Thursday, 9 June 2016



By: Anthony Murphy of Catholic Voice

Anonymous Complaints !!!!

Last week I spoke to an Irish bishop about the latest scandal to hit St. Patrick's seminary in Maynooth, while he himself did not want to go on the record he did acknowledge that the Irish bishops were aware of some of the concerns about the seminary but were unable to act because the complaints made by seminarians were always anonymous. Is he serious? Does he really expect anything other than an anonymous complaint? To understand the fear of speaking out openly and why seminarians chose to suffer in silence we first need to visit the Gulag.........

Lessons from the Gulag

There is a story told by that great Russian writer and Nobel laureate, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in his book The Gulag Archipelago, about a gathering which was held in 1938 in honour of Stalin. At this gathering there were many speeches. Stalin was not even in the room, but every time his name was mentioned in a speech, the people rose to their feet with thunderous applause. At the end of the evening, there was a call for one more cheer in honour of Stalin. Solzhenitsyn writes, “For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued”.
Who would be the first to stop clapping? Nobody dared – there were guards from the NKVD all around the room keeping an eye out for those who might not be “real” supporters. Thus the applause continued. Solzhenitsyn goes on to say, “It was becoming insufferably silly, even to those who really adored Stalin”. The applause went on, continuing for six, seven, eight minutes. “They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks”.
The author mentions the director of a local paper factory who was an independent and strong-minded man – while aware of the falsity and impossibility of the situation, he kept on applauding. Eventually, after eleven minutes, this man stopped applauding and sat down. Where did the seemingly universal enthusiasm go? Everyone sat down – “They had been saved”! The factory director was arrested and interrogated. Solzhenitsyn concludes his account with these few sentences:
“They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:‘Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding’.”

This short account captures perfectly the fear and sense of terror which gripped the people of the Soviet Union under Stalin’s totalitarian regime.

Fear of speaking out openly

Although some readers might think it a bit sensationalist to make this comparison, it is my contention that the seminarians in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, are the ones who are being forced to applaud without ceasing. We have heard controversy after controversy, year after year – lax theology, lax morality, lax priestly formation – yet why will no seminarian, for example, go on record to state publicly what is going on?

As has been pointed out elsewhere – most recently, perhaps, by David Quinn in last week’s edition of The Irish Catholic – all the claims being made about the state of priestly formation in Maynooth seminary have been made anonymously. Yet, is anyone really surprised? Such is the state of affairs that seminarians are afraid speak openly about what is happening. Claims recently that a seminarian who spoke of the existence of a homosexual sub-culture among some seminarians was suspended from seminary illustrate why this fear exists: the “whistle-blower” was suspended.

Last year, seminarians who had issues with members of the theology faculty who reportedly denied the Real Presence or who had issues with seminarians kneeling at the consecration of the Mass, were the ones who were sanctioned. Indeed, the President of St. Patrick’s College, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, had the “last word” on the latter matter when he dismissed the claims in The Irish Catholic last June. Nothing more was heard about the matter…until, of course, this most recent controversy emerged a few weeks ago. Almost convincingly, Monsignor Connolly once again refuted the claims by stating that concerns were “robustly” dealt with.

So, is that it? Case closed? 

We are seeing the same pattern year after year: there is a fresh controversy, which the rector attempts to refute, and no more is said on the issue for another year. The emerging controversies are like the director of the paper factory who decided that it was time to end the falsehood and stop clapping. 

It is really quite simple: one of the prime reasons why these stories about our national seminary, which have cropped up year after year, are so quickly dismissed is that there exists a culture of fear among seminarians. This fear, I believe, extends to several newly-ordained priests who have passed through Maynooth seminary, having experienced its serious shortcomings, but who do not feel that they can go “on the record” to speak out against these shortcomings.

For example, if a seminarian who genuinely feels called to the priesthood were to speak out against a homosexual sub-culture in the seminary which resulted in his expulsion, he would likely be afraid that going “on the record” would jeopardise his chances of being allowed to continue his priestly formation. If a newly-ordained priest were to go “on the record” and speak publicly about the scandal of Maynooth seminary, he might fear that his bishop – who may be a trustee of the seminary – would send him to the most isolated parish in the diocese.

