Friday, 23 August 2013

DOWN AND CONNOR BLOG VIEWED BY 842 READERS

DOWN AND CONNOR BLOG VIEWED BY 842 READERS


MY BLOG YESTERDAY ABOUT THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF DOWN AND CONNOR IN BELFAST RECEIVED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF READERS SINCE I STARTED THE BLOG OVER 6 MONTHS AGO. YESTERDAY I HAD 842 READERS - AND NONE OF THE COMMENTS WERE "NEGATIVE"

ALTOGETHER THE BLOG HAS ATTRACTED 31,932 READERS.

I DO NOT THINK I THE NUMBERS SUGGEST THAT I AM A PARTICULARLY GOOD BLOGGER. THEY REFLECT THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED, CONCERNED AND WORRIED.

WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS IN DOWN AND CONNOR DIOCESE IN 2013?

PROBLEM 1: THE BISHOP:

POOR BISHOP NOEL TREANOR IS A VERY SQUARE PEG IN A VERY ROUND HOLE. HIS PERSONALITY TYPE IS COMPLETELY UNSUITED TO BEING A DIOCESAN BISHOP. HE IS EITHER VERY ARROGANT OR VERY SHY. HE IS COMPLETELY UNAPPROACHABLE. HE CANNOT SEEM TO HOLD A NORMAL CHATTY CONVERSATION. HE IS DISTANT FROM BOTH PRIESTS AND PEOPLE. HE SEEMS TO BE AWAY FROM THE DIOCESE A LOT. 
A BISHOP IS SUPPOSED TO BE A LOVING "FATHER" TO HIS PRIESTS AND PEOPLE. NOEL IS MORE LIKE A DISTANT SCHOOL PRINCIPAL WHO NEVER LEAVES THE OFFICE. 
I DO NOT KNOW IF NOEL IS IN PAIN HIMSELF ABOUT ALL OF THIS. BUT HIS PRIESTS AND PEOPLE ARE IN PAIN - THEY ARE LIKE CHILDREN WITH A DISTANT UNAPPROACHABLE FATHER. 

PROBLEM 2: PRIESTS OFF THE MISSION:

CURRENTLT THERE ARE THREE HIGH PROFILE CASES OF DOWN AND CONNOR PRIESTS WHO DO NOT HAVE DIOCESAN APPOINTMENTS - FATHER JOHN MC MANUS, FATHER HUGH KENNEDY AND FATHER PAUL SYMONDS.

THESE THREE PRIESTS HAVE CLOUDS OVER THEIR HEADS. THERE HAVE BEEN ACCUSATIONS AND RUMOURS. BUT IT SEEMS THAT ALL THREE PRIESTS HAVE BEEN CLEARED OF ANY WRONG DOING. AND YET IN A DIOCESE WITH A BIG SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS THESE PRIESTS ARE BEING LEFT IN LIMBO. WHY?




ABOVE FATHER HUGH KENNEDY, FATHER JOHN MC MANUS AND FATHER PAUL SYMONDS.

NONE OF THESE PRIESTS ARE FRIENDS OF MINE. SOME OF THEM WOULD NOT TALK TO ME IF THEY MET ME IN THE STREET. BUT THERE IS A JUSTICE ISSUE HERE. IF THEY HAVE DONE NO WRONG THEN THEY SHOULD BE RESTORED TO MINISTRY. IF THEY ARE UNFIT FOR MINISTRY THEN THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE TOLD SO AND WHY.

PROBLEM 3: PRIESTS ON THE MISSION:

I KNOW FROM COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG AND FROM MY OTHER CONTACTS WITH DOWN AND CONNOR PRIESTS, THAT THERE IS A GREAT DISILLUSIONMENT AMONG THE PRIESTS OF THE DIOCESE. THE PRIESTS HAVE NEVER BEEN AS DEMORALISED AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY.

THEY FEEL THEY HAVE NO REAL LEADERSHIP. THEY FEEL OVER WORKED AND UNDER VALUED. THE CLERICAL SEX ABUSE SCANDALS HAVE LEFT THEM FEARFUL OF ACCUSATIONS AND HOW THEY WILL BE TREATED IN THE FUTURE - ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE ACCUSED. THEY HAVE NO GUARANTEE THAT THE DIOCESE WILL PROTECT THEIR INNOCENCE. 


