Tuesday, 26 August 2014

SAVING THE DIOCESE OF DOWN AND CONNOR

 A LETTER TO BISHOP NOEL TREANOR

Noel



My Dear Brother Noel,

After recent conversations with priests and people of Down & Connor diocese I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to write a very open, friendly and constructive letter to you regarding the current state of the diocese.

You have now spent 6 years as diocesan bishop and you are now as aware as you can ever be of the problems of the diocese and the challenges facing anyone who wants to see the renewal of Christ's Church - the People of God - in this part of the world. In my own way, albeit that I am on the clerical margins, I too - having spent 36 years ministering here - want to see this renewal.

THE POSITION YOU ARE IN:

You never asked to come to Down and Connor. You were sent here - with or without your enthusiastic agreement. No one in their right mind would want to be a diocesan bishop in today's world. I'm sure that before you came here from the distance of Clogher diocese and your own work in Brussels you had a limited understanding of how things were in Down and Connor. 

As you settled in and read yourself into your new role and as you moved about among the priests and people of the diocese I'm sure that you experienced the formation of dark clouds of bewilderment, confusion, apprehension and indeed powerlessness. You will have realised very quickly that you had not inherited "a land flowing with milk and honey" but more an inheritance of the bitter chalice and the crown of thorns. You were expected to be a financial administrator. You were expected to travel around a hundred parishes administering Confirmation. You were expected to be a leader of men. You were expected to be the spiritual father of more than a hundred priests and 300,000 souls. 

I think we know enough about you now to say that you were not naturally suited to this huge and multifaceted role. I think you are a private man. You are not a natural interpersonal communicator. You a shy man, an ackward man. You are not a natural small talk man, a man for all seasons. I'm sure that you have feelings and emotions - but for whatever reason those feelings and emotions do not show in your daily contact with most people. As a result people think that you are cold, remote, unsympathic, compassion-less. I imagine - or at least I hope - that being misunderstood in this fashion is painful for you in your own very personal way.  But we are who we are. We are the people our genes, our families, our experiences and our lives made us. We can change. But in out 60's that kind of change is terribly difficult and in some cases impossible.

THE PROBLEMS OF THE DIOCESE:

And what are the problems of this diocese? They are many and I will just mention a few:

1. There is a big shortage of priests and that shortage is getting bigger by the day and priests retire and die and fewer come forward for the priesthood.

2. I know that you are finding that there are massive problems among the priests that you have: a. Priests in relationships with women. b. Priests who have fathered children. c. Priests in relationships with other men and other priests. d. Priests who have lost faith and who do not pray who are possibly agnostics if not atheists. e. Priests living semi openly with their long term female partners. f. Priests actively on the gay scene here at home and while on holidays. 

3. Many of the priests in the diocese do not like you and you in your turn see many priests not just as priests but as "problems".

4. You know now - if you did not know it before - that clerical celibacy is not working. When it comes to celibacy the emperor is wearing no clothes. 

5. You are constantly receiving complaints from laity about priests and you feel helpless about this as the priests reject those complaints and you are left unable to judge or to act - and how can you act anyway when you have so few priests. Your hands are tied. 

6. You are facing a groundswell of complaints from laity about parishes closing or clustering or the reduction in the number of Masses. 

7. The diocesan marriage tribunal is not fit for purpose and you have no one to send there.

YOUR REACTION TO THESE PROBLEMS:

Noel, I believe that you are overwhelmed or semi-overwhelmed by the problems you have in the diocese. You cannot see a way to sorting it all out.

In fairness you have initiated the LIVING CHURCH programme. But this programme is not going to address the diocese's problems. At best it is only a temporary sticking plaster on a much deeper wound or disease. At worst it is a distraction. People who attended the Living Church programme were not allowed to name the real problems. Living Church sounds good. But its like talking about the qualities of a defribulator rather than using the defribulator to being life back to the dead.

Apart from Living Church I think that you have retreated into your own space in order to help you personally cope. You have pulled up the weighbridge and in order to survive you have taken refuge in your castle - a castle that is being renovated at great cost. 

You are hoping that between retreating into the castle and getting away regularly on trips you will be able to cope with the problems until you time comes to pass on the baton to some other poor unprepared soul. 

