Thursday, 22 August 2013

DOWN AND CONNOR CLERGY APPOINTMENTS

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF DOWN AND CONNOR - NOEL TREANOR - HAS ANNOUNCED HIS CLERGY CHANGES FOR THIS YEAR.
NOEL TREANOR ON ONE OF HIS MANY JOURNEYS


TWO DOWN AND CONNOR PRIESTS HAVE CONTACTED ME TO EXPRESS THEIR FRUSTRATION THAT THE CHANGES ARE "LACKING IN IMAGINATION" AND THAT A NUMBER OF PRIESTS ARE BEING LEFT HANGING OUT TO DRY AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN CLEARED OF ANY WRONG DOING.

THERE IS NO MENTION IN THE CHANGES OF FATHER HUGH KENNEDY WHO IS STILL LISTED IN THE DIOCESAN DIRECTORY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF ST PETER'S CATHEDRAL. FATHER KENNEDY WAS CLEARED OF ANY WRONG DOING BY A BELFAST COURT AND A CHURCH ENQUIRY. SURELY HE DESERVES TO HAVE HIS REPUTATION FULLY RESTORED BY BEEN GIVEN A PUBLIC APPOINTMENT?
HUGH KENNEDY
HE HAS BEEN SEEN IN HIS ALFA ROMEO AND IN CLERICAL ATTIRE NEAR THE CATHEDRAL. 

HIS SITUATION IS FURTHER CONFUSED BY THE FACT THAT THE PARISH PRIEST OF THE SACRED HEART PARISH FATHER CIARAN DALLAT - IN BELFAST APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN "DEMOTED" TO ASSISTANT PRIEST AND SENT TO THE CATHEDRAL.
CIARAN DALLAT

THEN THERE WAS NO APPOINTMENT FOR THE DIOCESAN CHANCELLOR WHO HAS BEEN MISSING FOR SOME TIME - WITH NO EXPLANATION TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN THE DIOCESE - FATHER JOHN MC MANUS
JOHN MC MANUS

21st AUGUST 2013
DOWN AND CONNOR CLERICAL APPOINTMENTS

Having considered the pastoral needs of the people of the Diocese, Bishop Noel Treanor has made the following appointments which will take effect as of Thursday 22nd August:


Fr Liam Blayney SPS    To be Administrator of Dunloy and Cloughmills
Fr Aidan Brankin            PP Dunloy, to be PP St Oliver Plunkett’s Parish
Fr Colin Crossey            Assistant Priest Holy Family Parish, to be Chaplain RVH
Fr Colm Curran              To be “Priest in Residence” Crumlin pro tempore
Fr Vincent Cushnahan   Assistant Priest Parish of the Nativity to pursue Licenciate studies in Canon Law at St Paul’s University, Ottawa, Canada.
Fr Ciaran Dallat              PP Sacred Heart Parish, to be Assistant Priest in St Peter’s Parish & Cathedral.
Fr Patrick Devlin             PP St Vincent de Paul, also to be Chaplain with Deaf persons
Fr Robert Fleck              PP Dunsford and Ardglass, to be PP Dundrum
Fr Patrick McCafferty    Chaplaincy team, Ulster Hospital, Dundonald

ITS VERY GOOD NEWS THAT PADDY MC CAFFERTY IS MOVING BACK FROM DUBLIN TO TAKE UP A POST IN HIS NATIVE DIOCESE


PADDY MC CAFFERTY

Fr Gerard McCloskey     Administrator Holy Family Parish, to be PP Dunsford and Ardglass

GERRY MC CLOSKEY GETS A WELCOME BREAK FROM CITY LIFE AS HE HEADS FOR COUNTY DOWN
GERRY MC CLOSKEY


HOWEVER HE WILL NO LONGER HAVE A CURATE SO HOPEFULLY HE WILL STILL BE ABLE TO GO OUT FOR THE ODD "SWA" AND SILL BE ABLE TO GET A WEE BREAK IN "SAN FRAN".



Fr Thomas McGlynn      Chaplain RVH to take a sabbatical semester leave for study
Fr Martin Magill              PP St Oliver Plunkett’s Parish, to be PP Sacred Heart Parish
Fr Patrick Neeson          To be PP Ardkeen (Kircubbin)
Fr Peter Owens              PP St Agnes, also to be Episcopal Vicar for Safeguarding

FATHER PETER OWENS NOW TAKES ON THE IMPORTANT JOB OF DIOCESAN SAFEGUARDING. BUT HE SHOULD STILL BE ABLE TO TAKE A BREAK AT HIS HOLIDAY HOME NEAR ME - JUST OUTSIDE LARNE.

