Thursday, 5 September 2013

WHY DO PRIESTS HAVE NO COURAGE?

WHY DO PRIESTS HAVE NO COURAGE?
FISH FACTORY

WHEN I WAS A PARISH CURATE IN KILKEEL, CO. DOWN, IRELAND - A FISHING TOWN - I WAS INVITED BY A PARISHIONER TO VISIT HIS FISH FACTORY.

THE FISH CAME IN ON AN ASSEMBLY LINE. FIRST THEY HAD THEIR HEADS CUT OFF. THEN THEY HAD THEIR GUTS REMOVED. FINALLY THEY HAD THEIR BACKBONES REMOVED. 

YOU WERE LEFT WITH FISH FILLETS.

THE SAME THING SEEMS TO HAPPEN WITH CATHOLIC PRIESTS WHEN THEY ENTER THE SEMINARY.

FIRST THEY HAVE THEIR HEADS REMOVED - THEY ARE TRAINED NOT TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES!

THEN THEY HAVE THEIR GUTS REMOVED - THEY LOSE ALL COURAGE.

FINALLY THEY HAVE THEIR BACKBONES REMOVED - THEY CAN NO LONGER STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES.

YOU END UP WITH NICE "FILLETED" FISH - WITH NO HEAD, NO GUTS AND NO BACKBONE.

NICE FILLETS OF PRIEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PRIEST KISSING BISHOP'S RING
WHY IS IT THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF CATHOLIC PRIESTS HAVE NO BALLS - NO COURAGE?

THEY GRUMBLE AMONG EACH OTHER ABOUT THE BISHOP AND THEIR ISSUES THEN AS SOON AS THE BISHOP COMES ALONG THEY ARE DOWN ON THEIR KNEES KISSING THE BISHOP'S RING!

THEY ARE LIKE CHILDREN WITH A STRICT DADDY. AS SOON AS DADDY TELLS THEM TO DO SOMETHING THEY GO AND DO IT - BUT SECRETLY GRUMBLE AND RESENT DADDY.

SOME PRIESTS OF COURSE LIKE TO KEEP ON THE BISHOP'S GOOD SIDE - IN THE HOPE OF GETTING PROMOTED - OF GETTING A BETTER PARISH - OF GETTING A CANON'S VERMIN (ERMINE) OR A MONSIGNOR'S PURPLE BELLY BAND. 

A SMALL NUMBER OF PRIESTS HAVE THE AMBITION TO BE BISHOPS THEMSELVES AND THEY NEED TO LICK THEIR WAY UP THE ECCLESIASTICAL LADDER.

A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF PRIESTLY COWARDLINESS IS THE ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC PRIESTS - IRELAND.



THEY SAY THEY WANT CHANGE. BUT THEY ARE NOT REALLY WILLING TO GO THE WHOLE HOG AND MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN.

THEY WANT TO BE "LIBERALS" BUT STILL WANT TO KEEP IN WITH THEIR BISHOPS AND RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS.

THEY ARE AFRAID THAT THEY WILL BE DISCIPLINED. THEY ARE AFRAID THEY WILL LOSE THEIR COMFORTABLE JOBS AS PARISH PRIESTS AND "PRIESTS IN GOOD STANDING" IN RELIGIOUS ORDERS.

THEY WANT TO HAVE THEIR CAKE AND EAT IT.

YOU ARE EITHER A REVOLUTIONARY OR AN APPEASER OF THE ESTABLISHMENT.

YOU CANNOT BE BOTH.

WHAT DID JESUS SAY:

NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS - HE WILL EITHER LOVE THE FIRST AND HATE THE SECOND OR HE WILL LOVE THE SECOND AND TREAT THE FIRST WITH CONTEMPT.

JESUS HAD NO TIME FOR MEALY-MOUTHED AND SIXPENCE EACH WAY PEOPLE. HE SAID:

WOULD THAT YOU WERE EITHER COLD OR HOT. BUT YOU ARE LUKEWARM. I WILL SPIT THE LUKEWARM OUT OF MY MOUTH

THERE IS NO MID WAY BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG.

THERE IS NO MID WAY BETWEEN JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE.

THERE IS NO MID WAY BETWEEN CHANGE AND THE STATUS QUO.

I WOULD PREFER TO DEAL WITH A DYED IN THE WOOL CONSERVATIVE AND REACTIONARY THAN DEAL WITH WHAT I CALL "VERBAL LIBERALS" - LIBERALS WHO TALK AND TALK AND TALK BUT NEVER ACT.

THEY ARE LIKE A HEN THAT NEVER LAYS EGGS.

THEY ARE ALL CACKLE AND NO EGG!!!

There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.


JESUS CHRIST WAS SUCH A COURAGEOUS FIGURE.


MOST PRIESTS DON'T HAVE THE COURAGE OF A MOUSE.

JESUS SAID

DO YOU SUPPOSE I HAVE COME TO BRING PEACE. NO. I HAVE COME TO CAST FIRE UPON THE EARTH. WOULD THAT IT WERE BURNING ALREADY.

MOST PRIESTS DON'T EVEN HAVE A TWO HOUR NIGHT LIGHT BURNING IN THEIR BELLY :-(

MOST PRIESTS DON'T HAVE ENOUGH FIGHT IN THEM TO POWER A 10 WATT BULB


BRENDAN HOBAN OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC PRIESTS - WHERE'S THE FIRE OF CHRIST IN YOU? WAS IT EVER THERE? WHY BE A MARTYR IN AN ARMCHAIR COVERED WITH A BLANKET. GET YOUR WHIP IN YOUR HAND AND FOLLOW JESUS INTO THE TEMPLE. LIKE HIM - PUT YOUR "RIGHTEOUS ANGER TO WORK". 

