Tuesday, 18 October 2016




For the sake of BALANCE on this Blog let us talk today about SEXUALLY ACTIVE HETEROSEXUAL PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS.

We have heard no stories of heterosexual seminarians in Maynooth bullying other seminarians. 

We did hear about the Maynooth formator Father Donal O'Neill saying inappropriate things about women to seminarians and some seminarians found him bullying.

But it is a well established fact that some heterosexual seminarians are sexually active in Maynooth and that some of them go on to be SEXUALLY ACTIVE HETEROSEXUAL PRIESTS.

So much so, that in 1992 - after the BISHOP EAMON CASEY affair I established a support group called BETHANY for women who were involved with Irish priests. To date I have been contacted by 130 such women.


What I have discovered through BETHANY:

1. That priests having affairs and sex with women is happening in every Irish Diocese and Irish religious Order.

2. That some priests have long term women partners - and that other priests have multiple partners - a woman in every parish or place where they serve.

3. That some priests respect women and some priests use women for both sex and money.

4. That some priests have multiple partners at the same time - single women, married women, widows, nuns etc.

5. That a small number of priests are bisexual and have sex with both men and women.

6. That some priests tell their women that by having sex with them they are doing GOD's WORK allowing the priest to continue in his vocation.

7. That quite a number of priests in Ireland have fathered children.

8. That some priests have encouraged women to get abortions when they fall pregnant and sometimes pay for the abortion or travel to England with the women to have the abortions.

9. That there have been famous cases of bishops and priests having women and children - Bishop Eamon Casey and Father Michael Cleary.

10. That a small number of priests have raped women either as an individual priest or even as a group of priests in priestly gang rape.




One curate from one rural Irish diocese - who was sexually active - was bisexual and had a girlfriend and a boyfriend at the same time.

The girlfriend used to attend his daily Mass and when he was giving her Holy Communion - instead of saying: "THE BODY OF CHRIST" would say to her in whispers: "CHRIST WHAT A BODY".



South Florida Sun-Sentinel
James D Davis

The Rev. Bob Deshaies never dated while growing up in Waterbury, Conn. He went to a Catholic high school seminary, then a Catholic college, then a major seminary. "You'd be giving up your ministry for a cheap piece of fluff," his spiritual director told him.

Then he met Deborah Cabral, a youth worker at a parish in Worcester, Mass. He got to know her first as a co-worker, then as a friend, then as a girlfriend. That meeting in 1985, and the relationship that followed, led into marriage, then out of the Catholic priesthood and into the Episcopal Church within two years, preceding Alberto Cutié by two decades.

"When you meet a woman who opens up your heart and soul, it's mind-shattering," says Deshaies, now rector at St. Benedict's Episcopal Church in Plantation. "It got me to rethink everything."

Cutié's exit from Catholic ranks, and his wedding at an Episcopal church this past Friday, have highlighted the issue of priests who are involved with women — relationships kept in the shadows by the requirement of celibacy.


As a handsome TV priest and pastor of a South Beach parish, Cutié made headlines worldwide with his relationship — and drew a loud protest at home.

On May 28, the day Cutié joined the Episcopal Church, Archbishop John C. Favalora said his actions "have caused grave scandal [and] harmed the Archdiocese of Miami — especially our priests."

Non-celibate priests also drew fire from Pope Benedict XVI, even as he announced the Year for Priests. "The Church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers," Benedict's June 16 letter said.

Given the stigma, studies of priest-women relationships are rare. But some numbers are available.

In 2002, the late sociologist Dean Hoge of Catholic University of America estimated that 20 percent to 30 percent of resigned priests left because they fell in love with women; 5 percent to 15 percent because they fell in love with men; and 20 percent to 30 percent because they rejected celibacy in general.

According to psychotherapist A.W. Richard Sipe, 25 percent of all American priests have had relations with women at one time or another since ordination. "I think Cutié has done everybody a big service by getting it talked about," says Sipe, whose books A Secret World and Sex, Priests and Power shocked Catholic circles in the 1990s. "The average priest has the identical struggle. They're just not on film or video."

The men, therefore, must often sort through the issues alone. So do the women.

Veiling the truth

Nancy Nevius was furious when Tom Brooks told her he was a priest six months into their relationship.

