Tuesday, 19 July 2016



As part of our ongoing examination of certain activities in Catholic seminaries - especially in Maynooth and The Irish College, Rome, we need to consider the whole area of the sexual abuse of adults in the Catholic Church - women, men, nuns, seminarians and priests.

Yesterday a Blog reader sent me a link to a truly excellent piece of work in this area of concern. It is a 200 page masters degree thesis that has been submitted to the School of Justice of the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology in Australia:





Stephen Edward de Weger

BA; Grad. Dip Teaching (Secondary); Grad. Cert. Social Science

I printed it off and am reading it. You could do a lot worse than read this excellent study. Here  is the link:


I have just started reading it and to date have come across some very alarming information. Here are some statements and statistics from the thesis:

"Clerical sexual misconduct involving adults will breed another crisis in the priesthood".

"Sexual abuse of minors in the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the violation of professional boundaries by clergy persons....Four times as many priests involve themselves sexually with adult women, and twice the number with adult men, as priests who involve themselves sexually with children".

"In Africa priests exploited nuns because they had come to fear contamination with HIV by sexual conduct with prostitutes and other "at risk" women".

".....according to documentation, priests have impregnated nuns and then encouraged them to have abortions".

"Priests in relationships - some of which result in children - then kept secret, are no uncommon occurrence."

"...a woman was told she needed to have intercourse with a cleric as part of her becoming a Catholic".

"In the USA 34,000 out of 85,000 - 40% of nuns experienced sexual trauma - 50% of which was caused by priests  many of whom were the nuns spiritual directors".

The following is a statement from a nun who was sexually abused by a priest:

"We were talking - he sort of looked around, dropped his trousers and gave me an illustrated lesson on the male genitalia......I have the visual image......I'm not sure whether it was at that time or whether it was at other times when he asked me to hold his penis. It was always a suggestion - well, "This is not for me, it is for your benefit and growth (he would say) "I think, I am sure you would like to hold my penis now". There were other things he said like "you're going to experience a lot of sexual arousal but that will be good for you in the long run, and of course I am so completely in control that I don't feel anything.....I am beginning to feel angry now (he said) "You will feel so aroused that you will want to be raped". He used to say that, he was always in control; a kind of sense of I'm doing all this for your benefit".

Obviously many of the above statements / statistics involve priests involvements with women / nuns.

De Weger has already said that the misconduct of priests with men is about half that of misconduct with women. 

But that still means that there is a a very big number or priests engaging in sexual misconduct with men - other priests, lay men, seminarians etc. 

It is in this context that we must place whatever sexual activities are happening in Maynooth and The Irish College in Rome and indeed in other seminaries.  

It is in this context that we must place the presence on Grindr of the Maynooth / Kerry deacon.

It is in this context that we must place the activities on Grindr of the Armagh priest and Master of Ceremonies to Archbishop Eamon Martin - Father Rory Coyle. 


It in in this context that we must place the sexual abuse of Father Paddy McCafferty by his fellow Down and Connor priest - Father James Donaghy who is still in prison. 


It is in this context that we must place the sexual abuse of seminarians and priests by Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland. 


Another very interesting work in this area has been written by an American nun Sr Kathryn R Byrne entitled


We have had a whole series of Catholic sexual abuse scandals.

The next one will be - THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF ADULTS by Catholic clerics - women, men, nuns and seminarians.

Sexual misconduct by priests involves:

- sexualised statements and conversations

- inappropriate jokes.

- inappropriate touching.

- asking of inappropriate questions.

- Invading personal space -

- The showing of sexualised text or images.

- Inappropriate kissing.

- Inappropriate body contact. 

- All forms of unwelcome, uninvited and non-consensual activity.

And its going to take VICTIMS SPEAKING OUT - MEDIA EXPOSURE and COURT CASES to bring it all out into the open.


Bishop Pat's contacts:


UK: 07900 287283

NON UK: 0044 7900 287283


  1. Hi Pat. I am taking this opportunity to salute the late Fr Sean Fagan who is being laid to rest today. A good man hounded to his death by people who have not a theological braincell between them.
    Iggy O Donovan.

    1. Iggy,

      That is a very touching comment about Fr Sean.

      I am sorry to hear of his death and his hounding before death.

      Would you like to write a Blog about him in life and death?


  2. Pat,
    With respect you are now giving the impression by your regurgitation of the subject that you are desperate to flog this horse to death. You run the risk of turning readers off.
    You have covered the subject fairly fully. Leave it be now and let what's out there in social media take its course.

    The Spin Doctor

    1. Dear SD, I am aware of the point you highlight.

      In reality I am trying to reform the horse or teach an old horse new tricks.

      I have really been guided by what people have been submitting to me and there has been great interest in the topic - with Blog views rising from 1,000 a day up to 8,000.

      Of course numbers are not everything.

      I have other subjects in the queue and will be moving on to them pronto.

