Friday, 15 July 2016



A new group called VAMA has been formed to campaign for the end of all forms abuse at the national seminary – St Patrick’s College, MAYNOOTH.


Its contact email address is:


FROM OUTSIDE IRELAND: 00 353 83 831 3151

VAMA will be there for seminarians, ex-seminarians, priests, families of seminarians and all interested parties. 

The campaign to protect Maynooth and its seminarians is not the darling of any side of any divide. All right thinking people are against ALL KINDS OF ABUSE - right, left, liberal, conservative, Latin Mass, English Mass, priests, lay people, religious etc.

Unfortunately in the Catholic Church we had a litany of abuse stories over the past number of years:

The sexual abuse of children by priests and religious.

The abuse of orphanages in the Church controlled homes and    orphanages. 

The burying of children in disused orphanage sewerage tanks.


The abuse of young woman in the Magdalen Launderies.

The sexual abuse of nuns by bishops and priests (especially in Africa).

The use/abuse of women and men by “Jack the Lad” priests.

The TOLERATION/COVER UP of all these forms of abuse by popes, cardinals, bishops, priests and religious superiors.

NOW we are dealing with another form of abuse – THE ABUSE OF SEMINARIANS AT MAYNOOTH SEMINARY.

This Maynooth abuse take many forms – spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and sexual.

This abuse is harming the seminarians themselves. But there is another serious effect – having been abused themselves and having been hurt and damaged many of these seminarians will go out into the world of dioceses and parish and abuse others. This is wrong – even if those seminarians / priest “only” go on to abuse adults.

The atmosphere in Maynooth at present is very sexually charged. As commentators on this Blog have said there are various kinds of groups in the seminarian community – repressed homosexuals, active homosexuals, repressed heterosexuals, active heterosexuals and another group of various kinds of “onlookers”.


Some seminarians are on the gay cruising app Grindr and are obviously seeking other men to have sex with. As we say some of them are placing their naked and semi naked bodies on line. Others are sleeping with or having baths and showers with other seminarians.

Many seminarians are complaining of having to undergo sexual inquisition with questions like: Do you masturbate”? “Which way do you swing”? “What do you do with your erections”? “Were you sexually abused” Did you father ever sexually abuse you”/

These questions are not being asked by psychosexual professionals, doctors, therapists, counsellors or even experienced spiritual directors – but by people who have no training in this field – but my individuals with no expertise and perhaps even unhealthy preoccupations with these topics.

Maynooth is supposed to be a training college for the Catholic priesthood. We all know that the Catholic Church requires CELIBACY of all its priests.

Why should such a college be permeated with such a sexually charged atmosphere?

The odour of sexual repression / promiscuity rather than the odour of sanctity seems to be in the air!

This is extremely unhealthy in a seminary. Indeed it would be extremely unhealthy in any institution religious or sexual.

Many of us DISAGREE with the Catholic Church’s rule of COMPULSORY CELIBACY. I do – absolutely. And I find, as an open, gay, partnered man, my ministry is as satisfying as ever – maybe even more satisfying.

But if you opt into that rule as a seminarian and a priest you are challenged to LIVE it or LEAVE IT.

Many of the sexual scandals in the Church have resulted from bishops, priests and nuns thinking that they can lead a DOUBLE LIFE.

Living a double life is PROFOUNDLY UNHEALTHY and PROFOUNDLY UNPRINCIPLED – especially when you mount a pulpit once a week to pontificate of promote a teaching that you are CONTRADICTING in your personal life.

People leading double lives rarely prosper, rarely do well and rarely do good.

If you are a current Maynooth seminarian you have a decision to make – keep your WILLIAM in your trousers (and cassock) or stop pretending and get out and let WILLIAM have the freedom and wide open spaces of the real world.


Or if you feel the call to priesthood / ministry join a Church which allows you to minister and at the same time have a sexual life – like the Anglican Church.