The two were working in the late 1990s as psychotherapists at South County Mental Health in Delray Beach, and he didn't wear a collar on the job.

Then a friend told her of Brooks' other job. "I couldn't imagine a relationship with a priest," she says. She confronted him over dinner, yet he didn't apologize.

"People are often put off when they first hear you're a priest," says Tom Brooks, who's retired but still performs occasional weddings.

"But then we talked about it, and the relationship got more serious after that." He wrote Pope John Paul II and said he was leaving the priesthood. Nevius and Brooks married in 1992 and now live in Tequesta.

Although Tom and Nancy Brooks attend meetings with a group called Celibacy is the Issue (CITI), they don't bother lobbying anymore.

"What's important is not dogma but relationship," says Nancy Brooks. "I feel equal and treasured. Many people don't have that."

'Not lesser people'

Judy Hein enjoyed being with Father Paul Veliyathil, whether helping with his master's thesis, or sharing chicken at KFC, or just walking around the neighborhood near Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

His traditional Indian mother objected strongly, and they stayed apart for more than a year. Yet their love lasted, and they married in 1988 over the objections of both their families.

"It seems like a lame excuse, but we had to believe God brought us together," says Judy Veliyathil, a receptionist at a foster care agency.

They now attend Royal Palm Christian Church in Coral Springs, and Paul Veliyathil works with a hospice. He's also with Rent-A-Priest, a network of men like himself who were never laicized, or formally released from the priesthood. They do sacraments such as weddings and baptisms, although the church doesn't sanction them.

Judy calls herself "perhaps naïve," but she prays the church will eventually allow priests to marry.

"It's just too bad that men can't be who they are," she adds. "If they can live celibate, let them go for it. But they're not lesser people because they love."

Disturbing patterns

One of the newer groups dealing with priests and women is the Apostles Wives Club, a blog launched in August by Marcella Paliekara of Fond du Lac, Wis.

She was looking for women like herself who married Catholic clergy. But almost from the start, the focus shifted to women secretly involved with priests.

Paliekara posts her own comments and says she gets 85 to 100 page views a day.

She's reluctant to divulge much of what women tell her, fearful they might feel she's betrayed their confidence. But she says some think "it's something special to love a priest, like being in love with a president or a celebrity."

Another organization, Good Tidings Ministry in Canadensis, Pa., has handled contacts from 2,000 people — 90 percent of them women — since it was founded in 1983. Its current head, the Rev. Cait Finnegan, is hardest on the priests. "We thought priests would be looking to find a way out of their moral dilemma," she says. "We found they just didn't want to get caught. Many of them are playboys, serial womanizers."

That may have been one issue with two ex-pastors at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. The Revs. John Skehan and Francis Guinan were found guilty this year of stealing thousands of dollars from church coffers, spending it partly on girlfriends.

Finnegan puts the ball in the priests' court because of the Catholic Church's celibacy rule. "The regulations become the men's personal decision on how to behave. A lot of them are dating, experimenting, like teenagers, at 30 or 40 years old. But without the responsibility of a man."

Organizations like Leaving the Priesthood also get entangled with the issue. The Colorado-based group, founded by an ex-priest in August, has gotten inquiries from about a dozen women who have fallen in love with priests.

The Rev. Robert Kippley, who himself left the priesthood to marry, says he finds patterns on both sides that disturb him.

Some women are frustrated if a priest doesn't express his love, says Kippley, now a Lutheran pastor. Sometimes the priest flirts, leads a woman on — a practice Kippley condemns as "emotional abuse."

For their part, some women are "attracted to forbidden love," he adds. He asked one e-mailer: "What if he left the priesthood and offered to marry you? Where would your love be in six months?" She stopped writing to him.

Almost to a person, the activists want a church-wide discussion of optional celibacy.

"There is so much secret stuff going on," says Deshaies, the Episcopal priest in Plantation. "The church has got to admit it."





