Monday, 20 October 2014



Pope Paul V1

Its got to the point in Rome where the following seems to be the desired line of promotion:


If this creeping "promotionalism" continues the next "logical" step would be for deceased popes to be declared "Assistant God", Deputy God and eventually God!

We would then have the situation whereby the pope is God's vicar on earth.....AND....God would eventually be declared the Pope's vicar in heaven!

It begs the question: "What is a saint"?

I like the two definitions of saints that I've often heard and used:

"A saint is an ordinary person who does ordinary things with extraordinary love"


"A saint is a sinner who kept trying".

Very few people in the Roman Catholic Church would be prepared to say that popes are either "ordinary" or "sinners" - even though we know from church history that many of the popes were among the worst sinners who ever lived - murderers, rapists, paedophiles, blasphemers, thieves, tyrants and liars.

But lets take two examples - Pope John Paul 11 who is already a saint - even though he is only 9 years dead and Pope Paul V1.


John Paul 11 was basically a Polish tyrant who had been used to exercising excessive power over the simple faith people of Poland.

When he became pope he did his best to exercise supreme authority over the bishops, priests and people of the Catholic Church.

He appointed Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict) as head of the modern Inquisition to secretly investigate Catholic theologians and silence them without giving them a fair and just hearing.

He turned himself into a "celebrity pope" by touring the world, kissing tarmacs and babies - but imposing a medieval style theology and discipline over the world's billion Roman Catholics.

When he was a guest in Nicaragua he publicly reprimanded a priest government minister - Ernesto Cardenal - waving a finger over him on the tarmac.

If I was Ernesto Cardenal I would have had a platoon of soldiers march him back on to his papal jet and given him ten minutes to be off Nicaraguan soil.

On that visit he shouted down millions of Nicaraguans who chanted "NO" to his right wing views.

John Paul 11 was not the friend of people. He was a friend of world governments and dictators - with the exception of Russia whom he grew up hating in Poland.

In my mind John Paul was / is no saint. He was a totalitarian dictator who practised good public relations. If there is a heaven, and if I get there, I will avoid him like the plague - IF he is there!  


Pope Paul V1 was the only pope I ever met. We shook hands briefly at a papal audience in Rome. He only said one word to me - "couraggio" - courage.

I did like him because he seemed to be a mild man and was certainly not the dictator that John Paul 11 was.

But he really made a major cock up in 1968 over his encyclical on contraception - Humanae Vitae - which to this very day continues to alienate millions of Catholics. Maybe the dreaded Vatican curis was behind that?

And then there are the unresolved rumours about his active homosexuality. 

Of course I have no problem about his homosexuality. How could I?

But how can you be a secret gay pope, who reputedly had Vatican priests to out to procure young men for you; be surrounded by a mainly gay curia and still preside over a church that condemns gay people?

He may have been personally "trapped". But is not a good place to be.

And if that was your position would it not have better for your successors to leave you to God's infinite understanding and mercy - without proclaiming you a saint?

The Catholic Church says that saints are people that they hold up in front of us and invite us to imitate their thought, words, deeds and lives.

I think you are on very dangerous ground when you sanctify people who struggled with their humanity and weakness.

In any event most "saints" are not popes at all.

Real saints are:

1. Dedicated men and women who struggle over a lifetime to be good husbands / wives / partners and parents.

2. Men and women who stand up against injustice and corruption at the risk of being anhiliated.

3. Doctors, nurses and hospital workers who devote their lives to the NHS or to the people of poor places and wear themselves out in selfless service.

4. Family carers who give their lives to caring for their sick and disabled parents and family members - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Jesus said:


Surely those "rich" must include those who live in papal apartments, apostolic palaces, curial residences, bishop's palaces, nunciatures and five star monasteries?  

Surely it must include those who wear daily, silk robes of white, crimson and purple and whose red leather slippers are hand made by Prada? 

Surely it must include those who profess "vows of poverty" but who want for nothing and who wine and dine at daily banquets?

