Sunday, 17 January 2016


HERE, a well placed priest in Westminster gives his perspective on the appointment of Father Hugh Kennedy:

Dear Pat

I hope you are well and that you are back in Larne safe and sound. What a dreadful business to be caught up in. Mind you living and working where you have I'm sure it was small fry in comparison; frightening nevertheless.

I have been following the latest twist in the Hugh Kennedy saga with some interest and have made a few enquiries of those in the know. HK is correct to say that he is joining the chaplaincy team, and the diocese is also correct to have him down as chaplain to the convent. It so happens that the role of the chaplain to those sisters involves some overlap with student work, such as students attending the sisters Mass in the convent chapel. More Hall is the West London site of a larger Catholic Chaplaincy to the Universities and Colleges of London. It is considered the  "jewel in the crown" as the sisters live in a vast property in one of the most exclusive areas of London where properties routinely fetch in excess of 5 million pounds. The convent has a huge amount of room and these are let to students, who also can avail of Mass with the sisters. Most of the students tend to be overseas ones if I remember correctly.

Chaplaincy HQ - Newman House - Gower Street, London

For his efforts HK will live in a most beautiful and well appointed mews house beside the convent which they also own. If he is part of a chaplaincy team it will be the one based in Gower Street, made up of priests, nuns and lay people. It is an efficient set up with no room for slackers or any hint of misbehaving. I find it inconceivable (if you will pardon the use of the word) that HK will not have been subjected to, and passed, the very rigorous safeguarding procedures of the Archdiocese (some of the most stringent anywhere, designed and overseen by Cardinal Nichols himself, as well as Statutory Authorities like the Police, Social Services, University of London Welfare Office, etc). Long gone are the days when Ireland could ship awkward priests over to England and Wales. There is no way that HK would be able to take up this appointment without being vetted, and that will have included all the details surrounding his extended leave of absence,  which is well documented in the public domain. It is standard practice here for names to be Googled as a first step. I would imagine the Vicar General, who makes the appointments, will have said to Noel Treanor "lets review the situation in 3, 6, 12 months." HK will be on probation.

Cardinal Nichols

I am sure that he will be aware that living in one of the finest sinecures in the diocese will come at a price. HK will be watched. Rather like the Swiss Guard who note every coming and going at the Vatican, especially those "out of hours", so too his little pad is beside a convent where his comings and goings will be noted and reported. He needs to mind himself. West London is a million miles away from West Belfast and there is no deference to clergy or titles. I hope it works for him of when all is said and done, and whatever the truth of his private life and his struggles, he is a talented and gifted man who has much to offer. Its just that his appointment to West Belfast was a huge error both for the people, and I have no doubt he now sees, for him. Lets hope he fares better in West London. Good luck to the man. He will need it.


  1. As a member of the LGBT group of Catholics I would like to extend a very warm invitation to Fr Hugh to attend our mass at Farm Street ( The Mayfair Jesuit Church) every second and fourth Sunday at 6.15 for mass and fellowship. Hugh might well find that,in the words of the old London music hall star of yesteryear Marie Lloyd , "A little of what you fancy does you good"

    1. LGBT Member,

      I think your invitation to Hugh is very nice and very open.

      I hope he takes it up.

      Can I also wish your group every success.

  2. There was never any hint that HK's difficulties were a safeguarding issue - D&C made that clear when he stepped aside from ministry.

    Nevertheless, whatever it was that happened, it was serious enough to see him removed from ministry for two years.

    It is good that HK will be "watched" and will be under review.

    Anyone who has ever been in the same room as Kennedy, when handsome young men were around, will know the real problem. To witness his antics is cringe-inducing and very embarrassing.

    His basic problem is stupidity and lack of wit coupled with a highly inflated ego.

    If he could settle himself down and wise up a bit he would be fine because he is not bad-hearted and, indeed, has some talents.

    He was never going to accept an appointment in D&C after the disastrous tenure at the Cathedral where his lack of common sense and basic decorum ran amok. He also loathes +Noel. Typically of his type, he blames everyone else for the consequences of his own mistakes.

    Let's hope he grows up in London or he certainly will be landed back here before he can say 'Duruflé'. +Vincent Cardinal Nichols does not sound like a man who will put up with his antics.