But will a renovated castle with antiques and art and light really help you to carry the baton to the end. I do not know you. It may. But how sad! And every trip you take you still have to drive back to Somerton Road and face the letters, emails and calls that have built up while you were away trying to save you sanity. You still face the next priest problem. 

MY PROPOSALS:

If I may be so bold I am going to suggest to you now how you might BEGIN to save Down and Connor and even if you do not complete the job during your time you can make a big beginning on it.

1. YOUR SPIRITUALITY:
Brother Charles

I think you need to have a very wise, experienced and courageous spiritual director who can guide you in prayer and spirituality. This would be achieved with an emphasis on the Scriptures, spiritual reading and substantial theology. I would suggest authors like Archbishop Helder Camara, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Henri Nouwen, Charles de Foucauld and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I think you need regular retreats and retreat days - Days in thye Desert as well as your leisure time.
Helder Camara

2. YOUR PSYCHE:

I think you should employ the services of an experienced therapist - not because you are in anyway unwell but because of the psychological support you need in your challenges. It would be good if this person was from one of the "schools" like Psychosynthesis that combines the psychological with the spiritual. I only suggest this because I have egaged in it myself with very good fruits. You could also work with this person on people skills and appropriate ways to share your humanity with the priests and people. In that way like St Paul you can harness for good the power of the weakness that we all have.

3. YOU AND PRIESTS:

I think that the priests of the diocese truly need "re-evangelised" and you are their spiritual father.

The priests need to experience you as their spiritual leader and they need to be able to see your spirituality and to see you praying. The priests need to pray with you on genuine retreats and genuine, perhaps monthly, days of recollection.

The priests need you to socialise a little with them. You should invite them to join you in small groups for meals.

They need to sense your hidden humanity and your compassion. They need to understand that you are vulnerable too and to take courage from a leader who is not perfect. You need to be the priests "wounded healer".

You need to encourage the priests to have compassionate and challenging spiritual directors.

You need to encourage the priests to undergo very regular in service training and to be part of small trusted groups that encourage personal and psychosexual reality and development.

Perhaps you should ask the priests to vote for one of their members who would be a Vicar for the clergy - to help you care for them and to represent their needs to you so that they feel their voices are truly valued and heard.

The priests need you to be their father, their brother, their protector, their challenger, their pastor, their good shepherd.

The priests also need to make allowances for you - and indeed in their thoughts, words and deeds minister to you.

You and the priests need to let the graeter Church know you feel about the issues of celibacy, women in ministry and the need for a new theology of sexuality - and I do not mean the menaingless so called Theology of the Body of John Paul 11 which is a subtle form of denial.

Down and Connor needs to at least tell the greater Church that celibacy is not "natural" for the vast majority of priests.

THE PEOPLE OF GOD:

If you yourself and your priests were to be re-energised and re-evangelised the effects on the people of the parishes and in the diocese would be astounding.  

I know that these are demanding and bold proposals. But they come out of my own living priesthood of nearly 40 years and from 30 years of listening to the hurts of many priests and people in Down and Connor.

I am an ecclesiastical no one. But I am still here and I would still want to a small part of the renewal of the Church in this north eastern part of Ireland.

+Pat Buckley
26.8.2014




55 comments:

  1. I don't know who you are talking to, Pat but, in my experience, Bishop Treanor is a kind and decent human being and I am glad he is our bishop. Those priests who are having affairs with men or women need to seriously examine their consciences. In my view, they would still be committing such grave sins even if celibacy was abolished or optional. And those who are malcontent for whatever reason, will they ever be happy, no matter what the bishop says or does? Bishop Treanor is doing his best and he is a fine bishop. He has my full support. Down and Connor priest.

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    1. Down and Connor priest,

      I too am a priest of the diocese. If Noel is doing his best then its not good enough because its not enough and its not working. Celibacy is not working for me and do you really have the right to accuse me of committing grave sins? Is the celibacy law not a bad and unjust law in itself and therefore the church which insists on keeping it there is actually committing a grave sin - one of the many grave sins our church continues to committ.

      By the way I have tried talking to Noel and got absolutely no where!

      Sagart

      Delete
  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    I absolutely respect your views.

    But would my suggestions for spiritual renewal and "re-evangelisation" not be good?

    Pat

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  3. Dear Pat

    Congratulations on this magnificent letter. If +NT has any luck he will get to see it; any sense he will act upon it.

