Monday, 9 June 2014


Contributors to this Blog are claiming that Bishop Noel Treanor (above) of Belfast is spending £4 million pounds on the renovation of his palace on Belfast's Somerton Road!

Is that true? Can it be true when Pope Francis has asked bishops to live more simply?

The claims reaching here by Blog and other means are saying:

1. That Noel Treanor is spending £4 million on renovating Lisbreen!

2. That he is filling the newly renovated palace with very expensive antiques!

3. That these antiques are currently in storage at a Church property in South Belfast awaiting Lisbreen's completion.

4. That highly expensive carpets are being bought for Lisbreen and that the professional carpet layers have been instructed by Bishop Treanor to create borders not only around the rooms but actually around the expensive antiques.

5. That brick walls in Lisbreen are being demolished and replaced with plate glass walls to let the sunlight in.

6. That the Catholic neighbours on Somerton Road are up in arms about the restructuring of this traditional mansion.

7. That the Catholic neighbours on Somerton Road are angry that the upgrading of Lisbreen to a modern building reflects negatively on their buildings which have been retained in a traditional fashion.

8. That a highly expensive private driveway to Lisbreen is being created.

I have no personal knowledge of these matters - but I have been inundated with reports and complaints about them from various quarters.

I have pointed out to people that I have no imput whatsoever into Down and Connor matters and am not in a position to relay their concerns and complaints to Bishop Treanor.

Furthermore a small number of Down and Connor priests have contacted me to say that they are very angry about Bishop Treanor's spending on his house - particularly in view of the fact that one of the most important churches in the diocese - St Patrick's Church in Donegall Street, Belfast, is crumbling and needs millions of pounds to save it.

The administrator of Saint Patrick's - Father Michael Sheehan is struggling very hard to save his church and is highly regarded by his parishioners and the priests of the diocese in his brave efforts to raise the necessary funding. 

But apart from the money what kind of signals in Bishop Treanor sending out? Does he not take Pope Francis' request for bishops to live more simply seriously?

How can £4 million be justified as a residence for one man - when families all over the diocese are either homeless or losing their homes to the banks because they cannot pay their mortgages?
van Elst palace in Germany

Has Bishop Treanor not learned a lesson from the sacking of the "Bishop of Bling" by Pope Francis for spending millions on his palace?
Bishop of Bling Tebartz van Elst

Has Bishop Treanor not learned a lesson from Pope Francis' anger with the retired Cardinal Secretary of State in the Vatican for spending a fortune on his 6,200 square foot retirement apartment?
Defiant Bertone

Maybe Bishop Treanor is not spending £4 million? But how much is he spending? Are the priests and people of the diocese not entitled to know what he is spending?

Is he not guilty of an awful insensitivity and arrogance by lashing out money on a bishop's palace in these times of credit squeeze when so many people are just keeping their heads above water?

This kind of spending is really a SCANDAL. 

+Pat Buckley


  1. It's not that much..., only £50,000 per parish in Down & Connor.

  2. 4 Million?
    Sure, that's only £50,000 per Down & Connor Parish.

  3. These last two comments, which I would imagine are from D&C priests, are typical of the utter cynicism at the heart of the clerical club that operates not only in Down and Connor, but in every diocese. There is utter contempt for the people of God, the poor buggers who pay for all this vanity and extravagance. When, oh when, are the people who are Church are going to rise up and throw off the shackles imposed upon them by these pampered preening eunuchs who are incapable of loving anything or anyone save themselves. The greatest trick that the hierachs have performed is to get the people to pay for their luxuriant lifestyles, while they scrimp and save to pay, pray and obey. It is an utter scandal. There needs to be a French Revolution (Bishop Treanor with his continental leanings and exquisite diplomatic manners, will know too well what that popular movement led to - bishops and archbishops losing their heads, literally!). People of God rise up and make a start by paying not a penny more to their plate. If you want to give you widows mite give it to charity directly. Oh the pity of it.

