Friday, 25 September 2015



Today, for the first time, I am putting my proposal for reconciliation with Down and Connor into the public domain.
I do this in response to messages I have received from priests and people who ask me why I am not prepared to be reconciled.

I presented this document to Bishop Paddy Walsh 23 years ago! 

Moreover I recently presented it to Bishop Treanor, Pope Francis and the Apostolic Nuncio - at the request of a senior Irish cleric.

At the time Bishop Walsh responded by threatening me with suspension and excommunication.

Bishop Treanor has responded with silence.

Sorry for the size of the document. If you are not interested pass on.


  1. Pat, I am deeply moved by the document above and deeply shocked that it was not taken seriously.

    For years now we in Down and Connor have been fed the line that you were a stubborn and arrogant man with whom reconciliation was impossible.

    I am deeply ashamed that your efforts with the church authorities received a frozen response.

    After reading this document I will not think of you, ever again, in the same vein.

    Priest of Down and Connor

    1. Fr, I do not wish to represent myself as faultless - either in this issue or any other issue.

      But I have always being open to reconciliation - and remain open. If I was not I would not be a Christian.

      I hope you will agree that there is a big difference between reconciliation and total surrender, defeat and annihilation ?

  2. I normally try to be circumspect and reasonably diplomatic in my contributions to these blogs. But after reading this lot I'm obliged to say that the behaviour and lack of positive response on the part of the RC hierarchy simply confirms my belief that they're all a load of sh**e.
    At this point I have to ask whether you'd now want anything to do with such an organisation?
    The words of Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:11 and the Acts 13:51 spring to mind: "Whoever does not receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or city, shake the dust of your feet".
    You're far better off without them and outside their cosy exclusivist tribalism, for your integrity would be far too compromised within their ranks.

    1. MMM, I wanted to put this document in the public domain as they have always accused me of being unwilling to be reconciled - thereby being unChristian.

      They asked me to spend 4 weeks in thought and prayer and then present them with a comprehensive proposal.

      I am perfectly happy plowing my own furrow and helping those I can help.

      I could only accept a true reconciliation and not a tissue of pretence and lies.

      I agree with you about the organisation's total lack of credibility and integrity and how far they are from the Jesus of the NT.

  3. Dear Pat,
    I echo the thoughts of my brother co-diocesan Priest @ 17:20.
    I have met you a number of times over the years and have always regarded you as a brother Priest of this Diocese, whatever the minutiae of Canon Law might say to the contrary.
    You have reached out in charity to many who felt themselves marginalized by the official church, and whilst I may not always have approved of the actions taken, I commend you for your generosity of spirit and for reaching out a hand of friendship to the lonely/ divorced/ abused/ frightened etc.

    Priest of D&C.

    1. Fr, Thank you. I do not, and have never, asked anyone to agree with me and I totallt respect your right to disapprove of some of my actions.

      But I can tell you that my intentions have always being good and my heart in the right place.

  4. Pat, I am an avid reader of this blog. This is my first contribution. I am a priest but intend within the next year to step down from active ministry. I was very moved by your attempts at reconciliation with your previous Ordinary and your present Diocesean bishop. Pat why would you want to be part of all this again. I fully agree with MMM. Continue what you have started, reach out to the marginalised and the disconnected. That is God's eternal plan for you. Indeed when I think of you and the few others like you I just say to myself Deo gratias. Every blessing.
    English cleric.

    1. Fr, Thank you. Its not that I want to be part of it again - its just that I had always thought that if I set my back against reconciliation I would be as bad as them.

      I am very happy with my current ministry and intend to persevere with it.

      I wanted people to realise that I am not, have been, the intransigent one.

      It sounds as if the "system" has ground you down. But God is with you - and will be with you just as much in your future plans.

      I do understand that where we are is our destiny under God :-)

  5. Dear Fr. Pat. I have read your letter with tears in my eyes. Like many others I don't always find myself in agreement with your actions but have never doubted the sincerity of them. Can I ask what was the response to your letter, I can only assume that it was negative, but how bad did it get? Like the English cleric I can't help feeling thhat the work you are doing in Larne is invaluable and should carry on. Here in Scotland we are lurching from one disaster to another with the Heirarchy swanning about as though the world was their oyster. God be with you' Please pray for me as I will for you. Daily Mass Goer, Motherwell.

    1. Dear Motherwell, The response was threats of sanctions etc. It got as bad as it could get but I have survived all that now.

      Things indeed are bad in Scotland and in Motherwell. But they are acting as if all is honkey dorey. Same in Ireland and internationally.

      Thanks for the prayers. Will think of you too.

  6. Pat, The hierarchy in most dioceses will know lots about religion and canon law but very little about spirituality. You have it in abundance along with the courage of your convictions to live in your truth and you have colour and flamboyance which contrasts to the dull and grey men who people high office in our church. Live long and prosper.
    Dalriada Dick

  7. Pat, I'm only an occasional visitor to your blog and have just read your letter. What a marvellous document! Open, honest, compassionate, conciliatory, gentle, intelligent, informed and enlightened. Had I been Bishop of Down and Connor, I'd have been thrilled and hopeful after reading such a letter. What an opportunity and avenue for reconciliation! And one so shamefully tossed aside by Down and Connor authorities. You deserved better - much better - treatment and respect.

    Did you manage, amid that canonical storm, to find sufficient quiet to complete your PH.D? I hope you did.