Sunday, 4 August 2013

SOME CATHOLIC PRIESTS ARE ATHEISTS - SOME NEVER PRAY

SOME CATHOLIC PRIESTS ARE ATHEISTS - SOME NEVER PRAY

I HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT SINEAD O'CONNOR. ON THE ONE HAND I BELIEVE THAT SHE IS A VERY DAMAGED AND HURT PERSON - BUT ON THE OTHER HAND SHE SAYS SOME VERY PROFOUND THINGS.
BUT A FEW YEARS AGO ON A BRITISH SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMME SHE SAID SOMETHING THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE.

SHE WAS ASKED WHAT WAS REALLY WRONG WITH THE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. 

HER ANSWER HIT ME LIKE A BOLT OF LIGHTENING. SHE SAID:

MANY PRIESTS DO NOT PRAY ANYMORE


WHEN I WAS ORDAINED IN 1976 A PRIEST I KNEW INVITED ME TO DINNER IN HIS HOUSE ONE DAY. AT THE END OF THE DINNER HE SHOCKED ME BY SAYING: "PAT, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD ANYMORE. I AM AN ATHEIST"

I FOUND HIS STATEMENT SHOCKING BECAUSE I CANNOT UNDERSTAND HOW YOU CAN BE A PRIEST, SAY MASS, LEAD PEOPLE IN PRAYER AND BE AN ATHEIST. HE WAS OBVIOUSLY JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS. HOW SAD! AND WHAT AN UTTER CONTRADICTION!

BUT OVER THE YEARS I HAVE COME TO KNOW THAT A LOT OF PRIEST ARE ATHEISTS, AGNOSTICS OR DO NOT PRAY.

HOW LONG IS IT SINCE YOU WENT INTO A CHURCH AND FOUND A PRIEST PRAYING THERE ?  SEE WHAT I MEAN?

IN THE PAST YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN A PRIEST IN HIS CHURCH PRAYING. YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN SEEN PRIEST PRAYING BEFORE AND AFTER MASS. YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN PRIESTS WALKING AROUND THE CHURCH GROUNDS PRAYING HIS PRIESTS' PRAY BOOK - THE BREVIARY.


SAINT PETER'S CATHEDRAL BELFAST


WHEN I WAS IN SAINT PETER'S CATHEDRAL BELFAST (1978 - 1983)  I USED TO DO A HOLY HOUR EVERYDAY IN THE CATHEDRAL FROM 5 - 6 PM. THE ADMINISTRATOR FATHER VINCENT MC KINLEY AND THE SENIOR CURATE FATHER JOSEPH MC GURNAGHAN USED TO COME INTO THE CATHEDRAL AND STAND IN THE SANCTUARY MOCKING ME, GIVING ME THE TOW FINGER SALUTE AND MAKING SIGNS AS IF THEY WERE MASTURBATING.


FATHER MC KINLEY USED TO TALK ABOUT ABOUT A PREVIOUS CURATE AT ST PETERS WHO PRAYED AND WHO IN HIS OPINION WAS "MENTALLY DISTURBED". FATHER MC KINLEY TOLD THE STORY OF HOW HIS BREAKDOWN CAME: "HE CAME INTO THE PRIESTS DINING ROOM ONE NIGHT WITH HIS BREVIARY IN HIS HANDS AND ASKED US TO SAY EVENING PRAYER WITH HI. AT THAT STAGE WE KNEW THE FUSE HAD BLOWN".

OLDER PRIESTS v YOUNGER PRIESTS

I BELIEVE, THAT WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS (AS ABOVE) MORE OLDER PRIESTS PRAY THAN YOUNGER ONES DO.

THE YOUNG PRIESTS THAT HAVE COME OUT IN THE LAST 20 OR 30 YEARS ARE SCARY. I SEE IT MYSELF IN THE DIOCESE OF DOWN AND CONNOR.

THEY ARE SO RIGHT WING.  SO OUTWARDLY CONSERVATIVE. THEY ARE HARDLY HUMAN. THEY ARE ALL "CANONICALLY CORRECT" BUT SO LACKING IN COMPASSION. 

THEY CONDEMN PEOPLE WHO DON'T AGREE WITH THEM OR WHO THEY REGARD AS NOT CANONICALLY CORRECT. 

THEY ARE ALSO SCHIZOPHRENIC. THEY PREACH CONSERVATIVE RIGHT WING CATHOLIC TEACHING ON A SUNDAY YET THEY ARE OUT THERE BONKING EVERYTHING THAT MOVES. THEY ARE PRIMARILY GAY - WICKEDLY GAY.

THEY CRUISE GAYDAR ON THEIR COMPUTERS. THEY ARE TO BE FOUND CRUISING TOILETS AND GAY CRUISING PLACES AND THEY GO ON HOLIDAYS AS A GROUP TO GAY VENUES IN SPAIN. 

PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A GAY PRIEST OR BISHOP AS LONG AS YOU ARE HONEST ABOUT IT AND NOT BEING HYPOCRITICAL.

BUT THE ONES I AM TALKING ABOUT ARE THE CYNICAL, WICKED, DOCTRINE- CORRECT, PRAYERLESS, AGNOSTIC / ATHEIST, WITHOUT COMPASSION CREATURES .

ANd SINEAD O CONNOR IS RIGHT. WHEN PRIESTS STOP PRAYING AND STOP STRIVING TO BE "HOLY" THAT THE CHURCH GOES DOWN THE TUBES.

Bishop Pat Buckley. 4.8.2013.    

123 comments:

  1. A friend, a former high ranking Catholic police officer told me many years ago that in one week four different priests, 3 from D&C and 1 from Dromore were caught soliciting for gay sex in the Belfast area. At that time a number of catholic churches had been either burned or vandalised and the protest at the church in Ballymena was ongoing. Senior officials felt that with that background and the perception that the cathoilic community was under the cosh the last thing they wished to do was proceed with prosecutions against the four. The same retired officer told me that one of the priests didn't learn his lesson and got into further trouble !!!

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    1. Its very sad when a priest or any man has to go cruising in public.

      Is it because they are looking for quick anonymous sex with no commitment?

      I personally think that a full human encounter with a whole human being is much preferable.

      Pat

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    2. Religion is garbage; it is patently obvious that god does not exist - why even bother with it?

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  2. Dear Pat, You have us all guessing about the photo you posted of the two gays lying down. A priest from the Bannside area of County Antrim has phoned me saying he thinks he recognises the foot of the guy on the left. He says the big toe is a giveaway. Could that be a priest presently serving in rural Co Down ? lol

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    1. Thank you for your comment.

      Another priest texted me today asking if it was the Down & Connor priest who currently cruises the public toilets in Coleraine.

      Maybe they are one and the same?

      Pat

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    2. Or it could be the'man' 'ish' in the Saintfiled/Drumbo area?????? Ballyninch!!!!

      Ohhh slip of the tongue!!

      As me poor owl granny used to say; 'still waters run deep'!!!!

      P.J. Mulally

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    3. Dear PJ,

      I am not very well acquainted with the area you mention.

      I would not like to think that there was anyone up there worrying the poor sheep.