    Priest

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  4. I'm having a good think about this blog Pat, ...along the lines of, "however much truth/sound advice etc there may be in the blog, is it necessarily the best approach to 'go public' by broadcasting as in the blog?"
    Maybe you have already tried to communicate with him, I don't know, but I'm left wondering what his instinctual human response might be.
    MourneManMichael

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    Replies
    1. Dear MMM,

      Please do have a good think about this issue. When Noel first came to Down and Connor I did write to him and suggest we meet for a chat. I have never had a reply from him - although I have communicated with him on several occasions about certain issues.

      I suppose Noel feels that he has nothing to gain from knowing / meeting me.

      But I really wrote this Blog / letter on behalf of the diocese's priests and people who have come to speak to me about their sufferings, situations, concerns.

      The sad thing is that the priests of Down and Connor have nowhere to air their thoughts and feelings. This has left many of them very frustrated and hurt and with regrettable negative feelings about Bishop Treanor.

      If people have no laundry room they have to go down to the river bank to wash the dirty linen :-(

      Pat

      Delete
  5. Is it not sad that Pat Buckley is the only one able to openly talk about our serious problems in D&C. But then that is what put PB where he is - because he talked openly about similiar problems during the reign of C B Daly

    Who is willing to join PB on the diocesan rubbish dump?

    PP D&C

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  6. Good morn Pat,

    Just read earlier today your open letter to +Noel. A very fair and balanced critique of the "state of play" in D&C in 2014.

    I also believe that +PW's reign as Bishop laid the seeds of many of our present problems, especially in relation to the behaviour of priests.

    Since 1991 - 2014 the priests have found themselves with 2 consecutive Bishops who exhibited a lack of compassion, vulnerability and spiritual depth. These "qualities" are essential in a Bishop who hopes to inspire and lead his brother priests, and when they are missing the priests find thenselves facing a leadership vacuum.

    RESULT: Amongst many things the priests sense a loss of direction, a major drop in morale and a feeling that thge FATHER of the diocese has no loving concern for them.

    The extravagant spending in relation to Lisbreen, is but an outward sign of an inward spiritual malaise at the centre of our beloved diocese.

    A Priest of Down and Connor Diocese

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  7. Dear Priest,

    Thank you for your openness.

    It is clear to me from your comment that you are more sad than angry about how things are.

    Let us live in hope

    Pat

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  8. Dear Pat

    The diocese of Down and Connor, like so many in the church, have been "served" by careerists whose hearts are far from Christ and His People. Cahal Daly was an emotionally retarded academic and control freak who would brook no opposition, his successor "Uraih Heep" Walsh would have sold his mother to get a mitre on his head. It is clear to all of us that Noelle hates being bishop of DandC and now that he blew the chance of going to Armagh following his very public and deeply unwise spat with the national safeguarding officer will make his remaining days as comfortable as possible. We have our very own bishop of bling on the Somerton Road; a deeply frustrated man who longs for the salons of Brussels and the diplomatic corps. He always gives me the impression that he considers us his priests as somehow beneath him. So there you have it. Each man rises to the level of his own incompetence and so we are saddled with Noelle for the duration. The old addage "be careful what you wish for" has never been more true, tragically for all concerned. D&C Priest of many years

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  9. Dear Priest,

    Again I feel no anger in your comment - just a spirit of sadness and surrender :-(

    I used to hate and resent CB Daly for the way he treated me. Lately I have stopped that and can pray for him. In ways he did me a favour - even though it cost me a lot of hurt and even health problems.

    Paddy Walsh is hard to sum up. He is a sad lonely man who got what he wanted and must now realise that it cost him his soul. I had a lot to do with him behind the scenes when I was championing and trying to help some priests and a lot of lay people. I always worried that he had sadistic tendencies :-(

    The thing about Noel is that it is not too late for him - but I don't know if he wants to be any different. I am trying to understand him and feel compassion for him. That is hard when priests and laity talk to me about the brick wall they hit when trying to deal with him.

    At 62 I still have my faith and spirituality and in a strange way still feel deeply about Down and Connor and the state it is in. I feel deeply compassionate for the struggling priests but also feel deeply upset about the cynical and uncaring priests.

    I wrote this Blog after much thought and after listening to various people.