Fr Brendan Smyth          Assistant Priest Glenavy and Crumlin, to be PP Holy Trinity Parish
Fr Paul Strain                 PP St John’s Parish, to be Administrator of Holy Family Parish
                                       Assistant Priest Holy Family Parish “appointment pending”
Fr Liam Toland               Assistant Priest Ballymena, to be PP St John’s Parish

MANY OF THE PRIESTS EXPECTED THAT FATHER BRIAN WATERS FROM DRUMBO PARISH WOULD BE MOVED THIS YEAR. BUT NOT SO APPARENTLY. GIVEN BRIAN'S EXPERTISE ON THE INTERNET AND WITH PHOTOGRAPHY SOME THINK THAT HIS TALENTS ARE BEING WASTED IN DRUMBO. SEE BRIAN'S PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE DRUMBO PARISH WEBSITE. 
BRIAN WATERS
AND WHY HAS FATHER PAUL SYMONDS NOT BEEN GIVEN A NEW APPOINTMENT?

PAUL SYMONDS



PAUL SYMONDS IS A GOOD MAN AND DID A LOT OF GOOD WORK IN BELFAST AND BALLYMENA

WITH SUCH A SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS PAUL SYMONDS, HUGH KENNEDY AND JOHN MC MANUS COULD BE RUNNING THREE PARISHES IN THE DIOCESE.

39 comments:

  1. As a D&C priest, I think it is a disgrace that John, Paul & Hugh are presently being treated so badly! They have been left in complete limbo and Noel is so indifferent to their plight!

    It makes one feel very unsafe, all someone has to do is accuse one of something and that is it, we are done, spent. Even when we are cleared by all authorities, Lisbreen keeps one out in Limbo. It is time for these good men to bring Lisbreen and their elk to the European Court for Human Rights!!

    We have RIGHTS Noel and to be treated properly and not as criminals is one of them.

    Shame on Lisbreen!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the Down and Connor priests who have concerns need to get together and make their points as a group?

      There is more safety in numbers.

      Pat

      Delete
  2. Why does Noel, Donal and Kenny take a parish? We need every man we can get!

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    Replies
    1. I agree. There is no reason why the three bishops cannot be active in parishes every weekend - even giving priests a weekend off.

      Pat

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  3. I do agree that men who's reputations have been wrongly tarnished and who have been cleared of any wrong doing are just left in limbo and I do have sympathy as anonymous says "all someone has to do is accuse one of something and that is it ".It seems to me that you are ministers in a church that just doesn't care,this situation is replicated across the island of Ireland.Mike

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    Replies
    1. I agree Mike. It is a national / international problem.

      Pat

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  4. THIS COMMENT HAD TO BE SLIGHTLY EDITED AS THE CONTRIBUTOR MENTIONED NAMES - PB

    "I am a gay man from Belfast who hangs around Belfast and enjoys the company of other men. I do not care in you condemn me or not.

    There is a Down and Connor priest behaving very dangerously.

    I am a lapsed catholic and have no time for the church.

    But even I worry for this man

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    Replies
    1. Why would I condemn you ????

      Have you tried talking to that priest - or to a colleague of his?

      Pat

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  5. I hated changes & the fact that people could be shoved about like chess pieces. I tended to become attached & committed to where I was. This along with fekn celibacy was the main reason I left. Also all this secrecy about the changes before the official list is out. Whats all that s*it about. Should not the parish have a say in who they get & let folk express interest in certain roles & be interviewed like everywhere else? Sean

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  6. Needless to say the jungle drums are beating throughout the diocese. Many of us thought that that Hugh Kennedy would be back on although there are many rumours afoot amongst the troops about what is going on.
    Pat, I know that the Lisbreen gang read this blog and Noel should take note that there is a lot of unrest among the clergy about his attitude. It is hardly any secret that there is a growing movement to face up to him. He knows because of a spy in our camp who ratted and has been reporting back through a South Belfast teacher !!
    Paddy McCafferty's court appearance in the Donaghy case has given added impetus to us to stand up against the heartlessness and cold attitude of the D&C hierarchy. The forthcoming day at the Waterfront Hall may prove more enlightening than expected.
    Watch this space !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friend,

      One of the latin phrases I remember from college was: nemo dat quod non habet - "you cannot give what you have not got".

      Noel Treanor's problem is that he is emotionally and psychologically unable to enter into meaningful encounters with others.

      He's almost autistic.

      In fairness he never asked to come here. He is a desk man, an office man, an administrator etc.

      To be a good bishop today you have to have an enormous heart.

      Poor Noel is trapped in his personality.

