Wednesday, 4 December 2013



Do you ever wonder - as I do - why most so called liberal priests only protest so far and then crawl back into the safety and comfort of their monastery or diocese, toe the line, and accept all the privileges of being regarded as being "IN GOOD STANDING".

 They then seem to "glory" in being called "silenced" and parade around like modern day martyrs.

The so called ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC PRIESTS OF IRELAND is full of these types who engage in what I call PROTEST-US INTERRUPTUS. They take their protests only so far - usually to the bounds of making noises - but they are not willing to go the whole hog - put their words into action - and suffer being suspended, excommunicated and expelled from their comfortable monasteries and presbyteries.

They are VERBAL LIBERALS only and do not put their money where their mouth is.

Jesus said that His disciples would be known by their ACTIONS - not by their words.

He also said:

"Would that you were cold or hot. But you are only lukewarm. I will spit you from my mouth"

I remember one time being at a meeting with a real liberal and challenging priest - Father Des Wilson from Belfast. Some ladies were telling us that they been to see Cardinal O'Fiaich about change in the church. Father Des asked the ladies if the cardinal gave them anything. One said the cardinal gave them tea. Father Des said: "It is by their deeds that ye shall know them - not by their tea".

We have a lot of tea-ologians in our Catholic Church in Ireland today. The very worst of them in that slimy Brian Darcy. But there are others who are more intelligent and therefore should know better. Father Brendan Hoban is a verbal tea-ologian. Father Tony Flannery is a tea-ologian. The Association of Catholic Priests of Ireland is full of tea-ologians. 

These people are not harmless. They are dangerous. They give the corrupt Catholic institution a bit of good PR. They lend some respectability to something that is vile. 

We need people like Hans Kung who has gone all the way and had his licence to teach theology removed by The Roman Empire MK 11.
We need people like Father Des Wilson who was pursued and tortured by Bishop William Philbin of Down & Connor.

We need priests like Father Michael Keane (RIP) who was suspended and evicted from his home by Archbishop Dermot Ryan - of unhappy memory.

We need theologians like Matthew Fox, Ernesto Cardenal, Charles Curran & Co who were tortured by the modern day Inquisition.

We do not need the Darcys, the Hobans and the Flannerys who are "sixpence each way" men whose graves will produce weeds and not roses.

We do not need "coitus interrutpus" priests and tea-ologians who do not have the balls to create the new baby of a renewed church.

Of these people who are theological and pastoral seed wasters we need to say with Jesus: LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD"

Bishop Pat Buckley


  1. Fox,Kung and Cardenal some pretty heavy hitters and each a true priest and then of course the wonderful Des Wilson.I aggree with your comments about D'Arcy and many so called liberals,they are like the cool kids in the playground,though I must diagree about Tony flannery,I have many conversations with him and find him to be a man passionate about both his priesthood and reform.As you know for many years I have been calling for a new catholic church,one divorced from Rome,a catholic church for Ireland,a church truly inclusive whose doors are truly open,whose arms are truly welcoming,whose priests truly preach The Gospel of Jesus to the oppresed and marginalised so they are marginalised no more,a church where compassion beats down dogma every time,a church for the people,a church with married male and female clergy,a church whose altar is the pain of those who hurt,whose vestments wipe away the tears of those abandoned,whose priests do not hide away in their parochial houses and behind an venner of piety.Give me that church,in The name of God..somebody.Mike

    1. Mike,

      I know what Father Flannery has SAID.

      What has he DONE?

      Why is he still in the tent pissing out :-)


  2. Hi Bishop Pat

    You are right about the lack of fearlessness among clergy, especially, to say what needs to be said and to act on it, rather than just putting a head above the parapet for a moment then retreating back in to safely and security.

    Might this in great part be to do with the shackles that the Church hobbles it's clergy with? Become persona non grata and you lose everything. House, home, job, income, position, influence...... You name it ! And, let's be honest, for most clergy they are woefully equipped to do anything else and would find it hard to exist outside the cocoon on clergy life and comfort !

    Only occasionally do you find someone courageous enough to see things through. You mention a few in your blog, Kung et al, and of course you yourself have paid a price for what you have said and done.

