Sunday, 2 August 2015

UNEASE IN COLERAINE PARISH

UNEASE IN COLERAINE PARISH

Father Brendan Mulhall
I have been made aware of unease among some of the parishioners of Coleraine parish with their temporary priest - Father Brendan Mulhall. I have obviously passed these expressions of unease to the bishop - Noel Treanor in Belfast. Bishop Treanor has acknowledged my communications and the parishioner's correspondence I have forwarded to him.

Bishop Treanor


Father Mulhall, a former Redemptorist priest from Clonard Monastery in Belfast is administering Coleraine parish while its parish priest, Father Gregory Cormican is away on sick leave.

Father Mulhall had been a curate in Downpatrick and in September 2012 he was made administrator ad interim (temporary administrator) at Holy Trinity Parish in Belfast after the parish priest there Father Matt Wallace had tragically ended his own life.

Father Matt Wallace RIP
Noel Treanor seems to like the term ad interim. Must be a European thing ?

CLERGY COMPLAINTS IN DOWN AND CONNOR:

Many ordinary Catholics in the Diocese of Down and Connor are very frustrated by the fact that when they have a complaint about a priest or another diocesan official or agency they find it very difficult to get Bishop Treanor to take any action.

For some reason it seems that Bishop Treanor is finding it impossible to take decisive action on complaints.

This was highlighted in the recent complaint by "Donna" against Father Ciaran Dallat of St Peter's Cathedral who had had an affair with Donna and made her pregnant.

With my help she went to see Bishop Treanor but got nowhere and was forced to go public in the Sunday Life newspaper before any action was taken. 



In the Church there should be an effective and transparent method of having complaints against clergy processed.

In fact I had suggested that the Church should appoint an independent ombudsman (woman) to independently process complaints. 

However nothing has happened! 

In the meantime people are still welcome to forward complaints to here for referral to those whose duty it is to investigate. Our contact details are 02828 260137 (if office not open please leave name and number we can get back to). Or: bishoppatbuckley@hotmail.com  It is far more preferable and fair and just to all involved if correspondents at least, privately, identify themselves. I know people can feel hurt and afraid but unfortunately anonymous communications lack credibility. 






45 comments:

  1. I can only say that I am surprised to hear of this development: while he was in Downpatrick, I found Fr. Mulhall a true gentleman - in the same way as I found Fr. Buckley a true gentleman when he was my Confessor in Kilkeel.

    Jarlath Vaughan

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    1. Thank you Jarlath. My time in Kilkeel was a wonderful time for me and I loved the people there. They were so responsive and appreciative of anything one did with and for them.

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  2. People in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks!!

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    1. People in glass houses often have a very good view of what is going on outside :-)

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  3. I can only comment that, while he was in Downpatrick, Fr. Mulhall was nature's true gentleman. He was particularly kind to my family during a bereavement and I am surprised to learn of concern at Coleraine; could it be, perhaps, that in some area / parishes that there are different type of folks? Some districts are noted for their genial warmth whereas others are notorious for being dour. In the course of my own personal life, I find life is full of surprises: there are those whom I would have thought possessed neighbourly qualities when - sadly - they failed the attitude test. Similarly, the converse is very often the case. I find that Sermon On The Mount so, so difficult. Matt. 5:44 is so hard to embrace.
    So, in regard to Coleraine, it may well be a personality clash - God knows. I can only repeat my opening comment - and conclude that I also found Fr. Buckley a true gentleman when he was my Confessor in Kilkeel.

    Jarlath Vaughan

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    1. Thank you Jarlath for your integrity by putting your name on your comments. This is a rare but very admirable action.

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  4. Independent way of handling complaints-sounds good. Perhaps like in the police schools or nhs..? Sad thing is that many priests in the eyes of the public are guilty until proven innocent. Justice must prevail. I do not believe clergy have an internal appropriate support system. They are expected to behave like bees round a beehive-unhealthy! Celibacy may/may not be another unhealthy attribute to personal development depending on the individual

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    1. Sean, Funny you use the term "bees around a bee hive". The late Fr Michael Martin of Cardiff used to talk about convents as bee hives and the Reverend Mother as the "Queen Bee" :-)

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    2. Most especially when Rev Fr comes for his morning cuppa after mass. i have fond memories of Sr Assumpta (Mercy-Castlerea) who took me under her wing as a youngfella. She was instrumental in steering me towards the priesthood

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    3. And sad that a priest may be guilty and never have to take accountability for their actions - and bishop Treanor thinks that the solution to the problem is moving the so-called 'Fr' to another parish.
      Same old, same old....................