MANY OF THE PRIESTS ARE SUFFERING FROM STRESS, TENSION, BURN OUT AND SOME ARE ON THE VERGE OF BREAKDOWN. THE SAD SUICIDE OF FATHER MATT WALLACE HAS HEIGHTENED THEIR SENSE OF DREAD AND FEAR.

PROBLEM 4: LONLINESS AND SEXUALITY:

AS IS WITNESSED BY COMMENTS TO YESTERDAY'S BLOG MANY PRIESTS ARE VERY LONELY. MANY ARE NOW RUNNING ONE MAN PARISHES WITH NO OTHER CLERICAL COLLEAGUE.

IN THE PAST THERE WERE MANY SOCIAL GATHERINGS OF PRIESTS IN THE DIOCESE WHERE PRIESTS SHARED A MEAL, A DRINK, A LAUGH AND A GAME OF CARDS. THIS ALL SEEMS TO HAVE EVAPORATED.

MOST PRIESTS STRUGGLE WITH THEIR SEXUALITY. SOME PRIESTS, GAY AND STRAIGHT, HAVE REMAINED FAITHFUL TO CHASTITY AND CELIBACY BUT ARE VERY LONELY.

OTHER PRIESTS HAVE SECRET PARTNERS - WOMEN OR MEN - ARE ARE LIVING IN FEAR OF BEING FOUND OUT.

OTHER DOWN AND CONNOR PRIESTS ARE ACTIVE ON THE GAY SCENE - CRUISING GAY CRUISING AREAS, CRUISING TOILETS, GOING TO SAUNAS - OFTEN IN DUBLLIN. SOME HAVE ANNUAL GAY HOLIDAYS.


SOLUTIONS:

I'VE JUST HAD A COMMENT WHICH READS:

PAT, JUST A QUICK QUESTION. DO YOU THINK YOU BRING A CERTAIN DEGREE OF PRESURE TO US IN D&C WITH YOUR CONSTANT INFORMATION GATHERING AND PASSING TO LISBREEN. DO YOU REALLY OFFER US ANY HELP OR ARE YOU JUST ANOTHER NAIL IN OUR COFFIN. JUST A QUESTION. ASSISTANT.

MY FRIEND, I DO NOT GATHER INFORMATION. PEOPLE COME TO ME ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOT THEMSELVES INTO SITUATIONS AND FIND THEY HAVE NO ONE ELSE TO TALK TO. IF IT INVOLVES A PRIEST I TRY AND TALK TO THE PRIEST. NINE TIMES OUT OF THEN THAT PRIEST TELLS ME WHERE TO GO TO.

IN THE PAST IF THERE HAS BEEN A DANGER OF A PROSECUTION AND / OR PUBLIC EXPOSURE I HAVE ASKED PADDY WALSH TO TALK TO THE PRIEST - FOR HIS OWN PROTECTION.

WHAT AM I TO DO? LEAVE IT UNTIL THE PRIEST IS ARRESTED?

PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT DOWN AND CONNOR - BISHOPS AND PRIESTS HAVE DEMONISED ME.

BUT BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I AM STILL A PRIEST AND I STILL CARE.

YOU MIGHT BE AMAZED TO KNOW HOW OFTEN I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HELP A PRIEST, QUIETLY, WHO DID NOT TELL ME TO F*** *** WHEN I APPROACHED HIM.

SOLUTIONS:

1. A CHANGED BISHOP - OR A NEW BISHOP - MAYBE EVEN DONAL BEING MADE THE VICAR FOR CLERGY?

2. SETTING UP A OFFICE OF MINISTRY TO PRIESTS - STAFFED BY SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS AND PROFESSIONALS WHO WOULD DEAL WITH EVERYTHING PRIVATELY AND WOULD NOT GIVE ANY FEEDBACK TO LISBREEN.