"WHO got this plonk? I only drink Chateau Neuf de Pape"

Could it even include those who spend millions on refurbishing their palaces and who buy door handles worth £350 each and wallpaper at £100 a roll?

And then after all that - when they kick the bucket - they declare them SAINTS!!!

Its enough to make any real saint spin furiously in their grave!

+Pat Buckley


(John D Sheridan)

Joe’s no saint,
And I ought to know
For I work at the bench alongside Joe.
He loses his temper just like another
- Days he’d bite the nose off his mother,
And when 1 call for a pint of plain
Joe’s not slow with ‘The same again.’
He gives an odd bob to the poor and needy
But you wouldn’t call him gospel-greed
 - You know what I mean?
So if there’s enquiries after he’s dead
I won’t swear to no haloes around his head,
For I never seen none. When all’s said and done
I don’t suppose they give haloes out
To fellows who like their bottle of stout.
All the same, though,
I’m glad that I work alongside Joe.
For in the morning time I lie on
Long after Guinness’s whistle is gone
And scarcely have time for a cup of tea
- As for prayers,
Well between you and me
The prayers I say is no great load -
A Hail Mary, maybe, on Conyngham Road
- You know how it is?
The horn blows on the stroke of eight
And them that’s not in time is late;
You mightn’t get a bus for ages,
But if you clock late they dock your wages.
Joe, though,
He’s never late at all,
Though he lives at the far end of Upper Whitehall:
And I happen to know
(For the wife’s cousin lives in the very same row)
That he sets his alarm for half-past six,
Shaves, and goes through the whole bag of tricks
Just like a Sunday,
Gets seven Mass in Gaeltacht Park
And catches the half-seven bus in the dark.
In ways, too, he’s not as well off as me,
For he can’t go back home for a cup of tea -
Just slips a flask in his overcoat pocket
And swallows it down while he fills in his docket.
I do see him munching his bread and cheese
When I’m getting into my dungarees.
There isn’t a thing about him then
To mark him off from the rest of men
- At least, there’s nothing that I can see.
But there must be something that’s hid from me
For it’s not every eight-o’clock-man can say
That he goes to the altar every day.
Maybe now you know
Why I’m glad I work alongside Joe.
For though I’m a Confraternity man
And struggle along the best I can
I haven’t much time for chapel or praying,
And some of the prayers that Joe does be saying
Those dark mornings must come my way.
For if Joe there prays enough for three
Who has more right to a tilly than me?
When my time comes and they lay me out
I won’t have much praying to boast about:
I don’t do much harm, but I don’t do much good,
And my beads have an easier time than they should,
So when Saint Peter rattles his keys
And says ‘What’s your record, if you please?’
I’ll answer ‘When I was down below
I worked at a bench alongside Joe.’
Joe is no saint with a haloed ring,
But I often think he’s the next best thing,
And the bus that he catches at half-past seven
Is bound for O'Connell Bridge ... and Heaven

- You know what I mean?


The Catholic Church held a conference on "Poverty" in a 5 star hotel where the assembled priests wined and dined of the best all week.

On the final night one old parish priests was standing with other priests - bursting with fine food, full of expensive wine, smoking a Cuban cigar warming a large XO cognac in his hand.

He said to his priest colleague: "If this was the conference on "Poverty" I can't wait until we have the one on "Celibacy"!


  1. Dear Pat,

    I refer to my comment yesterday, vis a vis Pope Paul VI's beatification. Not in my opinion a good day for the church.

    Priest of Down & Connor.

  2. Shameful of you Pat to repeat the entirely spurious and discredited allegation that Blessed Pope Paul was a practising homosexual. There is no truth in this whatsoever and the rumours where proven to be have been deliberately put in a communist press journal in Italy to try and discredit the Church in Italian elections. Your really do discredit yourself Pat by repeating these malicious and entirely untrue claims. Though I am sure that this holy man whom you say you met has forgiven you for culminating him and is praying for you from his place in Heaven.

