Thursday, 12 May 2016



Rory Coyle

In the past few days this Blog was contacted by a young man (not a minor) from South Armagh claiming that he could explain the sudden disappearance of Father Rory Coyle from the Parish of Armagh.

In March Father Coyle stepped down as curate of Armagh and also as the Master of Ceremonies to the archbishop Eamon Martin. 

The young man in question made a number of allegations about Father Coyle but none of these allegations amounted to anything illegal and were purely adult matters and therefore they do not need to be referred to any statutory authority.

However because the allegations were of a serious nature - and because the informant said that he had given the material to a journalist - I felt that it was only fair to immediately inform Rory himself and Eamon Martin of the contents of the young man's communication.

I sent all the details to Rory at his personal email address and also because we cannot be certain of his actual whereabouts I also sent him a recorded delivery letter which I marked "Confidential and Urgent". 

He is still featured on the Armagh Parish website as curate and his official address is the parochial house in Armagh. 

I have obviously kept the receipt of Recorded Delivery postage.

I communicated with Eamon Martin through the email addresses of two of his staff priest - Father Eugene Sweeney who is in charge of the Armagh Curia and Father Michael Toner who is the Chancellor of the diocese. 

Father Sweeney
I think that Father Rory and Eamon Martin are entitled to know what is being said and to take appropriate action.

Of course we must always be wary of the internet. I'm sure that most people on the internet are well behaved - but the internet has more than it's fair share of nut cases.

If I was Rory I would meet with a sympathetic journalist and tell his own story in his own way and bring an end to all this rumour and speculation. 

The Church all too often battens down the hatches and the truth always suffers.

If he does not know such a journalist I can introduce him to one who is sympathetic and who will handle his story with sensitivity and respect. 

With information, communications and other material in the hands of a journalist it is only a matter of time before the story bursts.

And I have made a deliberate decision NOT to publish the allegations on this Blog at this time. 

A person is innocent until proven guilty and we cannot be fully sure of the stability and the motive of the person making the allegations. 

****UPDATE***** 2 PM

I have been contacted by the Armagh Archdiocesan office informing me that Eamon Martin is away in Lourdes on the annual diocesan pilgrimage. He returns on May 17th.

The contact was from the diocesan Safeguarding Office. They advised that the police should be contacted if a crime was suspected.

I hope I made it clear above that that IS NOT the case and therefore such action is unnecessary. Had this been different I would have acted immediately. 

The allegations concern contact between two consenting adults


  1. Pat, I agree with you. Rory should take the bull by the horns and declare his hand in his way and in his time and not leave himself to the mercy of the journalists. But sadly the diocesan "wise men" will be giving him bad advice.

    Armagh Priest.

  2. MourneManMichael12 May 2016 at 13:23

    And on your part Pat: well done; acted with good sense and integrity.

    1. MMM,Its difficult as my whole life long I have never seen them handle things and people properly. But I keep trying :-(

  3. Allegations, Bishop, are just that - allegations! Can they be believed.
    I note that he 'allegedly' states that he has given information to a journalist.
    If this is true and the journalist is from one of our low life rags - why has he not published something!
    I would believe nothing - like St. Thomas - until I can see, hear and touch genuine and verified fact!

    1. The correspondent claims to have pictures and has recorded written conversations. Only he and Rory know the truth. I agree that allegations are just allegations until proof is produced.

    2. Your correspondent could be a Walter Mitty?

      Or worse - he could be a victim of unrequited love, attraction or fancy.

      As a gay man I have met some right "bitches" out there.