In The Oratory Society in which I am a priest bishop you can be partnered / non-partnered, straight / gay. However as a small and poor church we cannot provide you with £20,000 a year, a presbytery and a pedestal to stand on. But what’s wrong with being a WORKING PRIEST? They had them in France 40 years ago!

And if you are a CURRENT MAYNOOTH SEMINARIAN and feel called to celibacy (whether you are straight or gay) you have a right not be harassed or pressurised in your private life.

And if you accept being harassed or pressurised and ALLOW yourself to be a victim – what kind of man are you? What kind of Christian are you? What kind of disciple are you?

Do you not believe Jesus when he said: “THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE”!


  1. I certainly agree the double life referred to above is destructive and needs to stop. My brief encounter with sex and celibacy forced my conscience to come clean. As for this new group I wish them well. As for worker priests. Church of England has Ordained Local Ministers who are self supporting. There is even a ministry to the workplace

  2. How about making a facebook page named VAMA and addressing these issues so that they can be easily shared around the world of social media. It would make the world take notice. Perhaps we could all share posts, videos from all concerned catholics, priests, bishops, and really get the message out there. Would like some feedback on this

  3. Pat, your pic of King Puck has appeared on every posting over the last few days - he's getting so much publicity!!! He'll be more successful in hooking up with guys on here than he ever would on Grindr......I bet he's had lots of interest since his selfie first appeared on your blog.

  4. Another incisive and excellent analysis , Pat. Irish Countryman, great to have you onboard.Send me an email to, and we will start to organise things.

  5. "And if you accept being harassed or pressurised and ALLOW yourself to be a victim – what kind of man are you? What kind of Christian are you? What kind of disciple are you?"


    What sort of statement is that, Pat?

    No one "accepts" being a victim or "ALLOWS" himself/herself to be a victim. People are victimised and abused AGAINST THEIR WILL!!! Do you not know this?

    Some seminarians are trapped in the 'authoritarian headmaster/frightened pupil' dynamic and power abuse.

    Remember that seminary officials have virtually absolute control over their charges; and if you so much as 'look crooked' at the Dean, you are 'out on your ear'.

    You will be accused of having a problem with authority, "internalised anger", etc. It is all part of the perverse mind games that unsuitable and unworthy "formators" play with their "subjects" and victims.

    Further victimising victims, in the Maynooth scandal, by calling into question their "manhood", their being a Christian and a disciple, will do nothing to clear up this mess and is a very questionable attitude of approach.

    There is also the question of sexual harassment and assault by other seminarians on younger ones - usually older seminarians in their 30's, 40's (late vocations) - on teenage or early 20's students.

    A Catholic seminary should not be "prison hell" where younger inmates have to worry about being preyed upon by older inmates. Neither is it a public school where younger students are "fagged" out to seniors.

    Maynooth is sick. No dean has the right to question seminarians about their erections, whether they were sexually abused by their fathers, whether or not they masturbate, their sexual orientation, etc. No dean in a Catholic seminary should put his hand on the backside of a seminarian, etc.

    Such men must be removed from office. They are abusing their power and breaking Canon Law.

    Students who have been inappropriately questioned (to say nothing of being improperly touched against their wills) by seminary deans/officials, should sue their perpetrators for professional misconduct, boundary violation and sexual harassment.

    The Irish Catholic Church, at present, is in complete disarray. This is the Church chosen to host World Meeting of Families in 2018! Another festival of UTTER HYPOCRISY AND SICK DYSFUNCTION!! And the Pope might be coming??? Let him seriously reconsider. And the Vatican rethink, even at this stage, about another venue!

    Please don't blame the victims and good luck to VAMA. The abuse of seminarians must be stopped and external forum staff, who abuse their power, who seek deeply personal information for their own gratification and "kicks", must be stopped and removed.

    If those accused of abusing their power are innocent and want a day in court, let it be so.

    Likewise, may God give courage and tenacity to abused seminarists to come forward and tell their stories, if they are able to do so (they must never be forced or coerced).