      Thank you for your honest and constructive advice :-)

  3. Mary McAleese spoke very movingly and thoughtfully about Fr Sean in the Irish Times. She certainly didn't miss the target and hit the wall.
    The sad thing is that all those vindictive individuals who brought about his censure for whatever motive will have patted themselves on the back thinking they were doing Gods will. How sick. How sad.
    One thing is for sure. Whether or not he died in " good standing with the church" is really of no relevance. He will have died in good standing with his Lord and Master.
    Sean, well done thou good and faithful servant.
    And may the peace and rest you now find be in direct contrast to the torment and spiritual agitation that should be suffered by the small minded and malign spirited individuals who persecuted you.

    1. Dear Iggy, Thank you for this further comment. I regard it as a compliment that YOU visit and read this Blog. We have never met but I hold you in high esteem.

      Yes, Sean Fagan will have already received the Prophet's reward.

      Those who maligned him are not fit to undo the strap of his sandals.


    2. There's a very interesting and positve appraisal of Fr Sean Fagan (R.I.P.) at BBC.co.uk/blogs/ni/2008/12/what -happened-to-sin html. It's by William Crawley.

      I've just read it and, until I did so, had no idea of the spiritual and
      theological breadth of this theologian's sweep. Sadly, like theologians of his calibre (I'm thinking principally of Irish Jesuit, George Tyrell), Fagan will be taken seriously by Church hierarchs only long after he has passed over.

      I suppose it's a prophet's lot.

    3. George Tyrrell is one of my great heroes.

      A few years ago I went to his grave in Storrington, England and celebrated a Requiem Mass on his grave as my own little effort to honour him and give him waht he was denied.

    4. Well done you!

      As you know, not only was he booted out of his order in 1903, but was denied burial in consecrated ground when he died in 1909. It was an appalling injustice to a man some of whose ideas would influence the
      teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

      Was Tyrell ever reinterred in consecrated ground? And has the Church ever apologised for its gross and inhumane treatment of his remains?

    5. No. He was never reburied. But as well as saying Mass on his grave that day I blessed his grave.

      I went straight from his grave to the house of the Bishop of Arundel & Brighton which is only a mile from the grave and asked him to begin the process of apologising to George Tyrrell.

      That same bishop did nothing - Kiaran Conry - but has since had to resign for dating a married woman.

      Tyrrell is buried in an Anglican graveyard. The local Anglican Canon was delighted I was there to say the Requiem for Tyrrell.

    6. Again, well done. At least, some restorative justice.

      As Professor Sean Fagan said, the Church rarely admits its errors. When it does, it's usually under pressure.

    7. And when the particular "prophet" is dead !!!

      The Catholic Church LOVES dead prophets.

      I have also put a tribute to George Tyrrell on my own grave in Larne.

    8. You've done all of this, Bishop Pat, because you have both heart and conscience . What have those others? The answer is frightening...for them.

    9. Correction of my comment at 17:57: George Tyrrell (I also misspelt his surname) was dismissed from his order in 1906, not, as I stated, in 1903.

  4. Abuse can be psychological or indeed physical as you know from your own experience. This went on in presbyteries as well as seminaries. I'm sure I was the but of psychological abuse. I'd say indirrect by attitudes and whispers behind closed doors in the main. At this distance I'd say there was worse off than me.oy

  5. Yes Sean. I was indeed abused in presbyteries - physically, emotionally, mentally.

    As a young priest two senior priests tried to sexually assault me in their presbyteries - which I resisted. But at the time it was still traumatic.

    Nowadays, God help anyone who would try :-)

    1. Too right Pat I'd set Mrs Brown (Dermot o Carroll character) on them

  6. Pat, please stop posting that picture of the almost naked man, it adds nothing to the discussion.

    1. Others have asked me to keep it on as they find it attractive? Particularly as he is in Holy Orders :-)

  7. Pat I would draw your readers attention to a fine appreciation of Sean Fagan on the Association of Catholic Priests web page. It is by Tony Flannery and the accompanying comments are most informative.
    Iggy O D.

  8. MourneManMichael19 July 2016 at 21:28

    Very interesting RTE1 PROG, (Judas Iscariot dinner) last night 18/7. A group of ex Dalgan missionary priests who meet up occasionally spoke both in the group, and individually, of their seminary training and subsequent pastoral experience, mostly in Phillipines.
    The group, mostly in their 60's presented as well grounded sensible balanced individuals. Common themes discussed was their subsequent awareness of how poorly trained and prepared was their seminary experience for the demands of pastoral involvement, combined with how naive they were concerning human sexuality, and how seminary training virtually ignored sexuality other than portraying it as some sort of evil temptation to be strongly repressed and avoided.
    I identified with most of what they said, having had the same kind of seminary experience. It was also interesting how several made a clear distinction between leading a moral spiritual life, and the self serving clerical edicts and demands of institutional Roman Catholicism. In fact some were no longer deists and others very uncertain.