      Pat

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  3. + Pat,I agree with you when you say a high percentage of priests being ordained today are highly right wing and only interested in being cannonically correct and have tunnel vision.this believe is down to 1 the type of candites beind admitted,ie those who can be mouled and 2 the training of these men.My own experience of seminary life would suggest that it is nothing more than a place of systematic brainwashing and that if you pass your exams,hold the correct views then you will be ordained.Spirituality is very lacking,espically in diocesan seminaries,I once had a spiritual director who rather than being my guide as i discerned my vocation and relationship with God,was only interested in getting me to joinThe legion of Mary.As you said many young priests can quote cannon law off the top of their heads,but many lack a compassion that comes from having a sustained personal relationship with God.As always thanks for publishing my 2 cent worth.Mike.

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    1. Your so called 2 cents worth is as valuable to me as the "widow's mite" was to Jesus.

      Pat

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  4. "Appraise the Lord: Tax church property."

    Atheist

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    1. My understanding is that church property is taxed - as in rates at 50%.

      There is really no argument why churches should not pay the 100% the man/woman in the street is paying.

      Pat

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  5. "Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches."

    Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

    It is very possible to be an excellent, professional 'God' man without being a believer or a moral person! Lets be honest they place is coming down with them. I in fact think that or Bishop Noel is an excellent 'God' man, but when one listens to him there is NO spirituality. In fact when he celebrates Mass he skips his way through and can not wait to get off the altar and into the clerical setting!!

    You are right - SAD!

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    1. You make a good point.

      About Noel. I have watched him rattle Mass quickly on the web cam of St Peter's Cathedral.

      I cannot judge him and say that he is not spiritual. But I think we can say that his spirituality does not come across at the liturgy or when people try to talk / listen to him.

      Maybe there is a nice good man inside trying to get out ????

      I would love to think so.

      Pat

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    2. It's funny that I went to a Science Of Mind Church, where you think your way to anything you want, including money. The Preacher was woman who was so bored and disgusted with Preaching Science of Mind priciples that it showed big time. She could not wait to get through her little talk and have people in the Congregation tell how rich they had become from doing the right thinking. I could never figure out why she remained, the Preacher, unless the pay was pretty good, or she had no skills, other than preaching and was afraid she would starve is she quit her Preaching job She was the most bored Preacher I have ever seen.

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  6. "The atheist does not say 'there is no God,' but he says 'I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God'; the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. ... The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me."

    These were the words of a cleric in D&C who held all sorts of letters to his name - he was a thinking, inward book looking drinker. He was a really nice man.

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    1. He sounds the kind of man I would like to have a drink with.

      Pat

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  7. Why I joined the Oratory Society:

    The Catholic church is on its knees, and not in the way we would like! In fact, the last thing anyone would ask a bishop or cardinal about right now is prayer, or Christian witness, or how to live an upright, moral, God-trusting life. Why would you, when all they seem to know about is covering up sex crimes, inappropriate behaviour among prelates, political infighting at the Vatican, and the existence of a clandestine gay cabal at the highest levels in Rome?

    All of which is, for ordinary church-going (former Roman)Catholics like me, profoundly disturbing. How could an organisation that (incorrectly) professes a direct link to Christ – "You are Peter," Jesus told the first bishop of Rome, "and on this rock I will build my church …" – have gone so far off the rails that it now seems a power-crazed, untrustworthy and corrupt institution, out to save its own skin at almost any cost?

    The people in the pews are reeling from shock: go to any mass at any church in Ireland this weekend, and there will only be a topic of conversation in the porch afterwards. How did it come to this? What on earth has been going on in our church?

    I have witnessed so many outrages that the only thing I tend to think now, when I hear yet another outlandish rumour, is that the more far-fetched it sounds, the more likely it is to be true.

    So I am not as shocked as others, but I am angry: very angry indeed. Because my church – the church to which I and generations of my relatives have been giving their money, allegiance, and sometimes even (as nuns, monks and priests) lives has, quite simply, failed. It has failed to give witness, at an institutional level, to the gospel message with which it was entrusted by Christ. "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church," he said: but the descendants of Peter, the bishops and cardinals of today, seem more intent on smashing the rock to pieces than building on it.

    Look to the alternatives, that is my advice!

    Member of the Oratory Society

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    1. Thank you for your comment.

      Thank you for joining The Oratory Society.

      Because you joined us our Society is richer - because of the gifts you brought with you.

      I am glad that you also feel that we had / have something to offer you and others

      Pat

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    2. Paying tithes doesn't make you a shareholder in Catholic Enterprises PLC. You get no say on policy.

      You are right, go somewhere were you have say on policy!

      Ex-catholic

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    3. Is it possible that the otherwise unattested Petrine Mandate, used throughout history and to this day used to bolster all manner of persecutions and criminality (and equally to conceal clerical hypocrisy, fascism and vice) is nothing more than a self-serving fable?

      Thinker - Bangor, Co. Down

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    4. As opposed to when, exactly? When do you think the Roman Catholic Church was anything other than a power-crazed, untrustworthy and corrupt institution?
      I'm absolutely serious -- please tell me a period in history when the church was none of these things.

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    5. Ratzinger should be imprisoned along with any others who put his dictates into action.......

      Well done, you had the balls to seek the alternative!

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    6. It is rumored to be one reason he is staying in the Vatican, he is beyond the reach of any extradition!!

      Sick people!

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    7. Oh, it will survive all right, but maybe not in the west or at least in the same way as it has.

      Already they are turning their beady eyes to the developing economies (Brazil - catholic youth fest, parents allow their kids with these people!!!!) in much the same way as the tobacco industry.

      And when they have milked what they can out of them they will move onto the next ones.

      Delete
    8. Any large organisation has detectable levels of corruption and is subject to scrutiny but the RCC is beyond the pale.

      I don't understand why the lay congregation don't abandon the church en masse. I know they routinely ignore edicts against contraception, homosexuality and the 'real stuff' of life.

      I guess I will never understand because I'm a Protestant atheist, not a Catholic atheist.

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    9. Would a drop of 32% of people who are brought up Catholic now claiming to have "no religion" count as en masse?

      Look at England, Scotland & Wales: according to the British Social Attitudes survey that is what is happening, see table 12.2.

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    10. The phrase I use is cultural Catholicism. In Glasgow it tends to be associated with having Irish ancestry. None of the Catholics I know (including my own family members) believe in all the edicts of the church & they happily use birth control etc & but still see themselves as Catholics. It's all a bit bizarre really & I think will die out eventually.

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    11. The church should be like this blog - where everyone gets their say and each one's say matters deeply.

      Pat

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  8. In reading these blogs I have to say that as a lay Catholic, as a medical professional I am very, very angry!

    This church isn't the church I want to belong to. My only sliver of hope is that, through the centuries, it has sometimes brought itself to the very brink of self-destruction and, at the 11th hour, managed to turn itself round and live to fight another day. Can that happen again?

    God knows. But of this I am certain: if the Catholic church is going to pick itself up it needs to make some very big changes indeed. Trust the laity, share the power, open the pathways, sort the 'joke' that is enforced celibacy, make the mechanics transparent; and that's just for starters.