3. MORE CLERGY SOCIAL OCCASIONS, RETREATS AND DAYS OUT TOGETHER.

4. MORE TEAM MINISTRY - WITH PRIESTS LIVING IN LOOSE COMMUNITY.

5. PROPER DAYS OFF, WEEKENDS OFF AND ANNUAL HOLIDAYS - WITH THE THREE BISHOPS DOING WEEKEND PARISH WORK.

6. A PROPER PRIESTS COUNCIL - NOT JUST "ADVISORS" BUT WITH REAL DECISION MAKING FUNCTIONS.

7. MORE USE OF DEACONS AND LAY MINISTERIES.

8. PUTTING ALL ADMINISTRATION DUTIES - SCHOOLS ETC - IN THE HANDS OF QUALIFIED LAY PEOPLE AND LEVING THE PRIESTS TO BE PURE PASTORS.

9. SOME WAY FOR DIOCESAN PRIESTS AND BISHOPS TO PROPOSE CHANGE TO COMPULSORY CELIBACY TO THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH.

10. PRIESTS COMING TOGETHER IN GROUPS TO MAKE THEIR VIEWS FELT - SAFETY IN NUMBERS.


AND WHO KNOWS - MAYBE ORGANISED AND WIDESPREAD PRIEST MUTINY TO CHANGE BAD LAWS ?????




33 comments:

  1. Truth is simple Pat, Noel does not care, he has NO caring, compassion or any other visible virtues that maketh the Christian! The Priest and I know that you have very simple sympathy for us if we are to be honest, is very very unsafe in society today.

    We are watched at every level. The presure at a personal level is indeed very intense. Those that deny this presure are for me the people in most need, Matt was the typical old style 'manly' priest!! Truthfully, it was a shock!

    Meanwhile back in Lisbreen they are more concerned about the Congress, policy and money accountability!

    What are we to do? I just live my Priesthood as best I can, I try to keep my head down and pray that no one accuses me of something!! What a way to live. Fact is this, because I am a Priest I am guilty in the mind of our people and Lisbreen does not care for innocence or gulit, just get it sorted and go away!!

    Many of us are ready for the hills.

    I was going to sign myself as Curate, but no I am not even that anymore,

    signed,

    ASSISTANT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear ASSISTANT,

      You suggest that I have little or no sympathy for you.

      That is not true. The problem from my side - as I say above - is that Down and Connor priests have shown no empathy for me - for 30 years now?

      I was "sacked" for no good reason.

      Present D&C priests might be having a hard time. Have you ever stopped to think how the last 30 years has been for me?

      Pat

      Delete
  2. Pat,

    Just a quick question? DO you think that you bring a certain degree of presure to us in D&C with your constant information gathering and passing to Lisbreen? Do you really offer us any help or are you another nail for our coffin?

    Just a question.

    Assistant

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  3. I fear for the health of our younger men. I am at a stage in life when I can doing nothing but move forward, as we say in our line of business; 'we have crossed the pension threshold'! In other words we are trapped and keep ourselves sane by our plans for the future.

    Now the younger generation! I am really concerned for the mental health of some of our younger men - they are more conservative in many ways and in a sense pretend that all is well, that things will go back to how they were. They love the stories of the past, the stories form the 70's, 80's and how we lived in the 90's with it all.

    God help them and Lisbreen needs to act now.

    PP

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  4. There is much talk about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bishops in the chess world. When a chess player thinks about a ‘bad’ bishop, he imagines the bishop blocked behind pawns without operational space and resembling a rather big pawn.

    The common stereotype is that if the pawns are located on the same colour as a bishop then one should trade the bishop-- to get rid of a bad piece.

    In many cases it is so, but there are times when such a bishop is a good piece.

    Jus a thought sharing moment Brothers!

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  5. A question I have heard frequently among conservative Catholics is "Why doesn’t the pope do something about those bad bishops?" The question usually is prompted by frustration with a perceived lack of orthodoxy or zeal on the part of some bishop. Catholics in some places face situations in which it seems the bishop turns a blind eye to heterodoxy and dissent—or even appears to give them his blessing. Faced with such dysfunctional diocesan environments, they naturally look to Rome for relief and redress, but often are disappointed to find that help is slow in coming, if it ever comes at all.

    By "do something" people usually mean that they want the pope to discipline the bishop, to apply pressure on him to adhere more closely to Church teaching, or even to remove him. But most of us—while from time to time sharing such wishes or even voicing them—don’t know exactly what can be done about a bad bishop. So I’ll address a couple of common misconceptions about the bishop’s role and his relationship to the universal church, and I’ll explain how the Church sees these things, both in its teaching and tradition.

    What do you mean?

