Wednesday, 10 August 2016

MAYNOOTH - FATHER PAUL PRIOR

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MAYNOOTH - FATHER PAUL PRIOR



As we speak an ex Maynooth seminarian is completing his formal Garda statement making certain allegations against the Maynooth Director of Formation - Father Paul Prior.

In the last few days a second seminarian has come forward who has agreed to make a corroborating  statement to the Garda about the same matter.

In revealing this I want to make it clear that I am not making any statement or judgement about Father Prior.

In fact the opposite is true - that all people about whom allegations are made must be regarded as innocent until a proper tribunal or court finds the opposite. Father Prior deserves the full presumption of innocence.

I am simply stating that these statements and allegations have been made and are being investigated. 

And the fact that it is now in the capable and professional hands of the Garda means that no comment about the allegations, their substance and their details should not now be made. Let us regard the matter as sub judice.

There does arise, however, the question as to whether Father Prior should be left in place in his position by Maynooth, its trustees, the Irish bishops and his own Bishop of Kilmore - Leo O'Reilly.


Leo O'Reilly


In most professions these days, when an allegation is made, the competent authorities highlight the need to regard the accused as innocent - but then as part of modern safeguarding procedures the person is usually temporarily relieved of their responsibilities, pending the outcome of the investigation.




They are, if you like, "suspended" and they step down not only with the presumption of innocence but they also retain full pay and employment rights and entitlements.

When it comes to allegations of misconduct with minors the Catholic Church guidelines say that the person should temporarily stand aside while the matter is resolved. 

While there is absolutely no suggestion that Father Prior has had any interaction with minors I personally would regard 18 year old seminarians as immature and therefore somewhat vulnerable. 

And in a seminary the priest staff members have 24 hour control of seminarians in every aspect of their lives.

I would deem it wise, if not absolutely necessary - for Father Prior to step aside pending these investigations.

In doing so he will also be protecting himself and others from any shadows or doubts.

I would have also thought that those complaining may have recourse to civil cases to secure compensation from Maynooth, its trustees and the Irish bishops.

A civil court could take the view that by leaving Father Prior in place during the investigations displayed an attitude of irresponsibility by the college and bishops and could leave them open to having to pay punitive damages.

A week ago I wrote to the Maynooth Trustees and Bishop O'Reilly suggesting this "best practice" procedure to be put in place.

I never heard back from them!

A Catholic Church spokesman did tell some journalists:

"Priests only have to step aside if there are any allegations about minors".

I find that statement alarming!

Would a parish priest not have to step aside if a female parishioner accused him of rape?

Would a bishop not have to step aside if a female diocesan secretary accused him of sexual harassment?

Would an abbot not have to step aside if one of the monks accused him of sexual misbehavious?

Would a nun teacher not have to step aside if a male teacher in her school accused her of stalking him?

Was that not one of the MAJOR complaints during the Catholic Church Child Abuse scandal - that bishops and priests thought that they should be treated differently than all others?

Dear! Dear! Have the bishops learned nothing from all those years of scandal and pain?

Was all that pain and suffering wasted on those who wear purple?




  
BREAKING NEWS.

MOVEMENT AT LAST!!!!

The Maynooth Trustees and Irish bishops have NOW agreed to meet before the end of August to discuss MAYNOOTH SCANDAL.

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE.

See todays Irish Times.


INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC CHURCH?

Quite a number of people have expressed to me the need of an INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC CUURCH - "Catholicism without Rome".

Any others interested?

bishoppatbuckley@hotmail.com


Maynooth dominated by ‘culture of fear and secrecy’, says former seminarian

Ex-students at St Patrick’s claim they were told to sign confidentiality document File allegedly included pledge not to sue the seminary or bring it into disrepute

