Thursday, 12 March 2015

BELFAST TO GET NEW BISHOP

BELFAST TO GET NEW AUXILIARY BISHOP


Bishop Treanor searching for new assistant

Bishop Noel Treanor of Belfast (Down and Connor Diocese) has begun canvassing the priests of the diocese asking their views on who should be the diocese' new auxiliary bishop.



All diocesan clergy will be receiving a letter in the post today - Thursday 12th March 2015 - asking them to nominate a priest for the post and outlining the qualities they hope for in the new man.

This Blog has received a copy of Bishop Treanor's short letter to the priests and a copy of the form they must return in which each priest as well as recommending a man and his qualities must sign their name to the document.

The document must be returned to Bishop Treanor by Monday March 23rd.

One priest told the Blog: "It is a sign of austerity that the return envelope to Bishop Treanor is not stamped and each priest must buy his own stamp".

The appointment of an auxiliary bishop comes in the wake of the move of Bishop Donal McKeown from Down and Connor auxiliary to Bishop of Derry. It also comes just a year before the only remaining auxiliary bishop - Tony Farquhar (who has a heart condition) reaches the retirement age of 75.

Before Bishop Noel Treanor came to Down and Connor in 2008 it was thought that Donal McKeown would have followed Bishop Paddy Walsh as diocesan bishop. However quite a number of the priests of the diocese were opposed to Donal. One priest told this Blog today: "Our main objection to Donal was on sartorial grounds. He just did not look like a bishop".

Donal


As you can imagine speculation is rife in the diocese as to who will be appointed. The lead contenders seem to be:

FATHER TIMOTHY BARTLETT:


Timo


"Timo" as the priests call him is talked about as a possible auxiliary. He is very loyal to Holy Mother Church. He was Cardinal Sean Brady's public relations guru. 

Since coming back to the diocese he has been acting as diocesan Vicar for Education and Social Affairs. He is also chairperson of St Kilian's College on the Antrim Coast.

The main thing working against the appointment of Timo is his universally recognised desire to be a bishop.

To this end he has been networking very hard over recent years and pressing the flesh of the Great and the Good of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. He is also a regular guest at Dublin's embassy dinner parties and is often seen in the company of the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charlie Brown. Only last week he was seen wearing a dashing black crombie with a belt and swanning around Northern Ireland with Cardinal Peter Turkson of The Vatican. He does not seem to be a favourite of his fellow priests. This will work either FOR or AGAINST him. Many feel that Noel Treanor already knows who he wants as assistant.

FATHER EUGENE O'HAGAN:


Eugene


Eugene is the chancellor ad interim of the diocese and as a canon lawyer he is in the running. Eugene has a number of things that go against him:

1. He is filling in for the actual chancellor Father John McManus who has disappeared and a second disappearance may not be tolerable.

2. He is very busy as chancellor ad interim, canon lawyer on the diocesan and provincial tribunals and is the parish priest of Ballyclare in County Antrim. Bishop Treanor would have to find THREE priests to replace him.

3. His high profile as a singing priest may not be helpful as the last singing bishop was Eamon Casey of Annie Murphy fame.

4. While being a very hard worker and a most loyal priest he may not have the personality to be a meeter and a greeter.

FATHER EDDIE O'DONNELL:


Eddie

Father Eddie O'Donnell is the parish priest of Belfast's most affluent parish - St Brigid's on the Malone Road.

He was secretary to the late Cardinal Cahal Daly.

He too has been putting himself around now for a number of years organising high powered church meetings in his parish hall with speakers like the Papal Nuncio and Cardinal Turkson. 

Again he is not very sociable. Furthermore he has been acting as the "minder" of an elderly man who spent 50 years living with Cardinal Daly as a valet. One priest told the Blog today: "Surely they would not inflict Eddie on the poor People of God"

FATHER CIARAN DALLAT:


Ciaran


The "darkest horse" in the race in Father Ciaran Dallat who is the nephew of the former auxiliary bishop Michael "Mickey" Dallat. 


Mickey Dallat


Father Ciaran is a kind of "Jim will fix it" for Bishop Noel Treanor. When a great scandal broke out in The Cathedral a year or so ago involving the Reverend Dr Hugh Kennedy Father Dallat was moved to the cathedral immediately to sort things out. His move involved a perceived "demotion" from parish priest to assistant priest and as a result the church owes him.

Also it is rumoured among the diocesan clergy that his appointment as diocesan Episcopal Vicar for Women's Affairs (EVWA) is imminent. 

He may be a dark horse in the race but in this week of the Cheltenham Races we might do well to look at a man with seducing form and a very interesting track record. As Winston Churchill said: "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle".

Anyway time will tell.

+Pat Buckley
12.3.2015.