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  6. The Bishops have no one to blame but themselves for this sad situation. They themselves started the barrel rolling with their toxic approach to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. First, with the connivance of the Vatican, they covered up the problem.

    Then, they denied it was a really bad problem. Finally, when they simply could not avoid reality, helped along no doubt by the successful prosecution costing us lay people big money, they discovered that clergy sexual abuse was in fact a grave problem and they had better do something about it.

    ”Doing something” of course most definitely did NOT include removing the bishops responsible for this evil, either in the dioceses or in Rome. They are hardly going to do anything about Lisbreen because a few priests are uunhappy!

    And now they wonder why people and priest don’t trust them. Noel wake up! Ahh but then I am wrong, you are awake, you just do not care.

    See you at the Congress.

    Lay Person with dignity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem to have great hopes for the congress?

      Pat

      Delete
  7. DO NOT BE AFRAID BROTHERS!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Can you expand on your advice ?

    Pat

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  9. From what I am hearing the usual stool pigeons are now asking around about what "might come up" at The Congress. Probably to report back to their masters. If they think carrying stories back to the mitre will gain them favours then they can forget it. Many another informer in the past done their dirty deeds for the Lisbreen brigade only to be sh** on from a great height. Ive seen it so many times. Just let the man with the purple socks turn up and see what happens

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EVERYTHING should come up at the congress.

      I fear it will all be another talking shop though :-(

      Pat

      Delete
  10. Pat. Im having a chuckle. I can imagine our Noel reading out your 10 proposals to Charlie Brown and then the venerable nuncio having a Thatcher moment. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can picture it exactly as you say.

    But is the answer for the D&C priests to grow bigger balls and a stronger backbone - group together and challenge.

    Greater revolutions have been successful - because people made them successful.

    Pat

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  12. I agree. My mother used to say "talk is cheap" Pat Did you ever think of putting some audio or video versions of this on youtube? There is always the religious channels on SKY but that involves big cash-I think & I allege these channels may have their share of nutcase contributors-Sean

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  13. As I read the different blogs namely yesterday's and todays, I am struck!! Struck with a slight anger and bewilderment at the sheer brass neck shinning through! Forgive me Pat for being so forward on your blog!

    The manner in which the current Bishop is treating his own clergy is how you were treated times 10; past, presently and looks like in future! I never met your Mother Pat, but I would be interested in hearing her opinions on how they complain presently and how her son was and is literally treated!!

    I honestly do not wish any harm to any person, justice and due process must always prevail - however the same people complaining have for years benefited from an outfit and system that actually did that as a matter of practice, denied justice and due process!!

    I have to confess to being confused and slightly angry that some clergy feel like this when as a matter of practice they daily dish it out, namely to divorced people, gay people, dissenting teachers & clergy etc!!

    I think I need to pray a little for a degree of sympathy or something!

    God Bless - Friend of the Oratory Society.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Write to the Congregation of Bishops now and complain:

    His Eminence Marc Card. Ouellet,
    Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
    Palazzo della Congregazioni
    Piazza Pio XII
    00120 Vatican City

    DO NOT WRITE TO BROWN THE CLOWN - He is another Noel!!

    My experience is that many of the people who rouse themselves to write do so from ire or frustration. As a result their missives are generally negative in content and in tone. However, positive letters are very welcome and obtain real attention especially in that they are the so much rarer.

    Consider writing positive letters to your priests and bishops when you see something going well.

    Tell the truth - bring on the Congress

    A woman in Faith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote to Rome about my laicisation document-waste of a stamp- I also wrote to my old bishop, Christy Jones-No reply from either-Sean

      Delete
    2. Do we need a schism? I know it sounds foolish, but what else are we to do Sean? They do not communicate with any of us - are they in schism already and are we the ones in communion?

      Delete
  15. What is wonderful about the age we live in, and what will ultimately be the downfall of the Noel, is the amazing access to information we all have.

    They simply cannot keep a lid on all the wrong-doing and abuse any more. In the past they could move people around, brush their dark little secrets under a Persian rug in Lisbreen and be confident that nobody would ever see ‘the bigger picture’. If they did they would be called in abd bullied to the point of being sheepish!!

    But not now. The rot that lies at the heart of Noel's reign is there for all to see, exposed and squirming in well-earned discomfort.