Seminarians forced to suffer in silence

The sad and most regrettable fact in all of this is that because the ones who have had the power to eradicate the filth which has pervaded Maynooth seminary for decades – our bishops – have reneged on their duty, burying their heads in the sand, and refusing to listen to the cries and pleas of their seminarians, the seminarians have been forced to suffer in silence. If our seminarians could have confidence that their bishops would listen to them and take genuine steps to ensure a thorough Catholic formation for them, this culture of fear would not exist. Sadly, the situation last year, where six seminarians received negative reports from the seminary for being “theologically rigid” proves this point. Only three of those six seminarians returned to seminary.

Where was the protest from the bishops of these other three men? These “theologically rigid” seminarians who decided to stop clapping – they refused to applaud the “Gulag Archipelago” which is Maynooth seminary. Like the director of the paper factory in Solzhenitsyn’s account, they were the ones who were punished, not the ones who were binding them in a tyranny of distortion of the truths of the Catholic religion. We should bear in mind that, when the Church in this country was reeling from revelations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, one of the central points which was made was the pain which was caused to the abuse victims who were not listened to and who were not believed – why are our bishops not listening to their seminarians? Why do they not believe their seminarians?

This, dear readers, is the fundamental reason why more seminarians are not speaking out and why those who do speak out do so anonymously and “off the record”. Because they cannot have confidence that they can make a complaint without running the risk of being expelled, or because they cannot have confidence that a bishop will plead their cause, they are forced to applaud, and applaud, and applaud, a system which is in the most deplorable state of decay.

What will be the legacy of the Irish Bishops?

As a final thought, Pope Pius XI, in his great encyclical on priesthood, Ad Catholici Sacerdotii, tells bishops that the seminary should be the apple of their eye and the chief object of their solicitude (par.66). This ideal has not been superseded by any subsequent document! When bishops knowingly allow their seminarians to live and be formed in a seminary wherein faulty theology, a homosexual sub-culture, and un-Catholic formation are allowed to thrive, the seminary cannot be said to be the “chief object of their solicitude”. Regarding those whom bishops should choose to govern the seminary, Pius XI says:

Let them be such as teach priestly virtues, rather by example than by words, men who are capable of imparting, together with learning, a solid, manly and apostolic spirit. Make piety, purity, discipline and study flourish in the seminary”.

Can our bishops say that this has been their vision for Maynooth seminary for the past number of decades? What will the legacy of the current Irish Bishops’ Conference be? Will it be a truly Catholic seminary which operates according to the mind of the Church and which is truly the apple of their eye, as Pope Pius XI exhorts, or will it be merely one more sad chapter in The Gulag Archipelago?


The accusations against Maynooth seminary are:

1. That there is a serious and nasty gay subculture in the seminary.

2. That "straight" students and students who want to be celibate are being harrassed by the seminary's gay mafia.

3. That when complaints are made the complainants are dismissed and the alleged offenders protected.

4. That the bishops and seminary staff are in denial (at least) about the problem.

Those who care want something done about it.

Anthony Murphy of Catholic Voice says he cares and has spoken to one bishop.

Maybe Anthony Murphy should challenge the Gulag situation by naming the bishop he spoke to?

If Anthony Murphy has more detailed information about the Maynooth Gay Scandal - that no one else will publish - let him send it to this Blog. We will publish it.


  1. MourneManMichael9 June 2016 at 12:46

    Although a bit tediously repetitive, Murphy makes a valuable and valid point that many of us, having put our head above the parapet, will know: it's always the whistleblower who gets blamed and victimised.Leaders of organisations and institutions resist change at all costs and see any criticism as a threat to their power and position, perceiving criticism as blaming them personally for having failed to prevent whatever went wrong.
    So the default response is always to question the motivation and character or ability of the complainant before considering the objective validity of the complaint.

    1. I agree MMM.

      But the other side of this issue is that there is a deep, long term culture of corruption in which many very highly placed individuals are greatly compromised.

      This is one of those nuts that would take a sledge hammer to crack.

    2. MourneManMichael9 June 2016 at 14:17

      Pat, you do right to draw attention to the reality of the injurious behaviour of some of those 'at the top' by dint of their clever deviousness and manipulation (the power hungry 'must win at all costs' types).
      In my comment above I had in mind leaders with limitations of ineptitude, laziness and the like. But as you rightly infer when highlighting corruption, there are those individuals at the top who are well aware of damning negative information and evidence, but consciously choose to ignore or minimise it for their own purposes, often by victimising the whistleblower.