    I am mature enough to know that I am nothing more than a voice crying in the wilderness.

    Pat

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  10. Thanks for your response to my comment Pat.
    Having now read the D&C priests' comments, and that the bishop makes no response to you, sheds light on what seems to be a truly sad situation.
    As a humanist I care little for the nicieties of theological arguements which so occupy catholicism in Ireland. I just feel for the pain of many good men who as youths set off with good intentions to make a difference for a cause they believed in, and now find themselves virtually abandoned on all sides, and too dependent, especially the older ones, to put their head above the parapet for fear of losing what little comfort and security they have. Reading all this makes me ever so glad I quit before ordination.
    Eminent strategists are currently saying that the only resolution to even the most bitter conflicts is through listening and TALKING even with those to whom we are most bitterly opposed, ......Israel & Hamas, Russsia & Ukraine, and here in Northern Ireland in our recent history, the IRA & UDA.
    Are you listening Noel?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you MMM,

      This particular Blog of mine - whatever people say about others blogs of mine - is my attempt - as a church leper - to speak out about what is causing immense emotional and mental suffering to priests and laity I have listened to.

      I have no way of knowing whether it will make one pick of difference - in fact I feel it will be ignored.

      But even if we cannot change something we have a massive moral responsibility to speak out about it.

      "First they came for the Cocialists,
      and I did not speak out -
      Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
      And I did not speak out -
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      And I did not speak out -
      Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me,
      And there was no one left to speak for me".

      Martin Niemoller (1892 - 1984)
      (German pastor and theologian speakinfg about the cowardice of the German intellectuals following the Nazis rise to power)

      Delete
  11. Good to remember that Christ our Saviour breathed His last on the "rubbish dump" that was Golgotha. That's where His throne was situated among those, who like Himself, were thrown away!

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    Replies
    1. When CB Daly told me that he was sacking me and that I would become "a sad, lonely and pathetic figure" - I replied to him: "If you marginalise me I will spend the rest of my days ministering to all those your church marginalises and I will never run out of work".

      Pat

      Delete
    2. Nice one that!
      MMM

      Delete
    3. Broad Minded Parishioner30 August 2014 at 14:15

      Great answer.

      Delete
  12. Pat,

    I am a down and connor priest who happens to be gay. I am not sexually involved with anyone. I feel lonely and isolated. I am coping with the help of too much alcohol and some medication a helpful gp is supervising.

    Please pray for me that I will not lose my faith and my sense of vocation. I do not know where you got your strength.

    A Very Wounded "Healer"

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    Replies
    1. My Dear Brother,

      We are ALL more or less wounded healers. I hope you do not view your sexual orientation as immoral or sinful? You are exactly the way God made you.

      I really think you need someone to talk to regularly. Please choose someone like that as quickly as you can. I am here if I will do.

      You also need to find a genuine way to integrate your sexuality, prayer life, priestly vocation and need for human intimacy. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE.

      Please do not give up. Please try hard and come out of your isolation.

      Pat

      Delete
    2. Broad Minded Parishioner30 August 2014 at 14:35

      You made me cry. I can't bear to think of priests suffering because of their sexual orientation or because of this celibacy promise. It makes no sense. You are human first and everyone needs intimacy and a soul-mate. It is fine for those that want to live that way and are happy to do so but it seems wrong if you feel lonely and isolated. Is that what God really wants you to feel? As a Catholic (albeit maybe not a perfect one) I have no interest in the sexual orientation of my priest. I also have no interest in whether he is celibate or not. I care only that he is spiritual, that he knows his stuff, that he is approachable, that he cares and that he will not judge me if I don't judge him, that we would help each other to be better people overall. I will pray you find some peace and above all happiness. I think Bishop Pat can help you with this - even if it is someone to just talk to. He has been there after all. Consider his offer, please.

      Delete
  13. Bishop Buckley,

    My priest brother committed suicide 20 years ago. None of us in the family knew that he was as deeply troubled as he was. He had an affair with a young woman from his parish and she had just told him she was pregnant. We are so sorry that he took his life. We would have been 100% supportive of him and if necessary the family would have brought up his daughter.

    Priestly celibacy is not working and it is destroying so many lives. I like Pope Francis but I do not think that even he will change things. In the course of his long life, especially in South America he must have come across many priests who were in relationships and had children.

