Thursday, 10 March 2016



People are talking about Paddy Walsh becoming a priest to "save his soul".

Jesus Christ was / is the ultimate SOUL SAVER for those of us who are Christians. So if we Christians want to "save our soul" we simply have to be and to do what Jesus said we should be and do.

Jesus never said: "If you want to save your soul become a priest".

But he did say when he was asked about what people must do to be saved: "Go, sell everything you own, give the money to the poor and then come follow me".

He also said very clearly that the two ways of saving one's soul was to love one's God and one's neighbour.

We Christians believe that when we die we will go before Christ to be judged and he has told us in the New Testament the SIX questions that we will be asked during that FINAL EXAM:

1. Did you feed the hungry?

2. Did you give the thirsty to drink?

3. Did you clothe the naked?

4. Did you care for the sick?

5. Did you visit prisoners?

6. Did you welcome strangers into your home?

Paddy Walsh - and all of us - lay people, priests and bishops will be judged on our service to the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, prisoners and strangers.

If we served these people we will go to heaven and save our souls.

If we did not serve these people we will go to hell and lose our souls.

What has Paddy done for these six groups of people during his lifetime?

What have WE done for these six groups of people during our lifetime?

In Paddy's case - and from my own personal experience - he has kept me as a STRANGER for 30 years now - as did his predecessor Cahal Daly. I reproduce below Page 1 of my 15 page proposal to Paddy to affect our reconciliation in which I gave him SEVEN things he wanted from me and THREE extra things: 

He may have not done that to others? Who am I to know?

I always like to tell the following story:

An old nun died and a few days after her death she appeared to her Reverend Mother. Mother said: "Oh Sister, how lovely to see you. How are you getting on in heaven".

The Old nun replied: "Mother, I am not in heaven I am in hell"!

"Oh My God", said Mother, "You must be roasted down there"?

The old nun replied: "Not at all Mother. I cannot get near the fire with all the priests and bishops who are around it".

Jesus said: "To whom much is given, much is expected".

It is harder for a bishop or a priest to save his soul than it is for the ordinary Joe!   


  1. That nun from Hell wasn't the only figure with a low opinion of priests: Geoffrey Chaucer, English author, poet, and satirist about London town, wrote of monks and friars being farted from Satan's arse in Hell. Mind you, Chaucer ended up being '
    disappeared', some think by Holy Mother Church herself.

    As for soul saving, isn't that Jesus' job? He's the one with the paper qualification...New Testament attestation of him as redeemer.

    I've often thought that if you set out to save your soul, then you've already lost it, cos no one but that guy from Nazareth knows how to go about the task. Sadly, Catholics
    are brought up to think the opposite, which is why so many of the poor bastardos
    eventually become tortured with that corrosive obsessive disorder...scruples.

    As for the Final Judgement, I don't think it will be some kind of oral exam, but a weigh-
    in of see how much love is in a heart.

    Be warned, though: hidden treasures will berevealed about everyone...including Paddy Walsh. What you can't see in the man now you'll see then. So don't judge.

  2. I suppose I became a priest to save my soul-a work still in progress-Priesthood was a way to serve God & people & preserve me from the hurts real and imaginary relationships would bring. How wrong I was! God gives everyone the opportunity to respond to salvation. How one responds determines where they will end up in this world and the next

  3. I'm of the opinion most priests couldn't care less about their souls . They become priests because it's easy work easy money and a easy life . I'd go as far to say that quite a few of them are probably atheists

    1. Sadly anonymous you may be right. Many will enter priesthood with good intentions and a bit naive perhaps but the slings & arrows of outrageous fortune hardens their hearts Life becomes sour

    2. MourneManMichael11 March 2016 at 11:19

      You could well be right there Anon @ 00:14.
      For what it's worth, here is my pennyworth of perspective:

      Youthful altruistic inclination traditionally combined with teenage idealism has always attracted a significant number of young people into caring careers, nursing, social work, teaching, medicine etc. So too for the priesthood back in the mid 20th century especially in rural Ireland where the clerical state was additionally perceived as having significant status as an essentially caring, pastoral or perhaps missionary role.
      This led to a great spike in clerical vocations of that time. Ireland especially was still very church dominated with few questioning handed down traditional RC orthodoxy. Since that era many factors have combined to diminish the position of the RC church. Greater availability of further education has combined with increased availability of alternative avenues into caring professions and, significantly, increased propensity to question both the fundamental basis and proscriptions of RC orthodoxy. Thus the numbers entering the clerical state have been decimated. Many who altruistically entered the clerical state from the 1950's onwards now find themselves financially and emotionally trapped in what was once a prestigious profession but is now often viewed with derision.
      Over the years, many of these clerics will have questioned the validity of their role, both its underlying foundation, and, in particular, its arcane requirements of celibacy and complete subervience to a dysfunctional and discredited RC hierarchical institution.
      Many clerics of courage and conviction, despite whatever misgivings they hold,"keep their head down" and continue to provide supportive pastoral and spiritual service to their parishoners, and I commend them for that. Others survive by leading a double life without doing much harm to anybody. But a significant number have grossly harmed their victims by abusive behaviours which additionally diminish both themselves and their profession.
      So indeed it is hard to know how many clerics no longer believe in god or the RC church. Few have the capacity or courage to risk biting the hand that feeds them.

      There are some noteable exceptions who appear to retain both their altruism, and spiritual beliefs, but have cast aside the burden of warts and shackles of RC hierarchical orthodoxy.
      Regrettably there are others, regularly referred to in these blogs, whose bitter and sour disposition negatively influences both themselves as individuals, their role within their chosen profession, and the public perception of that profession.

    3. Well spoken, MMM. That was a wise and well-informed post.

  4. Some priests couldn't care less about their souls, I think - but not most priests.

    You are right about some - they are atheists. They are like Belteshazzar. They mock the sacred ministry and the sacred vessels, using them for their own aggrandisement and entertainment.

    One day, their knees will begin to knock as they realise they have been measured in the scales and found wanting. Mene mene tekel uparsin.

    Maybe their knocking knees will bring them to their knees in repentance? Who knows?

    Most priests, however, care about their own souls and the souls of others.

    A true priest loves God and want others to love God too.

    Love saves our souls - God's Infinite Love.

    I hope Paddy Walsh, who had a very highly and ridiculously exalted notion of his own significance, in the saving plan of God, finds that Love of God and, when Paddy meets the Lord, the Loving Regard of Jesus - Most Merciful and Compassionate - will heal him and heal all of us poor sinners.

    For we are all, without exception, debtors to Grace and Mercy.

  5. According to Hebrews 13:17, pastors/priests/bishops are held accountable for all of the souls put in their charge. Many do not realise the seriousness of their commitment, neither did Peter when he cast out his nets. According to Hebrew thinking there are 2 steps to salvation, STEP 1>Yesha (m)> describes what God has done to save us. (Is. 43:1-4). God’s redemptive work is not complete in His act of Yesha.
    STEP 2>Yeshuah (f)> describes now that God has empowered us, we are to show His saving love to others. We have to enter into the 2nd step of salvation, for until we do so we are not saved ourselves. (Phil 2:12)’ continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling’.
    Romans chapters 1 to 11 talks of Yesha (masculine) where Paul describes what God has done for us. But then he says “therefore” and from Romans chapters 12 to 16 Paul talks about Yeshuah (feminine) what we have to do because of what God has done for us. Therefore offer your bodies as living sacrifices etc. (Rm 12:1-2) Salvation is not simply the saving of one’s soul to go to heaven.
    Salvation is the saving of a person in whatever dire strait he finds himself in. The whole of Matthew 6 speaks of righteous acts on our part that saves.In the Bible a person is ‘saved’ only when he or she has accepted the whole new life of love and compassion and is reflecting the nature of God within, to a lost world. We may be justified by faith, but we will be judged by works. Mt. 25:31-46

  6. Why do people get caught up in all this codswallop of religion,bishops,hierarchy,scriptural interpretation,vocations etc.Loving God is as simple as granny's good old home made apple pie. Get up in the morning and say Hi God,another day. Help me be the best I can be. Then do that. Don't hurt or offend but help someone along the way. Be prudent but just in your speech. Do to others as you would wish done to you. Be honourable in your dealings. At day's end say "Thanks God for today- hope to speak in the morning" no need to be reading offices,saying rosary, mass, tent faith ministries or all that silly time wasting stuff. Use time more productively. Use it to help folk or do good deeds. It's that simple. Try it. I did. I stopped practicing religion 40 years ago and have lived by that modus operandi ever since and I have has a most fulfilling good and spiritually rich life.