BRENDAN HOBAN

FATHER TONY FLANNERY OF THE REDEMPTORISTS - WHERE'S YOU FIRE? WHY ARE YOU STILL THE OBEDIENT REDEMPTORIST? COME OUT FROM THE SHADOWS. IT MIGHT MEAN CALVARY FOR YOU. SO? YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FOLLOWING THE MAN OF CALVARY - NOT SITTING IN A REDEMPTORIST MONASTERY, SIPPING TEA OR WINE AND AND HOPING THAT THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE CHURCH. ROME THRIVES ON COWARDLY MEEKNESS. 
TONY FLANNERY

AS THEY SAY IN BELFAST - "JESUS WEPT"


Bishop Pat Buckley
4.9.2013



















68 comments:

  1. Well "Holy God" where do I start on this one? I was born in Castlerea, Roscommon in 1958. My dad was a farm labourer & my mother was a cleaner for a local shopkeeper. My dad would touch his hat if he met a priest. My mother said her prayers & was in awe of the Power of the Church. The objective of life was to keep good so we would not go to hell when we died. Church was boot camp camp to avoid hell. My dad died when I was 9 and from then on I was well "protected" from the evils of the world including the S word. Time ticked on I was to become a priest & was sent to Rome where there were lots of good looking women. I looked, had many a w*nk but the "will of God" would not allow me to proceed any farther. Ordained I was released into the wilds of Birmingham UK where in time I had my first sexual encounter. This started an avalanche that plaged me for many a year until eventually I came to Sligo where I left priesthood to live with a woman & her children on a local housing estate. Was I to be the great liberator. I contacted Bishop Pat, After a year of hell (I say hell on reflection)my former partner asked me to leave Sligo. This was abit like the Sheriff telling the outlaw to get out of town. I had no choice I came to Manchester. I was what my granduncle Tom would have called a "Greenhorn" Many priests are greenhorns & this is why they are afraid to stand up & be counted. In my late 30's I had never run a house, be on the dole or not have "the protection" of the priesthood. I also realised that although I had transferable skills, my formal church qualifications were not formally recognised on civvy street. I was like a lifetime soldier who suddenly has not got the protection of the uniform anymore. Its a scary place for a teenager in a middle aged body to be. I had no choice it was "Die dog or S*ite the liscense" I could make a go of my life or end up on a park bench. My journey is not without turmoil. Forget the romantics. I have allot to thank God for now including a loving & supportive wife, a supportive parish,and a nice house.I should also include Boo the horse who is a therapist in herself,propper mare & has a great listening ear. I know now that God has been protecting me from ultimate distruction. Each day is now an adventure. I am on a journey Im am addicted to. I am not sure where or how it will unravel. Like those of the exodus I must march on. God & my wife are with me and at this moment without them both I would be a wreck. I empathise with the priests who quiver within their cassocks. I leave the last word to those who faithfully celebrate Passover every year "My father was a wandering Aramean...... Sean

    Is there any group that priests who want to exercise ministry outside Papish catholicism can turn to for practical & concrete help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sean in America there is the group " rent a Priest ",terrible name I know!There is not a group over here but they may be able to help.Mike

      Delete
    2. Sean,

      There is The Oratory Society - of which you are already a member.

      If you are looking for an alternative "big corporation" they will demand you sell your soul to them too :-)

      Pat

      Delete
    3. We are not Jesus inc. That goes against everything Jesus stands for. The point i am trying to make is that in my belief a priest who "absconds" is a bit like a refugee, scared & looking for direction both spiritual & practical. I was putting a middle aged priest of today in my shoes when I jumped ship years ago. I am imagening him feeling now as I felt then. I am trying to tease out how a priest today may "Jump Ship" but not be swallowed by the waves. It is not an easy choice but Thank God it was the right thing for me to do. Priests who fly from the roman nest are in practice re evaluating their vocation. "It is not a question of up yours popey" but what is God calling me to do in the light of current circumstances. There is alot more I could say & perhaps should say on the subject but I would need to think & pray more. The challenge you are highlighting, Pat is both prophetic and necessary. Sanity demands things can not remain as they are indefinately. Sean

      Delete
  2. One thing that we have lost is our pride, even perhaps our arrogance, in being Catholic. We felt that we were set apart, that our obligations to our faith came before anything else and that commitment seemed to inspire a certain awe and admiration in those who were unfortunate enough not to be Catholic. Pride we felt when the congregations poured out of our Church doors in their hundreds on a Sunday and pity for the protestant church over the road, who had mustered a mere handful!

    Now we seem to be apologetic for our faith. We downplay its importance in our life until possibly it is no longer very important. We mutter that we are” going to Church” rather than that we are going to Mass, as if we are a bit ashamed of what we are doing. We make excuses for what others see as faults in our religion.Our confidence in our Church has ceased to be so strong and we are embarrassed to stand up for our faith. Maybe that is because we no longer understand for what we are meant to stand up for, because admonition is not any more part of the priests’ role.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughtful contribution.

      But would Jesus really want us to be arrogant about Him and our faith in Him?