    Bring on the Congress!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Bishop Pat,

    I hope you are attending the congress, please do, your voice is important.

    Concerned assistant! Or should I say Noel's Altar Boy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. An interesting insight into the political shenanigans that go on in Lisbreen?

    If only the ice would melt.

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  18. My view is that if you claim an honourific system; Your Grace, Your Excellency, Your Magnificence, You Holiness,Your Superfluousness, then never ever claim to have any connection with the rest of us.

    Them and us - guess which way the shit roles?

    PP

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  19. Interesting article entitled ‘Unfit for purpose and in denial: a church that has lost all authority’ in the Observer. I read it last March, worth a read:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/02/ordinary-catholics-deserve-an-answer

    Interested reader

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  20. Morelos (Agenzia Fides) - A priest was the victim of extortion, death threats and the subject of an attempted murder: an incident that has caused deep concern for His Exc. Mgr. Ramon Castro Castro, Bishop of Cuernavaca, diocese where the incident occurred. As learned by Fides Agency, the Bishop yesterday, at the end of the Mass celebrated in the Cathedral of Cuernavaca, said: "It was a bad and very strong experience: I am speaking of extortion and death threats, which then became attempted murder. Apart from this case, extortion also occurred in other parishes, in particular with threatening phone calls. In this case, however, the attackers went personally to threaten and say: pay or we will kill you". Mgr. Ramon Castro Castro, for the safety of the priest involved, did not want to mention the name or parish in which the priest belongs.
    As reported to Fides by local sources, social violence is widespread in the state of Morelos, in Central and South Mexico. Archbishop Castro Castro was able to observe this sad reality during visits to the parishes he is carrying out in this month of July: it is his first pastoral visit in order to get to know the area better, as he has just been appointed Bishop of this diocese. The Bishop said: "What I found in the ten parishes I visited is a great love for God and also a great hope of the population. I pray to God that all the faithful and the whole civilized diocesan community see the Bishop as God's instrument to help find social peace. We need this peace to be able to walk peacefully through the streets. Violence and insecurity must disappear: this is what many people ask me". Violence in Mexico has become the biggest problem in the country, mainly linked to drug cartels and criminal gangs.

    A story of a real Bishop supporting his priest - bring this man to D&C.

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  21. I read these with a tickle - as a lay woman I say, I have NO say in my parish, I have no value, all I do is pay up and shut up! Is that not also the role of priest bishop!!

    We laity have put up with it for years!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mrs: The skirts that have done the hard graft & carried the church for years are worn by females-sean

      Delete
  22. History repeating itself. Many years ago after Bishop Danny Mageean died there were a number of contenders for the job. Some may have made good bishops- some not so. We had Mgr Arthur Ryan, Mgr Hendley, PJ Mullally, Gerry Montague, Cathal Daly, Bill Conway,and a number of others. Despite one particular name coming out on top of the terna the Vatican was not having him. And what did they do. They gave us a disaster of a bishop. William Philbin, a bookish recluse.
    So here we are again. Noel Traynor. A man very capable as an administrator I am sure but not suited to being a pastoral bishop. A man foisted on the priests and people of D&C when there were other more capable individuals. And not only Donal !!!
    As the man in the big black coat said "The more things change the more they stay the same !"

    ReplyDelete
  23. As a light hearted aside I smiled when I read the name of the redoubtable Paddy Joe Mullally. A fellow curate told me that many years ago he (the curate) was in a large West Belfast parish where the senior curate was a complete pain in the arse. He ordered the other 3 curates around and gave the man at the bottom of the pile a rough time.

    One year when the PP was off on holiday the senior curate was really on his high horse and making life hell. Just by chance Mullally, who was VG, called into the presbytery. Knowing that Mullally was not best disposed towards the senior curate one of the others took his chance and asked the VG to outline the functions of the senior curate in the absence of the PP. Does he have an important role Mullally was asked. "Indeed he does" replied Paddy Joe "In the absence of the PP it is the senior curates job to carve the roast on a Sunday"

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    Replies
    1. Very funny. I hope the men at the bottom of the pile came out of it ok.

      Delete
  24. BishopAccountability.org

    A great blog

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  25. Bishop Pat, why do you and your priest's not help out with the masses and sacraments? Help out a little.

    Lay Catholic

    ReplyDelete