Wednesday, 30 March 2016



TODAY in the local newspaper THE DOWN RECORDER Crossgar priest Father Paddy McCafferty calls for more help for victims of sexual abuse who suffered in what he calls: "a corrupt and dysfunctional ecclesiastical system.

Father McCafferty, as a seminarian, was a victim of Father James Donaghy, who is still serving a prison sentence for his abuse of Patrick and at least 3 other victims. 

Father Donaghy

I have never spoken to Father Paddy but I know from those who have that he has suffered very greatly and that his abuse has had a devastating effect upon his life.

Paddy as younger man
Father Donaghy was sentenced to 10 years in Prison in February 2012 and is expected to be released from prison in about 10 months time.

The abuse of Father Paddy and the others happened during the time that PADDY WALSH was Bishop of Down and Connor.

Paddy Walsh
However when the national safeguarding agency conducted it's enquiry into sex abuse in Down and Connor it was under NOEL TREANOR'S watch - and amazingly the abuse by Father Donaghy was not included in the "thorough" report.

That led to the massive row between Bishop Noel Treanor and the report supremo - Mr Ian Elliott. Bishop Walsh then made a complaint about Mr Elliott - which was totally refuted and resulted in Bishop Treanor having to publicly apologise to Mr Elliott. 

I have not read, in full, Father Paddy's letter to THE IRISH CATHOLIC which gave rise to today's front page article in THE DOWN RECORDER.

I know that Father Paddy has been very critical of Bishop Walsh in the past.

However I do not know if he regarded / regards the Diocese of Down and Connor has having been / or being "a corrupt and dysfunctional ecclesial community"?

I was deeply involved with one of Father Donaghy's other victims who has come to be know as "VICTIM A" and with his family and with trying to get Bishop Walsh act against Father Donaghy.

In fact VICTIM A's family had their first meeting with the police her at The Oratory in Larne on the 4th January 2003 - 12 years ago. Below I reproduce the notes of that meeting which were given to the police:

1. VICTIM A has been living with Father Jim Donaghy of Bangor since he was 14/15. Most people who know of the situation fear the situation is sexual. VICTIM A's father points out that his son was under age.

2. VICTIM A's father says that his son has changed completely and fears that his son is somehow entrapped.

3. VICTIM A's father is also concerned about his other children as Father Donaghy regularly visits the marital home.

4. VICTIM A's father says that a Down and Connor seminarian who is not related to him is also visiting the parochial house and that Father Donaghy is plying his son and the seminarian with alcohol. VICTIM A's father has also been made aware that Father Donaghy attempted to seduce the seminarian.

5. Father Donaghy is spending thousands of pounds on VICTIM A which includes regular trips to London, gym membership of an expensive Belfast hotel, computers, designer clothing etc.

6. Father Donaghy has told VICTIM A's father that he could talk to Bishop Walsh but that the bishop would believe a parish priest over a layman. 

7. Father Donaghy has told VICTIM A's family that he has big connections in the police and that he will get no where with the police. 

I have a great deal of correspondence between myself and Bishop Walsh about this case - and indeed copies of Bishop Walsh's correspondence with VICTIM A's family.

I understand that this particular case is in the past and that Father Donaghy is paying by imprisonment for what he did.

I also understand that various people are trying to get on with their lives and trying to make a future.

The REALLY IMPORTANT thing is that things like this - or similar things - will not happen in the future. 

That means that ALL DIOCESES - including Down and Connor - must not be, to use Father McCafferty's term: "corrupt and dysfunctional ecclesiastical systems".

The abuse of children is a horrific abuse and corruption.

But so is the abuse of vulnerable adults - be they men or women. 

We would quite rightly be horrified if Father James Donaghy was to be returned to ministry in the diocese when he leaves prison next February.

But surely NO PRIEST who abuses his sacred trust should be returned to ministry? 

Ciaran Dallat

And in my opinion - and the opinion of most who contribute to the Blog - that includes CIARAN DALLAT.


  1. Pat, your post today makes for very sad reading and as a priest of the diocese I feel very sad and hurt at all that has happened to victims in D&C.

