Monday, 14 September 2015



Any priest who wants to be a good priest, a priest according to the mind of Jesus Christ is ALWAYS on duty and is NEVER off duty!

One of the many reasons the Roman Catholic Church is undergoing its current crisis is that far too many priests see their priesthood as just another "job" rather than a 24/7 vocation. 

Sadly too there are MANY bishops and priests in today's RC Church are actually agnostics or atheists , have little or no true faith and pray either not at all or very little!

Many of today's RC priests are just in the "job" as a handy number that gives them a secure job, a decent income and social status. 

Then on the side they have their boyfriends and girlfriends - and very active and diverse sex lives - while continuing to lecture ordinary Catholics about contraception, sex outside marriage, homosexuality etc. 

These men are not priests in the mind of Christ. They are footsoldiers in a corrupt and cynical institution which is all about power, control, wealth and money. 

They put their own man made teachings before the loving commands of God and His Son Jesus. 

One of my first disputes in Down and Connor diocese was with Father Joe McGurnaghan. He wanted to publish surgery hours on the presbytery door and I wanted to be available 24/7. 

Joe McGurnaghan

I was moved out of the parish and Father McGurnaghan got his surgery hours :-(

I wear my clerical collar for two simple reasons:

1. As a public witness that I am connected to Jesus and faith.

2. As a public invitation for anyone who wants to approach me.

I'll give you an example of what I mean.

On one occasion in the past few years a Dublin priest asked me to join him for a chat over lunch in a Dublin hotel. When I arrived at the hotel the priest was not dressed as a priest and was unhappy that I was - as he felt it would draw attention to us.

In any event we had our chat and our lunch which went very well. The priest decided to walk me back to my car at the top of Grafton Street. On the way up Grafton Street we were approached by a young man who asked me I was a priest. I said I was. 

The young man went on to tell me that he was a French student who had come to Ireland on a holiday. He had a mild form of Schizophrenia and he had forgotten to bring his medication with him from France and he was beginning to feel panicky. 

I helped him by putting him into my car and taking him to a Dublin hospital where he was able to get new medication and he went off n his journey.

Before he left I asked him why he approached me. He said it was because he could SEE that I was a priest and he was sure a priest would help him.

I do not expect priests to wear their collars in the bath or the shower :-)

But I do believe that as priests we are no longer our own and must ALWAYS be available to reach out to others in ministry. 

Practising this policy has been the source of wonderful moments of ministry in my life.  


  1. Well what else can you expect. When Bobbio the cat is away the mice will play !!

  2. Pat, I'm sorry but I must disagree with you on this one. I,like many priests today, live and work in a one man parish. Apart from all the masses and services I am on the beck and call of a busy and very involved and active parish community. I'm a good delegator and have committed and dedicated people help in many aspects of parish life. It is not my fault that I don't have a curate. There are none to spare. A mobile phone makes me available. I answer every call personally. Last week I was disturbed from my sleep on four nights to attend to urgent sick calls. Such disturbed sleep patterns are not handled too easily by a body fast approaching sixty. I Love being a priest and serving my people.
    But I need and I must have time off. Time completely away from the parish. Time to rest and refresh. If I don't then I'll suffer burn out and then I'm no use to anyone. And when I'm off,I'm off. No collar, no black. By getting that balance right then I can be the best I can be. Better to be a 6 day a week priest and serve many more years than a 7 day priest and be on the scrap heap in no time !!!
    PP ( very active)

    1. Oh poor diddums cry me a river ! . I'm just a mere muggle so don't understand hard work . I'm retired now but I was a nurse and worked 5 12hr shifts a week paid my bills didn't have a cleaner or cook and washed my own clothes . My sleep patterns were disturbed also as I didn't switch off from caring for my residents . I got 4 weeks holliday a year and if I was lucky I got away somewhere if I cud aford it . Pp very active , try living in the real world . A days real work wud kill you the heaviest thing you ever lifted was a therable!