      I think he certainly wants us to be courageous for Him.

      The mistake we made was that we got God and the human priests all mixed up in our heads.

      How can sinners admonish sinners?

      By all means let God admonish us.

      Pat

      Delete
  3. most Catholics do not understand what they are meant to stand up for anymore and clearly the clergy are in the same boat.

    When I was growing the older priests were men and tough enough to be honest - weaker types were in admin and teaching roles, now they are all weak types.

    Grandmother

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grandmother, You are right.

      Priests have no courage any more - partly because they have little faith and pray little or not at all.

      I wish priests had the courage of most mothers and grandmothers.

      In fact I wish that mothers and grandmothers were among our priests.

      Pat

      Delete
  4. “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men ... Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:7,9).

    Priests are more interested in canon law and all the incidentals and do not live the bold call to holiness and social justice.

    Frank

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank,

      Absolutely true.

      Thats why I'm asking today why priests are not teaching what Christ taught.

      They are teaching men's teachings - things that are distractions from the teachings of Christ.

      Priests do not pray. Many priests are agnostics or even atheists.

      They are happy being middle managers for The Church of Rome Ltd - very limited.

      Pat

      Delete
  5. You have written out of necessity and have done so clearly, courageously and lovingly.

    May our shepherds have ears to hear.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have also written in absolute frustration.

      Pat

      Delete
  6. This month, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote to an American priest, Roy Bourgeois, notifying him of his laicization, following his excommunication in 2008 over his support for the ordination of women.

    This is why Priests remain silent - they are bullied from ROME!
    Rome to Brown, Brown to Armagh, Armagh & Brown to Lisbreen and Lisbreen to the thinking priest!! No union, no advocate and public sympathy, so we think, house, salary, pension, public respect etc! Why bother, but yet we discuss and whisper in private!!

    You are right, we do need courage - veni creator spiritus.

    PP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear PP,

      Well spoken.

      Sadly spoken.

      The institutional church is bullying incardinated.

      You do need courage. In fact you are called to a modern type of living martyrdom

      Pat

      Delete
  7. One difficulty is that good priests are just not very newsworthy by today’s standards. So when they speak up they are easy prey for Noel & Co.

    Surprised at McKeown though!

    D&C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may not be newsworthy. But never lose sight of the fact that you are GOOD-NEWS-WORTHY.

      Yes you are easy prey for Noel & Co. But he will respect you more if you don't show fear.

      Donal McKeown has sold his soul to the Maynooth mafia :-(

      Pat

      Delete
  8. Yes. It had to be said. I wish there were more angry catholic voices like yours. In a recent discussion with “friends” (no: acquaintances) which slipped into priest-bashing I lost my temper. And I cannot get myself to regret it.

    They need to speak up for if they do not we are all going to suffer - but we Religious need to speak up equally!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fair enough Bishop Pat! The problem is that there’s a sort of journalistic Gresham’s Law about, under which “bad news drives out good”.

    I’m afraid that that’s life in the media – They’ve both had impossible jobs and immense workloads and, in any case, who gets everything right every time? Certainly not I.

    I believe the word I’m groping for is “charity”.

    Safety in numbers Brothers, this is why we are gutted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know.Sure the media thinks that I'm a crackpot :-) I'm happy to be a crackpot for Christ.

      Charity - YES But the FORCEFUL, PETRIFYING charity of Christ.

      Then LET THE GOOD DRIVE OUT THE EVIL

      Guts, backbone and heads can be regrown by the HOLY SPIRIT

      Let us put ourselves in HIS TEST TUBE

      Pat

      Delete
  10. My anger is the anger of someone who loves his faith and priesthood.

    I do not love what the institutional church has become.

    It is a cancer on the Body of Christ.

    Yes - please, please, please, speak up.

    How will we face Christ if we don't speak up?

    What did Jesus say IF THEY DO NOT SPEAK UP THE VERY STONES WILL CRY OUT

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for this reminder; so clearly and succinctly put, as always.

    Raphoe

    ReplyDelete
  12. A good, honest and refreshing article in support of the great majority of faithful, spiritual, and supportive priests that we have working in our Church - I actually pick up a concern hence the tone.

    Woody

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am concerned.

      I am 61. I have given my life to my faith and priesthood.

      I would truly die for a renewed faith and a renewed priesthood.

      And I certainly will live for it

      Pat

      Delete
  13. You’re quite right of course. As an Anglican priest, I have known (and still know) quite a few RC priests, and they have all been faithful to their calling while acknowledging their own humanity and fallen-ness.

    I am afraid that the priest- and pope-bashing you describe is part of a general falling-from-grace of the Christian Church in the West. We cannot rely on the ready respect and trust we once could. In one way, that is an opportunity for us to take the Gospel to the world anew; but the sense of transition we currently experience is often not a comfortable one.

    There is no excuse for anti-Catholicism on the part of other Christians. That does not mean that they (we!) are not allowed to be critical of it as the denomination which claims pre-eminence among Christians worldwide, but which can seem exclusive and even imperialist to those outside it.

    Also, some of the Catholic response to Pope Benedict’s retirement has been decidedly saccharine and cringe-inducing (a bit like the British tabloid media’s treatment of the Royal Family) and that perhaps encourages papal iconoclasm.

    We are not perfect in any sense, but the RC clergy need a forum that is not clerical but has the membership of the people of God.

    Well done Bishop Pat, speak up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - Brother Priest.