    I have seen with my own eyes how Father Paddy has suffered. We in the diocese will never be able to make up to him for what he was put through.

    And remember Father Paddy was technically an adult with Donaghy abused him.

    Just like "Linda" was an adult when Dallat abused her.

    I cannot get my head around Bishop Treanor's decision have have him at the Chrism Mass.

    What, in God's name, was he thinking?

    PP D&C

    1. Donaghy raped and sexually assaulted those young men and boys against their will. They were not having an "affair" with Jim D. Without minimising (I hope) what happened to Linda, but there does not seem to have been the same degree of coercion/force; although there was certainly abuse of power and position by CD.

    2. You make an important point. Even the courts talk about "degrees" - the less serious and more serious ends of abuse.

      I do not think that JD actually committed actual rape.

      Linda, who was vulnerable was penetrated by a person in "auhority , made pregnant and discarded.

    3. Pat, Donaghy attempted to rape those young lads. He is in jail for his crimes.

      Was Ciaran Dallat accused of rape or sexual assault by Linda?

      Because, if he did forced himself on Linda, then that is a game changer.

      If he raped or sexually assaulted her, he should be in jail with Donaghy.

      However, if he had consensual sex with her, then, as you rightly point out, his suitability for ministry can be raised.

      Will he continue to use his position to exploit vulnerable women?

      Donaghy went to a further extreme which extended into criminal behaviour.

      There is a difference between Donaghy and Dallat.

  2. No chance of Donaghy taking up a post in the diocese when he gets out of the slammer as the Pope has dismissed him from the priesthood.

    1. What happened to: "Once a priest, always a priest" and the ontological change that occurs in the ordinand at ordination?

      Donaghy has not had his priesthood ended.

      He has had his clerical status removed.

      Priest. Birmingham.

    2. Maybe he will be accepted into Westminster archdiocese?

    3. Stop splitting hairs, "Birmingham Priest". A fat lot of difference "once a priest, always a priest" will make to Dirty Donaghy!!! In fact, you cannot consecrate a chocolate bar and Pepsi Cola into the Body and Blood of Christ. Does laying hands on a paedophile actually succeed in making him a priest? Is his ordination not invalid to begin with?

    4. Maybe Priest in Birmingham would be glad to have him as his associate??

    5. Fr Paddy's letter is also in today's Irish News.

    6. Paedophilia is NOT an impediment to ordination.

      Neither the state of grace of the celebrant of ordination or its recipient invalidates the sacrament.

      The very fact that he was dismissed from the clerical state proves the Church thought he had that status.

      No, I would not have him in my parish.

      Birmingham Priest.

  3. Indeed. If a previous poster's premonition is correct and the former Dean of the Cathedral in Belfast is elevated to the See of Westminster a vacancy will arise at Hope House. I'm sure such an appointment would work well for all concerned as Donaghy could transfer and incardinate into the primal English diocese and could then provide Spiritual support to the young male students.
    Thus will be fulfilled that great saying. God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Feck

    1. Then the Canonesses would have to rename their property:


      Priest of D&C.

    2. It's More House - not Hope House. It is called after St Thomas More. Or at least it used to be.... Since Big Shooey arrived with his baggage from Belfast, it has come to be known as More, More, More House (as in the sense of an audience at a burlesque show shouting 'More!', 'More!' at the stage :-) Some are even now calling it "Mire House". Westminster Wilbur.

  4. Ontological change. My arse. More nonsense from the cult of priesthood to hoodwink the dull and ignorant into believing that priesthood is something special, a race set apart. Have you not learned yet that we are smart now and no longer taken in by all that bullshit.
    Dalriada Dick

    1. Dear Mr Dick,

      You may dismiss traditional Catholic Theology and the teaching of the Magisterium in whatever foul language you wish.

      Bit your rant does not take away one iota from that God given teaching.

      As a priest I am special - but not because of myself - but because of what God's grace has done in me.

      St John Vianney said that if he met an angel and a priest on the road that he would genuflect to the priest.

      That was because the priest, and not an angel, can make God physically present in the world.

      Birmingham Priest.

    2. Does this mean that James Donaghy can make God physically present in his cell in Maghaberry?

      If so - then God is his cell mate.