    Dear Bishop Pat,

                               I have only recently discovered your blog, and I find it marvelous. It's just what we need. I too was a seminarian many years ago, and I know just what you are talking about. It was the same for all of us, but now, thank God, the clouds are clearing and we are able to begin thinking for ourselves. I think the first thing we must do is to speak the truth. Those people who become priests knowing they are living a lie must be told that they are liars, and those of us who want to live honestly must do as you are doing and live by the light of our own common sense. Otherwise, we all go nuts. I live in Japan, and have done for many years. I came here as a missionary but was very soon converted to the Japanese approach to religion. That is not to bother with things we cannot understand, but to preserve awe and reverence for the mighty workings of the cosmos, saying your prayers in your own way as you see the need to do so.

    You mentioned recently that you are viewed by something over 100 people in Japan. Wouldn't it be nice if some of us here of the same point of view could meet occasionally for mutual encouragement. We could call ourselves Buckleyites.

    With great respect and thanks,


  2. I remember describing the bullying in Maynooth to Hugh Connolly when he was vice-president. His response, he simply looked out the window, pointed out a woman and said 'she looks like she has a nice personality'.

    When people fall in love they fall in love. They stand by their woman; they wake up in the night when the baby cries, they help check the homework and they teach their child to kick a ball. If torn between ministry and the woman they love they do have options, such as the Church of Ireland who do great pastoral ministry as well. Then there is lust; well that just totally different. It's selfish, hurtful and destructive.

    1. So the Rev Connolly Didn't want to know about the bullying, because he and those That were bullying were of gay orientation and the person making the complaint was of heterosexual orientation
      What a disgusting piece of shit that he was...just disgusting

  3. I believe there are priests out there with female partners. My concern is that these women are not treated as dirt inside and outside church circles. That they are not overcome with guilt and stress. Also that Rev Fr has respect and reverence for the church he serves and that the Irish public stop being two-faced and call for accountability naming and shaming if necessary

    1. Any Catholic who knows of a priest having an affair should report him, either to himself or the media
      I don't want to receive a sacrament from a hypocrite.
      If he leaves the church, he is behaving honourably...then he can lobby the church to allow for married priests
      Also I'm concerned that any priest who has a woman is using church funds...which is STEALING

  4. A priest who leaves to marry become persona non grata from the day he informs the bishop. He is as if dead to most colleagues and airbrushed out of existence as one who betrayed the brotherhood. Meanwhile bishops and priests engage in co-dependent behaviour with miscreants within the ministry whether it's those seriously addicted to alcohol and who fall off the wagon every six months causing mayhem, or more seriously those who have fathered children and are allowed to quietly minister, or those who engage in sexual relationships either with men or women and towards whom a blind eye is turned even though everyone knows about their carry on. What a very toxic, sick, hypocritical institution we are dealing with. You will be punished for being honest but protected if you are cunning and devious. Remember all the pedophiles who were protected while their colleagues who left to marry were forgotten and ignored?

  5. Many who left are doing good work and living respectful lives
    Why would they want any truck with their former bishop...and there is always the dole
    It's those hypocrites still in ministry are are the real villains
    Let the genuine priests carry on the Lords work , even if they few in number
    If we have no one To celebrate our mass of a Sunday...so be it
    We don't want liars and cheats

    1. The dole is not a nice place to be but a necessary evil. Take it from one who knows. True vocation is deeper than 9-5 job and may be difficult for some to comprehend

  6. Time for something on priests targeted by mercenary young things and sex-crazed thirty somethings. They seem to believe priests are available for anything 24/7. You'd be surprised how many low-level stalkers we have to put up with over the years. Just saying....

    1. I fully take your point and have come across the same.

      However, is it not incumbent upon the priest, being a "professional" to react to such situations in a very mature and responsible way ?

    2. Fair point 13.48 I remember when the thornbirds first came out. Them were the days or were they.....

    3. 13 48
      Get a grip, do you think you are God gift, the thorn bids, Sean,was just a novel
      Yes I've seen teenagers gathering around a priest
      He should have been instructed in adolescent hormonal teenages and used his loaf Never mind the 30 something's

      You 13,48 just bragging
      And where were you that theses 30 something's clustered around you...at mass..yea , sure, you poor thing
      Learn how to act in a mature world and act your age.sheesh!!!!!!!!!