      We are all sinners. I am as big a sinner as any. But I'm not - AND WILL NOT BECOME - cynical and defeatist.

      Yes - priests do need a forum. At present they are totally unrepresented and unlistened to.

      Pat

      Delete
  14. It must be remembered that the church is human as well as divine, and the horrific crimes committed against children are completely unrepresentative of what the church teaches. Where there are children, abusers will seek them out whether that be through secular or religious means. There is regrettably abuse across all factions of society and in an organisation as large as the Catholic church it seems inevitable the fold would contain people who would commit such disgusting sins/crimes. Jesus had twelve chosen disciples, and even one of those turned out to be wrong too! I feel so truly sorry for those who suffered at the hands of people claiming to act for the church, but it is the abusers that must condemned (if we are to condemn) not the church or its teachings.

    Clergy awake in God's Name!

    Ni Rahin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well spoken.

      But think of this too - many struggling priests are feeling "abused" by the institutional church / hierarchy.

      What are we to do for these abused?

      Pat

      Delete
  15. I believe it is imperative for all Catholics to learn our faith well, not difficult to do these days, and to defend whenever someone begins a verbal assault. Too many people remain mute out of – what? Politeness? Insecurity? As a Catholic, conversations involving news stories often come round to something or other regarding our faith and I do my best to explain and defend.

    When news of the first sex abuse scandal broke in the media, I told my husband “Just wait – this is the tip of the iceberg.”, and it was, primarily because before that point all abuse against children, no matter at whose hands, no matter their faith, was hushed up, as though children were not important enough to make a fuss over in their suffering. The caretaker (Protestant) of a Protestant church in the community where I grew up was a man all children were warned against going near, knowing glances and nods amongst parents.

    The grievous sinfulness of some suddenly became big news, as though it had never happened in the past, it became fashionable to tell all and paint all with the same brush, but when the media reports it is seldom as interested when a member of the laity is routed out as when it is a member(s) of the Catholic Church, precisely for the reasons Sister gives.

    The priest/bishop/pope/Catholicism bashing is a manifestation of satanic activity in my opinion, and as we are taught, satan only has a hold over those who co-operate with him. He has no power over people who walk in the Light of Christ. Our priest gave an excellent homily first Sunday of Lent on the reality of satan and his works, reminding us that one of the biggest mistakes we make is believing he doesn’t exist, is a quaint figure of middle ages literature when in fact he delights in destruction and seeks the ruin of souls continuously.

    As one priest put it, the barque of Peter is a warship, not a cruise ship, prayer, fasting, good works and almsgiving go a long way to fighting the battle and it has never been more important for us to join in it than now

    Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your priest did well to remind people of Satan.

      He never went away you know.

      He worked through abusers and those who covered up abuse.

      But he also works through atheistic bishops and priests who bring other priests to breaking point.

      Pat

      Delete
    2. Jean. Another person not afraid to add her name to her comment. Quite a few names listed in response to this topic. Satan in the bible was originally the adversary, council for the prossicution. The presence os "satan" is necessary as the wheat is separated from the chaff & the Kingdom of God on earth is purified in the fires of God's redeeming Grace. Enough of the abstract theology that echoes from the pulpit tp[s. We need to translate that theology into practical baby steps in our lives, churches & communities so that all may recognise that the risen Christ walks amongst us. Sean

      Delete
  16. I shared this post on my Facebook page and have already received a very angry, negative comment from a friend who claims to be an atheist and is herself a victim of child abuse. It broke my heart to read it, and it also aroused anger in myself – towards her, I admit, that she could say such things against the Pope and the Church knowing that I am devoted to both. I couldn’t answer her; I didn’t know how. My immediate reaction was to delete her comment, and now I’m not sure that that was the best thing to do. I am not by nature an argumentative person; indeed, I find it very difficult to express myself even though my beliefs are strong. I have been praying for her daily, even before she posted that comment, because I know how bitter she is toward God (who she vehemently says doesn’t exist … ), and will continue to pray for her. It just hurts, physically and emotionally, to read comments like that. I probably handled it all wrong. Please pray for me, that I will someday have the strength and wisdom to respond with charity to such comments.

    Maybe our clergy are like me and do not want confrontation, the majority of people don't!

    Not sure what to think really.

    Leticia Austria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leticia,

      CONFRONTATION is vital!

      Christ confronted the Pharisees.

      Christ confronted Herod the fox.

      Christ confronted the Chief Priests.

      There can be no such thing as Christianity without confrontation.

      True Christianity is inescapably world confronting.

      CAN YOU DRINK THE CUP THAT I MUST DRINK?

      Pat

      Delete
    2. Leticia, Your friend cried out in pain & frustration. Jesus identifies with her when he cries in the garden "My God why have you abandoned me" We know how that story turned out. God has not rejected your friend as he did not reject Jesus. Sometimes silence & being there & listening in a non confrontational way is itself both prayer & witness and also therapy. You admit you do not have answers but you are here. You know that God is here too though you cannot explain it properly-neither can I- The God who did not forsake Jesus will not forsake your friend. I believe what your friend needs most is a listening non judgemental ear. But please dont let the weight of what she might say burden you down or dont feel you have to come up with an instant answer for her. See yourself as a conduit channelling her pain & frustration to God as a prayer. Sooner or later peace will come and that will be a special moment of grace for you both. Sean. Hope this helps

      Delete
  17. AMEN!!!! I get so frustrated too.