      Downpatrick Don.

    3. Dear Birmingham Priest - take it and shove it high up your "special" arsehole.

    4. Birmingham Priest - why did you even raise the issue of ontological change with regard to James Donaghy in the first place?

      It is a moot point. It makes no difference - one way or the other.

      The Pope has dismissed him from the clerical state and he will never minister again, on account of the crimes he perpetrated against innocent young people.

      Donaghy's "ontological change" will make no further difference to him, whatsoever, in this life - and will not stop him from burning in Hell in the next life - if he dies unrepentant.

    5. Oh how I love it when priests get defensive about their special status and ontological changes. That's why many people become priests and religious - poor self esteem and they need the reassurance of an ontological change to massage it. With, of course, the promise that if they get caught breaking the rules they'll always be special in some way lol

  5. Birmingham priest.
    If you believe all that nonsense then you are in an eroding minority. You are no more special than me. If scripture is to be believed then both you and me have been fashioned in Gods likeness. If you can improve on that then knock yourself out!
    All that self serving Catholic theology crap is man made to preserve the "mystery" of the sect and cult of priesthood which is being exposed day and daily as a being just that, a boys in black club.

  6. Birmingham Priest. Where is God's given teaching on the Catholic priesthood?

    1. In the Scriptures and in the teachings of the Church - "whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven".

      I am shocked by the foul language on this blog - and that the bishop allows it

      Birmingham Priest.

    2. MourneManMichael30 March 2016 at 19:45

      To the point:
      I totally agree with other comments above to the Birmingham priest. I too think he is another deluded cleric clinging on to self belief that somehow as a cleric he is 'special'. And that's said irrespective of whatever biblical text or magesterium dictates he chooses to believe in and quote in justification.
      Brum man, you're talking nonsense, and there's too many wise heads follow +Pat's blogs to be fooled by that mumbo jumbo anymore.

    3. To the "Birmingham priest", at 16:06

      Where were you taught theology? A priest cannot make Christ present;
      Christ makes HIMSELF present.

      Every Mass is simply a RE-PRESENTATION of the first and only Mass...that
      of the Last Supper. Here, Christ made himself present under the
      appearance of bread and wine. It is Christ, therefore, who makes himself
      present in this way during every re-presentation of that Mass. Your ignorance of Christology is jaw-dropping.

  7. Lol. The "teachings of the church". 'Nuff said. Man made nonsense. All that silly stuff doesn't fool us any more. Have you looked down at your pews lately.

  8. It just goes on and on. How do we get a church that is gospel true for people & priests? Arguing seems to go on for ever with no real change or progress....

  9. To the Anonymous Birmingham priest

    Were you being serious? About "ontological" change in a man once he's ordained

    This, folks, is the root of clericalism in the Catholic Church. It comes from a vain and
    worldly quasi-theology of priesthoood, which seeks not to make Christ known and
    loved, but the aggrandisement of a mere human being into a superhuman. It is why clerics, including popes, have sought to protect priests at all costs from the fallout of
    the scandal they caused, even to the point of sacrificing the safety of children, because they were considered to be of infinitely more value.

    Birmingham priest, if it makes you feel comfortable occupying that silly pseudo-
    theological fantasy world you call raised priestly ontology, then by all means continue
    to do so. But don't be surprised if people mentally point fingers at you in the
    meantime and accuse you of blasphemy, because this is exactly what you are guilty
    of...making yourself Christ's equal.

    A Catholic priest is nothing more than a very human, morally and intellectually fallible
    sign pointing to CHRIST'S continuing sacramental activity in the Church. He has no special powers, and certainly none of the powers Jesus exercised while on Earth. If
    you wish to convince me otherwise, Birmingham priest, then raise the dead bodily, at will, and heal all who are physically and mentally sick. Jesus did these things, but you, of course, can't.

    1. A priest is not a "Paul Daniels"-magician-but a very powerful commissioned witness just like John the Baptist The "magic" happens between the person & God

    2. "A priest is...a very powerful commissioned witness just like John the Baptist."? He CAN be...but that depends on the type of person/Christian he is, not on priesthood. A bad man cannot be such a witness, whether or not he is a priest. Think of all those priests who raped children...and bishops who spend vast sums of money refurbishing their modest homes.