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  5. Coleraine! Not exactly The Kremlin!

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  6. Mulhall is not a good priest and he is not a nice man. D&C has enough problems among its clergy without taking on board this troubled and troublesome redemptorist.

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    1. Can you elaborate - even off line ? bishoppatbuckley@hotmail.com

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    2. Noel Treanor is in possession of information I sent him.

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    3. Apparently the "Reds" at not very happy with him either!

      PP D&C

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    4. He is a very good priest.....dedicated to his work and his parishioners. It is totally unfair and unjust for people to discredit hard working priests such as Fr Mulhall.

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  7. Terrible to think a Good Man's reputation, integrity and life's work can be dessimated through lies and gossip. I admire Bishop Buckley immensely and empathise with you struggles and deep felt heartache with the "institutional " Church. I pray that justice is served in this instance. Fr. Mulhall has always shown deep respect and true Christian generosity to people's in all walks of life, much like yourself Bishop
    Buckley. It's saddens me to think that some people, for whatever reason, deem it necessary to spread lies, alter situations and facts. A sad day to see Church "politics" once again corrupting the true face of the Church.

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    1. Lies and gossip are very wrong and very harmful.

      Bishop Noel Treanor has had complaints from Coleraine of a serious nature - which need to be investigated.

      Whatever the case - the truth must be done and be seen to be done and so must justice.

      The rumour on the D&C clerical trail is that Father Mulhall does not like Coleraine and its people.

      Is it a square peg in a round hole? Or are there other issues?

      Either way it is up to Bishop Treanor. He has a pastor's responsibility to the Coleraine parishioners and indeed to Father Mulhall.

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    2. I'd say there was a "round hole" involved anyhow.

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  8. I just want to say that Fr Mulhall is a genuine gentleman who will work for the people of whatever parish he is in. I am a parishioner in Coleraine with 3 children and found it extremely difficult to persuade my children to attend mass but because of Fr Mulhall they willingly go every week. He has brought my children back into their faith. Thank you Fr Mulhall.

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    1. Maybe the reason your kids like his Masses is that they only last 15 minutes !!!

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    2. 15mins?? He must be in an awful hurry to get back to his visitor!

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    3. Has he replaced Father Matt RIP as "Father Flash"

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  9. Maybe part of the problem lies with Father Mulhall's "visitor"?

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  10. I work in another parish in Down and Connor - not Coleraine. Where I work the PP brings his girlfriend to the house during working hours and I have to tolerate things no employee should have to tolerate. The diocese knows all about this and nobody is doing anything. I wish I had an independent person I could go to to complain. I cannot afford to give up my job or I would. I have lost all faith in our church.

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    1. I am aware of the situation you speak of. Have you spoken to Bishop Treanor? If so, what response did you get?

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    2. I really feel for Anonymous at 10:12. I know someone who worked in my parish office and suffered the same fate. The priest was eventually moved in August 2013 but my friend suffered terribly and has since left the job. My advice would be to get out before the situation does you irreparable damage - no job is worth that price.

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  11. This afternoon I received a very complimentary email about Father Mulhall with a request from the sender that I pass his email on to Bishop Treanor - which I have immediately done.

    While I still have my "concerns" I do not want to see Father Mulhall - or any other person - suffer an injustice. I know what it is like to suffer an injustice within the church.

    This was one of the reasons I deliberately used the mild word "unease" on my Blog. I could have used other terms but felt that they would be, at the very least, premature.

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  12. Priests, who may do many good things for people, totally destroy their ministries and give great scandal to the faithful, when they act in a manner that is completely at variance with their calling. This applies to clergy of a heterosexual and homosexual orientation. It is tragic and sad. Clergy are weak and sinful like all the rest of us. But when some almost arrogantly and certainly irresponsibly flaunt behaviour that is incompatible with the Christian life (never mind ordained ministry), then disaster is inevitable. Humility, self-control and prayer-centred discipline are essential for every priest.