    Why is our church being so stubborn about something that our Lord did not insist on?

    Gail - UK Midlands

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  14. Dear Gail,

    I am deeply saddened at the story of your brother. Sadly many priests have taken their own lives over this issue. David Rice's book "Shattered Vows" on celibacy begins with the true story of a priest's suicide :-(

    One of my best friends from the seminary did exactly what your brother did 30 years ago. Had he lived he would still be in his 50's. His housekeeper found him dead in the garage with his engine running.

    I believe that the Church has many such lives on its collective conscience.

    Pat

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  15. Pat,

    Why have the priests and people of Down and Connor and the people of Turf Lodge never been told why Fr Matt Wallace died the way he did? All we have heard is rumour and gossip. Does +NT know the answer to this and if so why are we all still in the dark?

    PP D&C

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    Replies
    1. I'm afraid I cannot shed any light on this matter at all. All I have heard is the same rumour and gossip. We have not even been told whether the police ever found the person who seemed to take money from Father Matt (RIP) before he died. I have not seen any statement from the police or any attempt to prosecute.

      Pat

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  16. Dear Bishop Buckley,

    On the question of monies and finances why is there not more openness in the diocese and the parishes about what the monies collected from the people are spent on. I live in Bangor. We had all heard rumours that there was money missing from our parish accounts in the past - but we have never had any clarification. How much of the monies from the parishes is being spent on Lisbreen. Priest's sex lives are not the preoccupation of most of us laity. We want transparency and openness when it comes to finances.

    A McN

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    Replies
    1. Dear A McN,

      It is YOUR money. YOU should know where every penny goes.

      Pat

      Delete
  17. Bishop Pat,

    I heard today that Bishop Treanor is wall papering Lisbreen with wallpaper costing £100 a roll!

    I also heard that the internal door handles he is installing inside Lisbreen are costing £350 each.

    I also heard that his new kitchen - which is not finished yet - has already cost twice as much as any other kitchen his kitchen installer has designed and fitted.

    I am a family man - a labourer - and each week I bring home £300 - which is £50 less than one of Bishop Treanor's new door handles.

    How can Bishop Treanor reconcile this type of spending in 2014 - a time of recession when the rest of us are struggling to keep the wolf from the door.

    Tyrone Labourer

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    Replies
    1. Tyrone Labourer,

      If what you say is true I am gobsmacked and scandalised - and I am not easy to scandalise.

      I cannot begin to know how a bishop could reconcile this type of spending with the Gospels or with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

      As they say in Belfast: "Jesus wept".

      Pat

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    2. If the above spending on Lisbreen is true then we must ask if Noel Treanor is now Bishop of Down, Connor and Bling!

      PP D&C

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    3. Is Bling the next townland to the Braid?

      Delete
    4. I don't know but it is twinned with Tyholland in Monaghan :-)

      Delete
    5. It reminds me of the old Joan Rivers Joke. She attended the funeral of a close friend who died in her eighties. At the funeral the minister said 'She's gone to a better place.' Joan Rivers thought 'No she hasn't, she'd a penthouse over looking Central Park and a Holiday home in the Hamptons!'

      Blog Reader, Belfast.

      Delete
    6. Does that mean that Noel will be with us eternally?

      Delete
  18. I understand that a lot of the money of the parishioners of Bangor was stolen by a former PP who is now a guest of Her Majesty The Queen?

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    Replies
    1. I do not know if you KNOW this to be true?

      There have been rumours.

      But I suppose even some guilty of sexual abuse is innocent of theft until it is shown / proven and I am no fan of the accused.

      Again this is an issue that coulkd surely be clarified by the Diocese?