    Oh yes: and read the gospels too. Was this the church Chris. wanted? If not, let's get back to that rock, and see whether we can build something much, much better.

    A very angry Catholic!

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    1. Dear Dr and Very Angry Catholic,

      Thank you for your excellent comment and expressing such provocative thoughts.

      I think that 11th hour conversion is always, always available both for individuals and for institutions.



      The problem is whether or not those in charge in our church realise its the 11th hour - or worse sill care about it being the 11th hour.

      Yes - trust and empower the laity in all kinds of ways.

      Yes - sort out the joke of enforced celibacy.

      Yes - make it all transparent.

      We do need a total renovation and try and discover the church Christ founded and intended.

      But that means that those in power will have to let go of power. People in power never like to do that.

      I'm sure you've experienced abuse of power in your own noble profession.

      Maybe the change will have to come from the bottom up - PEOPLE POWER.

      I hope you will bbe one of those people

      Pat

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    2. Lets face it, if only they could overcome their Stockholm syndromes. Lets face it, women who remain in the Catholic church are in need of counselling to enable their escape.

      Proud Christian Woman

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    3. Of all of us women have fared worse in the church - no Holy Orders, being cleansed (churched) after giving birth, being told that "the vagina is the gateway to hell" etc etc.

      Yet Sunday and weekday congregations are mostly women.

      Is this Stockholm syndrome or simple "turleys voting for Christmas"?

      Pat

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    4. Listen to yourself and do not go to mass next weekend. If you find your day more peaceful than normal and yourself less angry, then don't go again the next week. It will get easier and you will gradually come to see that what you have left behind wasn't worth bothering with in the first place. Or find an alternative away from the hypocrites - just laugh at them and pass them by.

      Delete
  9. You convey your anger powerfully, Dr, but there are millions of lapsed Catholics who left for more fundamental reasons, and there are many like me who can't understand how you can persist in propping up this gang of despots with your practice, belief, trust and commitment.

    It's not just the sexual scandals, the idiocy of celibacy, or the treatment of women as inferior. It's the extreme crudity of any instrumental religion, which promises redemption to those who follow some rules and put their trust in a human hierarchy. From Wyclif and Luther onwards there have been powerful voices challenging the Roman dictatorship, and you must know that 2000 years of history says you are unlikely to change it from within.

    I can never understand why those with some religious impulse don't join the Quakers or the Unitarians. They at least respect people's intelligence.

    Human Person

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  10. "Lay women, the biggest group within the church, are the most silent of all silent majorities. Yet the women of the Catholic church are its backbone: its strength, its prayer powerhouse, its unseen workers."

    Absolutely. Women are the power base of the church, and so it is women who are to blame for the culture of silence that suppressed any complaints form boys who priests raped and molested, which silenced these rape victims. This went on for decades and ecades and deacdes. My father was rpaed by priests in the 40s and knew he had no chance of ever being believed, or else of certainly being blamed in some way. He knew which side the women in our family would come down in, and he never forgave the last one of them left alive, his church rat sister, my dear aunt, for that - not even at the moment of death. The women of the Church steadfastly supported this hierarchy and were therefore complicit in this silencing.

    The women of the Church supported and enabled this rape culture.
    "They are also, I believe, its wisdom, its common sense and its conscience."

    Which pretty clearly is no conscience at all. In this matter the women of the Church have shown themselves by their continued silence over decades and decades to be complete moral cripples.

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    1. If the Catholic Church listened to ordinary churchgoers - especially women - it wouldn't be the Catholic Church.

      Opinion

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    2. This is another horrific story of your poor Dad. First abused. Then abused again by not being believed.

      You are right. Women were both VICTIMS and ENABLERS.

      Our women now need to rise up and refuse to be eith victims or enablers.

      Pat

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  11. Allow me to say one or two things.

    First, because our belief is that the Church is "incarnational" ie. flesh and blood just like Jesus, there will always be dreadful things done by Catholic Christians who should know better. Take the phrase :"Thou art Peter ..." Immediately after Jesus gives Peter the authority to bind and loose he speaks of going up to Jerusalem to die. Peter rebukes him and tells him not to go. Jesus replies ;"Get behind me Satan!" On the face of it not a very nice thing to say, but understood, in context, as embodying the highs and lows of leadership in the Church. Christian history is full of low points showing popes and bishops in a bad light.

    The second thing I would say is this : these days we are so aware of what is wrong with the Church (and the world in general) because of the media that we can easily come to have an entirely jaundiced view of the Church. You are a bishop and writer, it is your job to be aware of sensational stories day in, day out. For the average person in the street it is difficult to escape the flood of bad news. It can be very depressing. We have to remind ourselves of the vastly greater amount of good being done in and by the Church - lay people and clergy and religious alike. It is the Gospel of Christ that we must keep in mind. My own experience of priests has been, on the whole, very positive. I am not unaware of clerical faults by any means, but I try to keep things in perspective and recognise the holy and heroic lives of many I have met - unsung by the media. Too often we see the Church through the prism of those who edit out the goodness of the Church. We need authority in the Church to guide us. We also need holiness. Life can be a struggle. Jesus promised us a cross to bear. But let us never forget that we try to preach and live the "Gospel" - the "Good News".

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    1. Um, have you never heard of the Borgias?
      Seriously. Catholics and history.

      I had a friend at University who was a really sweet girl who had gone to convent school on the Falls Road. She had had nice nuns not horrid abusy ones. But one day we discussed the inquisition. She had never heard of it. Simply did not believe it could ever have existed.
      The nuns had taught her about a completely fictional Catholic Church which was lovely and nice and went about the world helping people and doing good works - no Borgias, no inquisition, no burning of heretics... Sort of a mirror image of the Catholic Church as it is sometimes portrayed on belief threads of being made up of nothing but evil abusers.
      It really puzzles me that you can be so shocked. It seems to require a completely sanitised view of the history of the papacy to think that things are particularly bad now.
      Hey, at least the current pope hasn't poisoned anyone, and there aren't two of them operating at the same... ....oh, hang on a minute.
      Think he will retire to Avignon?

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    2. Yours is a very important and very timely comment.

      Yes there are horrific stories. Yes there are wicked priests and bishop.

      But yes too there are and always have been good priests. You know them. I know them.

      In fact I wrote a blog a few days ago about such a good priest - FATHER JOHN HYDE SJ

      And yes the Church does and always had done good.

      It is vitally important that we have CHURCH LEADERS with INTEGRITY AND MORALS to promote the good and challenge the evil.

      Our leadership has failed us.

      If there is a future it will onl be because of BETTER LEADERS

      Pat

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  12. I knew a girl who was raped by a priest when she "confessed" to him - after being abused by a family member. After raping her, the priest told her that she would never be believed if she told anyone because he was "highly thought of in the community" and she was "a little slut". She was 12.
    She did tell her mother (a good Catholic woman) who thrashed her and told her to "shut up". She stayed silent for 30 years.
    Yep. If more women had let the scales fall from their eyes and believed their own children over these ecclesiastical vermin, they would not have got away with it for so long.
    It is good that we are waking up.... let's hope more women do and that it doesn't take them 2000 years or more.

