Sunday, 7 September 2014



A contributor to this Blog - who signs themselves as "Psychologist" has called upon us to show more compassion for (Father) Joe McGuigan and for us to be less judgemental about him and his role in the suicide of the homeless young man he had sex with while he was working with the homeless in Belfast:

Joe McGuigan

Not one of us when we enter into a relationship, even a brief sexual fling, can know how it will turn out. While this is undoubtedly a terrible tragedy for all involved (I wonder has anyone thought for one moment how J McG feels about his role in this young mans life and death?) it is the case that emotionally unbalanced and vulnerable people have sex and are allowed to have sex with other adults. (I am not including here "Vulnerable Adults" in the UK legal definition of this term). A young man with a girlfriend who has sex with a man may well have all sorts of reactions following this, even if the man is the kindness, sweetest, most tender, non exploitative of gays. He may well see that he is really gay, end the relationship with the woman and then embark on a life as a gay man, or he may well be wracked with guilt and remorse and turn all that toxic shame in on himself and do harm to himself. I am asking your contributors - and don't get me wrong Pat, they are entitled to have a say - to look at this who scenario in a more balanced and ultimately compassionate way. For some reason J McG has become a hate figure for many on here, most of whom have never met the man, let alone walked in his shoes. You have. I urge you to urge them to think again and ask themselves "let the one without sin cast the first stone." Psychologist Supporter

The image below is from my Ordination  Card - 1976:


  1. Dear Psychologist Supporter,

    Thank you for your comment and your challenge to us to be more compassionate.

    The truth is that none of us know how Joe McGuigan feels about this tragedy - and that is a great pity.

    I cannot find Joe writing or talking about this anywhere - but maybe he has?

    Joe was never kind or compassionate to me personally. In fact, as a very staunch member of the D&C Clerical Club, he was always bery negative about me - among priests, people and indeed among the Gay Community.

    But of course that does not mean that I should not have compassion for him. In fact Jesus told us to love and pray for our enemies and those who hate us. So Joe certainly presents me with a challenge at the level of my own Christian faith.

    Unfortunately Joe appears to have being a major part of portraying himself a "victim" at the time of his exposure as an actively gay man. He also had the full support of the diocese and bishop of Dwn and Connor and full access to their funds.

    While, on the other hand, the poor homeless young man who took his life must have felt all alone and abandoned in the world.

    But of course even if Joe was quite an "operator" in his time that does not mean that he does not deserve our compassion now - especially if he has changed.

    Has he changed?

    Maybe it would be good for Joe to use this Blog - or other means - to let us how how he feels about his part in the tragedy?

    I do know that if he came to my door today he would not be turned away. No one ever is.



    It is now up to others who contribute to this Blog to say how they feel...

  2. 1,103 read the Blog yesterday.

    356 have read it today so far.

  3. "Those who show mercy will have mercy shown to them"

    Has Joe showed mercy?

    Just wondering?


  4. Please remember, this was not a FLING!! This was a devious move on a very vulnerable person by Joe McGuigan. He BLACKMAILED the young man into having sex with him. Rest assured, and you can bet your bottom dollar - there isn't the slightest remorse in Joe McGuigan for that lad or his family. And, on the subject of financial impropriety in the homeless centre, he was very happy to try and apportion all the blame to a co-worker, when the auditors were called. This man is a devious and unscrupulous individual and Bishop Pat did the Church a great service in exposing his crass hypocrisy.

  5. I only learned yesterday - for the first time - that a young man had lost his life in this episode.

    I had heard stories about the homelessness project, missing funds and sexual impropriety.

    I have not being able to get the thoughts of this young man and his family out of my head yesterday or today.

    I am also sad that I do not even know his name and have to pray for him anonymously.

    I am also very sad to hear now that there was an attempt to shift the blame to an innocent co-worker.

    Of course there is still time for Joe to tell us the truth and how he feels.


    1. Don't go holding your breath, Pat. Compassion by all means. But beware... Joe is a very dangerous, conniving, twisted individual. He is a skilled manipulator and he seems to weave a sort of spell over those who fall for his very dubious "charms". It is quite amazing in fact for he has the looks of a bulldog sucking a lemon and the intelligence of a box of rocks!

    2. I thought your remembrance of the young man at mass today was very touching. Was clear to see how shocked you were

    3. God! - thats graphic! - "a bulldog sucking a lemon and the intelligence of a bag of rocks".

  6. Where is the "Priest friend of Joe McGuigan" from yesterday's blog?

    PP D&C

  7. Maybe he is with Joe?

    Maybe it was Joe


  8. I find something very mind boggling.

    If I am thinking of doing somethinmg wrong I am stopped from doing it by my conscience - but also by the thought that within a few short years I will be standing before God having to answer for what I did.