    I have so little sympathy for them, are they real men or what?

    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you be a real man if a system removes your power to think objectively?

      Can you be a real man if you lie down in front of wrong?

      Can you be a real man if you sell your soul for a presbytery, a title, a pension, a pedestal, a mitre...............

      The soul can be attacked and made very, very ill

      Pat

      Delete
  18. I’ll be praying for all people overwhelmed by such strong outpouring of vitriol, it really is sad to see, and I fear that I mostly run away from it. Many of my friends with strongly anti-religion sentiments have no idea that I have any faith at all, because I’d rather not destroy a friendship over it.

    Perhaps a lot of clergy in D&C see the damage already done and do not want to be the cause of more. Just look at Hugh in St. Peter's. People in my place of work laugh and joke at us Catholics and their questions are real and thoughtful. What is wrong with them priets they ask? What is wrong lol?

    Mikeala

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We should not run away when the going gets tough.

      Poor Peter did it and regretted it.

      In AA they say: WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH - THE TOUGH GET GOING.

      CAN YOU WATCH ONE HOUR WITH ME

      CAN YOU DRINK THE CUP I MUST DRINK

      The Chief Priests, the Pharisees and the soldiers laughed at Jesus.

      But who got the last laugh at THE EMPTY TOMB ?

      Pat

      Delete
  19. My husband and I have such friends, who gladly accept assistance when in need (soup when sick, errands run), who ask us to pray for loved ones in need, though refuse to do so themselves, hedging their bets perhaps. One neighbour actually returned a rosary we’d lent him during a serious illness, stating he was recovered, a miracle, yes, he said, but this wasn’t part of his religion. The most effective witness to your faith is to live your life in accordance with Christ’s teachings, even if you keep silent as they spew their verbal diarrhea.

    I want priests who live what they preach, this means speaking when all is not right.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Prayer and Thoughtfulness — prayer for priests who are afraid to speak up, for those who have been wounded by the experience of abuse and those who have been falsely accuse; all who are afraid of, confused by or antagonistic to the episcopal Church. Speak up in defence of the Gospel!

    Perhaps I might add, we must pray for ourselves also (meaning all of us who meet on the blog). We do not always see how we affect others and knowing when we should speak out and when we should keep silent requires some very delicate tuning in to the Holy Spirit.

    Catholic Lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  21. Q. Why are members of the priesthood silent on the various issues that challenge the church, today? What are the factors that silence them? Why do they permit the factors to silence them? Why don’t they organise and provide substantive insights and remedies. And, why do we call silent priests “good priests”? If there is anything I will never come to understand, it is that.

    Catholic Philosopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a D&C Parsih Priest I feel that I must answer the question of the Catholic Philosopher.

      I will try to offer my own insights on this question. In no way do I claim my answer to be anything other than my own insights as a priest who has had many conversations with other priests throughout this sad chapter in the life of our Church. Sadly these do not include Pat.

      I think it is important to begin by stating that not all priests have been silent. There are many priests who have spoken out strongly against the abuse of children, the perceived cover up, the lack of communication and authentic pastoral concern etc. Including Bishop Noel's lack of pastoral concern for all! These priests have spoken through their homilies, in their bulletins, in parish meetings and in casual conversations with concerned people like yourself.

      I believe other priests are trying to find their voice and express this same frustration and concern in a manner in which they are comfortable (ACP)-(some research has revealed that by personality preferences, many priests prefer to avoid conflict which might explain some of what you are experiencing). As priests, we live in a culture that makes every attempt to resolve things privately. I am not offering this as an excuse, but as a possible reason for why priests are not being as vocal as you and many others would prefer. In addition, on the day of our ordination we made the promise to “respect and obey” the Bishop of our diocese and as men of integrity we seek to do this very thing (even when our respect and obedience may be perceived as tacit approval, which it is not).

      Thus, I believe priests are trying to make their voice heard in a way that will be received as respectful of the Bishop and his assistants. Priests have been offering insights and possible remedies to the diocese through a variety of forums and this will continue. I know of several priests who have had meetings with different Bishops that they found to be productive and very hopeful. I ask that you not take the silence of all of your priests to mean that they are not concerned, nor that they are not having meaningful conversations, nor that they are not searching for the best way to raise their voice.

      As a priest of this diocese I believe that the Holy Spirit is moving amongst the priests in a new way (especially as we prepare for Congress) and I pray that the priests who minister to you will find the voice that is needed to continue announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ!

      Concerned PP - D&C

      Delete
    2. Father,though I appreciate your insight, I still think it is a poor excuse to say that your vows included obeying the Bishop. Aren’t vows primarily to God? I am sure service to God does not include being silent about those who would rape children or put them in potential harms way.

      Because of my reaction to all of this, I have found clergy (whom I have spoken with directly) to be so defensive and hostile towards me and my family. Is this the kind of ministry that should be expected towards those of us who are struggling right now?

      Where is the compassion, the empathy? Is it only reserved for those who will blindly follow, and demand no answers?

      This silence makes me believe there is much more that is being hidden.

      Deidre - Belfast

      Delete
    3. What we are defining is the “Clerical Culture”. It is strangling your free wills and common sense. Stop it once and for all!!! Please grow up. Is Jesus or John the Baptist one of the boys club.

      Medical Doctor - Belfast

      Delete
    4. Dear Father D&C, I would like for you to explain from a priest’s stand point why the Church purchases sexual abuse insurance.