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    1. Whoever you are - you speak very wisely. We are all sinners and that is between God and ourselves.

      I think you make a very wise point when you mention "flaunting".

      In many ways its this flaunting that most people are most upset about.

      It is also this flaunting that provokes complaints and exposure.

      I am no blushing rose - but I never ceased to be amazed by those priests think they can flaunt things in public and not realise the consequences.

      Is it down to some fantasy of invincibility?

      Having said that, ir seems that these days in Down and Connor priests seem to feel that they can do what they want without any fear of action from Lisbreen.

      When I worked under Bishops Philbin and Daly one did not wish to attract Lisbreen's displeasure.

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    2. Flaunting - so true, Bishop Buckley. The flaunting of a scandalous homosexual situation (and an ADM who is an "absentee" for the most part) in the diocesan Cathedral. The flaunting of openly "gay and straight" relationships by clergy, for good or ill, supposed to be celibate, as outlined by scandalised parish workers on your website. And the poor old bishop can do NOTHING! Why????

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    3. Now -therein lies a very interesting question!

      Is it that if he acted against "problem" priests even more parishes would be empty?

      Is he overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness?

      Could it be that he does not really care?

      Is he compromised in some way?

      I cannot make my mind up - but in the meantime everything is getting worse :-(

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  13. Can I also add that I KNOW there are some very good prayerful, pastoral priests in D&C.

    They above all are being let down.

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  14. In my humble opinion, we would be far better of with a handful of kind and holy priests than with all these other false priests who are making a mockery of the priesthood and the Church. I would be willing to travel 50 miles to Sunday Mass than to facilitate some clerical leeches and predators who are fleecing the sheep, day in and day out.

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    1. Jesus planned to save the world with 12.

      Surely Noel could do the same for counties Antrim and Down with a good 12 ?

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    2. I so agree - so many people are being alienated from their faith and no longer go to Mass because of the double lives their "shepherds" are living. Better to have no priest in a parish as a "pretend" one,

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  15. This diocese needs to learn fast that until Noel Treanor is pensioned off early and sent back to Monaghan and Dr Bartlett replaces him as the longed-for bishop of Down and Connor - then and only then will faith and righteousness be revived in Antrim and Down. It is also imperative that Dr Kennedy be immediately appointed as auxiliary bishop to Dr Bartlett. Then, and only then, with these two stalwarts at the helm, will we be insulated against gay weddings and every other modern malady. If this does not happen soon, Faith in Down and Connor will go the way of Carthage.

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  16. The above comment is undoubtedly satirical but it, nevertheless, indicates the sorry state of this diocese. Bishop Treanor needs to grow a pair, grasp some nettles and uproot them. He needs to sort out St Peter's and address other appalling vistae. He needs to provide gainful pastoral employment for certain individuals who have little to do except chase after DUP politicians and any ecclesiastical worthy who appears on the Down and Connor scene, in the hope of a "career move". In other words, give Timmy a real job and keep him away from Jeffy Donaldson on the half six news. Doesn't he know there is a super-injunction against Jeff?

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  17. Brendan Mulhall was sent to Turf Lodge when our Fr matt was not well. Many of us know that Fr Mulhall was not very kind to Fr Matt when he came back to the parish afer being off sick.

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    1. This is new to me. Are you sure?

      Fr Matt was unkind to me in earlier years but I know if I knew him when he was psychologically fragile I would have wanted to help him in every possible way. Whatever way you look at it his death was a tragedy.

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    2. Yes. i am very sure. And Mulhall was very unpopular in Turf with most of the parish.

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  18. Father Matt was known as speedy not flash. However quick his mass was he never missed a word out, he worked tirelessly for his parishioners and was never in a rush for any other reason than to continue his work.

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  19. There has been no Down & Connor Diocesan Clerical Changes this year up to now.

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  20. Could you tell us all is Brendan Mulhall still a Redemptorist Priest or now a Diocesian Priest. Why did he leave the Redemptorists or is he on loan to Down & Connor

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