    I cannot get my head around a Christian - especially a priest - who is not stopped by his faith - and the thoughts of judgement - from doing wrong.

    I sometimes get the fear that there are not only lay people - but priests, bishops and more who have no faith in God - and therefore no fear of judgement.

    I find it very disturbing to think that there are clergy out these who are atheists - who have no fear of God.

    Like the Good Thief said on the Cross - "Have you no fear of God at all"?



  9. Sadly Pat I think you are absolutely correct when you speak of priests, bishops and cardinals, who if not atheists, have certainly lost their faith. Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to speak about this a lot in his homilies and in his retreats to priests.

  10. Dear Pat,

    I was alerted to your blog recently by a fellow D&C priest as he was very shocked by the many diocesan revelations pouring forth; I am too ! The "truth will set you free" seems to ring very hollow in our Diocese in 2014.
    There is I believe a crisis of leadership in our diocese, and the 'Living Church' programme has done nothing to address this deficit.
    The reason so many priests are 'resorting' to this blog is because there is no proper forum internally, for proper, honest, frank discussion. This represents a very big problem.
    A few months ago I had a meeting with Bishop Treanor, and when we had concluded our business, I attempted resectfully to raise issues related to the diocese, that I and other priest colleagues are very concerned about. + Noel was uncomfortable with this, and very quickly attempted to bring the meeting to a close; then I was uncomfortable.
    Who do I bring my concerns to now, having been effectively 'closed down' by the Bishop ? At least +Noel did not resort to the " well oiled" response of his immediate predecessor, Dr Walsh, who when asked a question he didn't like , simply responded with a question of his own, which almost always, was laced with sarcasm.
    Are you getting the picture ? Priests in D&C and I suspect most other dioceses in Ireland, have for the most part had no voice for decades.
    Can you imagine the effect that this silencing has had on Irish clergy ? This is another form of abuse, which stems from an invalid and erroneous understanding of Holy Orders, and especially the relationship between a Bishop and a Priest serving in the same diocese. The 2 areas which misinform these crucial relationships most are theological, and ecclesiological.; and the disastrous outpourings are there for all to see.
    If the Bishop thinks that he has all the answers himself, then we really are in trouble.
    Sadly many of my brother priests have lost their ability to think for themselves; primarily because it has been removed, by stealth , over many years by the hierarchical system,
    which values silence over critical thought.
    The triumph of mediocrity is complete.

    Priest (D&C)

    1. Thank you for your honest and well thought out comments.

      Have you any solutions to offer.

      Or do you thnk thats already too late :-(


  11. Pat,

    There are 2 major 'items' missing in the relationship between + Noel and the priests of Down & Connor, that spring to mind.
    1) The sharing honestly and truthfully , the hopes and fears of ministry in the diocese at this time, and potential remedies for a church clearly in crisis.No masks, no euphemisms, no games, no ego trips (spiritual or temporal), but rather the unvarnished truth, however painful.

    2) A recognition that we are serving God ultimately, and not a system of governance.I trace many of the churches' problems, past and present, local and global, to the fact that this basic premise is forgotten. When the person of Jesus the Christ, is relegated into second place, to a church system then there can only be one result ; a loss of faith.

    We need to stop 'digging,' and start praying, listening, and communicating.
    This will involve parking egos outside the door, and 'washing each others feet'; loving God and neighbour involves risk; have we got what it takes to 'jump off the diving board' ?

    Priest (D&C)

  12. God help anyone going to seek help from that "Psychologist"! Especially victims of sexual predators. A young lad is homeless and God knows what difficult circumstances led him there, He goes to McGuigan seeking accommodation, McGuigan "fancies" him and tells him, 'If you have sex with me, I'll get you a flat. If you don't I will see to it that you WON'T GET A HOUSE ANYWHERE IN BELFAST!' What part of that scenario do you not understand psychologist apologist for Joe McGuigan? The lad was coerced into sex by someone who was supposed to be helping him. Talk about immoral??? Unethical?? It's surely criminal! And the young man, feeling no doubt abused and dirty and afraid his family would find out, couldn't live with the shame and took his life. McGuigan flounced on embezzling and happily getting his jollies everywhere, no longer tied to the charade that was his "priesthood". Compassion by all means for genuinely struggling people but McGuigan is a manipulator and a dangerous predator who needs to be exposed so that people (especially young men and teenage boys) can be protected from his EVIL desires and cunning designs. That McGuigan is one very crafty boy and people need to know so that they are SAFE!