  4. Oh dear, I do feel for Father Rory. Whatever his personal predilections, they really should be his private business. It would appear that this is not a safeguarding issue. Therefore, the notion that some jilted or twisted companion / partner / lover whatever, is able to broadcast what has gone on between them, is simply outrageous. I know that Father Rory has a public role as a priest, but surely the man is allowed a little leeway for mistakes in life ? How many of us - and yes, I am a priest too - have made errors of judgement in relationships and how we have comported ourselves, and yet lived to tell the tale and to carry on in ministry, having learned from those mistakes ? It is not for this individual or for the saucier end of the press to make vicious trouble out of this. I suggest that Father Rory is given time to work things out for himself, and for the whole matter to be kept within the private and personal forum. His Archbishop should be caring for him and making sure that he is looked after, rather than, as I sense, shoving him in to oblivion in order to tidy things up. I wish Father Rory all the best, and whatever he ends us doing at the close of all this, I hope that this unfortunate episode will only make him stronger.

    1. Father, I agree with all that you have said.

      I do think that poor Rory was probably too adventurous on the internet and failed to realise that the internet is a place of great freedom but also a place that is full of traps.

      Hopefully it will make him stronger. When I was threatened with being "outed" in 1999 I took the bull by the horns and told me own story myself. This is the real way to banish those who threaten us. And I was very pleasantly surprised at the love and support I received. Things are even more open now - 20 years later.

    2. If it suits their agenda the Armagh hierarchy / mafia will throw Rory to the wolves!


    3. Please correct me if I'm wrong I'm not an expert on priests by any means but can a priest have or be allowed a private life ? Dus the priest not sacrifice his life to god and offer his abilities to the people of the church on his ordination ? If not then what's the point in celibacy and a solitary life . I think it's nonsense anyway . I could relate better to a priest who knows life's experiences partner kids . Ile never understand why couples who get married have to go and talk to a priest and listen to a man who knows as much about marriage as the queen knows about food stamps

    4. Point taken!
      However- does a brain surgeon necessarily have to have his own personal brain tumour - or psychiatrist have to have his own neurosis?
      Nor does a marriage counsellor have to be married!

    5. You make a good point. But I think that a brain surgeon who had brain surgery himself might have more empathy with his patients?

      And we all know that psychiatrists have more neurosis than their patients :-)

      On a personal note - having had major surgery in 1991 and spent time in ICU I am a much better hospital visitor and pastor than I was before that.

      But I'm sure there are great hospital chaplains that have never been sick.

      Personal experience can help understanding and compassion.

    6. Yea I understand what you say but seriously in 2016 would anyone take marriage or relationship advice from a priest ?

    7. An excellent question.

      I think the days when people thought their priests knew everything are, thankfully gone.

      I also think that all the scandals about priests and sex have almost totally undermined the giving of marriage and relationship advice by a priest.

      I think that if the Church brought its teaching on sex, marriages relationships into the 21st century and out of the 16th they would be in a better position to advise and support.

      I suppose I have always been quite compassionate but I have learned so much more by my own struggles with my sexuality, my relationships etc and by undergoing counselling and therapy.

      Maybe there are a small number of people, priests and lay, who are good advisors while most are not.

    8. They perhaps may have more experience than you think
      They came from families.
      Some have experienced suicide in their families
      And death.
      And have relations on drugs
      And in prison
      And who knows what else.
      Are people in happy relationships really any better qualified to assist those who are in trouble!

    9. Maybe marriage is none of the Churches business?

      For the first 1200 years marriage had nothing to do with the Church.

      The so called Sacrament of Marriage is a very late Christian invention.

    10. Well said pat . The religions of the world think they own marriage. There have been marriage ceremonies celebrated long before religion was ever herd of . The Catholic and protestant church in this country seem to be obsessed by gay marriage I don't understand why . The vast majority of gay people don't want religious weddings they just want marriage . Why is it such a problem if you don't agree to gay marriage then don't have one . Don't nuns dress up as brides and marry jesus ? It's not gay marriage but it's definitely a queer one . Dus that make jesus a bigamist with all them wives ? I'm not mocking I just think it's a bit weird

    11. Our Lord's teaching on Marriage is clear. It is God who has "joined" them - male and female. "Man" may not interfere. That makes Christian Marriage a Sacrament and, very much, the Church's business

  5. Father Rory is Gay, not a criminal. Time for him to man up.

    Peace ~ Barney (USA)