      He would do a good job in some curia office.

      But sadly - it is his priests and people who are suffering most.

      I think its a tragedy :-(

      Delete
    2. The Berlin wall came down. Is it now time for the "Cloth Curtain"-as in man of the cloth" to be torn from top to bottom. Did you good fellows ever think of banding together & going on strike for a Sunday. It would certainly cause a stir in light of which items which are now spoke of in dark corners can be brought into the light. D'ya think Jeremy Kyle would be up for a D & C special?-Sean

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  7. Association of Catholic Priests says priests are now ‘an easy target’ with considerable number of false allegations.

    The clearing of the name of Kerry priest Fr Liam O’Brien recently who was falsely accused by a woman of abuse, has highlighted “two matters of great concern,” the leadership of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has said.

    The association said there are a considerable number of false allegations being made against individuals.

    “We have known of this for some time. Priests are now an easy target, and there are a considerable number of false allegations being made against individuals,” they said.

    And there was “the absence, in most cases including this one, of any real support from church authorities for a priest who finds himself in this terrible situation.”

    I am not a Roman, I am a priest of the Oratory Society, but this situation is not acceptable. A culture of cover-up does not merit the current position of hanging all out to dry, it is against natural law.

    Robert Dore, solicitor for Fr O’Brien who is based in Killorglin, Co Kerry, said the priest had agreed not to proceed with an action against Ms Culloty on the basis of her apology.

    What a Christian man.

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    Replies
    1. I know of a C of E Vicar who had letters sent to his bishop by a woman who made allegations of a sexual nature. Some of the allegations could never have happened because the man was proven to be somewhere else when the supposed allegations toke place. Clarice tells me she sometimes asked what I am like in the bedroom dept because of my priestly background. People have fantasies & sadly the churches have members who are prone to fantasise more than most. Todays clergy need to be wise & while not living in an eggshell need to put safeguards in place so they will not end up in the proverbial poo. Sean(mcstudd)

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  8. HAVE YOUR RIGHTS BEEN VIOLATED?

    Has your bishop removed you from functioning as a priest or deacon following an unsubstantiated allegation of misconduct?

    Done without due process, your canonical rights have been violated.

    DO NOT SURRENDER YOUR RIGHTS!

    Contact:

    http://justiceforpriests.org/

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  9. Why Priests Leave

    Although no longer in sanctioned priestly ministry, many priests who leave are still involved in ministerial activity, whether in Catholicism, another church or elsewhere. The depth of dedication and commitment to social justice and other charitable work continues, but in different ways. For most, there is sadness in leaving, because of the joy and fulfillment they found in priestly ministry. What compelled most of them to leave was not ministry, but the inability and lack of freedom to live their personal lives in a manner in which they felt called by God. (More will be said about this later.) Now for many, the priesthood continues in some way within their lives, therefore the term “transitioned priest” is preferred to “ex-priest”.



    When associating with transitioned priests, one quickly sees the tremendous talent and kindness of these men. If you didn’t know they were ordained priests, you would have guessed they were, or are, in some sort of ministry for pastoral depth and gentleness seeps from their demeanor. A major attribute of these priests is compassion for the marginalized, because they themselves have experienced being marginalized. But, more than anything else, when associating with transitioned priests, you can’t help but feel the huge loss to Catholicism when they left; a loss that, in most cases, could have been avoided if the Church had engaged in more meaningful reform following the Second Vatican Council. These reforms are still deeply needed and supported by the vast majority of Catholics.



    Priests who leave are often both pushed and pulled out. They are pushed out by the lack of collegiality, the inability to make important choices about their personal lives, or by rigid dogma and ecclesiastical laws that, in conscience, are no longer credible. Many are pulled out by the love of another person with whom they wish to pursue a relationship in the light and outside the shadows of mandatory celibacy.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fully agree. A Priest forever...... Have you heard of the in danger of death clause in the laicisation decree? this is the only legal time when a laicised priest is allowed to preside in the administration of a sacrament. All canon Law does is revoke the spiritual driving liscence. The other day my wife & I & local RC priest joined in preparing the Requiem Mass for a deceased neighbour who had no immediate family. When I thanked Fr Paul Daley at the end I realy meant it. It was one of the most spiritual experiences we had experienced in a long time. To be fair I did have apprehensions in approaching Paul in the first place-Now I take them back-Sean

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  10. A Theology That Allows a Priest Leave

    The first thing necessary for leaving the priesthood is for the priest to have theology that allows him to leave. Central to this theology is the realization that God’s presence and activity are not confined to the Roman Catholic Church and even Vatican II acknowledges this. Jesus Christ leads priests both in and out of the priesthood. Both journeys are sacred and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.