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    1. Horrific story - and sadly all too common :-(

      Children should always be believed BY DEFAULT

      Pat

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    2. Is it a coincidence that this greatest of all crises faced by the church has come early in the internet age? An unprecedented age of learning; facts, erstwhile terrible secrets, available to read in seconds with a few clicks in the comfort of your home and at your convenience?
      A plethora of learned and awful articles about crimes carried out over the years stretching back aeons. Learn about the history, learn about the geography, learn about the bible and how it was written and who by. Learn about the other world faiths. Learn about science. And recognise childhood indoctrination, cultural and peer pressure.

      Humanity simply does not need it any more.

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    3. Dear Bishop,

      I understand you are Catholic and possibly blind to this, but please explain when the Catholic Church has not been a corrupt institution more concerned with worldly power and wealth and its own survival than in its supposed principles and saving souls??

      This is an organisation which positively glories in money and ostentatious display of wealth, and which constantly interferes in politics in countries across the globe.

      Frank

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    4. I agree with much you say.

      Maybe you think I am silly and immature - But I feel I need God and Jesus more than ever.

      But I do not need the men who once told me that I could only go to God through them.

      Throw out the "dirty water" I say and keep the baby :-)

      Pat

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    5. Dear Frank,

      The Catholic Church has quite simply lost its way.

      Not everyone in it has lost their way.

      But the leadership has.

      I hate the wealth aspect. I abhor the political interference.

      Maybe that is why I am on the margins - an independent catholic - free from those institutional evils.

      Pat

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  13. Anyone who has both read and loved Gibbon's “Decline & Fall” will doubtless recognise the early north African bishop who was wont to claim to test his faith by sharing both the table and the bed of a voluptuous 20-year-old virgin. Gibbons relates that the results of the bishop's vow of poverty brought him in 20,000 crowns a year, while he judiciously forgets the results of his vow of chastity.
    Gibbon's perceptive footnotes of course, shocked and scandalised the religious bigotry of the 19th century, but it should be remembered that if one seeks to study the mindless follies, the gross indecencies, the mass stupidities, the blatant hypocricies of both men and nations, it is seldom necessary to go any further than organised, established religion.

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  14. Iread with intrest the reply "Why I joined the Oratory society" a very well written piece that conveyed the spirit of truth,honesty,tolerance and diversity that underpins the society as a faith community within the catholic tradition.i personally feel that the society does not get enough credit for the example it gives us all as to how a faith community can and should work.I say this as a former member of the society.my reasons for leaving had nothing to do with the society,but more to do with the honest realisation that in terms of theology I could no longer continue my own faith journey as a catholic....even a liberal one!To me now as an outsider people like + Pat,his clergy and the members of the oratory are and must be the future of the catholic church.As I said I will always be proud of mypast membership of the society and long may it continue to show the way to a new church.Mike

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    1. Mike,

      Maybe you are a "post-catholic" :-)

      Pat

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    2. Mike, Thank you for your response. Brother, I do not consider you to be a former anything. You are my brother. May I suggest to you as you search your supernatural faith:

      Don't allow prejudices about Christianity, whatever their source, to prevent you from looking at evidence. Dr Paley said:

      There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. The principle is contempt prior to examination.

      A good scientist, if he is to arrive at truth, must examine evidence. The history of science is littered with examples of how the discovery of truth has been delayed because scientists, for one reason or another, refused to consider evidence. Jesus is a historical figure. We have very good evidence for trusting the accuracy of the records we have about him. If he was not the divine Son of God he claimed to be, he must be the most remarkable con man in history. If you are interested in exploring the evidence for these things further, you may like to read the first four articles; THE BIBLE Can we trust a book written 2000 years ago? EYEWITNESS Did the writers of the New Testament get their picture of Jesus right? GOD - MAN Is Jesus really God? RESURRECTION Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

      I trust your experiment of Church in recent times. If a scientist develops a theory he must be prepared to put it to the test. This may involve a step of faith.

      In Christianity, as in science, faith comes before certainty. We have enough evidence to point us in a certain direction. As we put it to the test, the evidence increases (or otherwise). Faith is not contrary to evidence, but is prepared to trust beyond where the evidence can go.

      In fact, faith sometimes comes before any evidence at all. A good example from science is Enrico Fermi's postulation of the existence of what he called a "neutrino", a quantity of energy that had neither positive or negative charge and no mass. This caused a considerable scandal in the field of science because no one could capture it. Some considered the whole idea a fraud and thought it might even be intellectually dishonest to continue to discuss its role in atomic physics.

      However, though there was no experimental evidence for its existence, some scientists persisted "in faith", and eventually evidence was forthcoming.

      "Proof" is something that comes later and it is interesting that "proof"" is a concept that scientists are much less likely to use today. Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, in A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism, says:

      'God has put enough into the world to make faith in Him a most reasonable thing, and He has left enough out to make it impossible to live by sheer reason or observation alone'.

      Lets pray for each other as we journey onwards.

      Oratory Brother & Friend


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    3. Oratory Brother Thank you very much for your kind and sincere words I know in the spirit of the oratory they are heartfelt,I think you make the most wonderful point,that as we all journey and struggle we should always be united in prayer.Thank you once again.Mike

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  15. Well, I went to Mass last Sunday and not only was the church reasonably full and the organist played some lovely stuff by Vincent d'Indy, but there was also a very interesting homily by the priest, an executive summary of the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, one of the important legacies of Vatican II...

    And he made it very clear that LG states that Christ is the head of the church, not the pope, nor the bishops, and that the laity has an essential role as witness and minister.

    I am saddened that the hierarchy that denounces my same-sex marriage as a social peril is so hypocritically involved itself in same-sex desire... as per your article Bishop.

    But I still think that figures of reason and intelligence in the church like cardinals Schönborn and Woelki will prevail and that place will be made for a new moral theology of human sexuality under this new pope.

    Am I a fool??

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    1. My Dear Friend,

      I loved your comment. I have never preached on Lumen Gentium but I am impressed that your priest did - and that he was able to make that document intelligible to you all and relevant to 2013.

      Christ is the Head of the Church.

      But various popes and hierarchies over the centuries have almost managed to make people forget about that and concentrate on them.

      Recently I have been saying: IS IT NOW GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE SOME POPE OR CARDINAL WILL ANNOUNCE THAT GOD IS NOW THE POPE'S VICAR IN HEAVEN!

      Your same sex marriage - like my own - is loved and blest by God.

      There are great people in the Church. I have my fingers crossed that Pope Francis will be one of them - if they do not get rid of him.

      Are you a fool? No you are not.

      Like me you are an optomist.

      Time will tell if we are foolish optomists or wise ones.

      Pat

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    2. As a former Roman Catholic and now just a Catholic and member of the Oratory Society I say what I say in all charity and love. I also thought as you did!!

      I think you're being over-optimistic, I tell you why I think that. If those two Cardinals were appointed by John Paul II or by Benedict, that is indication enough of the sort of views they have. But even if one or other of them has somehow become more liberal during his time as a cardinal, he would have this huge hulking neurotic roman organisation to contend with.