Two former seminarians have said they were told to sign a confidentiality agreement binding them to secrecy about Maynooth on the first day they joined the seminary.
The first former seminarian, who contacted The Irish Times, was 21 when he entered St Patrick’s College in September 2005. He was “not streetwise, and this was my first time moving out from home”, he said.
Students at Maynooth are normally invited to sign the college register on their first day: “This happens in front of the student’s class and some, if not all, of the seminary council,” he said.
Following this, however, the seminarians were presented with another document pledging not to “sue the seminary trustees for anything that happened within” Maynooth. “One can draw their own conclusions concerning why this happened. I reserve my own,” he said.
At evening prayer on the first day, a senior figure at the college told the new seminarians “that some of us were in Maynooth because we had vocations, while others were there for human reasons”.
“He said that his job was to discover which category each of us fitted into and then ensure those of us who were there for human reasons did not make it to ordination.”
The then-new seminarian said he had found this to be “a frightening beginning. The following morning at morning prayer I sat on the seat closest to the oratory door.”
Crying
“I was the last to leave morning prayer that day – I remember it distinctly because I felt unable to leave before I stopped crying,” he added.
The second seminarian was 19 when he entered St Patrick’s College in 2007, one of 24 new seminarians that year.
Throughout his time there, he said he found it was a place dominated by “a culture of fear and secrecy”.
This was down primarily, he said, to the fact that it was at the formation team’s discretion whether men were allowed to progress to priesthood or not. Dismissals and/or expulsions took place without explanation.
Occasionally those left behind might be told when a colleague left that “such and such had taken the mature decision to leave. It was always about maturity,” he said.
He too recalled that evening he and fellow first-years had to sign the register. “It was at 7.15pm in St Mary’s oratory with prayers and candles, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.” It all took place “in the guise of a religious ceremony”, he said. Each of the seats for the seminarians had a piece of paper on it which detailed such things as “not bringing the college into disrepute; not repeating anything seen or heard; acceptance of the bishops’ and [seminary] staff’s right to expel without explanation”.
‘Fledgling weeks’
The purpose of this document, this seminarian felt, “was to instil secrecy in those fledgling weeks and ensure that if we saw anything or heard anything we would keep it to ourselves, even from our families”.
The seminarians were not allowed to keep this document, he said. It was collected by staff, but a fellow seminarian kept a record of the document’s content in a diary he wrote up later that evening, which was now available to corroborate what he and other seminarians were saying.
“If needs be, it can be carbon-dated,” he said of the diary. “We’re not all telling lies.”
The seminarians were acutely aware of this document and its content as each, separately, signed “this enormous tome” that was the register before their class and the seminary formation team in St Mary’s oratory later that evening.
This confidentiality document was even referred to explicitly by a senior staff member at the college in May 2010, the former seminarian recalled, after a series of articles had been published about Maynooth.
Seminarians were called together by a senior staff member who reminded them of the document they had signed and pointed out that talking to the media about the college was a breach of confidentiality.
Anyone who claimed such a document did not exist was “an absolute liar”, the former seminarian said.
‘‘ Signing the document took place ‘in the guise of a religious ceremony’

66 comments:

  1. I hope when the bishops meet they will not bake a BIG DENIAL APPLE TART.

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  2. An 18 year old seminarian is a vulnerable adult. Although the alleged abuse was against a slightly older man, the fact is that Prior would behave the same way to 18 yr olds, to who he has access. He should certainly stand aside, immediately. If he is cleared then let him resume his duties with pride.

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  3. Can I ask those commenting not to prejudge the Garda investigation and confine comments to the more general situation?

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  4. In an earlier contribution I confidently asserted that seminarians are not asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and indeed in the account above they have not signed such an agreement. No obligation in civil or canon law arises from signing the college register. The ceremony described however with its sinister liturgical trappings is deeply embarrassing. It is an emotional abuse that leaves Maynooth seminary looking too much like a primitive religious sect rather than the prototype of a contemporary Christian community that all the Church documents expect it to be. I had a similar experience myself when I was installed for the first time as a parish priest. After the Mass,(during which I had recited the Creed as is quite properly required), the bishop (who was also a personal friend) pushed me into a corner of the sacristy and thrust a couple of pages into my hands with the abrupt command, "Read aloud and sign". It was, I think, the anti-modernist oath and some other things but even an hour later I really couldn't have said. The Church of Christ can be very crude with its own at times.

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    1. Thank you.

      And what would you think of the piece of paper Monsignor Connolly gave out and later collected - with the instruction that what they were signing up to in the registed was summarised on that piece of paper?

      Genuinely interested.

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    2. Honour is a word not much heard nowadays. I presume that originally signing the register meant that as a matter of personal honour you undertook to obey the rules of the college and accept the decisions of the superiors. Nowadays you would expect the college rule to be given in writing in advance to every applicant and to be available for public scrutiny. As for that piece of paper, unless you sign the piece of paper itself and date it, no obligation whatsoever arises.

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    3. Tell that to 18 year old seminarians with no experience of such things and an awe / fear of college staff.

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    4. My sentiments exactly!

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  5. Does Maynooth Seminary have a professional code of conduct to governing staff, including Deans, interaction with students?

    Or is Collins frantically typing one up as we speak and back-dating it?