    I suspect this case will never go to court because the accused will not bear scrutiny. I predict the Sunday papers will take this matter up the scandal of Gay/May-nooth.


    1. I accept the reprimand in one sense.

      I am just trying to put some lead in the pencils of those who are under the gulag.

      When victims act - preferably together - they become survivors and eventually victors.

      I Maynooth the WORST that can happen to you is expulsion.

      I have been through that.

      The dreaded outcome is in fact a blessing.

      But its hard to see that as a seminarian.

    2. The papers might not take it tomorrow because there is so much happening - Nice, Turkey. But they WILL and SOON.

      VAMA is a good idea because it widens the issue away from Pat who has merely been the messenger of these scandals. VAMA will give a voice to those with grievances to be aired and with stories to be told.

    3. VAMA is launched and will be run by those who have suffered in Maynooth and by their families, friends and supporters.

      As you say I am only the messenger - but will be a supporter too.

      The first reaction of the gulag was to shoot the messenger.

      But the messenger has, over the years, had to develop a bullet proof vest.

      He has been injured. He carries the scars. But he is still, thanks ONLY to God, astride his mount.

      And he feels the need of prayers and support.

    4. You were already ordained when you were expelled, Pat. They cannot "un-ordain" you.

      These young men, many of them, are a good ways off ordination and they are completely vulnerable in this system, one of the most powerful weapons in which is "with-holding" and "disregarding".

      Let's hope VAMA gives them a loud voice which cannot be disregarded.

    5. That was my Second Expulsion :-)

      I was expelled from Clonliffe seminary at the end of my 3rd year in June 1973.

      I went to St John's in Waterford in Sept 1973 and was ordained in 1976.

      So I know what it is like to cross a dean and be expelled for petty reasons.

      Not justifying anything. Just saying :-)

  6. We carry this grace in clay vessels to how that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

    1. Im not preaching. But we should ALWAYS remember the God dimension to the things that happen to us daily.

    2. On the question of the 5 SEMINARIANS that were "expelled" / left - the last one that was badly used by the Maynooth authorities - were his initials - AM?

    3. You mean Anthony McGorrian?

  7. VAMA - CONTACT NUMBER - 083 831 3151

    FROM OUTSIDE IRELAND - 00353 83 831 3151

  8. AM is a good guy and doesn't deserve exposure here without his consent. Of course it's him.

    1. No intention of exposure. But would like to speak to him.

      Or he can call VAMA on 083 831 3151 and talk to his friend.

  9. This week had uncovered many painful memories. I can identify with all the abuse and harassment which was mentioned. I was asked all of those questions in formation meetings. I was also attacked by an older student, and the shame/guilt of that made me consider suicide on a number of occasions. I hope that this will bring healing and closure to us all and allow us to move on with our lives as we had tried to do until now.

    1. I am sorry to hear that our discussions have uncovered painful memories for you.

      Thank you for being another one confirming issues raised.

      I would like you to talk to us - CONFIDENTIALLY in you wish.

      VAMA - 083 831 3151


    2. Just wanted to make something clear.

      The VAMA phone number will not be answered by me - but by a MAYNOOTH EX SEMINARIAN

      083 831 3151

  10. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can a formation director ask "intimate" questions of seminarians! It is strictly FORBIDDEN!

    Furthermore - what academic qualifications and professional certificates, accreditations, etc. do these formation directors in Maynooth possess?


    If these persons want to sue Pat Buckley's blog for relaying into the public domain what many people have been concerned about for quite some time - then let them try it!

    Likewise, victimised seminarians, past and present - SUE THEM RIGHT BACK FOR PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT - that will do nicely for starters!!

    It would seem that there are other equally serious, sueable matters - perhaps, even criminal charges. Hardball these vile serpents right back at them!! COUNTER-SUE THEM STRAIGHT BACK!

    Let's have a test case that will help protect present and future seminarians from these wolves.

    Galway Gearoid.