      Pat

      Delete
  19. While on the subject of RC church monies as a hot topic here just now: consider this.
    As indicated by chief executive of Down District Council in a public meeting, the parish priest of Newcastle agreed, on behalf of the parish, to the sale of a now redundant former primary school to the council for a proposed leisure centre.. The sale figure was agreed by the parish solicitor and estate agent, but when signing the deal was imminent, the estate agent and solicitor, acting "on behalf of the trustees of the parish" reneaged seeking a much higher sale price.
    That was months ago, and neither the PP, the bishop, or any church representative will go public, say who the trustees are, why a higher price is being demanded, and it's been stalemate for months, with the council in danger of losing out on getting the proposed centre funding approved.
    The strength of feeling (against the church/PP) was reported in local papers.
    So despite the land on which the redundant school stands being originally gifted to the people of Newcastle; that the replacement school was only built with public monies both for the structure and accompanying flood relief alleviation; and that a new leisure centre is much needed and the redundant school site is ideal, it seems to all and sundry that the RC church is only interested in squeezing as much money as possible from the community it is supposed to minister to!
    Such thoroughly disreputable behaviour seems to be par for the course for those clinging on to power in the RC church And I use the word "clinging" intentionally, for I see it ebbing away day by day. The informed intelligent young people coming to the fore nowadays will simply not stand for it, vote with their feet, and some more relevant form of religious belief and following will emerge.

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    Replies
    1. I have always said that the only effective way to make bishops and their masters in Rome listen is to hit them where it truly hurts...in their bank accounts. STOP GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY!

      Delete
  20. I have always said that the only way to make bishops listen is to hit them where it hurts them most...in their bank balances. STOP GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY.

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  21. Dear Pat,
    The situation at Lisbreen is astonishing. The comments on your blog concerning the extravagant spending at 73 Somerton Road, Belfast, only confirm what I have heard in recent weeks. I feel like posting + Noel a copy of the gospels ! Is he aware of the levels of poverty and homelessness in his own Cathedral city of Belfast ?! What would Pope Francis think of +Noel's behaviour ? The Pope has asked all Christians to make the church a "church for the poor". How does fitting £ 350 handles on the doors of Lisbreen contribute to this project ? Can anyone shed light on that ?
    I shall be asking Bishop Noel this, face to face, when next I meet him, and I would ask my brother priests of Down & Connor to do the same. Silence will only encourage this type of errant behaviour.

    A Priest of Down & Connor.

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  22. Grand Designs - eat your heart out!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear " grand designs" , the priests of D&C, myself included, suffered for many years unnecessarily under Bishop Paddy Walsh, because no one would challenge his dictatorial behaviour. He treated us like school boys at St Malachy's College, where he was the Headmaster for many years. Very sadly he now cuts a lonely figure, and wonders why almost no cleric in the diocese wants to have anything to do with him.
      Unfortunately history is repeating itself with + Noel Treanor, who is becoming more disconnected from priests and people every day. The nonsense going on at Lisbreen concerning extravagant expense, shows visibly what many D&C clergy have strongly suspected for some time ; that the Bishop is withdrawing from the the Lord's vineyard in D&C and the daily 'battle for souls'.The 'bunker mentality' has won out !

      Please pray for the bishops and priests of Down & Connor.

      D&C cleric.

      Delete
    2. At least Paddy Walsh kept doing Confirmations

      Delete
  23. Why are predatory heterosexual priests being retained in ministry in Down and Connor and simply being moved from parish to parish???

    MB - Dunloy

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    Replies
    1. Because they are so short of numbers they will accept anything. He is also a excellent manipulator and liar.

      Delete
    2. Because they are so short on numbers they need anything. He is also a very skilled manipulator and compulsive liar - the predator that is.

      Delete
  24. Why are predatory homosexual priests being retained in ministry in Down and Connor and simply being moved from parish to parish?

    Have they not learned from moving abusing priests from parish to parish?

    We seem to have afforded our children some protection - but what about our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our husbands and wives???

    Bewildered - Belfast

    ReplyDelete
  25. The darkness has fallen over the See. The night is cold and there are icebergs afloat. The captain is in his suite listening to ODE TO JOY by Beethovern. He is drinking Chateau Petrus from a gold plated goblet. He has just finished moving the deck chairs on the deck and the newly moved able bodied semen are gradually learning of their new postings. We await the crash...

