, but a lot of it does come from a serious aspect of the human person - sexuality. If I was to be asked in a public way if the Priesthood is a gay profession I would say very little, get nervous and laugh a little. However, if asked privately I would have all the same reactions with the answer 'YES' and provide very clear evidence!! We all need to get real and face up to the truth of it, not to condemn but to help, assist, heal and love!

    1. My Dear Brother Priest - Thank you for your very honest comment.

      I agree with all you say.

      The first step in solving any problem is to admit we have a problem.

    2. Thank you for your kind response Bishop Pat. All Priest's who have their heads screwed on are aware of the issues out there. We have a strange sense of not being able to voice our concerns, in fact I know some who have! To be a Priest in Ireland can leave one isolated, once we speak out we then become isolated from the clergy as well. This I describe as 'hell'!

    3. Thank you for the above thought. It is very sad when you are yourself as a priest and express your real feelings and thoughts you are isolated by the clerical club.

      I have been in that "hell"

      I'm glad you battle on as you do and keep your integrity.


  4. I do not see how we can be , 'Getting real' and ,'Facing up to truth' of things if we hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.

    That is if it is not the good Bishop replying to himself. Which I suspect it is.

  5. Padraig, I reply to Bishop Pat from another Diocese in Ireland. 'Cloak of anonymity', seriously! I am a Priest in Ireland, I have NO PLACE to safely have my views aired! Are you listening to what is being said - NO PLACE! God Rest Matt, but he like so many are despairing at the REAL situation in our CHURCH. You are clearly a thinking Catholic - study Theology, write and open the minds of our people to realise the FREEDOM in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not Canon Law, not in legal wrangling and or clerical power and abuse.

  6. Mr Buckley, I think you write most of these 'anonymous' posts yourself. No priest in his right mind would trust such a serpent as you.

    1. I write all my posts myself. I do not write any comments myself. That's the way a blog works

  7. It is funny that Anonymous above calls Bishop Buckley a serpent. Jesus told us to be as gentle as doves and as cunning as serpents. I was married by Bishop Pat to my second husband - a Protestant. My first husband - a daily Mass goer - beat me around the house.

  8. Dear 'Anonymous', I am the Man & Priest who has written several posts. Are you my Bishop trying to find out who is talking with the 'serpent'! Are you a Christian? A serpent, really!! I think that kind of language is very scary indeed, but I must admitt, typical. In terms of me a Priest writing in Bishop Pat's blog being in my right mind, well I am not a health professional, but I consider myself to be in health currently that is. My fellow curate who is in an apartment several minutes from my presbytery is in his right mind, he spends whatever time he likes here and the rest with his female in their apartment! If you are in my parish you could be paying for it, but that is ok, he wears the right clothes at the right time, bows his head at the right time. Am I annoyed, am I bitter or jealous, NO! In fact he is a good Priest and Man who is in difficulty like so many of us. However, the conservative people like yourself stop us from having a mature theological debate. Why do I trust Bishop Pat - what you see is what you get! Can I say the same for my fellow priest's and Bishops? I say not, but then again I will just be accused of not being in my 'right mind'. Am I attacking the Church, i.e. People of God - NO - I am trying to get us to open up and debate, come forth from our shadows! You may address Bishop Pat, you may address me with any title you like, you can will not ever stop debate and reform from taking place. Come Holy Spirit!

  9. For all the prejudice in the world, love is being created now.