62 comments:

  1. I might have a spare redundant biretta somewhere Pat if you want to borrow it to throw into the ring.
    MourneManMichael

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Afraid not!
      When my now long deceased PP uncle became a canon he took me with him to Cleary's in O Connell St where he was upgrading his own sartorial garb, and treated me to a new soutane. Mind you at that stage I was getting to point of packing in the clerical life but couldn't tell him.
      Speaking of hats, +Noel T was wearing the pointy hat (white one), and for once doing his own confirmations at St Malachys Castlewellan last Sat. Mourne Observer full page spread.
      MMM

      Delete
  3. Dear Pat,

    As an expert in this field can you tell me if a priest can recommend himself or would this appear to be a lack of humility?

    I have a new car and would be quite happy to burn oil (chrism) and commute between Ballycastle and Kilkeel as often as required.

    Excited Priest D&C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you feel that God is calling you by all means apply.

      But you would need to be of robust health as if you were appointed you could suffer from TB.

      Pat

      Delete
  4. I was a seminarian with Fr Eugene O'Hagan many years ago.

    He's a kind person, affable ( though he doesn't suffer fools gladly), has a good sense
    of humour (like me, he loves to laugh) is intelligent (but not overly dogmatic), and, unlike poor Donal McKeown, could never be accused of sartorial inelegance. In a
    nutshell, he's a well-rounded individual. He'd make a great bishop!

    There's only one drawback: his voice and his mannerisms. To those that don't know
    him, these can make him appear cultured, urbane and supercilious. Which is unfortunate, because he isn't supercilious. Sadly, we are all prone to make shallow judgements of others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like quite a good reference to me.

      Delete
    2. I was also in Rome with Eugene o Hagan also-hasent he gotten old looking! Deacent bloke and favoured in the cup n saucer circles in the day. As for Donal McKeown not looking the part-in a propper job that would be discrimination

      Delete
  5. Dear fellow seminarian of Fr Eugene O'H,

    Is 'supercilious' a medical condition or did u misspell 'superfluous' ?

    LUX.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To Anonymous at 18.49

      Why don't you look up the word 'supercilious'? You'll find it in the dictionary.


      While you're at it, look up the word 'superfluous', too, because it accurately describes your post.

      Delete
    2. To be or not to be-that is the pencil? I think Jesus talked about a gnat and a boulder. Perhaps I am being too serious-A sence of humour is vital to survival, for me anyway. As I'm here best wishes to all on the feast of St Patrick

      Delete
  6. Could be either I suppose. But I dont think that either constitute a canonical impediment to ordination / consecration.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A prime candidate for the episcopacy is unfortunately out of the country, that is the absent Cathedral Administrator who is presently studying at Heythrop College, London.( Subject of study unknown)
    Ref Dr Kennedy would bring his own unique gifts to the role of Bishop, and he'll certainly be getting my nomination.

    Priest of D & C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting choice Father. And mind you the episcopal cirese would make him look quite a dandy.

      Delete
  8. I remember when Michael Dallat was appointed auxiliary in approx 1994, it was widely reported he was a compromise candidate. Bishop Walsh wanted his buddy Tom Toner, and Cahal Daly wanted Donal McKeown, so the 68 yr old Michael Dallat with 2 hearing aids got the call up and no-one was happy.
    It's a funny old church isn't it ?!

    Down & Connor Cleric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In fairness it was only Mickey Dallat's ears that were faulty.

      According to all reports all his other bits and pieces were in fine fettle :-)

      Delete
    2. Is that a Dallat thing?

      Delete
  9. I always thought Dr Kennedy "cut quite a dash" in his Maltese Order Chaplain's regalia. He certainly won't need directions to the Vatican Outfitters 'Gammarrelli's, in Rome. ( They already have his measurements)
    I hope he's making friends in London, as I know he was sad to leave the "house of fun" (Cathedral Presbytery). I trust there are some "friendly bars" close to Heythrop College, where he can feel at home.

    Down & Connor Priest.

    ReplyDelete
  10. According to some nuns Tom Toner had bought all the gear.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I thought the Holy Spirit chose Bishops, and I am very disturbed at the unseemly "behind the scenes machinations" referred to in your blog.

    Am I naive ?

    LUX.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He would - if he could get a word in.

      Delete
  12. To anonymous at 20.34

    Why don't you look up the word 'humour'. You'll find it in the dictionary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To Anonymous at 22.00

      Please, my son, teach me to be humorous. For humour was not a module in my seminary training. God bless,
      whoever you are.

      Delete
  13. I fear Fr Bartlett may have scuppered some potential votes amongst his fellow clerics, by being so vehemently anti gay.
    Perhaps he "doth protest too much" ?