  4. I would like to know some more facts and figures about this. One of the difficulties, of course, is that there is no transparency in diocesan accounts. The diocesan finance board will be made up of clergy of the curial type, by and large, and they will go along with the whims and dictates of the bishop. I guess the only people who can hold the bishop to account for his spending are the Charity Commissioners, and I would be interested to know what their attitude to this would be if they were alerted. It is, after all, money that belongs to or has been given to a charitable organisation, namely the diocese, and that money has to be administered and spent according to the charity laws. So, why doesn't somebody from D & C write to the Charity Commission and ask them to look in to it ?

    Other than that, I would have thought that any bishop would in the present climate have the good sense to be prudent in what they are spending or planning to spend, particularly after the case of Bishop Bling of Limburg, and the messages and mood being given out by Pope Francis. But then, I guess, bishops have got used to being masters of their own houses, and doing what they want. That's part of the problem. The Church is still an unaccountable, self governing body that is not answerable to the people who make it up, namely the faithful laity, and the 'officer class', namely the clergy and bishops, run the organisation for their own ends, and very often their own comfort. They can't be kicked out, they can barely be questioned. It's like that from the simplest parish to the corridors of the Vatican.

    The only way the laity can bring this feudal organisation to heel is by withholding their money. It would not take long for there to be meaningful negotiation then !

  5. You forgot to include the security cameras and the double row of fencing with coils of razor wire in between them.

  6. Excellent suggestion above; two in fact: Withhold funds, and report Treanor to the Charity Commission for misuse of charitable funds. Pat?

  7. While the Church was a billion dollar ($17.7 billion in 2002) organization, the funds have been depleted due to the deflating US dollar (which many of their followers pay donations with), sex abuse settlements (atleast $840 million in US and Ireland), and growing diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. In fact, some dioceses have been forced to declare bankruptcy.

    However, the Catholic Churches in Europe are arguably the most elaborate and ostentatious houses of wealth. Many of them contain original art works by artists such as Michaelangelo and Carvaggio - works that would would be auctioned off for millions today - and statues made from gold or silver. Their wealth also includes immense lands and real estate investments.

    Treanor was trained in the houses of Europe.


  8. Jesus, the founder of Christianity, was the poorest of the poor.

    Roman Catholicism, which claims to be His church, is the richest of the rich, the wealthiest institution on earth. How come, that such an institution, ruling in the name of this same itinerant preacher, whose want was such that he had not even a pillow upon which to rest his head, is now so top-heavy with riches that she can rival - indeed, that she can put to shame - the combined might of the most redoubtable financial trusts, of the most potent industrial super-giants, and of the most prosperous global corporation of the world?

    It is a question that has echoed along the somber corridors of history during almost 2,000 years; a question that has puzzled, bewildered and angered in turn untold multitudes from the first centuries to our days.

    The startling contradiction of the tremendous riches of the Roman Catholic Church with the direct teaching of Christ concerning their unambiguous rejection, is too glaring to be by-passed, tolerated or ignored by even the most indifferent of believers. In the past, indeed, some of the most virulent fulminations against such mammonic accumulation came from individuals whose zeal and religious fervor were second to none. Their denunciations of the wealth, pomp, luxury and worldly habits of abbots, bishops, cardinals and popes can still be heard thundering with unabated clamor at the opening of almost any page of the chequered annals of western history.

    Treanor surely is a civil servant of Rome and as such needs the palace to wield his Roman power!!!!


  9. Never mind Lisbreen, have you walked into St. Patrick's or Holy Family recently! The Presbytery of Ligoneil is massive, meanwhile to old payer uppers cannot turn their heating on!

    Treanor and his elk have NO CONSCIENCE!!!


  10. In view of the profound repercussions of this famous forgery, the most spectacular in the annals of Christianity, it might be useful to glance at its main clauses:

    Constantine desires to promote the Chair of Peter over the Empire and its seat on earth by bestowing on it imperial power and honor.

    The Chair of Peter shall have supreme authority over all churches in the world.