    Have you heard of a Father Matthew Despard in Scotland ? Now, I'm not sure I am a great fan of Fr Despard, and I do think he brings a lot of baggage with him, and has a history of being a rather awkward and argumentative person. And I'm not completely on side with his seeing the Church in Scotland as being a bullying gay mafia as he describes in his book, now no longer available on Amazon.

    However, Fr Despard has raised some awkward questions for the Church in Scotland, particularly in light of the Cardinal O'Brian affair. There is a chapter in his book about his time and experiences as an Army chaplain, and I know that even though those pages make for some uncomfortable reading for some individuals, by and large what Fr Despard says is pretty accurate. I happen to know because I have an insight in to that ministry from my own experience and know many of the characters and situations described. .Interestingly, I note that in spite of ominous mutterings from some of the individuals concerned, not one of them has taken recourse to clear their names and reputation from what they declare is slander. I suspect because under closer scrutiny Father Despard's account will be shown to be true ! So, they are keeping quiet.

    Now, even though I have my reservations about Father Despard and his motives and his techniques, he has put his head above the parapet and raised some serious issues for the Church, which having been raised should be answered. They are issues about honesty, probity, clergy behaviour, the clerical culture, covering things up, double standards etc etc. They touch on matters of sexuality, celibacy, clerical behaviour etc. These are all matters which need the light of day shone on them so that the truth is seen, no matter how uncomfortable the truth is. Once we know the truth, then we can act on it, move on, become more transparent and open.

    But, what happens ? The Church in Scotland shoots the messenger ! Rather than looking at the things that Father Despard talks about the Church covers up and goes for him in order to silence him and protect itself. Bishop Toal, currently administering Fr Despard's diocese, has suspended Fr Despard and removed him from his parish ! Such action is so patently vindictive, punitive, and protective of the Bishop and the diocese. They are simply interested in shutting Fr Despard up and covering up what they know to be true but wrong. It's the same tactic the Church has tried before, especially with clerical abuse.

    I don't care how uncomfortable Fr Despard's claim might be for the Church in Scotland. They should be properly and openly looked at. They should not just be swept under the carpet and Fr Despard silenced by autocratic and punitive action. That's been shown not to work. Bishop Toal will get his ass bitten by this and by trying to silence Father Despard in this way, no matter what Father Despard has said or what his motives are for saying these things.

    At least he's had the courage to say what he believes. And he's paying a heavy price.

    1. Thank you for your very thoughtful comments.

      Of course Father Despard is like us all - a sinner and full of contradictions.

      But his voice is prophetic.

      The prophets of the old testament were not perfect either - but they spoke the truth.

      When each of us were baptised we were anointed as PRIEST, PROPHET and KING.

      Why are there so few prophets among the baptised and ordained.


      I know there are huge risks and losses involved with going out on a limb. But Jesus will never take anyone out on a limb and not give them what they need to cope.

      Its RISK time. Its JUMP time.


  3. Pat as you and I know many priests are conditioned by the system and scared shitless. Its easier to stay in the snaleshell, as many have said on this blog, and let the shit sweep over their heads. Waisting space and voices over transubstantiation vs consubstantiation etc is a load of shite and leaves reality on the sideline. Priests need to be aware of the needs of their people and their own sanity and react as common sense dictates. If this means flustering some red embossed soutannes well fekem! I can only speak for myself and reflect that on more than one occasion i did what stupidity demanded i started but conscience demanded i finish and put my name to. in some ways i believe i have never changed. Sean

  4. As a priest who would like to speak up I find myself in the position of: pension, no union rights, no advocate for clergy and the absolute power of the Bishop. That is to say nothing of the coldhouse of clergy if one does speak up.

    I understand the sentiments spoken above, but I as them would they risk their work positions etc in order to speak up knowing full well that the rest of the staff will agree with you but not go with you in a public manner!!

    I learned the hard way myself.

    A careful Priest!