  2. There is no gay scandal here at all. If the "complainant (s)" wish to remain anonymous there is nothing that can be done to investigate, otherwise the rights to a good name and fair hearing for the "accused" is trashed. God knows enough good priests have had their lives and miniseries destroyed by anonymous allegations of child sex abuse or concerns. No Pat. Here they accusers must put up or shut up. Its as simple as that. On another point I cannot for the life of me think why any straight man would want to be a priest. It is a gay profession. Maybe these so called straights are actually trying to come to terms with their sexuality and are therefore hoping to be "turned"? All is not as it appears I can tell you. If you are straight don't join a gay profession and certainly don't whinge if gay guys hit on you. There is nothing more attractive to us gay boys as a straight man looking to be turned.

    1. I take all your points.

      But if reporting an allegation gets you expelled - can you not understand complaint's fears?

      Surely we must believe that heterosexual men are called to priesthood and if you then enter a homosexual subculture can you not understand the problem that presents for a straight man?

      Surely the priesthood SHOULD NOT BE a gay profession?

      Surely the priesthood should be a profession open to all regardless of sexual orientation?

    2. MourneManMichael9 June 2016 at 14:03

      There are so many inherent contradictions in comment by Anon @ 13:29 that it seems pointless engaging in any rational debate with him.

  3. I am amazed that in this day and age the Church has such a hold on people in Ireland. What are the other denominations doing. The option to explore new avenues of worship should be made public. Are the others afraid to go public or is it honour among thieves. I thought abused people were protected by law

  4. This is another hysterical, scaremongering rant, joke 'journalism typical of Anthony Murphy. If it were an operetta, it would continuously be sung soprano, such is the shrillness of its tone.

    Let's face it: a journalist who refers to Pope Pius X1 to help make his case can't be taken seriously. Pius was one of the most ultramontane, right-wing popes in papal
    history. And none of these popes could ever be accused of liberalism. (Moral liberalism? Most certainly. Doctrinal liberalism? Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!) It was Pius who
    introduced non-disclosure of clerical sex-abuse allegations to law-enforcement agencies.

    I am not in the least concerned about Murphy's screaming allegations of a 'gay sub-
    culture' at Maynooth seminary. The man's a fantasist! There were always gay students at Maynooth; they were there in my time, too. So what?

    Murphy is coming across increasingly as an out-and-out homophobe. And we know what some studies have revealed about homophobes.

    What concerns me more is the calibre of seminarian reportedly now at Maynooth. I
    mean: seminarians too afraid to speak out in case they are tossed out of the seminary? And even newly ordained priests too afraid (according to Murphy) to speak
    out in case they are posted to isolated parishes. Oh, please! Get rid of all these moral cowards! The Church needs men, not wimps.

    When I was a seminarian at Maynooth, I reported, in person to the Dean, a student who fantasised once too often about little boys. I had the backbone to do that.
    Unfortunately, I hadn't the necessary evidence, but at least I tried.

    We need seminarians and priests who are prepared to put Christ first (Yes. You know: the One we are all meant to serve) rather than their own snivelling interests. Whatever
    the consequences of courageous action for Christ, Christ will ALWAYS take care of you. Count on it!

    1. You come across as pretty "shrill" yourself at times, Magna Carta lol. You make some very good points though about weak-kneed sems and priests.

  5. I agree with you about referencing your points to Pope Pius XI.

    I do not know Anthony Murphy and he is at the total other end of the church spectre I am at.

    I also agree about your wimps and men comment.

    Well done on reporting that seminarian and for doing it up front. I hope the guy has not gone on to hurt children.

    I agree with you about being a priest that puts Christ first.

  6. "... the latest scandal"

    I thought Rory Coyle is the latest RC scandal. And before that Keith-I-am-the-biggest-hypocrite-in-the-world-O'Brien.

  7. If I could interrupt the gravity of serious debate with a little invitation to lighten your burdened hearts on this day of gloomy June!