    The Church is not God and it has no divine power. It is an institution with the power to govern the operation of the institution. Christ may be present in the Catholic Church as he is in other churches, but as the subtitle of this website states, "Ecclesiastical institutions have no power, except that which we give them." So, central to a theology that allows a priest to leave the priesthood is the understanding that the Church has no divine power, only human power, which is bad enough when in the hands of power hungry clerics.



    No one, not even the Pope when speaking "ex cathedra" is infallible. Only God is infallible. Papal Infallibility is a doctrine invented by the Church to empower itself. The doctrine of Infallibility was defined and hastily pushed through a poorly attended First Vatican Council in 1870. It was proclaimed in response to Protestants proclaiming the Bible to be infallible, which was in response to Darwin's "Origin of Species" and the scientific community's embracing of evolution.



    It is no accident that "The Origin of Species", published in 1859 was followed by the doctrine of Infallibility proclaimed in 1870. This quest for Infallibility arose out of fear of the modern world and the rapid changes that were occurring. Protestants made the Bible their infallible Paper Pope, while Catholics proclaimed the doctrine of Infallibility. Both are nothing but a form of idolatry and an attempt by fearful people to bank their existential angst when realizing their world-view is mistaken and they are not in control.



    Someone emailed and asked what the source is for these statements. They were looking for a footnote. The source is rational thought. One could ask the Papacy what its source was for proclaiming itself infallible. Its only source would be from people who were threatened with excommunication for saying anything otherwise.



    The point is, the Church has no divine control over any priest.



    Most priests who leave have done so after months and perhaps years of prayer and reflection, often shedding tears as they make this important decision. When priests leave, most find it takes far more faith and courage than entering. When entering they heard “Hosanna! Hosanna!”, but when leaving they hear “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Nevertheless, both are sacred journeys.

    DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE!

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  11. Abused children are not the only victims of the sex abuse crisis in the Church today. Every priest in active ministry is a victim. Prior to leaving, I remember walking through an airport wearing my collar, when a mother pulled her young child closer to her as I approached. That hurt, and it had everything to do with the stigma of mandated celibacy.

    Mandatory celibacy defines a priest primarily by sex and places an inordinate amount of attention on his sex life. When the typical lay person meets a priest, they perceive him first and foremost as a “celibate” and have an internal dialogue that goes something like this: “Is he really celibate? I wonder what he does with his sex drive. Is he gay? He must masturbate a lot. God, I hope he’s not a pedophile.” If he’s attractive, they think, “Father what-a-waste”, and, if not attractive, they think, “No wonder he went into the priesthood”. Those who think this occurs because our society is preoccupied with sex are mistaken. It’s always been this way. People are now just more willing to talk about it. The fact remains that, because “celibate” primarily defines a priest by his sex life, he is viewed and understood primarily by sex and for this he suffers now, more than ever. Priests are not “celibates”; they are “human beings”.

    Priests who leave to marry are not looking only for sex. They cannot seem to see beyond sexual intercourse to the quest that a priest has for love, emotional intimacy and nurture. For them, it is all about f**king, which reveals what their marital lives must be like and one can only feel sorry for their wives. The primary quest for priests who leave to marry is mutual love and intimacy with their spouses of which intercourse is only one part. I find it offensive when someone implies that a priest leaves because "he can't keep it in his pants". No, the issue is "he can't keep the rock wall around his heart".

    The term "mandatory celibacy" implies that a priest is to abstain from sexual activity. It objectifies sexual intercourse and separates it from the union of heart and soul that a healthy marriage entails. "Mandated celibacy" gives the impression that f**king is what marriage is all about and tends to turn women into sexual objects. Yet, that is not what most priests are after. They simply long to have another person to love and share their life with like any other normal human being. Mandated celibacy shames priests for having this desire, and because celibacy is all about sexual abstinence, their sexuality is shamed too. This is a dark cloud that hangs over the priesthood, which all priests are forced to enter upon ordination. They are forced to publicly declare that they will forever deny this important part of their lives. This isolates them and makes them into an oddity that people often pity more than respect. The problem is forcing celibacy upon priests. The dynamic would change if celibacy was optional.

    People may object by saying, "But celibacy is optional. No one was forcing you to be ordained." But you are mistaken. Our Call is from God and it was profound. The Church has imposed celibacy upon God's call.

    It’s ironic that church officials like those in Lisbreen, obsessed with controlling priests’ sex lives by mandating celibacy, have themselves created this sex abuse crisis. For centuries, they have constructed a mystical facade around celibacy and their efforts brought welcomed protection and privilege. But, like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, this crisis has pulled back the curtain and no amount of incense can hide the little man pulling the levers. Mandated celibacy is far more integral to this crisis than the Pope and bishops are willing, or perhaps able, to admit.