    2. Dear Father Above,

      I fully understand the situation you describe and you seem to be a very good priest indeed.

      Of course you need time off.

      The only point I was making is that while you need time off to be a more effective priest - you do not cease to be a priest on your time off.

      The mobile phone really means that you are still available if needed.

      I was not referring to priests like you :-)

  3. I'm sorry for that previous rant but it enrages me that in these times people are working there guts out to make ends meet and maybe still have to visit food banks a week before payday . Please fr look to the real world people out there are living on the bones of there arse and your moanin about being overworked and tired . Ile swap with you for a month and I've got it good compared with most

    1. I can see your point. When I was a child my father used to come home banjaxed after 8/10 hours on a building site.

      Whenever I hear priests saying that they fing saying 2/3 Masses tiring I think: How would they feel after a day on a building site?

  4. Yes I've to agree it was a bit of a rant! And I can sympathise too, with many relatives previously and currently in nursing. My own parents were both nurses.
    But surely you don't wish everyone to be "dragged under" by the same pressures? I personally disagree with Pat here, and think a priest, for the good of his own health and sanity, needs to be able to switch off at times when he feels the need to. I've seen far too many working in the caring professions suffer ill health through impossible work pressures

    1. MMM, I am not against a priest having a day or indeed two days a week off or indeed some quiet hours everyday.

      But they are still priests at thise leisure times.

      Just like a good doctor on holidays will not pass by a road accident.

      There are some professions, if not all, that are vocations as well as jobs.

  5. I am not a "footsoldier in a corrupt and cynical institution which is all about power, control, wealth and money". I am a sinner and a priest. I do my best.

    I have never in my life "dictated" to parishioners in any parish in which I have served. I do not a girlfriend - or a boyfriend for that matter. I do not fixate over celibacy. I get on with the work and I am happy.

    I have no regrets about answering God;s call. I do not take a day off (I am not advocating that for other priests by the way). I always find, if you get a few quiet hours during the day, even if you were called out during the night, you can recoup your energies. Obviously age is a factor in this.

    But do not forget, Fathers, even on your day off and holidays, you are still a priest and you should not neglect to celebrate Daily Mass. You should never take a "day off" or holiday from the Mass.

    I do not see myself as more hard-worked than doctors and nurses. In many ways, I have much less stress than married couples rearing children, paying the mortgage, managing the bills, etc. I am not complaining about my lot. I do my own own cooking, etc. I have no one "waiting" on me.

    I am a priest of the diocese of Down and Connor and I am 100% behind Bishop Noel Treanor who is a good and kind man. I am saddened that some priests have these gripes.

    It is a good thing that our bishop has a European-wide perspective. This diocese, in the past, has suffered from a stunted, inward-looking myopia. Is it because because Bishop Noel is an "outsider" that they do not like him?

    In the few times I have been at Lisbreen, I have never seen any sign of the lifestyle, he is alleged to have. He lives simply. He is a humble and good man. If ever I needed him, he was there on the spot, at the end of the phone, or in person.

    I feel he has a lot of problems with some of the clergy in this diocese and how they are not living lives according to their calling. He deserves only our prayers and support.

    I am an ordinary priest with sins and weaknesses galore. There are others (most I hope) just like me in this diocese and beyond.

    I have never stood in the pulpit, by the way, and "dictated" about contraception or homosexuality, or whatever. When I preach, I am preaching to myself first of all and always to encourage and build up.

    The Roman Catholic Church has many faults but also great goodness, No doubt, there are corrupt individuals, ambitious, self-serving and power-hungry men throughout, who should not be priests - or bishops for that matter.

    Nevertheless, it is utterly wrong to caricature the entire reality of the Church, as often seems to done here from what I have read, as a soulless and cynical institution. The Church has the wheat and the weeds growing side by side until the Last Judgement.

    Priest of Down and Connor.

    1. Dear Father,

      I am deeply inpressed by most of what you wrote here.

      I also feel that you are a very good priest and a very fine human being.