    1. I saw that myself Michael. I cannot imagine, as a lay person, how someone called to do the good work of the Lord first of all does not understand or comprehend the purpose of celibacy (which a few of them implied and therefore I understand why they found it difficult), and secondly leave the faith altogether and even not believe in a God any longer! Clearly there is something seriously and maliciously wrong somewhere in the education system of priests if this is the result. One could understand it happening to one or perhaps two, but not to all of these men and many more. If a priest or ex-priest does not believe in a God at the very least, what does that mean for the lay people they speak with and influence on a daily basis?

  9. I have been following the coverage of the Maynooth crisis on and off since summer 2015 - in national papers, in The Irish Catholic, The Catholic Voice, and most recently via Thinking Catholicism.
    As a lay person I am REALLY shocked by what I'm reading and hearing regarding seminarians, and clergy.
    I am reminded of the commandments which are the basic tenets of the Catholic faith.
    'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.'
    Well it seems that there HAS been a lot of false witness going on. E.g. Doctoring of seminarians' end of year reports! And God knows what other reports are doctored!

    'You shall not have strange gods before me.'
    There is definitely evidence of strange gods - power, promotion, lust, lies, etc., etc.
    I second MBF's observation - It is scandalous to me too that priests, bishops [ whoever ] are permitted to continue to carry out sacred duties e.g. sacraments such as confession, last rites, marriage rites, holy orders, ... when many have blatantly disregarded their own vows, and may even be encouraging others to do the same; or they may even have been instrumental in preventing genuine seminarians from following a GOD GIVEN vocation through to completion / ordination.

    A question : Do formation staff, senior clergy, etc. receive ANY or ongoing training on how to deal with allegations of bullying [ or indeed in order to ensure that they themselves are not bullying or intimidating 'co -workers' or people in their care e.g.kangaroo courts for seminarians.
    Employers have a common law duty to take reasonable care to ensure their employees' health and safety at work, including safety from work-related stress. When an employer breaches this duty of care he is liable in negligence.
    An employer can be liable for psychiatric injury caused as a result of stress at work.
    I know that Maynooth Seminary is not exactly an employer - employee set up, and indeed that's how these very dubious practices that have been reported persist. Do the formation team and the bishops not know that employers have a legal duty of care? Do they know but not care, because they are rarely if ever held to account? The culture of deference is still alive and well !
    It would appear to me from what I read in the blogs and comments that there has been A LOT of what [ in employer - employee situations ] would be called work related stress. It would also be called intimidation, bullying, harassment. Take your pick.
    And then to be told by one's bishop to 'eat humble pie'. I am astounded! Is that being responsible for someone in your care? Would that fulfill your duty of care? Well in my place of work it wouldn't! It's nothing short of deplorable.
    Those unfortunate seminarians would indeed need to be robust and resilient.

    To be continued.

  10. Continued .... I am reminded that 'Trócaire [an organisation set up by the Irish Bishops] was established to respond to poverty and injustice in the developing world.' How about 'charity begins at home.'? How about the Irish Bishops / Archbishops develop a moral backbone, and finally deal with the injustice and deceit and other malpractices reported to be happening on their own doorstep, in Maynooth Seminary?
    'For Trócaire, accountability means taking account of our commitment to justice and being an open, responsible and high performing charity. We believe in being transparent about our finances, fundraising and governance.' - taken from Trócaire website.
    How about Irish Bishops etc. show openness and responsibility with regard to what is going on in the Church - in Ireland? How about being committed to being transparent about the governance and unsavoury practices that have been uncovered re. Maynooth S.?
    I could go on. I have so many more questions and observations, but .... the base line is that I am shocked and disillusioned.
    However, I applaud the seminarians and ex-seminarians who are speaking out, and others who have spoken - written on their behalf. You are doing a great service, and THAT gives me hope for the future.
    I send my heartfelt thoughts to those [ past and present ] who have been hurt or 'stymied' by Maynooth Seminary and by all its reported [and substantiated] malpractice/s.

  11. Seminarians and religious women are the lowest form of ecclesiastical life. In the system, they have virtually no rights.

    It is absolutely hideous and a shocking betrayal of the Christian Catholic Faith.

    Who, after all, is really going to listen to a nun who complains against a priest? If a seminarian "causes trouble" they just kick him out of the seminary. Period. No court of appeal.

    The bishops will invariably go along with the so-called "formation team".

    It has to stop. They have to be stopped. Go for them VAMA.

    Why are the secular media not interested in this story????

  12. That pic of King Puck is hideous. How anyone thinks it "attractive" is astounding!! What a total munter!

    1. I'm a bear lover. I think King Puck is a knee trembler. I'm moving to Kerry to be near him.

      The people on this blog have no taste in men.

    2. And I'll second that 23:30! King Puck is HOT!!! I'm a bear lover too and just looking at his chunky hairy body makes me so flustered. God, I'd love to meet up with him......we could definitely have fun.

    3. Then you should travel to Listowel in Kerry and ring the bell of the Parochial House. He is there for the summer.

    4. Thanks! I might just do that - it would be great to hook up with him!His picture probably doesn't do him justice.......would be great to see him up close and personal!!!