    1. Dear Fr Careful. Yes I did take the risk and yes I did walk out. The details of what happened I'm sure are still in the public domain. Sean

  5. It's common sense that Priests should be able to marry and have a family. It would improve their moral standing and having a family would bring them into modern-times and knowing how to relate to their church families. How can you preach the Good Word without knowing what it is like to be a father and a husband? You can't. It's time the Catholic church allowed Priests to marry.

    As a Catholic I say that our clergy have NO credability anyway. Do they realise Bishop Pat how much and how deeply ordinary Catholics DO NOT trust them! The people who do give them trust are in my view vunlerable people and in danger. My view from the pew.

    Mary - Belfast

    1. Mary I now think that being married would not be the cure all to a corrupted priesthood. I'm not sure why the clergy is as it is. I believe the Church needs to look back to the early church and re invent the wheel. The modern church in maintaining its structure has forgotten about its founder-Sean

  6. In his book about Anglicanism, Our Church, the English philosopher Roger Scruton says the greatest problem in the modern world is the “loss of the habit of repentance.” Broadly speaking, there seemed to me to be no particular interest in the Irish Catholic church in repentance, because there was no particular interest in the reality of sin. The stereotypical idea of the Catholic Church as a sin-obsessed, legalistic hothouse surely came from somewhere. But for Catholics like me, born in the late 1960s, this cramped and miserable picture of the church may as well have come from antiquity.

    The contemporary era of global Catholicism began in 1959, when the newly elected Pope John XXIII sought to “open the windows” of the fusty old Church to the modern world by calling the Second Vatican Council. Three years later, in his opening address to the council, the charismatic and avuncular pope called for “a new enthusiasm, a new joy and serenity of mind in the unreserved acceptance by all of the entire Christian faith,” without compromising on doctrine. A fierce spirit of the age blasted through those newly-opened windows, scouring nearly everything in its path. The coming decades would see a collapse in Catholic catechesis and Catholic discipline. The so-called “spirit of Vatican II” — a perversion of the Council’s actual teaching — justified many subsequent outrages.

    The full extent of the rot within the church became manifest. All that post-Vatican II happy talk and non-judgmentalism had been a facade concealing what then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — later Pope Benedict XVI — would call the “filth” in the church. Many Irish hypocritical bishops deployed the priceless Christian language of love and forgiveness in an effort to cover their own foul nakedness in a cloak of cheap grace.

    I am not returning to the rot - I am happy to live outside the rot.

    Bob - Dublin

  7. During that excruciating pedo Catholic period, rage at what I and other journalists uncovered about the church’s corruption pried my ability to believe in Catholic Christianity out of me, like torturers ripping fingernails out with pliers. It wasn’t the crimes that did it as much as the bishops’ unwillingness to repent and the Vatican’s disinterest in holding them to account. If the church’s hierarchy cannot commit itself credibly to justice and mercy to the victims of its own clergy and bishops, I thought, do they really believe in Jesus?

    All this put the moral unseriousness of the Catholic church in a certain light. As the scandal raged, one Ash Wednesday, I attended Mass at my comfortable suburban parish and heard the priest deliver a sermon describing Lent as a time when we should all come to love ourselves more.

    If I had to pinpoint a single moment at which I ceased to be a Catholic, it would have been that one. I fought for two more years to hold on, thinking that having the syllogisms from my catechism straight in my head would help me stand firm. But it was useless. By then I was a father, and I did not want to raise my children in a church where sentimentality and self-satisfaction were the point of the Christian life. It wasn’t safe to raise my children in this church, I thought — not because they would be at risk of predators but because the entire ethos of the Irish church, like the ethos of the decadent post-Christian society in which it lives, is not that we should die to ourselves so that we can live in Christ, as the New Testament demands, but that we should learn to love ourselves more.

    Is that what the Darcy's are about - shallow and sick. I will keep my family save from their hands and their puns.

    John - Dublin

  8. I am appalled that so many Christians are lost because of their allegiance to a corrupt church or irresponsible religion. Jesus gave strong testimony in the Book of Revelation regarding the churches' strength & pitfalls through the ages. Some of testimonies was good for the churches .... but most of them were just bad. Religion has all but destroyed Christianity. What Jesus wanted from the churches was for them to help the mass establish FAITH in Him. Instead, the churches (most) are on a power trip to control & conquer their congregations. And if a christian has a problem finding a solid religion or church, he or she can establish a personal relationship with Jesus through faith & prayer as stated in: Revelation 1:6 and Revelation 3:20.