    4. Absolutely Pat....as a professional I was in many a tricky situation, but had been educated in the psychology of the human being
      No I'm not a Religious,but met with all and sundry during my years out there on the coal face

    5. 13.48 ..low levels you got to be joking
      And yes you are on a windup
      Prob one of those seminarians let loose for a night
      Did your parents never teach you the facts of life
      Show respect and respect will be returned
      Maybe you down cruising the red light areas when you should have been at your rosary
      24 /7 yea sure
      God help you , not knowing where to turn

    6. Those of us who have worked with vulnerable people for years have occasionally been presented with the challenge of having those we were helping become attached to us and want to be physically / sexually intimate with us.

      However our sense of right and wrong and our sense of duty to the vulnerable - and our internal set of "brakes" help us not to go down that road - without causing too much distress to the vulnerable person.

      This reminds me of the wonderful saying of Archbishop Helder Camara of Brazil:

      "Always try and say "yes". But when you have to say "no" try and make it sound as much like "yes" as possible.

      As "professionals" we have obligations to minors - but we also have obligations to vulnerable adults.

      A common cause of "professionals" getting into trouble is that they have no set of internal / moral / professional brakes.

    7. Well said Pat Fantasy is a weird wonderful and sometimes dangerous place

  7. Fr. Cutie's situation wasn't quite as described. He was a famous TV/radio priest teaching what the Church teaches but was spotted on a beach in an embrace with a divorced, bikini-clad parishioner. He wasn't punished for being honest, he didn't 'do the honest thing', he was found out. He has since made a good living with his books and TV appearances about his 'journey' into the Anglican 'priesthood'.

    1. Are you saying that he was more of a "cute hor" than he was a cutie ? :-)

    2. A Neil Toibin phrase that cute hure not to be confused with his other comic phrase m c b

  8. I was involved in a youth prayer group in the eighties. I remember bringing a group to a seaside retreat house for a weekend. We were accompanied by three of our young diocesan priests and a clerical student. It was a lovely weekend and everyone felt renewed spiritually. But it just struck me after reading the above blog that all three priests left the priesthood not long after that. Two got married (one to one of the girls on the retreat!) and the third has a gay partner. Two are teachers and a credit to their profession and the third is a respected journalist. The clerical student by the way is a much loved PP. All were honest with themselves and God.

  9. I am a woman involved with a priest. It developed from an easy friendship over a few years. We are intimate but have never had sex. He was looking for companionship, intimacy, love, a confidante. He has never spent any 'church money' on me. He has only bought me one drink in all the years. He has never put me before his parishioners - if they need him, they are his priority. I put in more than I get out but I have never been treated badly. We are very discreet. If leaving was easier, if he didn't stand to bring a perceived shame on his family, suffer the disapproval of his brother priests and parishioners, lose his home and income, risk ex-communication, lose his pension rights, be put in a drawn out laicisation process and with all those pressures adjust to a relationship then he would do the 'honest' thing. He is a priest from rural Ireland of 40+ years and feels trapped. He is a faithful servant of God and of the church but not a faithful priest to a corrupt, controlling institution. He is a kind, loving man. Should he have become a priest? Yes, he is a humble, spiritual, charismatic man who leads his flock and no, because I don't believe he ever had a true vocation, rather he
    didn't have a choice, or at least, at the time, was not aware he had a choice. No doubt this will attract a tirade of derogatory and chastising comments. I can live with that because for me the joy in knowing and loving this man far outweigh the disapproval of those who have not walked in our shoes. Lucky you that made all the right choices and never offended anyone in life.

    1. It sounds to me that you are in a loving, respectful relation as two consenting adults.

      He is not even breaking his celbacy promise.

      "Go woman, neither do I condemn you" :-)

    2. You are a brave lady and it's a shame you and fr have to operate under cover so to speak. I am married in Church now and in my believe celibacy is not just about physical sex it's about a whole mindset. Traditional church linked sex with the sex act and that for them is where the sin is located. In rural Ireland nothing goes unnoticed. You too are doing nothing wrong and the hypocrisy of a system that keeps you both prisoner has allot to answer for. For me relationship is and was the the missing link in my priestly Celibate experience. Sex is a natural part of human relationship and all the better when it's legal. I would recommend if you (both) have some rational and decent (Christian) person you can confide in it can only help. My downfall in my early days was I trusted nobody. May God affirm and guide you both

    3. Thank you Bishop Pat and Sean for your compassion.

  10. It always amuses me how the women in a parish compete with each other to 'take care' of the priest. Fighting over who gets to launder and iron his little Mass serviette thingies, stuffing him with all their cakes, pandering to his every little need. Sometimes I think they would follow him to the toilet and offer to wipe his arse. I don't think he enjoys it so much as tolerates it. I've seen a 73 year old in our parish insist on carrying heavy items for him and he is about 15 years her junior. I rolled my eyes at him at the time and he looked a bit contrite. Still if it makes them feel closer to God....