    1. Have to admit you've made a significant point.

  7. MourneManMichael12 March 2016 at 00:46

    Yes I'd agree that it's a significant point, even if one doesn't believe in a god (as I don't). The overall 'modus operandi' is entirely sound and commendable.
    Well said.

  8. Pat,
    I begin by saying that although I read this blog often this is my first contribution. It has been sparked by MMM's summary of the reasons why many( myself included) found our way into priesthood in the late 20th century Ireland.
    I have been very dissatisfied for many years now with my calling. With the passage of time I have felt increasingly lonely and isolated. I am in a rural parish on my own. Frankly, I feel unwanted,unneeded and unloved. I feel trapped and controlled from an employment and financial perspective. At my age I would never get another job and would cut off my home and salary and the possibility of care as I get older. I though I was unique but I know a number of men from my year in Maynooth and serving in different diocese who feel exactly the same. The man from the Mournes has hit the nail on the head many times for many of us!
    When I survey the church today and the state it's in and I reflect on the efforts of learned men, the Cathal Daly's, the Tomas O'Fiaich's and the Arthur Ryan's I cannot help but think their efforts have been wasted. The church is increasingly irrelevant to and in the lives of our younger people. Quite simply they couldn't give twopence. I would like to think I have been a good priest but find it hard to take the cruel jibes about child abuse and its cover up. Nothing to do with me but I'm tarred with the same brush as those who have guilt on their hands.
    . I try to earn respect by my actions but often meet ridicule and insult. Mainly,may I add, from"our own people"
    Yesterday's post at 17.44 made me think that I could have and should have lived out my life like him or her! I would probably have felt more fulfilled in person and in spirit. I know I speak for many who find themselves in the same position. From a young,joyful priest I've become a sad and very disillusioned old man!

    Rural PP

    1. My Dear Brother,

      I agree with you about the power and insight of MMM's comment. He is one of the most important and insightful commentators on this blog.

      I feel extremely sad about your statement that you have gone from being a young joyful priest to being a sad and very disillusioned old man.

      I fully accept that you feel this way but I am ABSOLUTELY SURE that you can change how you are feeling with the love and support of others.

      I beg you to consider changing how you feel.

      I have met priests who felt the way you do and with support they have changed their situation.

      If you are interested in talking more about this get in touch with me on either: or by calling on on 07900 287283 (UK) or 0044 7900 287283 (outside UK) I promise you absolute confidentiality.

    2. MourneManMichael12 March 2016 at 16:07

      Disillusioned you may be, but do know and value that individual priests showing the virtues of compassionate care and concern are highly repected and thought of, even by oul atheists like myself!
      Moreover bear in mind that intelligent insightful observers are loth to, in your words "tar everyone with the same brush". And those overquick to condemn often have their own skeletons well hidden in dark cupboards.
      Someone referred to my analysis as wise and well informed. Can't claim to be wise, maybe it's just old age experience, (I'm in my 70's) but yes there's background info I have learned from: my own almost six years in a major seminary in early '60's, and subsequent gradual emergence from the all pervasive Irish RC church's stranglehold on my childhood guilt ridden upbringing. Then discovering in later years, that the agnostic/atheistic state I'd gradually moved to is actually a coherent, intelligent, and entirely rational position and has been held and articulated by Humanists for centuries.
      The core essence of Humanism is "Good without God". For my part I've no problem with those who aim to aim to be good whether with or without god. It's a matter of following the basic central message of the New Testament of being kind to each other; treating others as we would ourselves wish to be treated.
      And it sounds very much my priest friend that you've been doing your best so well done.
      Remember that if you've had the misfortune to have cast your pearls before swine, ..... well what else could be expected?
      Best regards.

    3. MMM, I really like that expression GOOD WITHOUT GOD.

      I also appreciate your assertion that someone can be GOOD WITH GOD.

      I agree - its the GOODNESS that counts - in daily actions of love and kindness.

      I think it was Wordsworth who said:

      "The best part of a good man's life are his little daily acts of kindness and of love".