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    1. As we speak M Collins and C Tennyson are drafting same in Connolly's office.

      It should appear on the Maynooth website later :-)

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  6. This blog is full of dung! Catch yourselves on, Maynooth will be running in full force in the coming weeks. Make sure and put up the dates of protest so we can get a selfie with you all. Though we won't post it online Pat, wouldn't want your DLA to be effected. Absolute knob!!

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    1. Above we see the calibre of Maynooth supporters!

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    2. Anon 11:54, it should be "affected" and "effected" - dunghead!

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  7. Replies
    1. Disability Living Allowance? You are disabled Pat? Would you not agree??

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    2. No, I have no disability whatsoever.

      I have never claimed any state benefit in my life.

      Although I am looking forward to claiming my Contributory Pension on May 2nd next - and receiving my all Ireland travel pass. I intend to use that pass to do a visitation of every Irish diocese and oublish my findings :-)

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    3. Bon voyage or should I say bon sougorno. I hope you are received with openness and respect

      Delete
  8.  Anonymous10 August 2016 at 10:55


    I would like to agree with you that a confidentiality contract was not signed as one would find in most businesses or corporations today but the signing of the register was an integral part of the same action of professing confidentiality and other things.  The recitation of this information aloud, in the presence of God, immediately followed up with a signature in a book is tantamount to a deception of the highest order. Signing one's name gives affirmation to something. The inextricable way that this document was read and the signing of that register was done so as to give the perception that you were giving written attestation, by way of your name, to a verbal agreement. Obviously, due to the deceitful way it was carried out, it would bear no standing in civil law. You rightly confirm that there is no requirement in Canon Law for such an action to be taken. Why then was it done?! What was the intention of the seminary council? Can Msgr Connolly provide us again with the full text of what we attested to? All of these back room oaths need to be put into a public forum because they were and are used as a means to control people. This attestation was later used by the Seminary Council of St Patrick's College to remind the seminarians that they had participated in something wrong by speaking openly to a journalist about the theological and operational practices in Maynooth. Senior seminary staff have demonstrated the purpose of this ceremony themselves by using it as a way to try and gag seminarians from speaking about the practices of the seminary publicly. It was shameful and the full implications of it were not fully known to seminarians until it was used against them. Msgr Hugh Connolly has presided over St Patrick’s College for 9 years. He was the vice president previously and taught on the faculty for many years and indeed was a student there himself along with the rest of the Seminary Council in my time. They know what we are talking about. There is corroboration both by people who took part in it and now by way of a written account transcribed on the eve of that action. Msgr Hugh Connolly, the people are real, the evidence is real, it is now time for you to stand up and take accountability and heaven forfend, be honest, about what that document and ceremony was about!   This was an emotional abuse and a way to silence and control seminarians. The only contrast that I would draw on was; as you were being installed as a parish priest your knowledge of the 'system' would have been much more acute. As seminarians with no knowledge and experience of the malicious activities and arbitrary means of governance within the seminary, we were unaware of the implications of such an attestation and the effect it would have in creating a culture of fear and secrecy.

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  9. Fair play to you Pat. You are giving a voice to the voiceless. People can say what they want about you, but you are the only hope for the young men abused by the Maynooth system. I disagree with a lot of your views, but in this matter you are doing a great and necessary job.

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    1. I never expect anyone to agree with my views unless they personally concur :-)

      Everyone is trying to cover up the Maynooth Scandal - archbishops, the nuncio, bishops, Maynooth Staff. some seminarians, lay people, etc etc ect.

      I will not rest until it is properly addressed.

      But I do need all the prayers, support, information, evidence that I can get.

      I do not mind being the up front man.

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  10. Pat is there much more to come in this scandal soon?

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    1. I am getting new information every day from all kinds of people.

      I cannot see it ending soon :-(

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    2. Surely no more massive stories developing? Is there ??

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  11. Pat, I can just imagine somebody in the Nuncios office reading your post above 13.34 and going " For Gods sake there's more, is this ever going to end!"
    Pat, hell slap it into them.

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    Replies
    1. :-) It will only end when we know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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  12. An interesting news feed item on Maynooth Seminary Website:

    http://maynoothcollege.ie/seminary/2016/08/05/dignity-at-work-studies-policy-saint-patricks-maynooth/

    Hmmmmmmmmm..........

    Regards,
    Very Concerned Young Catholic
    (Armagh Archdiocese)

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    Replies
    1. Interesting that the policy has not been dated as is customary. However the ink does look kind of wet:)

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    2. It was composed in the snug of a Maynooth pub on August 5th 2016.