    To any priest reading this, knock the wall around your heart down and enjoy sexulaity. What a gift!

    A Priest forever.
    Dublin

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  12. I have known I was gay from the time I was four years old, even though I could not articulate it to myself, let alone anyone else. I thought everyone felt the same as I did, but gradually as I grew up and then went to school and observed others, I realised slowly over time that I was different. And so did my classmates when I reached a certain age because I did not have, nor have any desire to have, a "girlfriend." I became an altar boy at the tender age of seven and noticed immediately the profound respect I had from the older people in the parish that I never had before. When I entered diocesan seminary with other students, we were surrounded by men who gave us attention, respect, and honour that I had never experienced before.

    The acceptance and respect shown to celibate priests is a strong drawing card for boys who feel alienated and demeaned because of a homosexual orientation that they themselves probably don’t understand. The seminary environment is, itself, conducive to nurturing the emotional needs of homosexual men.

    Special friendships with women are discouraged and often perceived as scandalous, while associations with males are, of course, acceptable. Eyebrows are raised if a priest goes out to lunch with a woman, but he can live with other men and vacation with other priests, with no questions asked. If he is gay, this is also a drawing card, as it would be for a heterosexual priest if the situation were reversed and he could freely, without raising any eyebrows or suspicion, associate with women.

    There is a reason why gay men are attracted to the priesthood, they are very good at it.

    Although it is easier for gay priests to have their intimacy needs met, they risk public ridicule if their sexual orientation becomes public knowledge. Therefore they must keep their sexual orientation “in the closet,” and that is more easily done within a community of celibate males.

    If the Church’s hierarchy were honest, it would acknowledge the high percentage of priests who are gay and affirm their ministry. Instead, they appear to be ashamed of these priests and attempt to deny their existence. In so doing, they are contributing to society’s homophobia and encouraging gay priests to view their God-given sexuality with shame.

    The history of the Church indicates that even some popes have been homosexual. The hierarchy is well aware of the high number of homosexuals that minister within their ranks. Sadly, their policy has been to be dishonest and deny it. Gay priests are also expected to join in this falsehood and be dishonest about who they are.

    It is very difficult for priests to integrate their sexuality in a healthy manner when it is perceived as an alien force within them. My moral theology class in the seminary taught that masturbation (or even so much as thinking about it with delight) was serious sin. My professor summed it up in these words: “If you are celibate, no orgasms!” This came from a very conservative moral theologian whom the Church had elevated as an authority on human sexuality in one of the largest seminaries in Ireland. The message that came through to us seminarians was: “Your sexual drive is evil and alien to who you really are and must be repressed, or you will be punished by God.” This resulted in seminarians running off to confession every few days with sex as the major “sin” with which they were preoccupied. Teaching such as this is psychologically damaging and harmful to healthy sexual integration. This is why there will always be some sort of sexual crisis within the priesthood, and the responsibility for it needs to be placed at the very highest echelon within the Catholic Church’s hierarchy.

    It is my hope that, through the process of sharing the challenges that exist for being gay and priests, support and encouragement can be found regardless of dispirited rhetoric and dictums from the Church's hierarchy, which oppresses gay and bisexual men into feeling lonely and shameful.

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  13. To Priests in Love FROM A PRIEST IN LOVE:

    Father, if you are in a romantic relationship, whether gay or straight, you are fortunate. Giving and receiving romantic love is a huge part of what it means to be a human being. It is an experience where the presence of God cannot be denied if one is honest about it.

    If you are still active in the Catholic Church, no one needs to tell you how complicated the relationship is given the fact that you have to live it within the shaming shadows of mandated celibacy.

    It is unfortunate that now the one you love must also try to express their affection within this oppressive system. Your options are to force this love out of your life, or strive to secretively nurture it within the confines of the priesthood, or leave and live the relationship openly in the light of day. True freedom is found in the latter.

    Romantic love opens up a whole other world. Your superiors will demonise this relationship, but how can love be evil? Realise they and their predecessors have turned romantic love into a force of evil, which is the ultimate corruption of religion. How can their corruption of romantic love be the will of God who identified himself with love?

    Because mandated celibacy is not the will of God, you are free.

    Priest in Relationship - London

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  14. Catholic Priests’ Emotional Instability Toward Women

    One area in which many an otherwise capable or even gifted priest falls short is having a basic understanding and relationship with women. In particular, if he develops feelings for a woman or a woman falls in love with him, most priests will lack the compassion, maturity, and knowledge that comes easy to them in other areas of their ministry.