    It shall be judge in all that concerns the service of God and the Christian faith.

    Instead of the diadem which the Emperor wished to place on the pope’s head, but which the pope refused, Constantine had given to him and to this successors the phrygium - that is, the tirara and the lorum which adorned the emperor’s neck, as well as the other gorgeous robes and insignia of the imperial dignity.

    The Roman clergy shall enjoy the high privileges of the Imperial Senate, being eligible to the dignity of patrician and having the right to wear decorations worn by the nobles under the Empire.

    The offices of cubicularii, ostiarii, and excubitae shall belong to the Roman Church.

    The Roman clergy shall ride on horses decked with white coverlets, and, like the Senate, wear white sandals.

    If a member of the Senate shall wish to take orders, and the pope consents, no one shall hinder him.

    Constantine gives up the remaining sovereignty over Rome, the provinces, cities and towns of the whole of Italy or of the Western Regions, to Pope Silvester and his successors.


    With the first clause the pope became legally the successor of Constantine: that is, the heir to the Roman Empire.

    With the second he was made the absolute head of al Christendom, East and West, and indeed of all the churches of the world.

    With the third he was made the only judge with regard to Christian beliefs. Thus anyone or any church disagreeing with him became heretic, with all the dire spiritual and temporal results of this.

    With the fourth the pope surrounded himself with the splendor and the insignia of the imperial office, as the external representation of his imperial status.

    With the fifth the whole Roman clergy was placed on the same level as the senators, patricians and nobles of the Empire. By virtue of this clause, the Roman clergy became entitled to the highest title of honor which the emperors granted to certain preeminent members of the civil and military aristocracy, the ranks of patrician and consul being at that time the highest at which human ambition could aim.

    The sixth and seventh clauses, seemingly irrelevant, were very important. For the popes, by claiming to be attended by gentlemen of the bedchamber, doorkeepers and bodyguards (cubiculari, ostiarli, etc.) emphasized their parity with the Emperors, as preciously only the latter had this right. The same applies to the claim that Roman clergy should have the privilege of decking their horses with white coverings, which in the eighth century was a privilege of extraordinary importance.

    The eighth clause simply put the Senate at the mercy of the pope.

    Finally the ninth, the most important and the one with the greatest consequences in Western history, made the pope the territorial sovereign of Rome, Italy and the Western Regions; that is to say, of Constantine’s Empire, which comprised France, Spain, Britain and indeed the whole territory of Europe and beyond.


  11. It is amazing to see the contrast at Mass in St Peter's in West Belfast. My son sings there! To see the millionaire Bishop in his expensive, gold ridden clothing, and the poor people women (mostly), on benefits putting in their mite, praying independently - we now have two churchs (a practical schism) the rich clergy (no longer trusted by ordinary people) and the poor people, the moral people, the people of God.

    Lisbreen is truthfully nothing other than the external sign of the internal reality!!!


  12. The notion being the requirement that parishoners have to tithe with the Church in D&C in order to receive the sacraments. Thats what the 50k is, you cannot have the sacraments unless the civil servant has his earthly palace and pleasure.

    Then again Pat, a certain Parish had to pay for your house? You did'nt go to work and pay for it! This drove the D&C club mad!!!

    The poor need to pay up!!


    1. Dear Cynic,

      Yes the parish of Larne did have to pay for the renovation of the house I am living in. It was in a very bad state of repair and it had become a parish "asset" that was falling into disrepair.

      I would have been quite happy to move to a smaller available house.

      I have had no church income since 1986 - 28 years and during that time I did work to earn an income and spent tens of thousands on keeping the house repaired. But I was only able to keep a finger in the dam - and the dam was bursting.

      I have been a self employed worker and tax payer for 28 years now.


    2. Dear Cynic,

      Yes the parish of Larne eventually had to repair the house I am living in. By doing so they were preserving a parish asset.

      But for 28 years I have had no income from the church and was a self employed, tax paying "worker" earning my own income. In that 28 years I spent tens of thousands on repairing the house.