    1. It would be helpful if you could support your claim that the rumours are spurious and discredited with some factual evidence. I had never heard of these rumours, and on reading your comment googled for more info. The testimony of a senior member of pope Paul's honour guard/chamberlains who had close association with the pope's everyday life is interesting. He, professor Bellgrandi, who subsequently became a correspondent for L'osservatore Romano, and professor of modern history at Innsbruck Uni, would, you might think, be a reliable witness. His testimony never alleges Paul being found/caught out, but certainly does make you wonder.
      So I for one would appreciate the info you have which disproves the rumours or allegations against Paul.

    2. Hang you head in shame. The rumours carried on Faith In Action website, an ultra right wing fascist think tank. Thats hardly an impartial source Mr Michael Morneman

    3. If, anonymous of 16:50, you are the person to whom my request concerning the assertion that allegations concerning pope Paul are spurious and discredited, then you simply have not provided any supporting evidence for the assertion. You have simply criticised a belief (yours) that I had been influenced by a Faith in Action website. I haven't because I've never even heard of it, let alone consulted it!
      So instead of criticising could you please provide the evidence requested?
      I have no need to hang my head in shame for asking a straightforward question, and I have no axe to grind for or against Paul. I simply seek to find the truth.

    4. Having given it a week with no response, (to my simple request for the evidence from Anonymous of 21/10 @ 00:27), I'm inclined to think s/he is just another of those finding fault and criticising for the sake of it and without evidence or exercise of critical faculties. On the other hand it could be my request has simply been missed. Either way, I'm not bothered. As I said, I've no axe to grind one way or another vis a vis Paul.

  3. Pope Paul is one of the greatest popes and is truly a saint. Don't criticise the Catholic Church of which you are no longer a member. What has it to do with you?

    1. I am a member of the catholic church.

      I am not a functionary of the Roman Catholic institution.

      Do you have to be in the mafia to critique it?

    2. With great respect to you Pat you are not a member of the Catholic Church in that you have put yourself outside of the Church by attempting to receive Episcopal Ordination illicitly from the hands of an illicitly ordained bishop (both of you attempted to receive Episcopal Ordination without Papal Mandate) the former harbour policeman Michael Cox. Pat please don't blog all that nonsense again about your "Orders being Valid". If you want to believe that I can stop you. All I can say is that you are outside of the Church by your actions. This is not irreparable and you can be re-integrated any time you wish, though you would have to be reconciled to the Church via the Holy See or its Delegate (more than like Archbishop Charles Brown). Once you have done that you views will carry credence. Until then, and if that does not happen, whatever you have to say about the CAtholic Church has no credibility whatsoever. However painful this may be for you to hear and accept it is true. Belfast Catholic

    3. Dear Belfast Catholic,

      Your theology is very lacking.

      The "Catholic Church" is the family of God - the Church that Christ founded.

      It consists of all those who accept Jesus as Lord - Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc etc.

      What you speak of is the "Roman Catholic" institution.

      Of course I do not belong to that anymore - and would not want to.

      It is in disgrace and decline.

      As for Michael Cox being a "former harbour policeman" - so what?

      Jesus was a carpenter, Peter was a fisherman, Paul was a tent maker.

      What was it the Lord said:

      "I shall choose what the world considers foolish in order to confound the wise".

      Get a real faith - and while you're at it get a life.

  4. Hard working virtuous politician died and met Peter at the pearly gates. "Gates", 'cos there were two: one marked heaven, and the other hell.
    Right says Peter, where do you want to go?
    Heaven of course says the politician.
    But you have to make an informed choice says Peter, you have to have a day in each then choose.
    So politician goes through hell's door, meets all his friends there, joins them for a fine meal, best wine, brandy, cigars, beautiful music, and generally has a wonderful time.
    He then spends the next day in heaven, but finds it boring; all choral music and harps, drifting round on a cloud, and never meets anybody he knows, and anyway they're all too busy singing hymns to bother with him.
    So he goes back to the gates.
    Have you made up your mind says Peter?
    Yes he says, I'd like to go back down below and join my mates in hell.
    Rightio says Peter, and opens hell's door and pushes him in.
    He finds himself in a wasteland of misery: his mates look shrivelled and starved; there's flames all around and it's unbearably hot.
    Turning round he opens hell's door but can't get out. Peter he screams, what's happened, it's all different now? This isn't what I expected.

