Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Archbishop Wesolowski
A contributor to this Blog - "a former Vatican official" has submitted a piece that gives us greater insight into the defrocking of the former nuncio Archbishop Wesolowski. He says:

"Pat I do agree with what you say, though the case of the disgraced former nuncio is a little more complex than appears.

I under stand from a trusted friend who knows the full details of the case that it was not the case of a sexual offender in the accepted sense of the term; ie., that of a predator sexually oppressing or assaulting pre or just pubescent children. Rather he was making frequent use of teenage male prostitutes at his former posting. The youths were all 15 years and older. Now this is no excuse for what by any standards is scandalous behaviour, but it is not "abuse" in the predatory sense of that word. I understand that this poor creature is also a total alcoholic.

Like you I am appalled at the thought of this man having to stand trial in the Vatican City State Court . This is nonsense. Rather like having to stand trial in Ruaratia, or Lilliput, or some other fictious place. This man needs help in order to address his offending behaviours and his addictions. He needs therapy. He needs containment and supervision, not trial and imprisonment. He has suffered punishment enough in the very total and public humiliation that he has suffered. 

There are many who see him as a convenient and useful scapegoat for Pope Francis to use to show a certain tuthlessness, not only confined to matters of sexual impropriety I can assure you. He is known as Stalin in the Vatican. 
Stalin ???????????

To get back to the former nuncio I cannot see that he has "victims" in the normative use of that term, in so far as I can understand the youthful prostitutes were willing participants, if not by desire, then by circumstance and poverty. 

Tragic though this may be, it is another matter.

So too with Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien (KPOB). He is in disgrace and has spectactularly fallen from grace, so much so that he is known the world over for the hypocrite he was. I say "was" because I understand that he has seriously begun to address his alcoholism and is deeply ashamed of the self hatred within himself that caused his outrageous homophobic remarks and policies. 

Pat, he too has been a victim of the Church, and how it chews us up, rewards us if we are good boys, and spits us out if we hit the buffers.

Like in my own life KPOB will see that he fall was the greatest thing that ever happened to him . Remember the Good Thief? Remember too that there but for the grace of God, go I, go you, go all of us. We are all wounded redeemed sinners. The lucky ones are the ones upon whom God intervenes while there is still a chance of change.

Forgive me for not putting my name to this. Former Vatican Official.

Pat replies:

First of all can I thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights with us on this blog.

What you have to say certainly calls upon us all to look on the case of Archbishop Wesolowski with a renewed sense of charity and the understanding of the complexities and woundedness of our human nature.

Not everyone will agree with your distinction between ordinary children and children who have found their way into prostitution - probably out of the desperation of poverty, homelessness and hunger. In many ways these wounded outcast children need more love and protection than other children? But I do understand the subtleties of the points you are trying to make.

The archbishop is probably a product of his native Roman Catholic Poland - a guilt ridden Roman Catholic faith and spirituality; the denial of his inner needs - probably as a homosexual man and a double life lived in some kind of quiet desperation.

I think that there is a strong case for the civil authorities to be allowed to put him on trial in any country he may have committed offences.

And while that is happening - and afterwards - therapy and assistance. 

It would also be good in the Church could, with the archbishop's help, find the young prostitutes and help them and their families.

After that I could see nothing wrong with the archbishop being allowed to live, if he wished, in a monastic setting where he could enjoy his latter years as a "real" person with a healthy spirituality. 

Alternatively he can return to Civvy Street and find love. 

+Pat Buckley


  1. I have heard from many sources that while Francis is indulgent with the laity he is merciless with the clergy, especially if they are caught with their pants down. There is a story from his diocese that a very popular charismatic priest fathered a child and came to his archbishop begging forgiveness and promising to behave in the future. Francis gave his absolution, but then ordered him out of the ministry and set him up financially to support his child and her mother. Will he sack Cardinal Sean Brady in light of what an Irish abuse survivor asked him yesterday? Or wait until Brady is 75 this August and diplomatically accept his resignation the day it is offered. We need actions from this pope as well as words.

  2. I think Francis was right to make financial arrangements for the priest's partner and child.

    But unless the priest loved the woman there was very little point in him making the priest leave the priesthood.

    Of course ideally if the priest and woman loved each other they should be allowed to live in a presbytery together and bring their child up openly.

    I cannot see too many Catholics in South America worrying about such an arrangement. Many priests in South America have partners openly - men and women.

    But it does show a very "churchy" mindset in Francis.

    As for Sean Brady - he should have been retired years ago.


  3. How can anyone make a distinction between abusing a child who is a prostitute and a child who is not?

    Surely such children are victims of some form of "trafficking" - either by their parents or others. So they are DOUBLE VICTIMS.

    Then an archbishop comes along and makes them victims all over again.

    Alcohol is no excuse.

    Mother of 6 - Belfast

  4. Being a member of the RC Clergy is a strange state of affairs! Perhaps it is only when one experiences it from the inside that one can have a stab at explaining what it is like. In my own experience I sometimes find it difficult to find the words. I see it something like this. Most people have difficulty or a problem in their life at one time or another. The same is true of clergy except many clergy are not good at facing up to issues such as sexuality or alcohol so the issue festers. I recall when Bishop Christy Jones wanted me to withdraw and reflect on my situation. My gut reaction was "brainwash" so I upped sticks and legged it. All I can reflect and say is that R C clergyland is not person friendly environment for the average normal human being. Some anonymous bystander could pose the question "am I normal"? I would answer and say that this is a whole other story. All I can say is that currently I am happy in my skin. Sean

  5. Mother of 6 - Belfast, my heart goes out to you truly and I know what you are trying to say. But there is an absolute difference between a man, be he a married man, priest, archbishop, engaging the services of a prostitute, albeit an underage one, and the same adult predaciously seeking out a child, grooming them and then eventually sexually attacking them. I am trying to take the heat out of this scenario and bring some light. It is also recognised by those who are experts in the pathology that is sexual offending against children that alcohol can often be a contributing trigger and factor. That is not the same as saying that it is an excuse. There is no excuse. Sexual offending against children, be they prostitute or not, is always and in every instance gravely sinful and wrong. All the more so when the perpatrator is a minister of religion. However, I was trying to shed some light on the situation of this man to indicate that it is not balck and white, but in reality there is a lot of grey. As Bishop Pat said earlier, the defrocked archbishop is a product of a deeply repressed guilt-ridden Poland (rather like Ireland), who entered the seminary as a boy and remained a boy in his emotional development. He too is a victim. Lets not forget that amid the hysteria and rush to condemn. We need to develop a new and creative approach as to how we deal with offenders, be they in the Church, or outside of it. FVO

  6. Another stunning contribution from the UKIP voting theologian that is Ros Common Man!