      But eventually the repairs got bigger than I could cope with.

      I would have been quite happy to move to a smaller premises.


  13. The real point: this bishop has used funds without consultation and inappropriately and the people have a right to object

    But of course the people who care are those close to the grave and will not upset things for fear of not gaining salvation and the disgrace of not being buried from the 'chapel'!

    Blackmail this is Treanor, blackmail!!!


  14. Walsh had things so tight when it came to money. He prided himself in having the diocese in a healthy money place / temple. Treanor is emptying the coffers!!


  15. The cost is outlandish.

    The question I ask is the following?
    Does the bishop own the residence ? Answer the Diocese does.
    The Bishop will retire and die.
    The diocese will benefit in the end.
    Does the Bishop need such luxury?
    Obviously no.
    People have been employed to build it and are not suffering from unemployment. It helps the economy and keeps people in work.
    There are more important things to fight over.


  16. You are a joke of an untruth Treanor and D&C people. You all justify whatever you want. HYPOCRITE!!!!!!!!

    D&C Priest, but not in the club and on my way out.

  17. Dear Concerned,
    St. Augustine said “The Greatest Heresy is the Lack of Charity.”
    Why do you sin against the 8th commandment and judge words.
    Really get with it for there are many scandals in the world that need prayer and fasting to attone to Almighty God for.
    Blah, Blah, Blah for your judging me. Have a good day!


  18. You just show your complete hypocrisy and that you don’t understand the truth of the message of Jesus. 4 million quid for a palatial home for a bishop. You justify it untruth and say it is not important. There must not be any hungry people in Germany. You still don’t accept the message of Jesus in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. You have as much credibility as a bishop who would spend millions and millions on his own comforts.

    But Pat, I think the house you live in is a little bigger than the average family home and your car is bigger than the average family car! Show example please. Why not live in and drive the ordinary?


  19. I agree “truth” there are more important things to fight over – JUST AS THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS FOR THE CHURCH TO BE SPENDING MONEY ON. PERHAPS FEEDING AND CLOTHING THE POOR, NURSING THE SICK WOULD BE A GOOD START. The truth is that this our place on earth is only temperary our real home if we are Christian is in the Kingdom of God, where we should be laying up treasures – in the form of our good works and love/charity toward our fellow man.

    Catholic Lady

  20. The Catholic Church has been and continues to be the most charitable entity in the world. Our Catholic priests, nuns and laypeople can be found in every corner of the world, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, educating the children and most importantly spreading the Word of God to those who so desperately need it. Mother Teresa is a Blessed because of this very thing and there are so many others like her, even in hostile places like Syria, Somalia, China and the Palestinian territories. May God Bless them, protect them and reward them in Heaven.

    James D

  21. Totally disgraceful Bishop Treanor. You clergy just do not get it. I can no longer defend the Church to my children. I am running out of things to say and you know what, it kills me.

    Wake up, you are the talk of Somerton Road and you are chasing the next generation of Catholic doctors & lawyers away! I know, I have a few in training, you want to hear the conversation over the Sunday roast. Breaks our hearts, but you know, if I was young again and in a professional setting I don't think I'd be any different.

    You just don'y get it.


  22. Just goes to show that it really is easier for a camel to get through an eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.


  23. though invisible, we no that god's effects r observable and measurable: the universe, therefore pharisees no he doesn't exist. (brilliant crowd. u c the problem drowning them) perfect, judgmental, better than everyone, bitter, self-pitying pharisees love to claim that hi t ler was a christian, which is true and they r nazis Buddhists.

    Treanor is no christian, he is pretending silly. exit stage left my friend.


  24. Thank you for providing such clear evidence that religion rots your brain.


  25. What kind of "Vicar of Christ" would hide perverts and those who hide and protect them in his own home. What kind of COWARDLY Christian would look the other way while all this continues under the adorable Francis? What kind of government would let this happen?