    1. A friend calls them HOLY WATER HENS :-)

    2. I remember as an altar boy in Larne, waiting in the sacristy for mass to start, the priest referred to them as 'fucking aul bitches' to the somewhat shocked sacristan and further told him to keep the back door open at the end of mass as he wanted 'the fuck out of here' without them slowing him down.

  11. I have been in a loving relationship with a priest from a religious order for almost four years now, and the relationship has been hugely satisfying for us both, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I am a practising Catholic, raised in a traditional Catholic environment, and never thought that I would eventually fall in love with a priest. The same goes for him. It was in no way a deliberately planned desire to defy his vow of chastity from my perspective, nor was it the result of loneliness and a desperation for companionship on his part. Our love developed instead through the interests and concerns we shared, and the genuine inability to be without each other in the loving way we are.

    Although we both felt initial guilt, and questioned the morality of our relationship in its early stages, we both conceded that humans cannot and should not be forced to live without the love of another, and therefore have shown our love to each other, since then. We have both encountered difficulties, in part due to the difference in our ages, as well as the need for discretion due to his position in the Order. Nevertheless, we have been able to express our love for each other, and interact in public as a normal couple would. Whilst his superiors are aware of our association, they have done little in the past 3-4 years to stop it. As some earlier comments suggested, religious superiors only seem to get involved with such arrangements where there is chance of public scandal.

    We are planning to marry as soon as is practically possible (my partner has started searching for jobs, whilst I complete my doctorate), but in the meantime cope peacefully and happily in the situation we are in.

    1. Maybe his superiors are in relationships with women or men themselves?

      I have often known this to be the case.

    2. Today's thread shows the depth of struggle people have when confronted with living celibacy.

      There is always the universal truth that celibacy is nonsense, brought in to control people. For those in secret relationships entering with eyes wide open we must respect that this is their choice, it is also where they found fulfilling love. Love is always precious.

      Two ladies have shared experiences. I wish ye well. It is of course a trap where homes and pensions are concerned. God bless ye in the struggle. For the situation with the order, I commend how the order is supporting this priest in his transition out of ministry.

      Today has been a balancing blog, looking at things from another angle following the last few weeks about gay cables in the church. Interestingly there seems little in it of priests using position, authority or power in a sexually motivated manner.

      Celibacy seems to attract some messed up people. Loving relationships seem to end the ministry of many good pastors. Need I draw the obvious conclusion?

    3. I am aware of two who are in a relationship with each other (ironic, considering they both caused us the most trouble in the beginning our our relationship, but later gave up upon realising their hypocrisy would not end our association). I also know of another superior who has engaged in a long-term affair with a married woman.

      I also know of several brethren who have suffered, and have even been threatened with expulsion, for little more than meeting a woman on a single occasion, yet other scenarios (like ours) happen without interference. It saddens my partner and me, hence why he is committed to leaving honourably and marrying as soon as I finish my education.

    4. I admire your honesty and principles :-)

    5. Just a thought - am I raving or hogging the blog space- when a genuine priest who respects a partner may think about sex feelings may be amplified - what could I have- what if... This can lead to mental overload. My head was all over the place. I can only thank God that I came through some potentially damaging situations grazed but intact. I can only regret damage in any way I caused to myself and others. I thank God for the good people who did guide me in the past and those who support and challenge me in the present especially the Mrs.