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  13. Hence the curious 'crop circles' where Hugh set his guinness glass!

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  14. I can see why Deacon Jack Byrne arouses so much interest - he is absolutely gorgeous! He would have no problem having someone different every night.......but he will get old like the rest of us!!!!!

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    1. he's much better looking than his other half that's for sure

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  15. That wasn't me in the chapel getting the students to sign that confidentiality document. It was an alien impersonating me.

    These aliens are very clever. They can change themselves to look and sound exactly like you. The students thought it was me but it was an alien fooling them.

    Those aliens are bastards. They abducted our entire Independent Complaints Panel Composed Entirely Of People Unconnected To The Church last Friday afternoon.

    And they mooned at poor Fr Fanny as they were flying off in their flying saucer.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mgr. Hugh (the dog ate me homework) Cowboy Connolly

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    1. LOL!!:) There are lots of priest-impersonating aliens in "Gaynooth"! In fact it is a full-blown infestation!! LOL!

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  16. Bishops, Journalists, trustees and all interested parties - the heart of the Maynooth Scandal/Crisis is as follows:

    1. Deans asking students highly inappropriate questions about sex and sexuality.

    2. Deans extracting deeply personal information from seminarians by subjecting them to coercion and putting them under duress.

    3. Deans engaging in psychological and spiritual abuse of seminarians.

    4. Deans transgressing professional and spiritual boundaries.

    5. Deans breaking Canon Law by seeking to interfere in matters that pertain to the internal forum.

    6. The allegation that a Dean inappropriately touched a student which is being investigated by the Garda.

    7. Seminarians, who are unchaste, being allowed to proceed to Holy Orders.

    8. The alleged "gay sub-culture" of Maynooth Seminary.

    9. The use of Grindr.

    10. The perception that unchaste seminarians are given the nod by a "gay friendly" formation team and administration.

    11. The lack of a fit for purpose, independent complaints procedure.

    12. The coercive use of confidentiality to maintain an atmosphere of dysfunctional secrecy.

    13. The perception that Mgr Hugh Connolly told bare-faced lies, on RTE Radio, on Friday August 5th, about use of confidentiality and the existence of an independent complaints procedure.

    14. Students being harassed sexually by some fellow students and some faculty members.

    15. A perceived bias against heterosexual seminarians.

    16. Seminarians, who practice the Church's traditional forms of devotion and spirituality, being viewed with outright hostility.

    17. Deans acting in an arbitrary manner in the disciplining and dismissal of students.

    Have in missed anything in the above list?

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    1. That is absolutely spot on. I cannot think of anything else at the moment.

      Can anyone else?

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    2. Yes.....financial probity! Where did the money come from for that young bucks car? Parishoner donations?

      Regards
      Rasputin

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  17. All those implicated have literally fled the country courtesy of foolish parishioners! basically hard earned parishioners money/pension is being spent on fine hotels and dining. will we ever learn!

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    1. No. Nothing changes. In twenty years time or else maybe there'll be less parishioners to fuel the gravy train. Whenever I hear priests are poorly paid I laugh. They can get away with doing the bare minimum and enjoy the perks like free house which is a major outlay for most people. For a man living alone a priest's salary is very attractive, not to mention the extras like bonuses, fees for weddings and funerals etc.

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  18. Michael Byrne's "Constant Companion" has take a flight out of the country today?

    Maybe gone to Barcelona to join the other two?

    Priest

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    1. Why does that not surprise me ???

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    2. dining on fine wine in luxury hotels.

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  19. Pat
    Follow the money if you want to nail them. Remember Al Capone did not go down for killing any one. He got jailed for fiddling his accounts. And as an interesting aside he died in prisin from complications with his syphilis. So Hugh (and I have no doubt you are reading this)..you have been warned!

    Regards
    Rasputin

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  20. Innocent until proven guilty I totally agree. I commented those with the courage to come forward. I also need to say false allegations should not go unpunished. I say this in a spirit of fair play

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    1. I agree. I think that is there a distinction though between false allegations and allegations that could not be proven in a court.

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    2. There is so much smoke from this one. The fire must be big

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    3. Once more I agree with what you say Pat. This storm will have many casualties

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  21. Fr Coyle, Fr Derwin, Deacon Jones and Deacon Byrne...all recent/soon-to-be products of Maynooth. The place is a cesspool.

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    Replies
    1. How can the formation team members live with their consciences? The buck stops with them.

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  22. Bonfire of the Vanities.....