    PP D&C

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    Replies
    1. Love the typo, or was it intentional? "Able bodied SEMEN" !
      Maybe the clergy simply can't get away from preoccupation with procreation!
      MournemanMichael

      Delete
  26. I see that Bishop Treanor's current INADEQUATE 6 bedroom house is selling for nearly £500,000

    Address Tieve Tara, 92 Somerton Road, Belfast
    Style Detached house
    Status Sale agreed
    Price Offers over £495,000
    Bedrooms 6
    Receptions 3
    Heating Oil

    Magnificent listed detached residence in highly sought after residential area
    6 Bedrooms 3 with ensuite shower / bathrooms plus guest suite with ensuite shower room
    Gracious reception hall
    3 Separate reception rooms
    Ground floor and first floor cloakroom
    Luxury fitted kitchen with built in appliances open plan to casual dining area
    Oil fired central heating
    Inner hallway with reading area
    Generous car parking space
    Superb site with mature trees and original wall
    Abundance of character and charm

    Tieve Tara was designed and built in 1907 by Watt and Tullock. Among their many project in Belfast were the gas works and the baths at Ormeau Avenue. Also in 1905 out of the three entries the firm won the competition to build 3 libraries in Belfast. The property has been sympathetically extended and restored in 1997 by the current owners to provide an outstanding home with a huge amount of character and charm. Of particular interest to many will be many original features including fireplaces, flooring, high skirtings, architives, wood panelling, picture rails, carved newel posts and handrails. From the moment one enters the gracious reception hall of this fine home one could not fail to be impressed by the outstanding quality and degree of excellence on offer. This is a truly stunning red bricked detached residence occupying an extensive site with mature trees and generous car parking space. Planning permission exists for a detached garage to be erected to the rear of the site adjacent to the original wall. The property is convenient to many amenities in North Belfast and within walking distance to some of the provinces leading grammar schools making this locality an enticing proposition. This is the type of home which rarely comes on the market for sale and one which we can recommend with utmost confidence. We strongly recommend a personal appointment to view.

    Priest D&C

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  27. BISHOPS INADEQUATE HOUSE PART 2

    RECEPTION PORCH
    0.0000 x 0.0000(0' 0" x 0' 0")
    Original tiled flooring
    GRACIOUS RECEPTION HALL
    5.6100 x 5.4100(18' 5" x 17' 9")
    Original panelling, polished wooden flooring, beamed ceiling, tiled fireplace with attractive polished mahogony surround, built in seating with carved wood, feature windows
    CLOAKROOM:
    0.0000 x 0.0000(0' 0" x 0' 0")
    Low flush w.c., pedestal wash hand basin, panelling, under stair storage
    FAMILY ROOM:
    6.1700 x 4.8500(20' 3" x 15' 11")
    (Into Bay) Feature cast iron fireplace with marble surround, open fire, cornicing and picture rail
    DRAWING ROOM:
    7.5900 x 5.6100(24' 11" x 18' 5")
    (Into Bays) Original tiled fireplace with open fire, cornicing, wired for wall lights, dimmer switch, separate feature windows, display shelving, decorative plastering
    DINING ROOM:
    7.1400 x 6.1200(23' 5" x 20' 1")
    (Into Bays) Original tiled fireplace with attractive panelling, side cupboards and windows, original panelling, wired for wall lights, dimmer switch, two entrance doors
    INNER HALLWAY:
    0.0000 x 0.0000(0' 0" x 0' 0")
    Including relaxation area Cloakroom, low flush w.c., wash hand basin, built in storage, beamed ceiling, downlighters
    DELUXE KITCHEN:
    7.9000 x 4.8300(25' 11" x 15' 10")
    (At widest point) Deluxe kitchen with range of high and low level units, round edge work surfaces, twins stainless steel sink unit with mixer tap, extractor fan, island unit with granite work surfaces, warming/holding oven, wine rack, Neff dishwasher, Falcon built in range with separate grill, two oven and gas hob, built in fridge, welsh style dresser, luxury floor tiling, cornicing, casual dining area Access to extensive roofspace
    OFFICE/PLAYROOM
    6.8100 x 5.3800(22' 4" x 17' 8")

    Priest D&C

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  28. BISHOPS INADEQUATE HOUSE PART 3