      I do not think that you have an accurate pucture picture of Down and Connor.

      I have personally referred men and women who are sexual victims of priests to Noel Treanor and they were all hurt by how he handled them and their sufferings.

      Noel Treanor knows of priests who are sexually promiscuous and active with men and women and he chooses to turn a blind eye and simply move them from parish to parish where they prey again!

      How is that being a good bishop?

      If you want to meet these men and women I can arrange it at the drop of a hat.


    2. Pat, You are correct. These "Jack the Lad" priests are getting us al a bad name.

      Noel, by his inaction, is leaving us all open to ridicule. We as a captain-less and rudder-less ship!

      PP D&C

    3. I was not aware of victims being hurt further. That is tragic. I can only speak from my own experience of the bishop and his decency.

      The "Jack the Lad" priests are a ticking bomb. Not dealing with them is unwise and a recipe for disaster.

    4. And after all the lessons of the history of mishandling abuses and scandals - why on earth is Noel being so unwise and courting disaster?

      I have no explanation.

    5. I have no explanation either Pat. It is incomprehensible.(I am the priest writing on Sept 15th at 11:02, by the way). I still believe in the inherent goodness of Bishop Treanor.

      One thing is sure, it will all explode. I wish it would happen so as we can salvage what is good and keep moving.

      And, I also pray, that someday, the issues you have with the Institutional Church will be solved because you are a good man, with a good heart.

      The humour on your website is very good.

    6. Dear Br Priest,

      In spite of being willing I have never met Norl Treanor and therefore I do not claim to know him personally.

      You may be interested to know that I made a major effort at reconciliation with P Walsh and have a 15 page document recording it which I am happy to show anyone.

      A senior cleric tried to get Noel and I together in recent times and while I was willing Noel was not.

      I have many failings but I do have a good heart and a very pastoral heart - even for priests. I am not totally out of contact with D&C priests.

      I do believe in humour as being part of human salvation :-)

      Every blessing on you and your work.

  6. Bishop Buckley, I'm a gay man would love to meet a jack the lad priest, & wonder if you could facilitate this? Short, stocky & dark for preference.

    Oh, do please keep up the good work of combating wilful blindness.

    1. If you contact me privately I can give you some names. I can also give you the locations - public toilets etc - where D&C priests hang out.

      You could start your search in the grounds of Malone House, Shaws Bridge and at the nearby so called Giants Ring.

      Alternatively you could visit a presbytery or two to discuss your sexuality with a PP.

    2. Pat, I think that this young man should contact Bishop Treanor directly to be put in touch with a priest who can minister to his needs. PP D&C

    3. Thats a good idea. Do you have his European contact details?

    4. Is Bobbio not in Jerusalem this week with the European Catholic bishops?

  7. I knew a young man who was in a ltr with a priest . I tried to advise him that this was a bad idea because the priest no matter how good he was would never fully commit to a relationship . One cannot serve 2 masters and be faithful to both . Needless to say he payed no heed and went ahead . The priest and my mate were very happy had hollidays and gifts ect . But as always happens the priest got caught . He instantly dropped my mate and denied ever knowing him . Apparently this is regular thing among the clergy these jack the lad priests don't care who they hurt as long as they get what they want . My mate was well warned and I knew it would happen but what I didn't expect was the priest and other clergy blackened his name all over the town where he lived . This happened in London but it's happening here

    1. That is a very sad story - but sadly a story I have heard time and time again :-(

      There are male and female victims, like your friend, in Down and Connor.

      They know who they are. The priests know who they are. The bishop knows who they are. Many of the laity know who they are.

      But as long as they subscribe to the "Clerical Club" and bow to those in authority they are protected.

      They nearly always go on to do it again, and again, and again.

    2. Here in Birmingham a young man in A sexual relationship with a priest started blackmailing the priest. He was convicted of blackmail but the priest's identity was legally protected. Funny that. Actually, I've been completely unable to find out who it was...because even though it definitely happened in the city, this situation could have applied to any number of priests!