Saturday, 28 March 2015

BISHOP TREANOR NOW IN SPOTLIGHT

BISHOP TREANOR - FATHER DALLAT AFFAIR - THE SPOTLIGHT

BY DEBORAH MCALEESE – 24 MARCH 2015 BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Bishop Treanor
Catholic Bishop Noel Treanor has come under pressure from clergy members over his handling of an alleged sexual relationship between a priest and a parishioner.
West Belfast priest Fr Ciaran Dallat is believed to have left his parochial house to stay with a friend along the north coast as the storm over his alleged affair with a woman, who became pregnant and then miscarried his child, failed to dissipate.


Sunday Life

While parishioners have organised a rally of support for Fr Dallat to take place tonight outside St Peter's Cathedral, where he is still officially an assistant priest, several members of the clergy have said they believe he should not be allowed to return to ministry.


Rally

They have also criticised Bishop Treanor for not advising Fr Dallat to stand aside pending an investigation when he first became aware of the claims more than a fortnight ago.
The Catholic Church last night said that "Bishop Noel Treanor and the Diocese of Down and Connor assure all parishioners and the public at large that all concerns and allegations that are raised in a substantiated manner are taken seriously."
Fr Dallat has been accused by a 49-year-old businesswoman. known only as 'Linda', of having an affair with her. She claimed she miscarried his child in July 2013 after a five-week pregnancy.
The north Belfast woman also said she had showered him with £20,000 worth of gifts throughout their relationship which allegedly began in September 2012 and lasted until April 2014.
According to 'Linda' she told Bishop Treanor about the allegations around two weeks ago and asked for Fr Dallat to be moved out of Belfast.
The Catholic Church last night refused to answer any questions from the Belfast Telegraph for clarification about Fr Dallat's position within St Peter's Cathedral and if he is expected to return.

ANOTHER PRIEST:
Church officials also refused to comment on claims that Bishop Treanor has been made aware of another Belfast priest who has allegedly had three intimate relationships with his parishioners.
A spokesman for the Diocese said that the Diocese "does not consider it to be appropriate professional practice to respond to third party commentary."
He added: "As stated in an earlier press release, conscious of the welfare of all parties concerned, it is not appropriate for the Diocese to comment further."
One priest serving in the Diocese of Down and Connor criticised Bishop Treanor, on the online blog Thinking Catholicism, for failing to "handle this matter more effectively when he had two weeks to do so".
"The thing to do was to ask Father Dallat to step aside temporarily while an investigation took place. This would have made the woman involved feel that her suffering and her complaint were being taken seriously by the Diocese. Now the situation is a whole mess," he wrote on an online blog.
Another wrote on the Thinking Catholicism site, which is hosted by Bishop Pat Buckley, an outspoken critic of the Church: "Bishop Treanor has let a lot of people down, including "Linda" and her family, the people of the Cathedral Parish, and also Fr Dallat who ... should have been suspended, pending a full investigation. Bishop Noel showed very poor judgment, and further suffering for many has been the end result of that. I hope he acts differently in future cases; I for one will be watching closely."
In relation to the alleged affair, one priest said that Fr Dallat's behaviour was "inexcusable".
"He must answer for those actions both before his Bishop, in this life, and his God, in the next."

The revelations have reopened the wider debate about celibacy and the priesthood. One priest wrote on the blog: "To put it bluntly celibacy is not working for the majority of priests ... Fewer and fewer men are seeing priesthood as a legitimate option, in particular because of celibacy ... Things simply cannot go on as they are, either in Down & Connor or beyond."



PAT SAYS:

"Linda" telephoned me at 11.30 am on Sunday March 1st - 30 minutes before I was due to celebrate my normal Sunday Eucharist.

She was in a very distressed and vulnerable state of mind. She had lost her mother through cancer; she had had a miscarriage for Father Dallat and Father Dallat had coldly told her: "Well, if you feel that low, as least you cannot feel any worse".

She had no where to turn. She remembered that Father Dallat had told her that I ran a support group for women who had had bad experiences in having relationships with priests. She went down stairs and googled me and rang me. Thank God she did. God knows what would have happened if she had had no one to talk to!

She was too distressed to travel to meet me that day. I offered to go to Belfast to meet her. She felt it would be easier for her if we met the next day. The next day - Monday - she came to see me. We chatted at length and at least she felt no longer alone and that she had someone to talk to.


Eugene O Hagan


When Linda left I rang Bishop Treanor's office for a private email address I could write to him at. I was refused his email address and told to send my email to Father Eugene O'Hagan - the diocesan chancellor - which I did:





My records show that Bishop Treanor received my email, marked "URGENT" at 4.50 pm on Monday, March 2nd 2015.