      It is a documented fact that the dioceses in Ireland has purchased sexual abuse insurance. So it seem to me the church has actually planned on a certain amount of priests will sexually abuse kids.

      I am wondering–when I donate to a basket– what portion of my donation could go to an insurance company. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.

      Catholic Insurance Consultant

      Delete
    5. Dear Father D&C I so much appreciate what you have said and I fully understand about being ignored by the Bishop. But surely the Bishop has responsibilities in acting as a father to his priests and leading his flock. What father would ignore something which troubles his children so much? I myself have initiated contact with Bishop Treanor, but to no avail so I understand the frustrations within the honour of decent priests.
      On many occasions I have found myself wanting to walk away from the Catholic church. The reason for this being I was good friends with a priest who was going through a difficult time due to the 'goings on' within the parochial house where he was based. The guy was near to breaking point and so confided in me, presumably as a last resort.

      I feel scarred and burdened and now in a feeling of limbo as I can't fully return to my home parish and watch as the priest involved in the scandals celebrates Mass. I feel part of my life has been violated with the knowledge of what has gone on previously. I can't rid myself of the bitterness within. The awareness of this particular priests actions has taken away something which was indeed very sacred to me, my faith!!!
      But your honesty is almost rejuvenating to me Father. I will pray for you and for genuine assistance and guidance from the Holy Spirit for all dedicated priests. I will also pray that when a priest sees wrongdoing that he will have the courage and strength to speak out. God Bless

      Delete
  22. Father D&C: Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us very angry and frustrated Catholics.

    However, I need to clarify a statement you made. When you were ordained the obedience did not include not speaking out forcefully about criminal behaviour which this obviously is.

    This is what frustrated us. A horrific crime like child sex abuse by a fellow priest and the coverup by the institutional church should dismiss formal politeness to anyone, especially a priest and including the Bishop.

    Friend of the Oratory Society

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fr. I appreciate your communication with on the blog. My concern is that this crime continues because of silence and lack of action.

    If your silence means you are acting quietly then there is still hope. As for speaking out during homilies and in bullentins that would mean you have to attend mass……..the people that need to hear you the most….the victims in many cases have panic attacks at the mire mention of going to mass or seeing a priest.Thus the population that needs to hear what you have to say the most is despairing and a few even killed themselves.

    How are you reaching out to those that don’t come to you…..if you are not speaking out publicly?

    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  24. seems silent in general not you personally. Obviously you are speaking out. But how else can victims be reached if they don’t attend mass because of their abuse as well as their family members? I have heard generations of families stop going because one family member has been abused

    ReplyDelete
  25. stop the PR and take a stand, your attempt to explain what the ‘good priests’ are doing is just a lot ‘gaseous rhetoric’ , to me it reminds me of the oath of ‘omerta’ when you become a made guy !

    I have not met a priest yet who showed any ‘intestinal fortitude’ !!!!

    John

    ReplyDelete
  26. So many priests remain silent because Dioceses and Religious Orders are known to frequently (always) “…intimidate priests who brought charges against other priests…;” there’s no question about that. It is vocational suicide, but as 2nd career man with a pension I didn’t care. I walked out, and told them to kiss my Ring!

    As I’ve (former seminarian) mentioned in the past, I was sued by a religious order for libel, slander, and defamation for being a whistle blower. An absolute defense against those charges is the truth, and I had it. The case against me was dismissed, and the priest involved is still in prison for sexually abusing a number of young males.

    A good priest could very well end up homeless doing what I did. You’re blackballed, so it’s very difficult to go to another order or diocese. For a priest with his life invested in the Church, to speak-out would require him to be more than a “good priest.” He would have to be a Saint!

    I was not a Saint; but as a man with a pension, I had a lot less to lose.

    Fr. D&C stated, “…on the day of our ordination we made the promise to ‘respect and obey’ the Bishop of our Archdiocese and as men of integrity we seek to do this very thing (even when our respect and obedience may be perceived as tacit approval, which it is not).”

    I have a problem with Fr. statement for the following reasons. In the military, articles 90, 91, and 92 “…require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders — if the order was illegal.”

    “‘I was only following orders’, has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn’t work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.”

    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm

    Fr., men of integrity do NOT OBEY IMMORAL and/or ILLEGAL orders given by any person (Pope, Bishop, or General). I do however understand that one may have to be a Saint in order to disobey such orders. Saints are rare, therefore many “good priests” remain silent.

    Me

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think are two issues here. A priest with firsthand knowledge of a crime should absolutely take it directly to civil authorities. What the question and answer above addressed was the silence of the rank and file priests who in most cases have no firsthand knowledge of crimes.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  28. You’re not going to like this, Fr D&C, but I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to fight against child rape.

    Here are some reasons:

    1) They don’t think child rape is a big deal.

    A few priests, like Bishop Vangheluwe of Belgium, who had sex with his nephew, starting at age 5, admitted that he thought it was no big deal. He also had sex with his other nephew.

    Father Van B in the Netherlands, who has been serving on the board of directors of a group dedicated to making pedophilia legal, says pedophilia is no big deal.

    These are finally two honest priests. Reprehensible, but honest.

    2) These priests are cowards, are afraid of being fired, and don’t understand true commitment to God

    They do what they are told by their bosses, the bishops and the pope, who tell them to be silent. If they speak up, they will be fired. They might have to work for a car wash to survive, and they wouldn’t live as nice of a lifestyle, even thought they would be doing the right thing in God’s eyes.