    3. 31 March 22.26 I cant dissagree

  10. Would the Birmingham priest's initials happen to be 'JN'? I think I recognise the style.

  11. When I look at the state of Paddy Walsh and his side kick Tony "Worsel Gummage" Farquhar I agree that these men underwent an ontological change alright ! What a terrible state it has left them in.
    Ex D&C Curate

  12. This story is a story belonging to Fr Paddy. Why is it on this awful blog?

    1. If you go public you go public.

      Not everyone agrees that this blog is "awful".

    2. To Anon. at 22:42

      The only people who consider this blog, in your word, "awful" are the Catholic hierarchs who don't want to be held publicly accountable for their conduct. You wouldn't happen to be one of them, would you?

    3. Thank you for your reply. I disagree with both responses to my contribution. Fr Paddy went public with one newspaper. As for my word awful, I stand by it, it is awful. It is awful due to its vulgarities and attempted satire. It attempts to be subversive when it is pathetically bitter and anticatholic. Yes, I am a person in the clerical state.

    4. I for one am not "anti catholic". I AM anti what Fr McCafferty described so well as: "the corrupt and dysfunctional ecclesiastical system".

    5. Fr Paddy is a lunatic and should retire to some semi-retired state / institution were he has activities to keep his mind active with appropiate medication given. What Fr. Paddy means and how you interupt what he says, I would say there is a complete valley between the meanings. You are anti-catholic and you know it.

    6. To Anon. at 10:22

      Whether Fr McCafferty went public with one newspaper or the entire global
      media is irrelevant: he still went public with his story. Issues as serious as his are of tremendous public interest and therefore naturally attract public
      comment, such as has appeared on this, a PUBLIC blog.

      I am aware that Catholic hierarchs would rather these matters were kept out of the public eye; it's in THEIR interest to continue (ahem) "managing"
      them as we all know they were "managed" in the past. That you, as someone who belongs to this "corrupt and dysfunctional ecclesiastical
      system" should grumble at Fr McCafferty's "indiscretion" simply meets the expectation of most commenters on this blog.

      As for vulgarity, yes some commenters have resorted to this in anger at
      clerical pretension and pomposity (like that of the "Birmingham priest"
      above), or, on other blogs, at the monstrous vulgarity of a Catholic hierarch
      like Noel Treanor spending such an enormous sum of (presumably) diocesan money refurbishing his palatial home. So please make some
      allowance for the occasional slip into vulgarity when faced with such
      unrepented displays of clerical vanity.

      As for what you call "anti-Catholic"views, I call "anti-clerical-corruption comments. The clergy are not the Catholic Church, but are progressively
      destroying it through pride, vanity and arrogance. So you had better get used to what you believe are "anti-Catholic" views.

      By the way, I didn't ask if you were a "person in the clerical state"; I asked if you were a Catholic hierarch.

    7. Anonymous @ 12:20 - YOU are the feckin' lunatic. Whistleblowers are always denigrated by those who hate the truth as "mad", etc. Thank God for whistleblowers like Fr McCafferty, exposing darkness.

    8. Fr Pat McCafferty is not a lunatic. He stood up against pure evil and stood against very powerful forces. I have no doubt certain types of clergy and their lick spittles hate him for what he did. Fr Pat is a hero to the vast majority of decent Catholic people in the diocese of down and connor. He has restored some of their faith in a church that was being swamped in a tide of scandal. Joe, Parishioner.

  13. +Pat,
    Tell me this. When you were ordained did you go through an ontological change. Furthermore when you were ordained a bishop ( by apostolic succession I might add- whether they like it or not) did you feel a hyper or super ontological change coming over you?
    Larry from Larne

    1. Larry,

      I had wanted to be a priest from the age of 4. When I was ordained a priest it was the happiest day of my life - including "ontologically" I suppose.

      I became a priest to love and serve God and others - which in spite of all my ups and downs I am still doing today. I will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of my ordination on June 6th coming.