    A Gala Concert is to be held, on June 23rd, at Maria Queen of the Rainbows Church, Killyweener, Belfast South, at 7:30pm sharp and, afterwards, a Sumptuous Feast, at the Lady Penelope Walsh Memorial Banqueting Hall, Chateau Lisbreen, in the Demesne of Somerton.

    The purpose of these salubrious occasions is to celebrate Britannia's cessation from the European Whore and to raise a few bob for the forthcoming Family Reunion of Catholics, to be held in Dublin, in 2018.

    Big Catholic families from all over the globe are set to converge on Dublin in 2018, eating everyone out of house and home - so we need to have a bit of the old "cash to flash" and avoid redder faces than usual - in the Oyrish Kafleek Church.

    Guest of Honour will renowned Psycho-sexual Therapist and celebrated World Family Guidance expert - Professore Timothio Bartoletto - who will deliver an After-Dinner address, at the Slap-up Supper, on the sexual habits and familial mores of the rare species - Clericos caelibes. (Yiz will on the edge of yer seats).

    Illustrious and much-admired Pantomime Dame, Dean Hugo Hubert Humbleson, will sing and perform a riveting series of melo-dramatics, in full costume, at the concerto, which, I assure yiz all, will be a knock-out.

    Lady Nigellina van Klumptenhoefen, Minstrel of St Peter-Whipped-and-in-Chains Basilica, Divisminster, will conduct the world-renowned Skola Cumfiddlediyorum in a series of jolly madrigals from the Holy Shows.

    Duchess Lilian McCoubrey (Big Lil), 69 Prince Albert Street, will act as Compere - introducing the various Acts and and telling a few Quare Aul Yarns. (Yiz will laff yer legs af).

    Negotiations are afoot to see if the fee can be raised for a few ballads from The Priests. We will keep yiz all posted.

    I hereby invite yiz all to these auspicious occasions on behalf of Doktor Weihnachten Noellson Traynorberg - outgoing President of the former EU.

    Please make all cheques payable to Dunensis et Connorensis Loyal Bank of Offshores, Barony of Fortwilhelm, c/o of its Director - Canon Conleth Burn.

    Yours faithfully, in Breathless Anticipation,

    Very Rev Roderigo Rudy Roohoo Rogerson,
    Maria Queen of the Rainbows.

  8. I wonder what "theologically rigid" means. Might it mean "Pharisaically inflexible" over Church law or doctrine? If it does, then those six Maynooth seminarians deserved to be criticised for it.

    People like these tend to be less understanding of others, less compassionate towards them, and less capable of showing empathy. (Did I forget to say "less merciful, too"?)

  9. 10/6. 00:39

    I write from a northern diocese.
    There is now an even greater scandal than Rory Coyle about to burst onto the media. Clergy insiders tell me the groundwork is already being done to limit the damage.
    You'll enjoy this one Pat.
    Rock a bye baby- N.I.

  10. For God'd sake Pat tet real. Let the clergy have their release, love is the common demonstrate in all the weddings pending a that you know. Let them love one another and spare the analysis. Dxx

    1. What we are talking about here "Josephmalachy" is LUST - not love. We are talking about promiscuous gay sex and rampant lascivious behaviour which God condemns and forbids.

  11. MourneManMichael11 June 2016 at 11:29

    I like to read all the banter in the back and forth comments, but, alternating between my laptop, tablet and phone, sometimes I'll miss ones, especially on a post of Pat's which is a few days old.
    Would blog followers find it useful if the blog archive (to the right of each new blog) listed the number of comments for each blog. Is that a possibility Pat? If that is possible then we could see at a glance where a new comment has been added rather than, as at present, having to check each blog individually, which can be a bit tedious on a tablet.

    1. I'm in Bulgaria until Friday but will sort it out then MMM.

    2. Enjoy Bulgaria, Pat. Great fun and games here.

      Financial scandal involving Carryduff Parish is front page of the Irish News.

      And Timo has been appointed General Secretary for the World Meeting of Families to take place in 2018 - bringing his fevered yearnings for a mitre ever closer - to gratification and climax! :-)

  12. MourneManMichael11 June 2016 at 15:09

    Thanks Pat. But I thought the football was in France?

    1. I don't play football. I play hardball :-)

  13. Hurry home Pat. It's kicking off in Carryduff