      This too seems to be part of a certain Catholic mindset, of which I was very much part: Things are awful but the next Pope will sort everything out! It's not going to happen, it is a painful thing to admit
      !
      This isn't really about this pope or the last one or the next one; it is the organisation that is fatally flawed.

      With the greatest of respects and love,

      Member of the Oratory Society.

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    3. Dear Am I a Fool? No I do not think you are as I said in a previous reply people like you and The oratory Society may well be the future of the church.two things strike me though: 1 Any change will be at the behest of a group of celibate men who are clearly not in touch with the modern world and 2 must catholics spend their lives waiting for change,which brings me back to point 1 the power to change is not the peoples!Mike

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    4. Lumen Gentium may state that Christ is the head of the Church, but he seems at best to be a nominal head, the religious equivalent of a Peer of the Realm whose name is put on a company's list of directors in order to impress prospective clients. If he really IS the head of the Church, why do Popes, Cardinals and Bishops rarely - if ever - act, or speak, as he would? And outsiders notice that failure, even if loyalty renders many insiders blind to it. I suspect that most of the current antagonism towards Catholicism is prompted by the huge contrast that people see between the Vatican and the man whom the Church claims as its 'founder'.
      Your priest may preach that Christ is the head of the Church, but if he had to choose between obeying his Bishop and doing what Jesus would have wanted, I wonder which way he could go.

      An honest opinion!

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    5. I'll tell you which way he would go - he would obey the bishop.

      There no promotion in a clerical career for obeying God.

      As Jesus said about the clergy of His time, the Pharisees:

      DO WHAT THEY SAY - BUT DON'T DO WHAT THEY DO.

      Any priest who tries to follow Christ - is heading for the sack or for spending 30 years in the diocese's poorest parish.

      Pat

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  16. If you don't like the church - and who sensible would - get out! Members of an association share in the institutional guilt, surely?

    Is this not a fair point??

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    1. Dear Friend,

      We in The Oratory Society have got out of the Roman Catholic institution.

      We have nothing to do with them and they have nothing to do with us.

      We are here for people who want to have a catholic (small c) faith without the institutional baggage.

      You make a very fair point.

      Pat

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    2. So you believe in guilt by association? I'm not sure I agree with you. Many people in the UK are taxpayers and supported the unwanted war in Iraq with their money. Does that make them guilty by association? Many people voted for the government that took us to war. Are they too guilty by association?
      Are the families of murderers and paedophiles guilty by association?
      No! The guilty are the guilty who made their own moral choices, or should I more correctly say 'immoral' choices.
      Remeber, ordinary Catholics are not the guilty, they are the vicitims. Ordinary Catholics are the ones who have been totally and utterly betrayed. They are not the guilty ones.

      Delete
    3. I am by no means a defender of the Roman catholic church but I do feel that to say if you are a member then you share the "institutional guilt" as you put it.Many many catholics were totally unaware of clerical abuse,manyI may be unaware of the Vatican bank and its rather dubious dealings,many catholics as would mebers of any church,expect their ordained ministers to be men of God plus to fair in ireland being a catholic is a way of life,impinging on everything from education to healthcare to death.To lay the sins of an institutional church at the feet of its laity is not fair.As I said I am in no ways a defender of the church but lets not get carried away here!Mike

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  17. It occurs to me that if 4 complaints have been made, we might expect forty more to crawl out of the woodwork. His eminence O'Brien was vociferously homophobic, winning him the title of Bigot of the Year. Such exagerated récriminations are often a symptom of a tormented personality condeming his own demons. Time will tell. In the meantime, let us take comfort that the apostolic Nuncio has congratulated the 4 complainants on their courage. I know one pedophile shielded by his brother, a bishop.
    While I'm here, I must point out that there is an amazing row going on between Georg Ganswein, the popes personal secretary, and Clemens,the latter removed from the papal affection. Just before he announced his resignation crafty Ratzinger appointed Georg Prefect of the Papal Household. So the new pope will have someone running up and down the back stairs keeping his old boss informed. Ganswein is the man to Watch. Talk about éminence grise, this is beginning to look like shades of grey.

    Follower of the dressers!!!

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  18. It is not all that long ago since Italy consisted of numerous Princely Courts which were at odds with each other, concerned with prestige and power and the acqusition of land.The unification meant wresting these principalities of their influence and power until the last of the Papal States survived by a treaty and settled in Vatican City.

    There it still operates in the Renaisance fashion.Part of the tradition is to deal in pomp and splendour (very much like our own Dear Queen Noel - he is lovely) on the one hand and on the other engage in world wide diplomacy.The Diplomatic service seems skillful enough to pull off tendentious overseas visits such as the Pope's visit's where opposition forces are lying in wait to stage large demonstrations.

    None of this is unworthy per se. Where things are out of kilter is in the governance of the church, organisation of which seems to rely upon the cult of secrecy and the practise of coercion to maintain a measure of conformity which passes for unity and which involves the silencing of dissidents like yourself Bishop Pat.

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  19. Hi Pat I totaly agree younger priests have become Ultra Concertavive I saw it in the Gregorian Uni in Rome where the Legionaristi (millionairisti)of Christ paraded into class in twos & in matching cassocks, heads bound in unison. I also saw it in the Angelicum Uni(St Thomas Aquinas) with that strange breed of American Ultra Concervatives-Professors & Students. As for priests being athiests. I believe many people & dedicated clergy face this challenge but manage to come out the other end all the better for the struggle. Some however do not. A stifiling church environment does not support growth in faith or maturity. As for prayer. There is a difference between Praying and "Saying Prayers" I dont believe I recited a full Office from shortly after the day I was ordained-This is not a boast! I am certainly learning how to pray better now but my head is in a more peaceful place now. People need to be able to trust God & those around them in order to feel safe and become still enough like Eligah to hear the still voice of the lord. I recoil at the thought that there are shepherds who frighten and hurt the sheep rather than allow them the dignity & space to come close to the God who calls them. The progress of the Church through history is a bit like the film Groundhog Day. However slowly but surely God's will is being done and his Kingdom is coming-Sean

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  20. BBC Scotland reported that Cardinal O'Brien did not know who his accusers were nor what he had been accused of precisely. A bit like all of these hypocritical priest's of D & C!

    Perhaps those who know he and the D & C crowdare guilty could tell us precisely of what they are doing, when they occur! Why?

    When I walk into church as a gay man with my partner - how dare they look down on me, how dare they judge my open and public love.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When you and your partner walk into church to commune with God that God's heart swells with an immense love for your both and He blesses that open and committed love.

      Anyone who looks down on you should be presented with a great big mirror.

      If they have a soul they will blush for judging you.

      Pat

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  21. I'm no friend of the Catholic Church but it is a human institution after all? Ruled by a Vatican made up of mindless clones, they are after all nearly all celibate, old, mostly European, conservative, males ... perhaps the RCC just suffers from 'group think', a malady that affects other such large, once great institutions ... this is what brought down the likes General Motors in the auto industry, and what caused Japan's economy and companies to stagnate.

    What you think?