    3) There are no future promotions for the outspoken

    4) They all know that the problem is much, much, much worse than we’ve seen.

    They hear each other’s confessions. They hear insider info. They see it happen. In a story I just read the other day at http://bit.ly/jGHoCS a priest walked in on another having sex with a child, closed the door, walked out, and did nothing.

    5) The “greater good”

    They are supposed to be following the word of God, but instead will listen to the bishops.

    Bishops will tell priests internally they they are all doing this for “the greater good”, because the scandal would take people away from the church, and even though a hundred thousand children will have their lives ruined by pedophile priests, more than a hundred thousand people would leave the church if the truth got out.

    Bad strategy – God let the word get out, and now you are not only the church that committed rampant child rape, you are the church that lied about it in a consistent, coordinated, contrived manner.

    There are more reasons, all similarly based in cowardice, apathy, or evil.

    This isn’t rocket science. It is about right and wrong. The Catholic church and its priests know the difference, but they choose the wrong for the same reason 5 year old kids do – they think they might get away with it.

    The amazing thing to me is that they think they will get away with it in front of God. I have to believe God has a special place for all of them, and its not heaven. Maybe they will relive the lives of these kids for eternity.

    I’m not here to make friends, Fr D&C. Now tell me where I’m wrong.

    QUB - Law Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Fr.

    Regardless of the lofty theological and ecclesiastical nature of the Vow of Obedience, the reality is that it fosters a paralysing, inhumane and immoral climate of fear, inclining priests to sacrifice their integrity, suppress their consciences, and live inauthentic lives. The vow and its resulting fear act to arrest the psychological, moral and spiritual maturity of our priests.

    While many priests may be working on finding their voices and devising ways to deliver them, I’m skeptical because the leadership they are inclined to rely on for permission and support has virtually imploded. I don’t see priests speaking without being led.

    While I consider your response to have taken few risks, it informed me. Interestingly, the real strength of the response lies in who authored it.

    You have the character and wisdom to affect and improve the Church. May you continue to be blessed with the courage it will demand.

    Thank you. Katherine

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am not in any way attacking any priest personally or professionally , however the time for talking is long past and it is now time for action, hopefully Fr D&C will go to Lisbreen and petition the Legislators to pass pending legislation that will hold EVERYONE accountable that includes, ‘enables and perps’ , no more TALKING and WHINING ! The change in the laws will not destroy the ‘rcc’ it will save it by forcing out those who have infiltrated its ranks and use its creditably to abuse !!!! Abuse is the rcc comes in many forms - women, divorce, gay and children!!

    Wake up you sleeping giant!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I admit to being a very angry and cynical Catholic and my anger is not focused on the clergy but on us ordinary Catholics, not 'lay' but ordianry people! We’ll see how many ordinary Catholics line the streets in front of the courthouse or in protest in front of their Lisbreen.

    Their child hasn’t been abused yet, Unable. They just can’t understand why we the victims, or parents of the victims are so frustrated and fed up.

    Wise up you ordinary Catholics who give succour to these clergy!

    Shame, shame and shame.

    Father of an abused and broken innocent child. I know God is with US in our broken lives. Enjoy your big houses, I am happy with my family table and broken family, you broke our TRUST, shame!

    ReplyDelete
  32. While I understand Bishop Pat you trying to be kind and protective of people brought into this forum, one thing I have liked about this site is being a place where people can be honest with their feelings. Certainly not abusive, but honest.

    So many of us feel like we cannot, or have tried to, honestly express our upsetment and outrage, to the church only to have it fall on deaf ears.

    I would hope in the interest of honesty, people coming to this site are not looking for easy questions, and soft replies. How can there be such a thing when the subject is abuse and rape of children? If so, it would just be more of the same of what the church provides, and that is nothing.

    I think that people here mostly just feel strongly about the “wrongness” of this entire situation, and are justifiably angry. Should we take it out on each other, no. Should we take it out on every priest we come accross. Probably not. But given the current climate in D&C (speaking for my own community.. I know this sad situation has existed in more places than anyone would care to think about)..can you blame anyone? The bottom line is, no one knows what each other has been through.

    The vows a priest takes may be technically to the Bishop but does anyone really believe that, that would include covering up information, doing bad and terrible things all in the name of the Bishop, and that makes them not responsible for thier own actions? From the response's above, clearly not. Yet it seems to be an excuse that is given for silent priests. I think that is what is being addressed. It’s great that Fr., as well as everyone else who has a voice here, is using it. But, is the world of clergy so terribly blurred or controlled that individual thought processes, such as right and wrong, no longer apply?

    A Father of children who refused their permission to serve Mass, it really kills me but deep in my heart I cannot trust a silent and bullied priest! Tragic.


    Gerard - Belfast

    ReplyDelete
  33. God made it simple – tell the truth.

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
  34. There are very few good priests who do speak out for the victims, but when they do step up to the plate the Church has silenced them, removed them from ministry, and ruined their careers.

    Yet the priests who abuse children are not removed, but rather transferred from one parish to another to abuse more children. This makes it obvious that the church doesn’t care about what happened to me when I was a kid, or putting your kid in the path of people who ruin lives.

    The Catholic Church is indeed very SICK! Phone the Doctor - who is the Doctor - VERITAS!