    Bishop, please explore possible causes of this deficiency, as well as the devastating repercussions it can have for priests and women. Thank you. I am in love with a priest and he me.


    Marie - USA

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  15. There is an old saying "Always be careful what you wish for because you might not like what you get" Perhaps the cheer leaders for the Stop Donal campaign should take note.....bit late though. lol

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    1. Very true and honest

      Delete
  16. Three Choices for Priests in Love

    If a priest falls in love, he has three choices for his future lifestyle:

    1)The Celibate Way: Keeping his sexual urges under control and unexpressed. He prays that his feelings will stop. He cuts off all contact with the woman. This leaves him lonelier than he was before.

    2)The Marital Way: Marrying the woman. This option demands, in Roman ecclesiology, leaving priestly ministry, and is usually frightening and unacceptable to his theology. It’s worth stating that this option is the only “sin” that automatically disqualifies a priest. And that sin only applies to cradle Catholics. A former Anglican priest who is already married can become a Catholic priest!!!!!!

    3)The Third Way: The Third Way means that a priest can interact with a woman in a celibate but otherwise intimate way, or even carry on a clandestine sexual relationship while maintaining his role as a priest. As long as nothing becomes openly scandalous (thus possibly diluting the power of the Church), the Third Way allows the priest to “have his cake and eat it too.”


    Which way should I take?

    I am a priest of the Oratory Society, I am free to be in a relationship and minister, in fact this fact is celebrated as a gift from God. God given freedom!!

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  17. Stockholm Syndrome in the Priesthood

    “Stockholm Syndrome” is defined as: An extraordinary phenomenon in which a hostage begins to identify with and grow sympathetic to his/her captor. (Wikipedia.)

    Nearly everyone experiences Stockholm Syndrome at some point in life. The “captor” need not be a threatening entity, though it must be perceived as one. Even fear of change can trigger a lesser level of the syndrome. For example, someone in a bad marriage may stay in it for fear of leaving, even if they are free to do so. People stay in jobs they hate for the same reason.

    In normal circumstances, the relationship between a couple will rise or fall on its own merits. With a priest, it is different. He can’t go through the normal channels of dating to discern whether he should marry a particular person or even marry at all. If he mentions his amorous feelings to a priest counselor, he will probably be advised to pray more and avoid the woman at all costs. If he is truly engulfed in Catholic teaching, he will also equate defying church law as defying God (i.e. mortal sin) and, for the sake of his eternal salvation—and the salvation of his beloved—he will not choose marriage. He will instead return to celibacy, believing that this “sacrificial love” is for the woman, ending their time together on earth for the “perfect eternal love” he hopes to share with her in Heaven. In short, he will not have the theology that permits him to leave the priesthood, no matter how strong his love for the woman may be.



    The four characteristics of Stockholm Syndrome can apply to priesthood.


    1. The hostage views the captor as giving life by not taking it. The captor is in control of the captive’s basic needs for survival. The priest is promised eternal life if he’s a good priest and remains celibate. He relies on the church for life’s necessities, and he may feel that he would not have the skill or connections to survive in the outside world, especially if he has served as a priest for a long time. Thus, he allows the church to control both his life here on earth and his salvation in the Hereafter.


    2. The hostage endures isolation from other people and has only the captor’s perspective available. The outside world’s response is either hidden or renounced to make the captive more dependent. Priests are brainwashed with the theory that the church is always right. One consequence of this is that they cannot even allow themselves to think about anything that would threaten their celibacy.

    3. The captor threatens to kill the victim and gives the perception of being able to do so. The captive judges it safer to align with the captor than to resist and face murder. For the priest, eternal damnation is considered infinitely worse than being murdered. If a priest decides to leave, he faces an enormous uphill battle, with condemnation and shaming by the institution who has held him captive. It’s much safer for the priest to pray for his demon of love to end.

    Be brave friend, be brave.



    4. The captive sees the captor as showing some degree of kindness. Captives will suppress their anger at the captor’s terrorizing and concentrate on his good qualities in order to protect themselves. For the priest, all is forgiven if he repents. He is well supported in a middle-class lifestyle, and is exalted within the institution far more than he is in the outside world, especially today.

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  18. Patriarchy Dressed in Piety

    The hierarchy's claim that God requires celibacy and offers it as a gift to all priests is nothing but patriarchy dressed in piety for the purpose of keeping the Catholic Church in the firm control of celibate males. Not only do they believe women to be unfit for ordination, the hierarchy believes priests should remain unmarried so they will be free of any female influence in their lives.