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    1. I spoke to an Old School Roman Catholic lady today. We were in the process of organising a funeral for a neighbour who died without having any immediate family. She is in a parish where a Church of England Vicar became a R Catholic Priest. She told me she would not go to confession to him or recieve Communion-because he is married. She says she knows this is not logical but she can't help it. I commented that I believed this is due to the subliminal message passed down by the Imperial Church that sex and holliness do not go together. This lady is in her 70's. I suggested that rather than try to turn her head around with endless soul searching she should do what she feels comfortable with-go to another priest for confession, take communion from a Eucharistic Minister etc. Sometimes damage limitation is better than going for a cure and putting millstones around people's knecks that we could not possibly carry ourselves

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  22. Most of the people who would have been in favour of change and might have helped it along have given up in despair - or disgust - down the years, and have left. As a result, congregations have become more conservative; and conservative congregations are unlikely to embrace radical change. Thanks to its leaders' belief in their own infallibility and inerrancy the Church, in the West at least, may well be doomed to grow smaller and smaller, and less and less relevant, until it disappears entirely.

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    1. I'm afraid it will not disappear.

      What will happen will be that the smaller number of clerics will live well off all their investments - while their beautiful churches lie empty - like present day France.

      Pat

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  23. I can totally understand why so many people ask why some catholics stay in the church - stockholm syndrome, indoctrination, wilful blindness to the church's many iniquities etc. I think all of that is true, in varying degrees. These are if you like the obviously bad reasons why people stay. But aside from that I think there are three 'good' or at least hopefully 'not so bad' reasons why otherwise good and intelligent people stay.

    1. The Eucharist. If you believe in the Real Presence (OK, lots of people will just think this is ludicrous, but lots of things - like love - look ludicrous to the people outside that experience, so imagine for a minute) then you meet the God you believe in, in a very direct way. That is very hard to leave.

    2. The parish. Most lay people ignore/despise the Vatican and much of the hierarchy of the Church. But (in my experience) there is a real sense of love and community in each local parish, like a family. In general, they are good people, doing their best, trying to change the world for the better. This is what we consider the church to be, not the wicked and ridiculous Vatican. How long the parish structure can survive I don't know. There is currently a huge amount of anger, disappointment and - yes- guilt, because even if we ourselves have never done anything to abuse a child/cover this up, and if anything are pro gay marriage (and most people are), we are complicit simply because we turn up at church every week (see 1 above) and haven't risen up en masse (ha ha) and chased the criminals out.

    3. We hope that by staying and agitating (and we do, we do! - it just doesn't get into the media) we may change the Church from within. Advice and support on how to do this would be welcome please! Seriously, though I can't speak for others I must say that I am close to despair, the church as an institution is SO rotten. Yet there are so many good people in it who could reform it. So if any Cif-ers have handy hints on sedition.....

    So please don't think that those of us who remain (just) in the church are solely stupid or immature. You may not agree with a belief in God, but if you can see the 'good' or at least 'not so bad' reasons we stay, you might understand the confusing and difficult position we're trying to negotiate and find the best way to resolve.

    NB For years I have never given them money. I'm a woman, so I have always thought 'No taxation without representation' and told them so. Instead, I give that money - and more - to various charities which work for social justice. A very small fraction of guilt off my conscience...Maybe.

    I am begining to see that you also have all of these virtues in the Oratory Society - it is getting me thinking!!

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    1. It is impossible for the rank-and-file to change an authoritarian structure from within. It is even more unlikely that a male-dominated and indeed misogynistic structure is going to start listening to women. I'm glad you don't give them money but it sounds like you still give them other things.

      Agitate? My mother, a practising Catholic, uses that word too. This agitation seems to amount to the odd complaining session with fellow aggrieved practising Catholic women and, once in a blue moon, telling the priest she doesn't agree with him about the flowers. (Which he expects various women, including, my mother to arrange. And which they do arrange.You might think this is banal but it is an example of how too many people in the Church operate. You feel annoyed, you seethe. . .but you comply).

      It's disingenuous to say most lay people ignore the Vatican. What do you mean by that? That some of the women are on the Pill? If they were in a predominantly Catholic society, they very likely wouldn't have that option available to them!! Seriously!!

      Actually at the end of the day, I'm not really bothered whether you feel upset about the church. I think it's far more disturbing what the Church is doing globally: preventing access to contraception, telling lies about HIV and condom use, still haggling about compensation for abuse victims, still banging the homophobic drum even in places where homosexuals face the death penalty.. . Those things do bother me.

      So, in short, I don't have advice about how you can bring down misogyny and homophobia and authoritarianism from within. The fact is, you can't.

      They haven't listened to women and openly gay people before, they aren't doing so now. And a new Pope won't make the slightest bit of difference to that because whoever he is, he is well and truly part of the system.

      Delete
    2. Many people brought up as Catholics think of it like Spike Milligan did as similar to your blood group. Something you forget about but is always there.
      Never the less, one of the things that really gets to you in the end is that when vulnerable children are abused then the men in the clerical clique look inwards and protect themselves. They continue to apologise for this but it doesn't convince people that they really mean it.
      This clique also gets to people who have walked away because its only them that really count. Their laziness in looking after the people in their parishes has gone past crisis point. The acceptance of money while having more holidays than their parishioners is the behaviour of the parasite and has resulted in thousands of good people voting with their feet often following their own moral code and trying to lead good lives.

      Delete
    3. Thinking is good :-)

      The Oratory Society is a small group of people who know they are sinners - doing their best to love God and others.

      Pat

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  24. If you place your faith in people it is bound to die a death, place your faith in Jesus Christ. Priests are but people at the end of the day.

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  25. I think many Catholics at the church door on Sundays will be discussing the crisis among themselves. But the present day question of sanctity or sinfulness in clerics within the Church was settled many centuries ago when the question was, are the sacraments valid if administered by a priest who sins.
    The answer was, yes, they are.
    Jesus admitted that even the just man sins seven times a day.

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    1. You are right. No one is suggesting that the sacraments conducted by cynical and prayer-less priests are "invalid".

      But do you not think that a church goer should expect that their priest / minister is at least trying to love God and others and give some example by his/her prayer life, compassion and charity.

      A doctor who does not have your illness can cure you of the illness.

      But can a priest who does not believe in God really lead you to God ?

      Pat

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  26. The church hierarchy excused and broke the 11th and 12th commandments:
    11) All men have a willy and all men have a bum
    The latter for pooping and the first one is for fun
    12) Thou shalt not get found out

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  27. Isn't the Catholic church listening to women an oxymoron?

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  28. Don't really see why this latest affair would prevent anyone from attending mass on a Sunday. There are similar scandals in the teaching profession but it doesn't stop people attending schools. If a BMW worker is involved in a scandal, does it affect the quality of my car?

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    1. What if the BMW worker is selling or putting false BMW parts in your car?

      Pat

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  29. It seems to me that churches and God have little in common.

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  30. It is a mistake to expect too much of the clergy. Or anything at all. The Rock on which the church was founded denied Christ three times and another of the disciples sold him for thirty pieces of silver. Fortunately the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend on the holiness of the priest.

    There are obviously a lot of rotten apples in the barrel but there are plenty of good ones too. Go to Mass and confession, say your prayers, get on with you life, keep a close eye on your children and don't assume that Father can be trusted.

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    1. I agree with much you say.