    Every continuing story about this rubs salt into my and other victims wounds. Thank you so much, Jesus. May god bless your followers as they are burdened by those whom burdened you!

    Civil servant of Rome, Rich & Immoral!

    Irish Catholic

  26. Rich religious people are Losers with a capital L. They should at least have the common decency to shed the lie of religion and call their greed and avarice for what it is. We'll take that money in time, through law or revolution. Their voices are diminished and will be further diminished over time.


  27. Wow!!! Unlike you Treanor, most so called rich people worked hard to build their businesses from the ground up. Unlike you, they saw the opportunity that's available to anyone who lives in the West. Unlike you, they weren't driven by coveting others wealth. You slough... get off your a s s and get a job. Rich people are rich because they earned it, and not by stealing whats not theirs...

    Anyone who depends on and survives through the hard earned wealth or living wage of others is a useless ass.

    Get a job Treanor. If yoy cannot survive without needing to put your hand into the pockets of ordinary people you really need to examine your conscience. Everything I have, which is not much, I EARNED. BUM!


  28. Where is the Francis effect in D&C?



  29. I don't recall that Jesus or his apostles ever walked around with expensive jewelry,In fact they never even had a home to lie their head .


  30. I'm not surprised, religion has always played on the impoverished mind and empty stomach. This bishop reminds me of Judas the son of predation.... somthing my brother told me and it rings so very true!


  31. i wonder how the woman in jesuses days would feel about putting in her two cents today in the churches charity box?


  32. Most of the Catholic Church's wealth is tied to great works of art, buildings, etc., that belongs not to the church, but for the world to enjoy. Millions travel to Italy to see these treasures and they are the better for it, and probably glad that the Church is the keeper of those treasures in their care. If all of that were to be owned privately, most travelers would not have been able to even come near them! And there would not have been enough money to purchase those treasures. So yes the Church is enormously wealthy in things that benefits us all, It cannot sell it's treasures because it does not own them! Mainly they were acquaired through donations, purchases by the church to protect the art works of ancient Rome, Greece and other civilizations whose work of art were being plundered and sometimes sold to people whose interests in the works of art was for their own pleasure.

    Ramonita Camacho Acevedo

  33. Here we are again with the idea that, simply doing good makes all of the bad ok. The Catholic church does not do anything that many other organizations do or can do, minus the extortion and hocus pocus. And please, stop with the "many scientists are believers" crap, it is simply untrue, and , in fact, very few are. The Catholic scientists are more like lawyers... helping the Pope and Bishops reconcile their faith with facts so that it can be packaged properly. Blah...