    1. Clergy Misconduct lawsuits are common in the USA. I agree with Galway Gearoid. Hit them right back. HARD!! AND WHERE IT HURTS!! And, most importantly, put a STOP to them once and for all!

      Cavan Cian.

    2. Definition of what can constitute sexual misconduct by clergy here: "It can include child abuse, adult sexual abuse, harassment, rape or sexual assault, sexualized verbal comments or visuals, unwelcome touching and advances, use of sexualized materials including pornography, stalking, sexual abuse of youth or those without capacity to consent, or misuse of the pastoral or ministerial position using sexualized conduct to take advantage of the vulnerability of another. It includes criminal behaviors in some nations, states, or communities".

      Cavan Cian

  11. How sad all this is. So many good faithful seminarians have been dismissed over the past few years. Whilst many gay seminarians have been protected and encouraged to find their " true selves".

    This list that apparently named several seminarians who were active gays must be investigated again but not by the curropt seminary council. Shame on all who engaged in homosexual activity in maynooth and allowed innocent and faithful seminarians to be dismissed for trying to expose it and stop this evil.

    Have ye no fear of God? Do ye even believe in God?? For the good of your own souls and for the good of the church please admit yer guilt and admit these holy seminarians were wrongly dismissed.

    Ye will not get away with this forever. God will punish ye, if not in this life then in the next which will be way worse. What ye are doing is denying the church of good priests who may have gone on to guide people to the path of salvation. This is huge and only God can understand how big. Shame on all activly gay seminarians. Ye are disgusting both morally and intellectually. Ye have no fear of God.

  12. The Irish Catholic Church is gravely ill, promoting dysfunctional men to positions of which they are unworthy and, for which, they are unqualified.

    The Catholic Church in Ireland is guilty of thwarting a direct intervention of the Holy Father Emeritus, BXVI, which sought to purify the Irish Church after sexual abuse scandals, which were more damaging than centuries of persecution.

    The present Holy Father should consider revoking Ireland as the venue for the World Meeting of Families in 2018.

    There is no enthusiasm for this event, currently, in Parishes, given the corrupt and compromised personnel appointed to oversee it.

    Please, Pope Francis, DO NOT COME TO IRELAND!!! Do not glorify serpents and wolves with your presence. If you must, send a message by video-link, that is, if the whole sorry event cannot be reassigned to another country.

    Pope Francis, please show that you are serious about the eradication of scandal in our beloved Church and stand up for victimised seminarians in Maynooth.

    Intervene. Remove dysfunctional and corrupt men from positions of influence over idealistic and good-hearted students, who desire to serve God.

    Over the years, former seminarians (in their late teens) have confided to me that they were sexually assaulted and abused by "late vocations" (men in their 30's and 40's), in their rooms, late at night.

    These assaults consisted of forced masturbation and anal rape. I hope this movement of VAMA, will empower these students to come forward and break their silences (we cannot and must force them; rather EMPOWER them when they feel able).

    I would appeal to seminarians who have suffered sexual abuse by fellow students and/or sexual abuse, or inappropriate professional behaviour, by Maynooth staff, to contact a trusted priest/religious, or layperson and confide, to that person, their story (stories), asking that they bring it to the episcopal conference and Papal nuncio. AND ALSO GET IN TOUCH WITH VAMA!!


    Parish Priest,
    Ordained in the mid 80's,
    Deep South of Ireland.

  13. Your comment PP is shocking. Were these late vocations who assaulted younger men ordained?

    If so, one wonders what they are dping now?

    What do you do if the Irish bishops / nuncio do not listen or act?

    1. They left the seminary (the victims). The alleged perpetrators (as far as I know) were not ordained.

  14. Bishop pat, I wonder is pope Francis aware of the current scandal in the Irish church. Ie maynooth. Or are the Bishops going to create another cover up?

  15. I'm not going to name names. But there is a young, recently ordained dublin priest who is on grindr. rumor has it he likes to add young men, some are younger than legal age