    4. God is good…….and no one else but God is good. Jesus was addressed ‘good master’ and he replied, why you call me good, no one is good but God alone. Good means perfect. The Gospel that the world needs to hear is the righteousness of God (Rom 1:16-17) that was the Gospel that Paul preached. The free gift of righteousness (Romans 5/6) it is not by works or by anything that we have done, that would be self righteousness, this is imputed righteousness. Everything God does is right. Therefore God cannot do anything wrong. God cannot tell a lie, we can. He cannot break a promise, we can. He cannot sin, we can.
      Jesus told us that one day everything done in secret will be revealed, which means that nobody gets away with anything. We tend to compare ourselves with other people to make ourselves look good, but we need to compare ourselves with Jesus a holy good person because that’s how God meant us to be. The reason why God saves us is to change us. It’s not just accepting the free invitation to the wedding feast; we then need to change into the new garments of righteousness to be able to sit at the King’s table. Salvation is not about a free ticket to Heaven, it’s about a changed nature, a righteous nature so that we can live right here and now and not spoil it for everyone else. Jesus came to save us from our sins. He came to make us holy, because without this holiness no one will see the Lord. 2 types of people who will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven are the unrighteous and the self righteous. The unrighteous are those who have no image of the character and nature of God within. All the bad we have ever done will not keep us out of Heaven and all the good we have ever done may help others but will not get us into Heaven. Self righteousness which is pride is the worst possible barrier to the Kingdom of Heaven. God can do nothing with you if you think you are good enough. The Gospel is not a righteousness that we can produce for God but a righteousness that is from God. A righteousness that is built on faith from the beginning to the end.

  9. MourneManMichael13 March 2016 at 02:56

    I have to say to you, my anon friend at 21:41, that your post has all the hallmarks of the sort of biblical rationale frequently found in the Mourne Observer. Yours, as the MO's is simply a rambling incoherent justification of your world view based on your selected extractions from ancient writings of the tribes roaming the Middle East prior to what is now called the Christian Era, and reverentially referred to as "The Bible"

    The origins of those Biblical texts is much disputed even by the scholars specialising in their studies. The debate extends even further than analysis and interpretation of individual texts into which of many of those supposedly original texts can legitimately be authenicated as orignal and/or ascribed to their supposed authors.
    And moreover, considering that their combination into what is now regarded as "The Bible" (a supposed definitive narrative of God's wishes and advice), was hotly disputed by competing views of the then scholars and Christian leaders until finally, in exasperation, the Roman Emperor Constantine, as the first Christian Emperor, decided/determined/cajoled/demanded (by financial inducements) that the embryonic Christian church codify its beliefs into some sort of coherent set of beliefs and instructions. (Yes, the Romans DID like to have things neatly parcelled up and clarified)
    So this is the origins of "The Bible" that so many gullibly and literally take as the absolute imperative "God" wrote with his own fair hand. [(Seamus Heaney: "Between my finger and thumb, this squat pen writes.......!")]
    So I absolutely have to say that I view your post as of little consequence. It's full of Biblical quotations and justifications based on exceptionally insecure evidence other than the selective self supporting Biblical narrative you rely on. And that, as I say above relies on extremely shaky grounds. Research it yourself.
    But of course you are certainly and perfectly entitled to this view. Pat, in fairness, posts all views without discrimination, even some patently outlandish.
    So I'm inclined to this comment, not to denigrate or rubbish you or your views, but to put what I think is another more objective perspective.

    1. Secular humanism places trust in human intelligence rather than in divine guidance. Sceptical of theories of redemption and damnation. Secular humanists attempt to approach the human situation in realistic terms: human beings are responsible for their own destinies
      Secular humanism is opposed to all varieties of belief that seek supernatural sanction for their values or espouse rule by dictatorship. Secular humanism finds that traditional views of the existence of God are meaningless, have not yet been demonstrated to be true, or are tyrannically exploitative. Secular humanists find insufficient evidence for the claim that some divine purpose exists for the universe. They reject the idea that God has intervened miraculously in history or revealed himself to a chosen few or that he can save or redeem sinners. They believe that men and women are free and are responsible for their own destinies and those they cannot look toward some transcendent being for salvation. They reject the divinity of Jesus, the divine mission of Moses and other latter day prophets and saints of the various sects and denominations. They find no convincing evidence that there is a separable "soul" or that it exists before birth or survives death. They therefore conclude that the ethical life can be lived without the illusions of immortality.

    2. MourneManMichael13 March 2016 at 12:31

      (in probably my shortest ever post)

      "Spot on!"