    Rasputin

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  23. 19:05
    Could not agree more. The Corpus Christy procession in Armagh used to be like a gay pride parade with Amy, Rory and a fair smattering of closet cases. I decided that the pub would be more spiritually uplifting.

    Rasputin

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  24. Gaynooth's inhabitants won't be fooling or defrauding the laity for much longer...

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  25. Regretfully it is their game plan that thi will blow over like all the other coverups. It is up to us the decent people to apply such overwhelming pressure that these fraudsters will be forced to stand down.I am raising a family of catholic children and I am committed to the eradication of this vile contagion so that my children can stand tall as christians in Ireland. Connolly, Ledwin... the whowle lot of you...I have you in my gun sights!

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  26. Regretfully it is their game plan that thi will blow over like all the other coverups. It is up to us the decent people to apply such overwhelming pressure that these fraudsters will be forced to stand down.I am raising a family of catholic children and I am committed to the eradication of this vile contagion so that my children can stand tall as christians in Ireland. Connolly, Ledwin... the whole lot of you...I have you in my gun sights!

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  27. There has to be embezzlement of parishes' funds on a massive scale with all these Grindr priests and seminarians frolicking around. I am livid with rage thinking about this.

    Are our bishops that stupid? Or is something more sinister going on?

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  28. Maybe team Gaynooth could represent Ireland in Rio......in the duplicity pentathlon event?

    Rasputin :)

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  29. Just a word of balance to make sure we remember the whole picture and don't tar everyone with the same brush: we are blessed to have many, many excellent, humble and hard-working priests in every diocese, who generously pass on the stipends they receive to those less fortunate, who are always available to their parishioners and who live authentic, prayerful lives. Further, there are so many good candidates for priesthood still out there - both presently in Maynooth and even recently ordained from there.

    We have much to be thankful for as well, and God is good. Every generation has to face the problems of its time, but the Holy Spirit doesn't abandon the Church, and good people continue to offer their humble service often unnoticed.

    Not one person is beyond God's mercy - our challenge is often to make ourselves as merciful as He is.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with what you say; however, Maynooth is currently rotten right to the top.

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  30. 21:52 smart poster. The only way to stop a disfunctional church in its tracks.....cut off their oxygen.....the one thing they adore and need...... £€£€£€ MONEY!!!!! This is the only control mechanism that the the dumb laiety have.

    Rasputin

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    1. MourneManMichael10 August 2016 at 23:16

      You've said this several times now Rasputin, and I agree.
      Trouble is that many "faithful", especially the older generation (with more disposable cash, more trusting attitude and less questioning mentality) feel quasi dependent on the clergy and almost obliged to continue the lifetime of subservient donations.
      So I'll ask the same questions I put in commenting on the Carryduff parish shennanigans a while back.(Any developments there?)
      Can any legal beagles advise on the extent to which parishoners have legal rights on financial contributions to the RC church?
      Once money is donated, to what extent does the parish or bishop have full unfettered control of its use?
      Are there any legal precedents, or case laws (in ROI, NI, or GB) concerning church or parishoners control or use of cash or property donations?
      Basically I'm asking if there's any possibility of parishoners taking control and responsibility for how their donations, past and current, are used.
      Comments welcomed.
      MMM

      Delete
    2. Excellent suggestions, MMM. Trouble is I think control of these monies is legally watertight...in bishops' favour.

      Monies, once donated, cease to be the property of the donors and become the property of the recipients. Change would require contractual
      agreement, legally binding, on both bishop and laity.

      The organisation of this would, to say the least, be difficult as it would require braod consensus among the laity. As you've already (and correctly )
      pointed out, the older generation of Catholics would be less likely, through
      generational loyalty to the clergy, to support such a move. As Catholic congregations nowadays are disproportionately elderly, your suggestions,
      though exemplary, would be unlikely to succeed .

      Delete
  31. Pat, you've gone national! Do you ever get nostalgic for the gentler days when it was just pedestrian old Down and Connor to comment on - +Noel's door knobs, "Dean" Kennedy and his frolics, Timo Bartlett, his cuticles and his ambitions? Lol

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    1. Excuse me! International!

      Yes indeed I've gone from 500 - 900 readers a day to 15,000.

      Its just that the Maynooth story is so important and it is D&C multiplied.

      But dont worry I'm watching Treanor +++ too.

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  32. Pat. I think that the biggest problem that you are overlooking here are the vocations directors who are sending these men to Maynooth in the first place!

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  33. What is the process of selection at diocesan level these days. Church of England UK have a 3 day residential assessment as part of the procesd

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