    Why? Because of patriarchy and misogyny. Patriarchy defined: "A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it." Misogyny defined: "The hatred of women by men as in 'struggling against thinly disguised misogyny'". Undeniably, at the heart of mandated celibacy for priests and the foundation on which it stands, is patriarchy and misogyny all carefully wrapped in religious piety.

    This is a serious sin and a dark cloud that hangs over the Church and Lisbreen.

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  19. The Lure of the Priesthood

    The Priest

    To live in the midst of the world without wishing its pleasures.

    To be a member of each family, yet belonging to none.

    To share all suffering. To penetrate all secrets. To heal all wounds.

    To go from men to God and offer Him their prayers.

    To return from God to men to bring pardon and hope.

    To have a heart of fire for Charity, and a heart of bronze for Chastity.

    To teach and to pardon, console and bless always.

    My God, what a life! And it is yours and it is cruel!



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  20. Reformation vs. Restoration

    “Reformation” entails reforming the faith, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as we walk into an unknown future. “Restoration” entails returning to a former golden era and restoring the past. Vatican II was about “reformation”, but what’s going on in Catholicism now is about “restoration”.

    Priests who understand this often find themselves frustrated, disappointed and even ashamed of papal and episcopal (Lisbreen) leadership as they seek to restore a bygone era. Those who stay often do so reluctantly and find contentment in their local ministry. Others, understandably, choose to leave.

    Our post-modern society requires a reformation movement within churches equal to, if not greater than, the reformation of the sixteenth century. It calls us to “walk on the water” of fear and anxiety with eyes of faith. Looking back and finding refuge in the past may bring a feeling of security, but will not withstand the tectonics of change or stop societal evolution. Catholicism and other ecclesiastical institutions unwilling to accompany this change are being left behind in a fundamentalist ghetto where their influence is reduced to occasionally proclaiming.

    What will Lisbreen's Congress be, Restore or Reform - or - does not matter, ROME will SPEAK!!

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  21. "Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

    Albert Einstein


    Tell Lisbreen to PISS OFF.

    Ha ha - PP

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  22. Greetings and hope you are having a good summer.
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    ReplyDelete
  23. I am a D&C PP. I'm struggling badly. Not with celibacy but with a lack of leadership. A leadership which has no compassion. doesn't care less about the difficulties many of us labour under. Matt Wallace has made many of us think. Many of us thought that his death would have been a wake up call to Lisbreen Not so. I am now considering leaving ministry. Three others are in the same position and serious about leaving. Noel's callous disregard for the well being of his priests may well leave him four short before year end

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  24. I am a priest of the Armagh archdiocese. I am lonely. I am worn out. After ordination when I started out I was in houses with other priests. There was support, craic and lots of fun. The fall off in men coming forward and priests leaving has gradually lowered the numbers. I am now in a parish myself which once had 3 priests. There is no atmosphere in the parochial house. It is a big barracks. I am at the beck and call of everyone. I do all the funerals, all the weddings, sick calls etc myself. I'm overworked and facing burn out. I'm too old now to do anything else but as time goes by I regret the way my priesthood has gone. I have every sympathy for the younger priests who look at the likes of me and say No-I'm not going there and leave. I hope our new archbishop will be more inspiring than the "wounded healer"

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  25. Over three years ago, I fell very much in love with my parish secretary, and she fell in love with me. Had she never said anything to me about her feelings, I would have remained silent and would probably still be a PP.

    To make a very long story very short, she was married and our relationship was uncovered, and I resigned. Naturally, human nature took over and gossip spread like wild-fire, and now I live with my brother and completely left the woman so that she could return to her husband. My actions were absolutely wrong!!!!!! I sinned greatly.

    Currently, I live in a no-man's land of the priesthood: one or two of my "brother" priests in the diocese remain in contact, and I have not heard a word from our new bishop. I get a small stipend from the diocese but I almost have to call month to month to inquire how long this will last.

    There are many beautiful things about priestly ministry, and many empty moments stealing the life and breath out of a vocation. I am treated like a pariah in the diocese for having "fallen," and I often think I should leave the priesthood just because of the un-Christian manner of the contempt in which I am held.

    I was a good priest. I worked on my homilies every week for three to four hours per week. I heard confessions every day before daily Mass, and invited the congregation to share in my Holy Hour in the morning. During those Holy Hours, I would ask God to free me of love to my paramour, and freedom from my desires......but only my removal from the parish was the answer to my prayer.

    I guess I'm just ranting now, but I'm about to publish a book which may very well end my diocesan support....and I don't care. I'm told I cannot present myself as a priest, and yet when I go to a doctor or dentist, I have to lie to make up some story about who I am.