    LANDING:
    0.0000 x 0.0000(0' 0" x 0' 0")
    Feature staircase with carved newel post, hand rail and arched displays, stain glassed window with feature stone, cornicing, decorative plastering, hotpress with copper insulated cylinder
    0.0000 x 0.0000(0' 0" x 0' 0")
    W.c., wash hand basin
    MASTER BEDROOM:
    5.4600 x 4.8500(17' 11" x 15' 11")
    (Plus bow window) Feature tiled fireplace with polished mahogony surround, built in robes, cornicing, picture rail Ensuite (13'0x11'3) Panelled bath, pedestal wash hand basin, low flush w.c., shower unit with controlled shower, cornicing, extractor fan, tiling
    BEDROOM (2):
    5.4400 x 4.8800(17' 10" x 16' 0")
    (Into Bow window) Tiled fireplace with attractive carved mahogony surround, open fire, range of built in robes Ensuite shower room with low flush w.c., panelled bath, pedestal wash hand basin, glazed shower unit with controlled shower, tiling, extractor fan, cornicing and picture rail, ceramic tiled floor
    BEDROOM (3):
    7.1100 x 6.2700(23' 4" x 20' 7")
    (Into Bays) Original tiled fireplace with open fire and attractive surround, display shelving, plastered cornicing, picture rails
    BEDROOM (4):
    4.0400 x 3.2800(13' 3" x 10' 9")
    Built in robes, cornicing Ensuite facility 10'9x9'9 - plumbed but currently used as laundry room, plumbed for wash machine and sinks
    LANDING:
    0.0000 x 0.0000(0' 0" x 0' 0")
    Feature staircase with carved newel post and hand rail, views of Cavehill and Belfast Castle Extensive storage room, light and power
    BEDROOM (5):
    4.2200 x 4.1900(13' 10" x 13' 9")
    Views of Cavehill and Belfast Castle, hotpress
    GUEST SUITE
    4.4700 x 4.1700(14' 8" x 13' 8")
    Range of built in robes, built in book shelves Ensuite shower room with low flush w.c., pedestal wash hand basin, low flush w.c., shower unit with electric shower, tiling, extractor fan
    BEDROOM (6):
    3.1500 x 2.8200(10' 4" x 9' 3")
    Views of Cavehill and Belfast Castle, built in robes Ensuite shower room with low flush w,c., pedestal wash hand basin, shower unit with electric shower unit, extractor fan, tiling
    0.0000 x 0.0000(0' 0" x 0' 0")
    Extensive site with lawns, mature plants, trees and shrubs, original feature wall, veranda with Terrazzo flooring and feature wooden arched area, extensive sweeping driveway with extensive car parking, censored lighting, water tap.

    Priest D&C

    ReplyDelete
  29. Disgusted!!!!

    Falls Man Franky

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Pat,

    Ref the issues raised by some contributers vis a vis the moving of 'predatory priests' (heterosexual & homosexual) from one parish to another, I wish to say the following :

    Some months ago in conversation with a couple of fellow D&C priests, I said to them that the next big scandal for the church would be the refusal of Bishops to act properly when they know priests are involved in relationships with vulnerable people.We know the cataclysmic result of moving known child abusers to new parishes & sometimes to a new diocese. I see the same mistakes being made now in relation to priests who use their position of trust to enter into unhealthy and unproductive relationships with women or men who are often very vulnerable. Some priests are serial womanisers, others take advantage of vulnerable men, and we have both types ministering in this diocese at present.
    A priest who is sexually compulsive ie predatory, is a great danger, and can wreak havoc in people's lives. The men & women caught in these type of relationships, are often discarded of brutally by the priests when they are no longer of use to them.
    These compulsive type relationships can occur in both homosexual and heterosexual situations, and there are many 'broken people' caught up in these. Sadly these particular types of relationships ( often short lived and numerous) are NOT based on mutual love and respect.

    I therefore contend that is grossly irresponsible of a Bishop to leave a Priest in active ministry who is behaving in the manner I have just described.

    A very concerned D&C cleric.

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  31. Some years ago I lived in a parochial house which was in a very poor state of repair. The heating was very inadequate, the windows were crumbling in their frames, and the carpets were threadbare. I did a very basic renovation because the parish was already in big debt. I am very angry about the situation on the somerton road.
    I know that Lisbreen needed to be renovated, but the expense and sheer opulence of this project is I believe completely out of proportion to that which was required.
    Bishops & priests do not need, nor should they live in extravagant comfort. Christ lived a simple life & called his followers to do the same. I wish Bishop Noel could visit some of my parishioner's homes; he'd get his eyes opened !
    What example does our Bishop think he is giving ?! As a D&C priest I feel ashamed by his actions. His role is to the 'build the kingdom of God' in Down & Connor, not a palatial residence in N Belfast. +NT actions prove, that it's always easier to spend someone else's money.

    D&C priest.

    ReplyDelete