On Wednesday March 4th Bishop Treanor replied:




I immediately supplied Bishop Treanor with Linda's contact details. Because of bad experiences in the past I was worried about Linda going to meet Bishop Treanor without a STRONG ADVOCATE - but as Bishop Treanor obviously did not want to meet me it was agreed that she would be accompanied by her sister.

Linda had two meetings with Bishop Treanor - the first meeting where she presented him with her 4 page statement which can be found on this Blog - "FATHER CIARAN DALLAT - WOMAN'S STATEMENT" - 18th March 2015. Bishop Treanor told Linda he believed her story.

Bishop Treanor then interviewed Father Dallat. In the meantime it had transpired that Father Dallat had told Bishop Treanor a year previously that he was / had been in a relationship with a woman.

At Linda's second meeting with Bishop Treanor she felt his attitude had changed and she was highly insulted when he asked her to see a psychiatrist. She came away feeling that Bishop Treanor was going to do nothing about Father Dallat and that he would be continuing to minister and preach at St Peter's Cathedral!

Linda had asked Bishop Treanor to move Father Dallat from St Peter's to avoid her having to see him as she has to frequent the St Peter's area everyday for family and work reasons.

As a result of Bishop Treanor's inaction over a 2 week period Linda decided to go public about the matter on March 17th - without naming the priest.




The priest was only named by Sunday Life on March 22nd - THREE WEEKS - after Bishop Treanor was informed of all the details.




This resulted in Father Dallat disappearing and taking to the hills.

It also resulted in Bishop Treanor going into hiding and issuing two meaningless statements through the diocesan press officer, Father Eddie McGee.


Eddie McGee


TWO MORE CASES:

Since Linda went to Bishop Treanor two more cases of priests playing fast and loose with celibacy have been brought to Bishop Treanor's attention:


1. The case of a priest who has had several relationships with women in several different parishes over a long period of time - a case in which the parish council made representations to Bishop Treanor. Bishop Treanor moved the priest and other priests now claim that he has a new woman in his new parish and still receives visits from at least one woman from a former parish.

2. The case of a homosexual priest who has a long track record and who had a relationship with a professional male who left his wife and children for the priest. That priest was also moved.  


OF COURSE IT IS NOT EASY FOR ANY BISHOP TO DEAL WITH THESE MATTERS - ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY COME LIKE BUSES - IN THE THREES AND FOURS.

BUT THE ALTERNATIVE OF NOT DEALING WITH THE PROBLEMS ARE:

1. A small number of priests operating as sexual predators.

2. Many different people - men. women and children - in different parishes getting hurt.

3. Other innocent and good priests being hurt and disillusioned - having their good names brought into question - and having to be bound by celibacy when some others are playing fast and loose.

4. The giving and spreading of scandal which discourages many ordinary Catholics who struggle to keep their faith as scandal after scandal - like bombs - explode all around them.

Bishop Treanor is preparing to celebrate Holy Week's Chrism Mass next Thursday - and will call upon all the priests of the diocese to renew their commitment to celibacy.

How can he do this and preside over most irregular situations in his diocese?   

Bishop Treanor - staying SILENT is not an OPTION.

It is causing further DAMAGE.



26 comments:

  1. Maybe its time we called Bishop Treanor Bo Peep?

    Little Bo Peep has lost his priest,
    And doesn't know where to find him;
    He'll leave him alone until he comes home,
    Wagging his bum behind him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many sheep on the North Coast how can poor Bishop Treanor hope to find one sheep among all that lot?

      Delete
  2. Its not Bishop Treanor's fault if priests misbehave. How can he be expected to watch hundreds of priests personally every day? Any priest who misbehaves is also letting Down Dr Treanor who has no option but to put his faith in them. If a bishop cannot trust his priests who can he trust? I feel very sorry for Bishop Treanor as we enter Holy Week as he carries these "crosses" on his back. Loyal Catholic Always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LCA - You do make a good point. Bishop Treanor cannot be everywhere.

      But is it not a different matter when priestly misbehaviour is actually brought to his direct attention?

      Retired Priest.

      Delete
    2. Yes Dear Colleague, That is a very different case. This whole matter bewilders me. D&C Cleric.

      Delete
    3. It is very sad that the reputation of the D&C priesthood is being tarnished by what must be a very small number of erring men. I hope that this saga is brought to an end asap.

      Delete
    4. To Loyal Catholic Always

      Be careful to whom or what you have given your loyalty. If it's to the Institutional Church, i.e. the clergy, you have erected an idol in your heart. As a Christian, your loyalty must go to Christ alone.

      Delete
    5. Course it is not Treanors fault but something is wrotten in the state of modern roman catholicism. What it says on the label belies the contents of the tin. The people are being lead by sheepdogs without true shepherds

      Delete
  3. What about a straightforward statement from Bishop Treanor laying out his course of action on the "Cathedral crisis" ? Why is he so afraid. of speaking publicly on this issue ? The gospel tells us "the truth will set us free" - why is the Bishop afraid of the truth ?