    Pat - ex-catholic. Waterford

    1. Fr Pat I believe it is the church and not the Christians who are lost-Sean

  9. I am assumed that every bowing and non-questioning Catholic is rotten to the core and I object to them running schools and hospitals.

    I was shocked to hear that PP's still freely walk into and actually are on the board's of appointments in schools - crazy, will the corruption ever end??

    Lisa - Armagh

    1. Lisa assuming is a dangerous pastime. I believe each situation needs to be assessed on its individual merits. Appropriate safeguards should be there to protect the general welfare. A good question to get the mind thinking in a N Ireland context might be Are all Policemen & Women bad? Sean

  10. I am not a Catholic, but even I believe that the current Pope is one of the best things to happen to the RCC in the past 50 years.

    This man wants to focus on loving people - and the point is????

    As far as abortion and homosexuality is concerned, the RCC has lost it's credibility when it comes to leading/teaching on these topics. The RCC has spent too much money and time playing politics, and covering up it's own sins and crimes, period. Blaming gays for the crimes of pedophiles and the corrupt is just ridiculous - are people not aware of the fact that there have been many women and female children victimised as well? And the best way to limit elective abortions is to use BIRTH CONTROL, and even the RCC endorses the practice of non-medical alternatives, which that in itself is just that - birth control

    Maybe people should spend less time complaining, and more time practicing what they are preaching.

    Just a thought, I include my own Methodist side as well.


  11. The RC "church" blasphemously claims . .Obedience to the Pope declared necessary for Salvation . . and I quote:

    1) "We, moreover, proclaim, declare and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human being to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

    Citation: 1) Source: Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam, promulgated November 18, 1302


    “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:13)

    Note: the prior verses, v. 11, 12, reveal that name to be Jesus Christ

    There is no plainer text in Scripture that puts the Doctrine of Christ in such concise language. Moreover, God's Word as it is found in II John, verse 9-10 warns believers not to receive those who “abide not in the doctrine of Christ”! The censure of Christ falls upon those who “add to and take away from the Word of God . . the Scriptures” (Rev. 22:18-19) That is precisely what Rome has done in proclaiming “obedience to the Pope”as necessary for Salvation!

    FURTHERMORE, this is a flat denial of the finished work of the saving redemptive work the Lord Jesus Christ wrought on behalf of His people whom He came to save (Matt. 1:21) and a repudiation of what Christ Himself so passionately declared at Calvary . . “It is finished.” (John 19:30) This is both insulting to God the Father who gave us His Son and dishonouring to Christ who was obedient even unto death on the cross that He might secure the salvation of His people! Christ did all things well and with Him the Father was well-pleased!

    The false gospel of Rome denies that which lies at the very heart of the Gospel, namely, the saving merits which are to be sought and found only in Christ and in its' place has established their own criteria upon which sinners are saved!

    The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is that . .

    “He is able to save to the uttermost all those that come unto God by Him.” (Heb. 7:25)

    JuneAnnette, a former Roman Catholic made a Christian by God's grace!

    (Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:3-7

    I am Catholic but with a very small 'c'. A very sick church.

  12. JuneAnnette is so typical of manic anti-Catholics who have believed the falsehoods of Protestantism and 'de-poped' themselves. The Catholic Church does NOT teach obedience to the pope as necessary for salvation. The Catholic Church in the 2oth century (forget the 14th century) clearly taught, at the 2nd Vatican Council, that God uses the Protestant Churches as a means of saving grace. This is in sharp contrast to Protestant extremists who still teach that all Catholics are damned unless they become 'ex-catholics'! The Catholic Church does NOT 'add' to God's Word unlike Martin Luther who inserted the word 'alone' into St Paul's text in Romans about being saved by faith. Anyhow, the Protestant 'Sola Scriptura' - Bible only - as the rule of faith is itself unscriptural and a nonsense teaching invented by the so-called 'reformers'.

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