      But sometimes there are so many rotten apples in the barrel the barrel get the disease too - and need repair ???

      Pat

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  31. The Magdalene Laundries have shown us that women can be just as bad as men in the church. I say continue to go to church but ignore both the edicts from authority and the convoluted doctrine (e.g. the Immaculate Conception).

    Go to church to exploit it for its best attribute: that of a social club where people of like mind can interact?

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  32. As a non-catholic, the issues of the Church of Rome's credibility seems to me to lay in its dogma, especially towards sexual matters. There seems to be an obsession with controling men and women's sexuality, through condemming contraception, abortion, sex outside marriage, divorce and gay relationships.
    These dogmas can have devastating social effects, especially on the spread of Aids in Africa, and cause personal anguish on an individual level.
    Yet I search the Gospels and Paul's letters in vain for any conclusive statements from Jesus and his early followers in regard to these issues, as I do for the assumption of the infallibility of the Pope.
    I wonder what Jesus would have thought about the Church today?
    If the Church has created these dogmas, then they can change

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  33. Funny you should sat that.

    In my first parish in Wales we had a thriving church social club.

    I served behind the bar and the parish priest led a band called THE FISHERMEN.

    It was the hub of our parish life - with as many protestants attending as catholics.

    Pat

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  34. Sorry but hasn't the church been this way for hundreds of years? Wasn't it power-hungriness and corruption that brought about the Reformation? I think the difference now is that it's all so out in the open, followers can't stick their heads in the sand anymore.

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  35. Speaking as a disillusioned, non-practicing, and brainwashed Catholic, the only thing keeping me from leaving the CC is the thought of having to swap my allegiance from Glasgow Celtic to Rangers Football Club - my family would be up in the arms at the thought - both the men AND the women!

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    1. Jesus cheers for both Celtic and Rangers :-)

      Pat

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    2. Rangers just like the RCC may not exist in a few years!

      Delete
  36. I was born and raised into Catholicism, I was an active part of a church. Women were amongst the most conservative and judgemental in the congregation. The notion that it should listen to women especially in order to sort it's problems out doesn't quite ring true. That isn't to say the religion isn't anti female. It just isn't the case that the women in it are any more moral or enlightened an your average man.
    Like religion in general it's a flawed premise that no doubt holds some very decent people to it but ultimately must me disbanded if we want true progress.

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    1. Religion needs to be replaced with spirituality.

      Pat

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  37. Some of us women have had a very good experience of Catholicism, though I must be honest and say that my good experiences were specifically of the Jesuits.Many people stay with the Catholic church because of these good experiences, and there are huge swathes of people who are just cultural Cathoilics, or nominal Catholics or folk-Catholics. They take what they like from it and just ignore the rest. This has always been the way with Catholicism. There was never a golden age of faith and conformity. Catholic people have a long tradition of not taking a blind bit of notice of the head Vatican Honcho's when they don't feel like it.
    Some of us women really do have good , rational reasons for refusing to leave the Catholic church, even if we are out and out heretics, and troublemakers.
    One thing that's crucxial is that we all encourage our daughters to do theology and philosophy, and stop helping mum do the flowers and clean the church.Things can change and they have changeD.The demographic of priests worldwide is incredibly old and in our lifetime they will nearly all retire or die. Young men are not coming through in anything like the numbers needed, so the well qualified women will be ready and waiting, to make their demands and step in. We have to be ready to fight, and take it, because it will not be given easily. Meanwhile , don't give them your money. Give to charity instead.

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  38. Surely it's time for a good old-fashioned schism? Every individual member of the Roman Catholic church must examine their conscience, as their continued support is what keeps the current dysfunctional arrangements dominant.

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    1. They canon lawyers in the church say that I and my fellow travellers are in "schism".

      Schism feels really good :-)

      Pat

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  39. I have an uncle, a former seminarian, who is as angry at the Church. By his lights, those who serve the Church should be a kind of spiritual SAS, invincible in their knowledge of the doctrines, theology and philosophy of Catholicism, utter dedicated to a thankless life of anonymous service to that which is greater than themselves. My uncle was always considered something of a crank in my family, but the older I get, the more I think he's right.

    In his view (and increasingly, mine) the Church went wrong when it stopped being a lighthouse and started trying to be "inclusive". It's easy to say, "after Vatican II, in other words", but the rot started a lot earlier than that; it probably started the day it lay down with the state, because while a mixing of Church and state certainly damages the state, people forget that it crucifies the Church. People wilfully forget that the crimes of the Church were almost universally committed in the service of the state. They certainly were in Ireland.

    Catholics should pay for their own schools, even though they'll be effectively double-taxed to pay for atheists' children to go to state schools. If they run hospitals, they should be private hospitals which can be run according to a Catholic ethos and to hell with the interference of the state. The point is that the Church is guardian to a complete philosophy, one which an older generation of Catholics were familiar with, but who's existence has been completely obscured today by exactly the kind of "devolution" of power which many have mentioned here.

    The glory of the Catholic Church is its perfect, complete, timeless doctrine, developed over 2000 years. THAT is what it should be about; when somebody is in breach of that doctrine, the Church's role is clear - denounce them, and make no apologies for it.

    Child abuse is counter to the doctrine; covering up for child abusers is contrary to the doctrine. If the bishops had lived by the doctrine and come down like a ton of lead on the first offender they found, we wouldn't have this trouble now.
    But they didn't. They did the Liberal thing and gave a second chance. And a third chance, and a fourth chance and any number of chances you like, and now the Church is paying the price for being other than what it is supposed to be.

    After centuries of cohabitation with the state followed by decades of post-Vatican II Liberalism, what did anybody think was going to happen?

    The way forward now for the Church is to become smaller and purer.

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  40. I wouldnt go expecting too much of the papacy. A "messianic reformer"pope? Well I think you`ll find that there already is a Messiah, that Jewish bloke.
    A reformer? The two greatest reformers of the mediaeval church - Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena - weren`t popes, or even priests. One of them was a woman
    I`m not waiting for a papal miracle thanks. Time to start at the roots. Base communities as they call them in Brazil

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  41. Saving justice, Lord, is yours; we have only the look of shame we wear today:

    Matthew ch 23 - Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus said, 'The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do and observe what they tell you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people's shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader headbands and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted respectfully in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
    'You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant.
    Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.

    Food for thought?

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  42. Even a sideways glance at all the wealth accumulated, and given (usually by poor parishioners ) ought to tell you something.

    While I am a wildly ecumenical christian, not wishing to cause further offence to genuine wide awake christians in this world of which there have been and are currently are a few hidden ones("glory is fleeting, obscurity is forever " ...Napoleon Bonaparte), not to mention a devoted long suffering priesthood both masculine and feminine - the scandal of the current situation, shameful as it is, at least thank goodness shows how eventually truth comes into the light - lets hope for justice and as Pope Francis has recently remarked, we all have to stand before God who is the Divine Judge.

    By the way, the issue of the predominantly gay vocations to the catholic church in Rome, was written about in The Tablet, some 15 years ago.