    1. Nothing conclusively proven.

  6. If this poor man leaves himself at the mercy of the "wise men" of Armagh then dear help him. These are the people who dreamed up the phrase "wounded healer" for Brady and helped him turn a catastrophe into an absolute disaster!
    He can only hope that the diocese will behave in its time honoured fashion and leave him to his own devices. It may well prove to be a blessing in disguise.
    If that is the case then best advice for Rory is to say nothing and keep his head down. This will pass because on the scale of things this is not that important.
    The Spin Doctor

    1. In fairness to the "wise men" of Armagh, it was actually a Down and Connor priest, with feverish episcopal pretensions and ambitions, who, as special adviser to Brady, dreamt up the phrase "wounded healer".

    2. Brady, like the men at Nuremberg,was folling orders.

    3. The clergy of Armagh were never happy about this egotistical and ambition-crazed interloper from D&C "advising" Sean Brady. No one could ever work out what this man ever actually did for Brady - apart from give him disastrous "advice" and invent the wholly inappropriate and risible "wounded healer" epithet. The so-called "wounded healer" never brought any healing but continued to wound the Church by his obdurate stupidity and dogged stubbornness. All the said spin doctor could see was a wee purple beret - for himself - for which he craves and yearns. Pathetic. At least +Eamon has sent him back to his own diocese where he continues to do what he does best - avoid engagement with the pastoral work for which he was ordained!
      Sagart, Ard Mhacha.

    4. Well said Sagart. So many agree with you.

    5. MourneManMichael13 May 2016 at 11:51

      For benefit of those of us outside the clerical circle of knowledge: who are we talking about?

    6. MourneManMichael13 May 2016 at 15:12

      Not at all surprised it's Timmy.
      Simply from the many comments on this blog site over the past two years, mostly from D&C clerics, I've been given the impression that he is a self serving, obsequious weasel much disliked by his contemporaries, but skilled in the art of sucking up to superiors.
      Please somebody disagree with this, otherwise I'd have to take it as an accurate assesment.
      Are you listening Timmy Boy, and +Noel too!

    7. In his desperate gallop for a mitre, Timo, unfortunately for his ambitions but fortunately for the Church, jumped up on the wrong horse.

      He thought a Cardinal to be a sure and swift steed that would bear him speedily towards his coveted desire.

      Sadly for Timmy, Sean Baptist Cardinal Brady turned out to be a great, big, lumbering lummox of a hobbledy horse with four left hooves!

      Well at least the clergy and faithful of Down and Connor have been spared yet another self-serving and conceited careerist, plotting his rise to "the top".

      Observer of the clerical species, North Antrim.

  7. We do not want him here either!

    PP D&C

  8. I am so sad about Fr Rory Coyle on the front page of today's Irish News. What was the young man thinking?

    If you go on to the internet to a gay website and post pictures of yourself, giving personal contact details, what on earth do you think is going to happen?

    Rory Coyle was one of the very conservative 'bright young things' of Armagh diocese - a company man - mixing in the right circles and making all the right 'noises'.

    Behind all that, there was "another Rory" (the "lecturer") sneaking off into the world of Grindr.

    Pat, you often say that some modern clergy do not really believe in God and I am thinking you are right.

    Is the priesthood just a "job" to these men?

    Can they 'take off' their priesthood and hang it up in the wardrobe with their soutanes and fancy vestments?

    Are they "hiding" their sexuality behind the veneer of priesthood? Because, if they are, that cover has long since been blown!

    Do they truly pray? Do they celebrate Mass daily? Do they not realise that you are ALWAYS a priest - even on your "holidays"?

    I cannot fathom what would possess any priest to venture into that twilight world of the dark side of the internet.

    The old wisdom about avoiding occasions of sin was spot on. You can't take your eye off the ball.

    The priesthood is not something you on and put off, like a coat. Your whole being is ordained - set apart - for service of God and His people - day and night - 365 days of the year - until your dying day.