    Belfast Catholic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Treanor may be afraid Popey will slap his hand. It will take more than a handslap to sort this out. On the positive side People of courage could go far-the cross is more than just a piece of jewellary

      Delete
  4. I see Bishop Treanor turned up at his cathedral this morning at 9 for Palm Sunday.

    Was this a dummy run for facing us, his priests, for next Thursday's Chrism Mass?

    I also notice the cathedral cam is all sight and no sound!

    Has the voice of the diocese being completely silenced by the Dallat Affair ???

    Retired Priest

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good afternoon blog heads, what's happenin'? :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. That would be 8am Sun Mass according to the old clock time!
    All picture no sound.
    Sounds just about typical

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pat,
    Chrism Mass this year amongst the D&C clergy has created more expectation.
    We can't wait to hear what + Noel will say to us, and the "Dean" Kennedy saga is the gift that keeps on giving. What a circus the Cathedral has turned out to be !

    Priest of D&C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How true ! How sad! And in Holy Week :-(

      Delete
    2. To the supposed Priest of D&C
      I sincerely hope you are no priest of mine!!! I think Bishop Treanor would need to send you all on a course to learn what it is to be a decent human being. I am utterly sickened by the snide comments and downright ugliness I have read in these comments. I will be at the mass of chrism and I will suggest to my lord bishop that he has a closer look at what his priests are posting online. I'm sure you, Fr, will be there too. Smiling and slithering and not a bit of truth about you. You're not fit to be a priest. I'm beginning to think none of you are.
      What has Fr Kennedy ever done that any of you can prove? Wasn't he cleared of any inpropriety? If not prove it then. Go to the papers as has happened with Fr dallat. Stop muddying his name on this blog. Go and tell all if you can. If you cannot then I suggest you shut your mouth!
      God forgive you and pardon you
      Disgusted parishioner of D&C

      Delete
    3. Hear hear. If you are all so disgusted then speak up. Have an open and Frank debate. Or is that too much of a risk to take. I am equally disgusted by your vitriolic spoutings ad I am by what Frs Dallat or Kennedy have supposedly done.

      Delete
    4. The fact that the post at 12:42 refers to Noel Treanor as 'my lord bishop' perhaps indicates the undue reverence and deference paid to the clergy which has been remarked on by others as well as well as myself.
      MMM

      Delete
    5. What you are reading online on this blog "disgusted parishioner", is the utter frustration of priests at some of their colleagues who do not know the meaning of keeping 'John Thomas' in check and who give free reign to their lusts for both men and women!!!

      They disgrace the priesthood and their antics are known by the dogs on the streets - including the buffoon you have defended!

      Not only that, but they have been coddled and petted for years. They are ones who are not fit to be priests!!

      So know those facts, dear "disgusted", when you go slithering up to the poor "lord bishop" on Holy Thursday at the Chrism Mass. I'm sure he will be made up to see you!

      Delete
    6. The definition of a fact is a thing proven to be true. Everything else is opinion. Even if that opinion is shared by many it doesn't make it fact, take Hitler's view on the Jews, for example. Lots of people followed that one but it didn't make it fact now did it?
      If these priests are so frustrated then they must speak out but doing it anonymously in this blog is -in my opinion- doing nothing but disgracing the priesthood further!

      Delete
    7. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. I believe priests are speaking out (some of them) directly to the bishop. Others feel the only place they can "vent" is on here. Let's look at your definition of a fact.

      The earth was always round - a fact. People, for a long time, believed it to be flat. They thought that to be a "fact". The world was eventually proven to be a sphere - that was a FACT - even when not 'proven'.

      Believe you me - the anxieties about certain individuals raised here may not be proven YET but they are nevertheless FACTS. Watch that space.....

      Delete
  8. Perhaps it would be more appropriate if the Clergy of D&C met on Good Friday rather than Holy Thursday. More of an opportunity to embrace the cross !

    Clerical Observer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't know where all this fuss about celibacy is coming from. Does it matter if a priest has the odd fling? Especially if he helps him to stay in the job. There are more important things to worry about like parish finances being kept right and lay people being kept in their proper place.

    A B Rankin. Belfast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with A B Rankin at 17.48 above. And I am also glad that we have a bishop like Dr Treanor who understands the weaknesses of his priests and protects them from attacks by by heretics and journalists. Long live Dr Treanor I say.

      Ruaidhrigh O'Siodhachain

      Delete
  10. Anyone see SUNDAY LIFE today - pg 8?

    Have we more diocesan scandals on the way ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you have :-(

      But Noel Treanor has the information and the means of not allowing them to explode publicly !

      Delete