    ReplyDelete
  35. WHERE are all your brother priests? Forget the pensions… Forget about obedience to the Cardinal/Bishops. How about divine providence? God will provide – it may be a bed in a Catholic Social Services Homeless Shelter(!) for awhile but God WILL provide.

    Would you sell your soul with your silence for a “pension”? I believe Jesus is soooooo unhappy with the Church, the Bishops, all the silent priests, and with all the silent Catholics. I know there are many, many good priests out there.

    STAND UP. We, the faithful, need you.

    Maureen

    ReplyDelete
  36. The answer is pretty clear to me. Priests lack true faith, lack true compassion, and don’t like the idea of poverty of any sort. They will not stand up for the true spirit of their religion and God if the downside is poverty. None of them in the Ireland are going to starve (like many people on the planet do), but they won’t get the same meals and housing if they stand up for truth, so they make a conscious choice!

    And they all make the same choice. This is an absolute church-wide philosophy.

    No priest will stand up to do the right thing – it is the Catholic thing.

    Is it not Catholic to be silent and have your backbone removed??

    ReplyDelete
  37. I think there are some women out there that would make wonderful priests, but I suppose I’m a very liberal Catholic.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think I have seen the compansionate side of many priests. For those of you who have, you clearly have had a different experience. My husband was an altar server in a local church years ago where a priest had been arrested for abuse (way back when). Since this issue continues to surface, it has to be clear to clergy today that many have major trust issues.

    I am terrified that my husband was abused! That is the legacy of a Catholic family - seriously, fuck sake SPEAK UP!

    Catholic but careful Mother.

    ReplyDelete
  38. While it may not be easy to speak out, I believe we are called to do so, and our priests must lead publicly on this issue. The culture that makes every attempt to resolve things privately allowed the abuse to continue for decades, and has exasperated many of us who see hypocrisy on the part of our spiritual leaders.

    The laity wants our priests to speak up publicly… in opposition to the secrecy that allowed the abuse to continue, in opposition to the disgraceful way victims and their families were treated, in opposition to the shunning (or worse) of those who did try to report abuse or those who desire to hold the Church leaders accountable for their action/inaction. We want you to speak up for the victims, for their families, for admitting mistakes and crimes, to speak up for renewed leadership in the diocese of D&C.

    We want you to address the crisis of faith this has brought about for so many Catholics!

    I have known wonderful priests, as well as some not-so-wonderful priests. It is not fair that all priests get painted with the same brush of distrust that this crisis has caused so many to do. It is certainly not an easy time to be a priest. In my opinion, though, much of this blanket of distrust is the result of the silence on the part of our spiritual leaders. Please, please, speak out.

    This passage from Matthew continues to come to my mind as we talk about this crisis…

    Matthew 21:12-16

    Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

    The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

    “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

    “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

    Laura - Ballycastle

    ReplyDelete
  39. There are priests reading this discussion.

    How can the laity be instrumental in affecting the forces that impair your ability to engage freely in reforming the Church?

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
  40. The anger that we have against our priests is here for all to see. The prayers that there will be healing, that this time of struggle is being guided by the Spirit are all very nice, but they do not address the reality of the crimes that have been committed by the priests against our children, by the hierarchy against our children.

    I have been talking to non-catholic friends of mine and asking about this terrible time in the RCC. They are reluctant to speak on the subject. Finally one woman said that they had always thought that the priests in the Catholic Church were strange because no one could live the life they are supposed to live. No man could live that way.

    Frankly, I think we Catholics are a laughing stock in the world. Do we really believe that an organization so rich and so powerful is going to change one single thing.? Please God, there will be real change. We must rely on the civil autorities to restore our church to us.

    Lizzy - USA

    ReplyDelete
  41. Priests and Bishops don’t want to play Catholic Cleric Whack-a-Mole . . . and who can blame them?

    . . . the clerical motto of ‘Don’t Rock the Boat’ and ‘Go Along to Get Along’ are still in operation.

    Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, O.P. is the poster child of what happens when a prophetic voice arises from the clerical miasma!

    I go to Mass and I ignore them otherwise, sorry but true.

    ReplyDelete
  42. If all the priests of integrity would stand up and speak the blackballing by their bishops would have to stop. I support the view that anyone in the church from volunteer to cardinal who participates in any way in sexual abuse of the people, no matter what their age, needs to be prosecuted. Frankly, if I were a priest, I would rather be homeless, hungry and have my “career” destroyed then face Jesus, having kept quiet about the suffering of the people.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  43. “Clerical elitism” corrupts many within the RCC hierarchy, as it trickles down the clerical ranks, to the superiors of the secular-orders and finally infects the leaders of parish-ministries.

    The upper ranks operate within their feudal pockets of power and control, without accountability or transparency. This develops into a sophisticated system of endemic and systemic abuse, perfected over time, under the rules of spiritual/catholic formation, which include absolute obedience to one’s superiors, humility, poverty of spirit etc.

    No virtues are accredited to the courageous, who speak up for social justice and against criminal activities. Superiors ‘play God’ as they expel dissenters on the grounds that the later have lost their ‘faith or their vocations’, while the ‘group-think’ mentality fosters fear, intimidation, hypocracy, secrecy, corruption and abuse. It would take a miracle to change this kind of mind-set.

    Speaking-up Priest

    ReplyDelete
  44. People will hate me for saying this, but that is just a cult, then. You follow God’s rules, that’s a religion. Follow bishops instead, that’s a cult.

    Am I wrong?

    ReplyDelete