    It is desperately sad - this case of Rory. He had so much to offer. I cannot see any comeback for him, as a priest, from this scandal.

    Will these other priests, furtively engaging in a nether-world of darkness, take note that this is how such ventures turn out? On the front page of a newspaper - personal and family heartbreak (I am thinking of the pride and joy of Rory Coyle's parents the day he was ordained and now this!) - scandal and sorrow to the Christian faithful, who have the right to expect lives of holiness and integrity from their priests - mockery and suspicion for priests who are striving to live good lives in fidelity to their calling.

    I hope I am not being too hard on Rory. I feel very very sad for him. I prayed for him at Mass earlier this morning, at the elevation of the Host and the Chalice, that the Lord help him.

    But, for crying out loud lads! Grindr??? Personal pictures??? Your mobile phone number??? What are ye at?? Heaven help us.

    Senior Priest. Northern diocese.

  9. Out of curiosity I checked the comments on the Irish News story on Facebook.Out of 95 comments I think there was only one not in support of Fr Rory. People wrote of how he is loved and respected in Armagh and did not seem to think any less of him as a result of this. In fact they blame the paper for printing this story.

  10. What is most concerning about this whole matter is that 'Eoin' feels that it is his right and duty to splash all of this material over the internet and the press, as well as the press thinking that this is a pressing matter of public concern.

    Rory has made a stupid error. He does need to wise up. Putting himself in such a precarious position indicates a lack of wisdom and foresight. However, it is just vindictive and nasty to use someone's silly mistakes to bring them so low.

    What should have happened is that Rory should have been talked to by Church people, even by 'Eoin', and told that his behaviour was questionable and he needed to take a long hard look at what he was doing, and to take time to consider if that was the life he wishes to lead. I'm not talking about an easy option of just brushing it under the carpet and hoping that all would be well and the world could get back to normal, but an incisive and uncomfortable questioning of who he is, wants to be be etc. Then, he could make a decision, with all the responsibilities and consequences attendant on that decision. That is the right and just way for this to be handled.

    I accept that there is a large element of 'hypocrisy' in Rory's behaviour if on the one hand he is giving expression privately to his sexual drives and yet at the same time being condemnatory of others and aggressively upholding the Church's rather narrow and loin focused interpretation of sexuality. I suppose the 'hypocrisy' is what makes 'Eoin' feel justified and righteous in 'outing' Rory. I do wonder though, 'Eoin' included, which of us would stand up to scrutiny in the 'hypocrisy' stakes ! Remember the exhortation to take the plank out of your own eye before taking the splinter of out your neighbour's eye !

    'Eoin's statement reeks of the self-righteous justification of a supposed victim, who wants to exact revenge on another and hurt them in retaliation for what he perceives he has suffered. It's not very noble. It's not Christian, although it is well cloaked in religious justification.

    Nobody is going to come out of this unscathed. All the hurt that is being caused to all parties is so unnecessary. A much more mature, calm and productive way could so easily have been found to bring this matter to a satisfactory and just conclusion for all. But, instead, it has become tittle tattle, supposed scandal, and acres of material for people to drool over ! Such a shame.

  11. Re my post of 12/5. 22:47

    Thank you 13/5. 00.02 for bringing it to my attention that the "wise men" of Armagh were not responsible for the "wounded healer" debacle. It has made me wonder if the individual who was responsible was also offering his special advice to +Noel Treanor during his now disasterous spat and PR meltdown with Ian Elliot. If it was then this man is blighted with what is referred to as the Midas in Reverse syndrome. Everything he touches turns to sh**e. Is he involved at the LaSalle school business.
    The Spin Doctor

  12. Yes he is Spin Doctor - in his role as Episcopal Vicar fpr Education in Dand C

    1. Yes. He is up to his oxters in the La Salle and Little Flower uprisings. His diplomatic skills are legendary and he will not hesitate to venture where even angels fear to tread. Lol.

  13. Father Rory is Gay, not a criminal. Time for him to man up.

    Peace ~ Barney (USA)

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