  12. WHO IS SEAN PAGE??????

    1. A former priest of Elphin who now lives in England and is pursuing ministrd on the C of E.

  13. Pat - great blog by the way! You should rename some sections as;
    'Living the Lie' or 'Sealed by Dick'.
    Priests are wrong if they think all or some special friendships have to be fulfilled and sealed by engaging in sexual activity? Do they not know what they signed-up for? Mammies vocation is not an excuse. As a biological father makes a vow of fidelity and faithfulness to his wife who is the biological mother of his children; surely a spiritual father making a similar vow to God would have the same duty of care to his bride, mother church, and her spiritual children? I'm no expert but I get this. If a priest, who is called to be a spiritual father to his flock, entrusted to him by God for safekeeping and minding - then he is certainly not called to sleep with them (!) Shepherds shouldn't sleep with their sheep!
    We can love and care for one another without sexual connotation, hence the Word was made Flesh without the integrity of Mary's virginity been effected - or am I going too far with this?!
    Purity, holiness and chastity are obviously very important to God and should also be a priority to his ordained priest to make sacrifices, just like Jesus.
    Even the mistress of a priest who recently wrote on the blog acknowledged her loving and caring man made a vow of chastity to God? So what is she doing in his bed? Yet these mistresses (and I've met one) refer to their men as faithful servants of the church and God. Really? Just as a married man living in the family home but secretly playing offside with a mistress - is not a faithful husband to his wife or a faithful father to his children but a deceitful and rotten scoundrel living a lie. It may come under Jesus' teaching as adultery = sin.
    Let's call a 'spade a spade' and stop losing the run of ourselves. Religion or no religion, common sense is common sense. If he cannot keep his religious vows to God and his Religious Order, then let him grow a pair of real 'cojones' - do the HONOURABLE thing and exit his disordered lifestyle in a proper manner, and stop wearing the mask - be a real man.
    But then, he'd have to move out of his comfort zone and get a job, a roof over his head, his own car, provide food for himself and his old beloved - provided she finds him still attractive and exciting as before?! His superior should not tolerate this behaviour - but he is probably concerned about hurting his feelings, or as you said Pat, is offside himself?! Silence is a form of consent.
    While none of our lives are perfect and I have offended many people in my life, including God, but we should not forget the difference between right and wrong. And talking about offence - what about God in all this unfaithfulness - stealing HIS man, mustn't sit well with him? It is not God who brings people together in order for them to break their vows. He is a God of unity not disunity. The dark Prince of this world loves division.
    By the way, most of these hyprocrites are pretty easy to spot - their lifestyle, outfits and homilies give them away! I knew a Dublin seminarian 9 years ago who was sent to the outskirts of north Dublin for a one month summer placement - the parish priest's 'housekeeper' visited once a week to 'clean-out' the house and 'religiously' stayed overnight. Now that's commitment! Keep up the good work. S.

  14. Those 2 priests are living a lie
    What's wrong with them
    Get out...aahhh you poor student, using the church to support your boyfriend because he hasn't the courage to walk away
    Get him the dole and a job in Asda
    Until the rc church allows married priests Go Go MAN UP

  15. Pat I'm amazed at you condoning what these 2 husseys up to
    Of course people know, unless they fly off to Paris on their dates
    BUT it's not people that they need to beg worried about
    It is the good Lord who called them to celibacy
    Take the MAN home now and tell him you need more than one drink bought for you
    Tell him to remove the clerical garb...because he can't keep to the principals of priesthood
    Until Pope France's changes the rules...keep to them or leave

  16. @23.01 A woman cannot 'rob' a priest, the vow is his to keep or break - he is the one who made it.

    If a man finds love is he not better off being true to himself than a miserable priest? If he is truely unable to channel Gods love to his parishioners than what is his vow worth?

    You have judged harshly. Be gentle; if you need to calm yourself than draw in the sand until your heart has spoken over your head.

  17. So blinkered. And not a shred of warmth or fragment of Christianity. You are probably the man I once worked with that went to church every Sunday without fail and could spout all the rules but, when his sister was diagnosed with Bulimia, announced she was weak and attention seeking and 'frankly he had no time for it' and that she was upsetting his mother. Carry on 'real man'. Let's see what your judgement day holds for you...

  18. Neither women described earlier are in anyway husseys. Such a comment reflects the age-old bigoted belief that the woman is always to blame for the onset of a relationship with the priest, and not the man himself. The same can also be said for the remark about women 'robbing' a priest. Nobody is to blame for starting the relationship, but both individuals are responsible for its continuation, and honouring it as soon as possible (which judging by the comment made by the second woman, is planning to happen.