    B S Butler

  34. Just as we are seeing a worldwide collapse of the fictional financial and economic system that has been thrust upon us by an equally fictional political system, so too will we see the collapse of the third angle of the trinity of control, which is the CATHOLIC CHURCH. Anytime an organization has so much money that it needs to hide the numbers, that organization is engaging in criminal activity (i.e. victimizing activity) and will face certain dire repercussions if the source and magnitude of their funds were discovered by their unwitting victims. I have a hard time accepting that the PERSONS involved in the business of CATHOLIC CHURCH even believe in God. And when I say CATHOLIC CHURCH, I mean that corporation and all its entities, which means with few exceptions every other Christian denomination, most Muslim denominations, and the Jew-ish hostile corporation called Israel. The reason I question the faith of these corporate officers is simple. We often see the bumper stickers or signs that say, "what would Jesus do?" We know that according to the Gospel Jesus freaked when he came across the 'money changers' (quick change artists, drug dealers, pimps?) in the temple. So how would he react when he sees his entire message, and his name and image (many times graven) are used as a motive for guilt and profit in a pyramid scheme that enriches a very few and 'forgives' the 'sinners'. I quote forgives and sinners because Christ never gave these Church Officers a personal ordainment, a prescription or authority to address anyone in his name in the way that they are. They have promoted his crucifixion in every grotesque way possible as the remedy for the laws of God, when in fact the entire gospel up to that brutal torture and merciless murder teaches the opposite. If these CATHOLIC Officers have read the Gospel even once, and I assume they have, they would know that everything they are doing is a flaunting hypocrisy against it, and that if they truly believed in any of it they would know it would mean the judgment of their souls for all eternity. You cannot serve 2 masters. They serve one over the other, because they despise the other. They do not render unto caesar because they are in league with, and in many cases directly are caesar. If you believe in the Gospel and in Christ, then you must also acknowledge the power of the deceptions of Lucifer. This isn't simply one man deceives another, coveting his donkey. It has come down to a few men have deceived a planet, calling themselves 'of god', 'called and ordained ministers of god', the 'chosen people of god', 'Father', 'Holy', and the list goes on despite the fact that from top to nearly bottom their actions and reactions are the polar opposite of what that requires as taught in the Gospel. Redemption requires repentance. Repentance requires acknowledgement and transparency. Forgiveness requires healing. Healing requires love. I challenge anyone to show me where this exists in the corporate churches of planet Earth. If you want forgiveness and you want to be as close to God as possible in this shell of flesh, then why worship a middle man or men, paying tribute and bowing and praising as if they were Creator of this planet and its inhabitants. Do not honor other men who would dishonor you as they do themselves. Honor yourself, look for God where he is closest, and learn to find redemption, repentance, forgiveness and love where it was in the first place. And ultimately, follow the commandment of Christ: Love thy neighbor as you love thyself.


  35. It disappoints me to read that the bishop who has been asked to handle the aftermath of the sex scandals as well as to implement measures making it impossible to happen it again belongs to the kind of persons who managed to climb the career ladder because of a great talent God gifted them – anticipatory obedience. Earmarking 4 million pound for a possible renovation of a square just in case the Pope decides to visit Trier is ridiculous, especially when expenditures for youth programmes where the future financiers of the church are won are cut. No wonder that so many people try to leave the church. Instead of behaving like bean counters the high representatives of the church should focus on their real task – taking care of those who need help.


  36. Ask the Legionaries of Christ for some spare cash Treanor!

    Irish Seminarian

  37. So the Church is so poor it has to lay staff off, say in Holy Family and othe parishes! Yet rich enough to rebuild their palaces!

    As someone who has worked with clergy for years, they live in a bubble and DO NOT CARE about ordinary people.

    Ex-Parish Employee

  38. I work in a parish. My PP gambles a fortune!! Has to be at least £500 a week easy.


  39. Wow! I am becoming a believer of this man... you are making me believe in the church again.. you are correcting everything I hate in the church... God Bless You... may your reign as the head of the church leave on, even as you pass on from this world...


  40. The Catholic church especially here are more concerned on the feast of this and the feast of that, mass offerings, weddings, confirmations, baptismals, processions, and during elections church offerings of candidates to get endorsements all of these have no substance and meanings!


  41. Time to rethink about the concept of Magesterium, Bible and Tradition being preached by the Roman Catholic Church being inseparable...


  42. The Church of the Resurrection on Cavehill Road was a relatively new build church .Parishioners were told that it was needed to cater for the growing population in that area so they dutifully contributed very generously towards the building costs. The roof was of problematic design and needed replaced .Bishop Treanor attended a meeting in the adjoining church hall to inform parishioners that it was too costly to reroof and was now surplus to requirements and will have to be demolished (that was several years ago). Parishioners didn't want it closed but they were over ruled.The building is still standing! No money for a new roof but plenty of money for renovation of Lisbreen.

  43. Sell McKeown's old house, give it to the poor!


  44. As a Church of Ireland reader of this blog I have to say that the Communion to which I belong is the same as the RCC.

    What can we do really?


  45. Ex-parish employee comments on the farce of 2012 when the then administrator and curate got rid of staff under the guise of not having enough money. What about all the money these two men spent on investigators, HR companies and external bodies. Bit of an irony!! Were parishioners in Holy Family advised of the fact large amounts of their money was spent in a campaign against staff?