  3. Hugh Kennedy has always suited himself and he has manufactured this latest so-called "challenge" as he termed it, when he announced his departure from St Peter's. He invents titles for himself like "dean". He feathers his own nest. He has a massively disordered sense of entitlement. A true priest is ordained for service - not for himself. Kennedy pleases himself always. Its ALL about Hugh and ALWAYS what he wants/desires. He "took" the priesthood to mask himself and attempted to use the priesthood to further HIMSELF. Things like that do not end well. Woe unto you... beware Fr Kennedy.

  4. I recall, when big Hughy was doing his postgrad in Maynooth in the early 90's (he was about 10 years ordained at that stage), the Senior Dean had to "warn" him about "entertaining" students in his room, in Dunboyne House, until all hours. His nicknmame was "Hans" (as in 'Hands'). He is very tactile. Russian hands and Roman fingers lol.

  5. The Departing Dean of Belfast would like to invite his many friends to an Evensong of Farewell, at Divisminster, on Sunday January 24th, at 4pm.

    Proceedings will kick off with a Solemn Procession of Mournful Young Males in the full regalia of the Knights of Malta. Dame Nigella McKlintonstock will knock out a suitable dirge on the Grand Organ of the Minster.

    There will follow a series of Sobbing Psalms trilled by the Skola Cumfiddlediyorum.

    Big Lily of Prince Albert Street will then pronounce an Ode of Farewell: "Adieu to an Undone Dean".

    Then there shall follow the World Premiere of Dame Nigella's commissioned opus, especially composed for the occasion: "Repine For A Martyred Dean in Exile".

    Following this piece, the Dean will be formally attired in the Burqa, Wimple and Veils of the Canonesses of St Gretchen, in which he will be henceforth arrayed (so that fans will easily recognise him on the Streets of London).

    A specially commissioned Rap will then be performed by a battalion of the Divis Guild of Car Criminals: "Cheerio Deanio".

    Lots will be drawn shortly to select a Down and Connor cleric for the proclamation of the Malediction.

    The Recessional will be another specially commissioned work, "A Choral Wail", performed, of course, by the Skola, under the baton of Nigella.

    By that stage, everyone's mouths will be as dry as a Canoness' chuff and all shall repair to the Kremlin for a good old gnosh and bash.

    See y'all at the So Long Hughie.

    1. Apologies - two vitally important parts of the programme have been left out: Conway Young Defenders will be performing a traditional piece for flute and drum - "The Flight of the Bumbling Dean" (The Dean had specified an Ecumenical aspect to the Ceremony); and there will be a Solemn Rubbing of the Holy Relic of St Josie McGiggin, Patron Saint of Homeless Young Fellas. Sorry for the inadvertence. The Dean is deciding my punishment.

  6. Let them mock, dear Dean of Hearts, the rude scoffers. After all, they mocked the Master.

    Already, the disconcerted yooves of Divis are expressing their disquiet at the Dean's departure in the only way the poor wee chaps know how to: hijacking cars on the Falls Road. I hope you are happy now Bishop Noel Treanor - you and your "10 Year Rule" - cruelly calculated to deprive us of our Dean!

    They tuck away ire fleg affa the City Hall. They won't allow us march home til are own front doors. And now they have tuck away the Dean.

    Well we are nat taking it lying down. Already, Big Lily is making banners with her wee neighbours. "Repeal the 10 Year Rule". "Hands Aff Are Dean!" "His Only Crime Was Royalty!" "Don't Shoo Are Shuey!" "Bishop Treanor Boo! Boo!"

    We are planning protests across the Pravince that will make the Fleg Protests luck like an inter-schola hurley match. There will be pickets at the City Hall and Lisbreen.

    Already, Big Lil is up a ladder hanging a banner between the two big spires that says - "Please No, Dean Hugh, Don't Blow!!"

  7. Most fairly well-balanced and reasonably integrated men - homo and hetero - can register the presence of an attractive young male/female and get on with their business.

    Unfortunately, HK is one of those men who goes star-struck, weak-kneed, googly-eyed and all a-flutter, in the company of the young and handsome.

    It is embarrassing to watch as he pursues and corners the stripling and makes a total eejit of himself.

    If HK could learn to regulate his libido, control his hormones - and if says his prayers - he might do alright in London.