Thursday, 20 October 2016



Thirty-Three Good Men analyses the lives of thirty-three Irish Catholic diocesan priests and former priests during a period of significant change in the Irish Church and Irish society, 1960–2010. The book focuses on the way Irish diocesan priests understand and experience celibacy and obedience in modern Ireland, and how they understand their evolving identity as priests. Other related topics, such as the alleged crisis in priesthood, are also discussed.

Apart from their common gender, these men are quite different from each other, with diverse backgrounds, personalities, behaviours and attitudes. While most of them are active priests in good standing, others have left the priesthood; while some are young, most are middle-aged and elderly; while most are heterosexual, some are homosexual; while most live celibate lives, others are sexually active; while most hold orthodox Catholic beliefs, others are more liberal in some aspects of Church teaching; and while some are enthusiastic about their priesthood, others have become disillusioned.

Dr John A. Weafer has been a researcher and teacher for more than thirty years. He was the first lay director of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Research and Development in Maynooth. He was subsequently appointed to the boards of two of Ireland’s largest market research agencies before establishing his own research company, Weafer Research Associates, in 2000. He lives in Leixlip with his wife, Anne Marie and their three children, Siobhån, Daragh and Orlagh.

A book offers an intimate peek at the gay sex lives of Irish Catholic Priests. Yes, you read that correctly: The gay sex lives of Irish Catholic Priests.
In his book, Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity Dr. John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children, interviews more than 30 men of the cloth about life inside the church.
One of the priests he spoke to said he was in a long term gay relationship and that he was “very happy with his life as a priest and a person.”
Another priest, who goes simply by the name “Fr L,” told Weafer that it wasn’t until after he joined the priesthood that he began hooking up with guys.
“Although we both vowed it would never happen again, it did,” he said, “and I was really very confused.”
After “fumbling around” with another priest, Fr L decided to check out the local gay scene. That’s when he “discovered a strong clerical gay scene in Ireland,” although it wasn’t easy to participate in because of the need for secrecy.
He also told Weafer that there are “quite a lot of gay guys in the priesthood,” recounting a time when he walked into a gay bar in Dublin and saw least nine other priests hanging out in the bar.
“As long as priests don’t go public and don’t flaunt those actions that don’t correspond with being a celibate priest” the hierarchy will turn a blind eye, Fr L claimed.
Weafer writes that most of the men he interviewed lived celibate lives. The issue of mandatory celibacy, he says, has become a hot topic within the church in recent years. Weafer found that the majority of Irish priests were unhappy with the policy. Many of them were also “highly critical” of the fact that sexuality and, more specifically, being gay was still considered taboo in the seminary.
“If a priest was to say in the morning ‘I am gay’, he would be fired,” Weafer writes. “Priests have learned to keep their heads down.”
Since being interviewed, Fr L has abandoned the priesthood, saying he found the double standards too much to handle.


Below is a recent podcast interview with Belfast's Joe Nawaz which was published in the past few days on his podsight.


He gave me a 76 miniute interview on everything under the sun.

You can choose to LISTEN or IGNORE :-)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joe Nawaz Independent Public Relations and Communications Professional Belfast, United KingdomPublic Relations and Communications Current Culture Night Belfast, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Daily Mirror, Belfast Telegraph, Culture Northern Ireland, AU Magazine, The Fly, BBC, UTV Previous Féile an Phobail, Belfast Media Group Education Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education


  1. Good for you on being so upfront with your sexual abuse, Pat.

    1. It happened. It affected me. Eventually I processed it with help. It has given me many insights.

  2. A very good listen Pat