    While not everyone is called to the gift and vocation of celibacy, whatever their sexual orientation, nevertheless, the signs of misogyny are sadly very entrenched in the Church - Anglican, Orthodox and Roman (likewise most institutions that have great wordily power) and are not living symbols of discipleship of Christ, but rather are signs that speak the language of sleep and death, ignorance and blind selfishness.

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  43. I know what I'd do if I were you: cut the hierarchy loose. Schism. They can sit over there and play bishops and cardinals on their own with the money you aren't giving them any more, and you rebuild over here as a pure grassroots organisation.

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  44. I was a seminarian for four years in the late 70's in D&C. The same "gay cabal" existed back then - for the "in-crowd", those at the centre of power, a stifling culture of secrecy , based upon the pretence that sex with other men did not break the rules of celibacy.

    In this environment obedience, personal and religious loyalties became twisted, intertwined and confused. It would be impossible, in my opinion, for anyone to have gone through the seminary system and not known about or participated in or been excluded from the "gay cabal".

    Celibacy is a lonely road; I have never known such lonely men. It is terribly sad. The only way to embrace celibacy as an act of freedom, is with utter integrity. A hidden secret , like the gay cabal, corrupts the true intention to serve God, for you are living two separate lives, trying to hide one from the other; no wonder the laity are distanced and the priests are hurting.

    After so many years, knowing all this, I am delighted the secret is finally being exposed.

    It must be broken - the only way to do that is through a reforming attitude : being gay and being a sexually active priest is okay, being married and being a priest is okay - only then will people be able to get on with serving God without cover-up and the gut wrenching fear of being found out.

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    1. As young man, I was attracted to the priestly ministry and felt a strong calling, but from the moment I knew that I was a. Attracted to other men sexually and b. unwilling to keep chastity in the way becoming a priest or religious of any sexual orientation (the vow of celibacy would have been pretty easy, as I had no intention to marry a woman), I decided not to take that road. Your post has just confirmed what I have since found out (notably by having casual sex with guys that turned out to be priests), that my sexual orientation would have probably not been a problem, but only at the price of dishonesty and hypocrisy. like you, I do not believe that God hates fags, but I do believe God does not want us to be liars and hypocrites. Thank you for your post.

      Delete
    2. Why are so people bent on bashing the Catholic Church?
      Yes, the Church has done terrible evil in the past (and, present, to a degree). And is still puffed up, complacent and so on from one degree to another.
      But there is so much about the Church that is beautiful and true.
      Even with Jesus' favourite, St Peter, he said "get behind me Satan".
      If he said it to St Peter, imagine what he thinks about the rest of the world.
      And yet, because God promises so much: the heavenly, now, and Heaven after mortal death, one day - please God - so He did something radical: He came to Earth and lived and died as a man.
      Yes, people get inklings of Heaven on Earth (transcendental experiences in same cases, ecstasy of the soul, experiencing unconditional love and holiness in others, beauty in inanimate nature and the arts, and so on) but these are mere inklings of the infinite, heavenly beauty, glory, peace, joy and love of the Divine.
      We've got to look at the big picture. That there is good and bad in all. But that we ALL have the possibility of experiencing the heavenly now, and Heaven, one day, after mortal death (please God).

      Delete
    3. I do not think that people on here are bashing "The Catholic Church" itself.

      They are expressing their hurt, frustration and anger at the corrupt institution that has grown up around the church.

      There is a big difference.

      Pat

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  45. Here`s a thought experiment.
    Imagine a different Catholic church. One in which men and women were equally valued, in which both could be ordained, in which faithful relationships, both straight and gay, were honoured, in which children were loved and secure, in which there were no concentrations of wealth and power, in which all resources were devoted to the alleviation of human misery. A church which fully lived the Gospel of Christ.
    Yes I know it is difficult. But just for a moment try.

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  46. Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
    Albert Einstein

    If Lisbreen cannot listen and pass it on then we are doomed!!
    D&C Cleric

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  47. To Francis I I also say as a struugling man and priest - Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

    Please set us free!!

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  48. To your blog Pat I have to say: The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

    Keep it up!

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  49. I laugh at all this - the simple fact is that WE the conservative bunch hold the power and you liberals are NOT wanted. Clear off, dress up and play bishop and priest. You are not and you will never be recognised by us Romans. In fact, when we tell our ecumenical partners not to recognise you - they will NOT. You are the joke. I bet you can not even afford a bottle of decent wine.

    Pack of fools.

    Realist, conservative D&C and proud.

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  50. Why are we supposed to serve the God of the nation we are born?

    Are servants of randomness? Is randomness the real God?

    It is random to be born somewhere. It is random to serve a random God.

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  51. Is God a nazi racist because WE are?

    If evildoers do not serve God, THEN LOVE THEM as God said!

    Only if they harm other people (raping, slaying, stealing) then put them in jail.

    God serves NO other God, and as the bible says, MAN IS AN IMAGE OF GOD!

    Atheist... let it be. Criminal NO WAY. Not even truly religious criminal,

    neither an atheist one!

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  52. what happened the influence of fatima portugal miracles the vision of hell=fucking scary the miracle of the sun? it seems the world in late 20th century 21st century has forgotten that. THE REASON WHY PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEM WITH RELIGION IS THAT PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEM WITH DOCTRINE OF HELL! ASK YOURSELF THIS NO SANE OR INSANE PERSON SERIOUSLY WANTS HELL TO EXIST. IF PEOPLE REALLY BELIEVED IN HEAVEN OR A HELL THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WOULD NOT HAVE VIOLATED CHILDREN OR PROTECTED CRIMINALS BUT THEY DID? ORDINARY PEOPLE WOULD NOT COMMIT SO MANY SHOCKING MURDERS IN THE WORLD BUT THEY DO. EVER SAY 5 DECADES OF THE ROSARY IT TAKES 1 HR OR 75 MINUTES FATIMA EXPECTS US TO PRAY EVERY DAY ITS IS ON THE DECLINE ASK YOURSELF HOW YOU FELT ABOUT IT. i recently on you tube edward tarte a former priest now atheist does some videos there are loads of other famous alive and dead celeb atheists you tube videos on the internet. DO YOU KNOW THE VATCIAN POPE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS TRYIGN TO BULLY GOOGLE AND YOU TUBE INTO REMOVING ATHEIST VIDEOS ON YOU TUBE? EG RICKY GERVAIS THE BIBLE. THAT IS UNJUST. POPE FRANCIS DOES NOT LIKE ATHEISTS CONNECTING ON INTERNET VIA GOOGLES YOU TUBE SO FREE SPEECH AND FREE THINKING IS UNDER ATTACK FROM RELIGIOUS TYRANTS

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  53. Wolves in sheep's clothing.

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  54. Of course they're gonna be sad if they're gays but at the same time dogmatically Catholic. They're inauthentic. Being a gay man would bring endless trouble even if you were authentic - being an inauthentic priest would make it worse - plus being a priest now is an ostracising career move, you're viewed with suspicion as a potential child molester. It would make life worse. I think the best off priests are hetero ones who get to fuck their their housemaid, or better yet be kind to that 'single mum' who's actually the mum of their illegitimate spawn. Quite sad in some ways. I don't think it's sad if they're admitting their atheism, it means they're being more authentic, most would just not be willing to 'go there' and admit to themselves.

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