    Clerical Observer.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I want to nominate Bishop Farquhar for a 'clerical OBE', for services to the Confirmation Industry - 32 years of confirming is quite a record.
    My favourite Bishop F Confirmation homily was when he had a "2 way conversation with his crozier". I was somewhat concerned by that episode and feared that he had finally succumbed to an "overdose" of confirmation chrism oil.
    No danger of Bishop Treanor suffering a similar fate ! He prefers to send the octogenarian Bishop Walsh on to the Confirmation "circuit". I think + PW likes to "keep his hand in" so to speak, and at least he gets a decent dinner afterwards.
    ( He prefers a piece of fruit for desert- Cancel the Pavlova ! )

    Priest of the Diocese.


    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear LUX,
    Yes you are naive - The Papal Nuncio chooses the Bishops. The present Nuncio is Archbishop Charles Brown, and he resides at his Nunciature on the Navan Rd, Dublin.
    He always looks like a "Burton's Dummy" - those creases are sharp !
    I hope he enjoyed his 1 nighter at "Chateau de Noel" (formerly Lisbreen) last week.
    Egyptian cotton sheets are lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear Pat,
    I'm in something of a quandary. The Priest I would like to nominate as a future Bishop, is at present in a relationship with an attractive single female.
    Does this situation automatically bar him from promotion to the episcopate ?
    I want to do the right thing, and would value your advice.

    D&C Priest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Brother,

      Obviously you feel that in spite of his "relationship" you feel he is worthy of your vote?

      As you will be aware I believe that celibacy should be optional for bishops and priests.

      But as things stand do you not think his relationship may very well lead to future difficulties and scandal?

      Does the church in Ireland need another Eamon Casey?

      I think any priest with a "secret" is foolish to accept preferment.

      He could end up with hearing aids?

      Pat.

      Delete
    2. Don't understand the connection/reference to hearing aids Pat. Please explain, especially for those of us who DO use hearing aids.
      I very much hope it's not an ill informed, albeit perhaps non intentioned derogatory comment akin to derisory comments regularly made in the past about other persons with handicaps.

      My father, in his 70's used say: I'm not a daft ould bu*ger; just a deaf ould bug*er.

      Delete
  17. I'm voting for Fr A, BB (Anyone But Bartlett).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will Timo not find that very hurtful?

      Delete
  18. Dear Pat,
    thank you for your advice concerning my quandary. You ask the question : Does the church need another Eamonn Casey ? YES ! WHY ? Because it would expose what the Vatican is desperate to keep secret - MANDATORY CELIBACY IS NOT WORKING.
    That is the next big scandal to hit the church, in Ireland and beyond.
    The Vatican will keep up the pretense,but the day of reckoning is approaching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Father,

      I agree completely with you.

      The next abuse scandal for the church will be the sexual exploitation / abuse of women and other adults.

      Delete
  19. I think hope that whoever gets this promotion is an upstanding and good man.
    D&C has suffered badly at the hands of wicked men over the years!
    Dr Kennedy wrecked the cathedral parish, drove the faithful away and appointed a director of music who plays at one mass per week but gets a salary of £26,500 per year! But maybe that was to include the extra work he done personally for Dr K...
    Not exactly a good thing for the CV on Dr K's part - Dallet was sent to clear up the mess left behind!

    Fr O'Hagan would be the best out of a bad bunch... And any other priest that would be inclusive and nice would not be in the running sadly, as Noel will want a 'Yes' man

    ReplyDelete
  20. "DALLAT WAS SENT TO CLEAR UP THE MESS LEFT BEHIND"

    Did he clean up the mess or add another chapter to it ????

    PP D&C

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think a bit of both!!
    Brought some people back, but is known for his sharp words and bad manners...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and.............

      PP D&C

      Delete
  22. He gets over 26000 a year??? That's nearly twice as much as a CC!! But then he probably does have to do a lot of bending and stretching,,,,,,,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that what's it called these days :-)

      PP D&C

      Delete
  23. How has a Blog on Down and Connor getting a new auxiliary bishop become a Blog about Ciaran Dallat's behaviour and salary?

    Would someone please tell me what is going on?

    Priest of D&C

    ReplyDelete
  24. How many other "assistant priests" in Down and Connor get a salary of £26,000 pa and benefits?

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is what happens when people don't take the time to read. No reference was made to Dallat's salary. The "£26,500" refers to the apparent salary of the director of music.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for that correction of fact.

      Delete
  26. The new auxiliary Bishop of Down & Connor will have little if any real power.
    + Noel will still make all the major decisions, and the auxiliary will do his bidding.
    That's the way the system works, and I hope Tim B, or any other prospective wannabee Bishops realise that. One should be careful what one hopes for !

    Priest of D & C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Father,

      I'm sure all the candidates know that if appointed they will be full time CONFIRMORS.