    Aha, says Peter. Up to today we were only canvassing. Now you've made your choice and voted, you gotta stick with it.

  5. Despite all of his failings it's sad and unfortunate that you support your demonisation of Karol Woytyla by continuously using a particular photo. In this photo his face is distorted by the effects of Parkinson's Disease and the drugs used to treat this serious condition. The implication is that the twisted facial distortion supports your argument that he was a cruel man. In itself, that is quite sick!

    1. There are FOUR pictures of John Paul on the blog!

    2. I suppose you will be accusing Blessed Paul of being a pederast next. Perhaps thats why you chose of all the countless photographs of him one with him patting children. Pat you are manipulating the minds of some of your readers.

    3. No - I chose that photograph of him becuse the man in the background is reputrf to have been close to him.

  6. I believe all of your photographs are carefully chosen for maximum effect. I refer to the constant use of Karol Wojtyla's face twisted by illness inter alia. It's a clever device used in journalism to demonise. Congratulations!

  7. “I think you are on very dangerous ground when you sanctify people who struggled with their humanity and weakness.”

    My dear Bishop Buckley, if what you wrote were true, we would have no saints and only sinners haha! Augustine's “Grant me chastity...but not quite yet” has given me many moments of reflection.

    Like you, I have no problem believing Paulus Sixtus had a homosexual orientation in which he might have indulged. I remember hearing similar comments from clerical friends (and not just Roman Catholic ones) in Southern California after he died. Personally I like that sweet Giovanni Montini might be venerated as a gay saint. And “Blessed” is perfect. Your posters who are so upset at that possibility need to reverse their rectal-cranial inversion.

    As an aside, I was only 12, but I too met Pope Paul in Rome with my parents and others from the States. He had a pleasant warmth, and some facility with English. We were the only ones from California: "Ah, California" and a broad smile was our greeting. Being proud natives of long lineage, the three of us thought his comment was pretty cool. Silly, but there you are.

    I did not cotton to the papacies of Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger as I feel their “weltanschaungs” were far too beclouded by their upbringing under communism and fascism/nazism respectively for either man to understand the exigencies of late 20th century life.

    I ran into Cardinal Timothy Manning at a Los Angeles party in the early 1980s (I forget the exact year, '82 or '83). Some were Roman Catholic, many were gay or lesbian, and all were there to provide funds for AIDS assistance during those early years of the epidemic. I know we chatted for a while, but all I can recall now was some joking about Richard Chamberlain's role in “The Thornbirds,” a late 1970s TV mini-series set in Australia where he played a Roman Catholic priest (and later in the plot a cardinal) who had an on-going affair with a female character, and how funny it was that the name of the movie's sheep ranch was named after Drogheda, Ireland where Manning himself had been on a trip. I have a recollection they had met, but I don't know if Chamberlain consulted Manning when he got the part LOL! Cardinal Manning was pretty decent during a tough time in the LA Diocese: it was he who moved the Archbishop's Residence from the King Gillette (as in safety razors) mansion in posh Fremont Place to the old St. Vibiana's Cathedral near Skid Row in Downtown LA. He did smoke, and died at the Norris Cancer Clinic of University of Southern California a few years after I saw him at that party. By the way, in those days there were really only two places to receive HIV/AIDS “treatment” (such as it was then). If one was able to pay, one went to USC Norris (where HIV research had been underway). If one was unable to pay, or on public assistance, the County-USC Hospital in East LA had a special AIDS ward. He is buried in the old Catholic cemetery in East LA, and, when I visit members of my family and their friends, I stop by to say hello. A personal memory shared solely to twit those who hide their heads in the sands of ignorance.