      I see a bishop as an "overseer" of a church community. In my case that is the church that meets at The Oratory, Larne and all those other people who require our ministry.

      I am not a hierarch - and thank God I have no power that I could abuse.


  14. If the diocese of D&C became "Sede Vacante" do you think Fr Paddy McCafferty's name would be in the terna submitted to Rome as a reward for his campaigning on abuse issues?
    Bangor Bob

    1. I do not think that Paddy would want that job.

      He has enough stress in his life.

      Plus while some of the clergy have sympathy for him others are cynical about him.

    2. Some of the clergy have sympathy for NT while others are cynical about him. Same was true of clergy in regard to PW and CBD before him, etc.

      Nothing new in the fact that some of the clergy have sympathy for Fr Paddy and others are cynical about him.

      Can't you just imagine though the calibre of those clerics who are "cynical" about Fr Paddy???

  15. Aaaahhhh, how lovely to see all these antiquated self-serving expressions used by priests to bolster their position - ontological, indelible sacramental sign, ex opere operato and no doubt soon we will hear things like ecclesia supplet, sanatio in radice etc. etc.

    What a load of self-serving nonsense ! Most of this stuff is used by clergy to bolster their own position and sense of self-importance. It's a culture inherited from seminary and from clerical circles. How long will it take for clergy to recognise that it is only they alone, and their bishops, who take this stuff seriously ? Most faithful in the pews have long since had the shades taken from their eyes and know that clergy are just like everybody else, with the same frailties and foibles. For the most part the laity are very forgiving, understanding and able to absorb the humanity of the clergy. But, guys, don't overegg it too much by claiming special exemption and importance. The laity will only take so much !

    The case of Father Dallat will push the understanding and patience of the laity to the limit, I believe. No matter how nice a guy he may be, and no matter what human weaknesses he has, they understand that a man who takes advantage for his own satisfaction of women who are vulnerable and come in to his orbit because of pastoral need is not fit to continue in ministry - no matter how special his indelible and ontological signature may be !

    It is time for clergy to stop the self-pitying special pleading and join the rest of the world, where your actions are taken as an indication of who you are, and where you are accountable for your actions, and have to answer for them.

    Birmingham Priest - take note ! If you are preaching this nonsense to your flock, and waltzing around as if you are signed with a specialness that sets you apart from the generality of mankind, well you are going to be in for a big shock. If nothing else, the ridicule you have received on this blog for your outrageous assertions should make you think. Although, people like you are often so arrogant and assured in your self-importantance and ignorance that you take little notice. Until ...well, until you find your pews empty, nothing in the coffers, and finally having to go out in to the big bad world and fend for yourself. That will be a shock to the system for you after years of being protected and mollycoddled and lauding it over those around you.

    1. Well said.

    2. Yes, very well said.

    3. MourneManMichael1 April 2016 at 08:45

      Exceptionally well put what the vast majority of ordinary RC churchgoers think, whether they articulate it or not.
      Thank you.

  16. Buckley the FRAUD. Free us from fraudulent people. Expose that you anticatholic lunatics.

  17. In the 1st book Samuel we see a similar situation to what we are seeing in the Church right now. There you have Eli the High Priest (spiritual leader) and he failed to discipline his sons (who were priests) even though he heard of their immoral acts he just mildly reproved them. Sounds a bit like D&C. It is interesting to note that God would not touch these sons (priests) as long as they were under the covering of the father, so God himself had to step in and judge all three together. We either advertise or disgrace the Lord by our behaviour, right now these immoral priests are like a gangrene affecting the whole church. It was once said that before the fall of communism in the centre of the Kremlin there was a plaque with a picture of N Ireland and the inscription below read ‘here lies the proof that Christianity doesn’t work’.
    As for the Bishop and the Priests, they need to seriously consider what Jesus said, that ’to him who was given much (trust) much would be expected and to him who had not (carried out that trust), even that which he thought he had would be taken from him’. Anyone who abuses their responsibility should be removed from their position.

  18. Anon.quote---"Under Anonymity's mask how brave becomes man's speech! How rash becomes his judgement! His words lie left like litter-- While he deems him out of reach."

    1. Why are veiled 'threats' allowed?

    2. No answer?