      But for some / many there is still an attraction to being a bishop without responsibility - all the prestige and none of the headaches.

      Delete
  27. The role of auxiliary Bishop is a strange one, so often it's a training time to prepare someone for a larger diocese, but the danger is that you can end up being stuck as the "bridesmaid". Just ask Tony Farquhar what that's like ? He's been in that situation for 32 yrs ! Congrats to him today on his Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination .
    A decent man, but caught between 2 men who have/had little to offer , Walsh & Treanor.

    PP D & C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But some priests - especially those in the running for new auxiliary - might think thats it is better to be a "bridesmaid" than not be at the wedding at all.

      Even bridesmaids get the chance to dress up and bathe in reflected glory?

      Delete
    2. Your dead right, Pat and would-be bishop Timo has been poring over the bridesmaid catalogue for years! Lol!

      Delete
    3. I'd say there is not a "bridal" shop in Rome that he has not visited.

      Delete
  28. This DIocese is "holed below the water line", with or without a new auxiliary Bishop.
    Even the Titanic had been blessed with 5 Captains, it would still have slid slowly to it's watery grave.
    Sorry to be so pessimistic. The good Lord has not abandoned us, but we rather have forgotten him, and what he really stood for. What passes for ecclesial life in D&C is but a parody of real Christian serving & living.
    The Lord is letting us slide away so that something new may arise from the ashes.

    D&C cleric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not think you are being pessimistic.

      I think you are being realistic - and if I may say so - somewhat prophetic.

      There is a time for uprooting and a time for planting.

      Delete
    2. I feel sick reading this blog, I am only a Christian but this is a all that turns my off

      Delete
  29. If we need an auxiliary bishop, they could do worse than choose Eugene O'Hagan.
    Bartlett? Definitely NOT! For so many reasons, No!
    O'Donnell? He's anally retentive.
    Dallat? An ignorant lout.
    E O'H at least is a gentleman and would be a good successor to Tony.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It seems to me that Eugene O Hagan may be emerging as quite acceptable among the priests as the new auxiliary bishop?

    ReplyDelete
  31. IN ANSWER TO ABOVE AT 1.38 AM

    No there is no intention by anyone here to be unkind to people with disabilities.

    It is just a reference to the fact that a former auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor was appointed at 68 years of age and that at the time of his appointment he wore 2 hearing aids.

    And in spite of what your lovely Dad says the late Bishop Dallat was neither daft or a bugger.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Definitely not Timmy Bartlett - a careerist and a sycophant. He has had a "vocation" to be a bishop since he was in the Wing. He is also a mischievous and immature man. I can't fathom people who "want" these positions in the Church. That never bodes any good and it is always about themselves and their own desires and needs - never about service of others which is (or should be) at the heart of Christian ministry, Paddy Walsh also "wanted" to be a bishop and look at how he turned out. Eugene O'Hagan has pastoral experience and, I think, is the best and obvious choice. E O'Donnell is like a clone of Cackle Daly - even to the extent of same voice mannerisms. Dallat has no manners (not that that has ever excluded anyone from the episcopate in the CC). E O'H is a gentleman to his fingertips. If there is to be an auxiliary among the list here - he is the man. But has anyone considered Michael Spence, Michael McGinnity or Sean Emerson?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael Spence has read too much of Cousins.

      Sean Emerson has left Holy Family in big debt.

      Priest. D&C

      Delete
    2. Again - Eugene takes the lead ?

      Delete
  33. I think it is Donal mcKeown's favour that he had no so-called "sartorial" whatever. He has a kind heart and he is a human being. More than be said for some eejits swanning around in their crombie coats licking the backsides of anyone in a purple or red hat. I don't think there is any need for an auxiliary bishop in this diocese. Dublin's auxiliaries were not replaced when moved on. Look at the redundant auxiliaries Clifford and Lagan. Ireland does not need auxiliary bishops, unlike say, the USA where there are often vast geographical areas and huge populations. For Confirmation, the PPs can do it in their own parishes. It seems to me that auxiliary bishops become an excuse for "bridesmaids" to pretty themselves up - clowns who could not hack it in the day to day grind of parish life but need bishops to create "special roles" for them, when there is a shortage of priests on the ground!! Priest.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Leave wee Timo alone. He has his wee heart set on being a bishop since he was a wee boy. And he has even been on a diet and had laser eye treatment so as to look really nice as a wee bishop. And if they are looking for another one with Timo (aux bish), big Huey Kennedy gets my vote because, lets face it, some priests in this diocese need a firm hand! An awful pity that Papa Fra sacked Fr Donaghy, as he would have made a lovely wee bishop too.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I do not understand the Cousin remark about Fr Michael Spence???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let him who ears to hear hear..........

      Priest of D & C

      Delete