    There are many good and holy and hard-working priests that love what they do, and I cheer them on. There are many that are complete assholes, and even their parishioners know that they are!

    I'm sick of it; and yet I can't separate myself from the Church's truth.

    Limbo is not a theological musing, it's the state of several priests of the Church.

    Thanks for listening, and God bless you in your own joys and sufferings.



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    Replies
    1. A most interesting and sad story.

      I hope that your sad situation resolves itself in the very near future.

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  26. When I had been ordained for about seven years I remember coming back from Mass late Sunday mornings. I would go out to some restaurant alone for lunch. I would come back to an empty house. Sunday afternoons especially got long! I used to sit in the living room and just be so aware of the emptiness and silence. It would be so lonely. I’d think of friends that I’d known from university or my siblings who had got married and were raising families. I’d be jealous of the companionship and opportunities to build lives and plan futures that they had. Oh, Sunday afternoons can be so long and lonely.

    My loneliness also would strike me during the week when I would listen to parish staff talk about the things that they had done, were doing or were going to do with their families. I would watch them come and go each day; from their homes to the parish and back home again after their day. But I would be there all the time; for work and for personal living. I was jealous and envious of their freedom, diversity and fullness of family life.

    One of the hardest times for me that I dreaded greatly was going to coffee or other social parish functions after Mass. I hated and dreaded these because I felt awkward going alone, being at them alone and having to leave alone. These social parish functions pointed out how superficial my relationships were. I envied the families and couples who would come to Mass and then be together at our social functions. These families and couples had opportunities to share and grow together. In their midst I felt awkwardly alone.

    I remember too how awkward it felt to feel I had to move from table to table to say hi to everyone and be there for everyone. It seemed that a familiar pattern would repeat itself as I would sit down at various tables. After the hellos and pleasantries were said I was always asked: “Father, when will priests be allowed to marry?” or “Hey Father, when will women be ordained priests?” After the pleasantries and these two questions were asked there seemed little more in common to say. We were from two different worlds. The families or the couples would usually go back to talking among themselves or with their children; picking up the threads of their lives. After so much of this I would slowly and quietly leave and return to the empty house.

    I continued to go to these parish social functions even though I dreaded them but I eventually changed my approach. I refused to move from table to table as I had in the past. I made the decision that I would visit with one table for the extent of my stay. I found this much less stressful than moving from table to table as I used to do.

    I left active ministry 6 months ago and I am not looking back. I really miss the Priesthood and active ministry, I do not miss the empty house. If only the Deacon thing was in when I was considering vocation. I hope to get married and if needs be I will go to the Anglican communion in order to minister and have companionship.

    Just my story.

    Mark

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  27. Hoel Traynor never asked to come here. He was sent. Correct. BUT HE COULD HAVE REFUSED. Other men who had no desire for power or who felt they did not possess what it took to be a good pastoral bishop or who simply didn't want the hassle have refused. Many a priest has !

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  28. When The Catholic Hierarchy (most) pull their heads out of the sand and take a look at what they have done and are doing to the Church and its people then and only then will there be any hope for its revival.
    Only we, the grey haired brigade, (bar a few of the young dedicated) and few of us too, attend weekday Masses so in a few short years there will be little need or indeed want for daily Mass.
    Surely that is a fact and so the dwindling numbers of priests wont be a problem.
    Where does the fault lie?

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  29. I am now an almost 70 yr old Humanist, who quit just before Sub D in 68, so have some understanding of dilemmas above. While not sharing any of my former colleagues deity based beliefs, and certainly not the raison d'etre of the catholic or indeed any church, I continue to have respect for the sound humanitarian principles of my old SPS college and former colleagues. Other than that the church serves a useful purpose for believers in assisting them through the rites and rituals of human existence, birth, marriage, death etc, I believe the whole church apparatus to be an expensive sham. Having said that, I can acknowledge and respect the rights of all, including priests, to follow their beliefs.
    What I do object to is the self perpetuating power obsessed hierarchical institutions of the catholic church, and in particular its misogynistic totalitarian mindset.
    In reading the above comments, I recognise principled well intentioned compassionate individuals following their religious conscience and convictions, but trapped in an unforgiving framework, and unable to publicly dissent because of dependence, age, lack of alternative, and fear of the unknown.
    Would that there were many more younger energetic priests more able to light the flame of an "Arab Spring" like revolution, for I suspect the majority of churchgoers would choose to follow such compassionate caring individuals, whether married or not, rather than the cold impersonal hierarchy's diktats.
    My best wishes to you all in the struggle.

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