Friday, 23 December 2016

PRIESTS AND COURAGE ???

PRIESTS AND COURAGE ???



FATHER SEAN PAGE - a daily contributor to this Blog made the following comments here yesterday:


FATHER SEAN PAGE AND MRS CLARICE PAGE


"NOTHING HAS STOPPED THOSE SEEKING MINISTRY OUTSIDE THE RC CHURCH. THE WHOLE THING IS A LAUGH AND CONTROL GONE WRONG..

HOWEVER IT IS MORE DIFFICULT IN IRELAND TO SEEK ALTERNATIVE AVENUES TO PRACTICE ONE'S RELIGION UNLESS THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE MY DAY"


Sean, I am your friend and I totally respect and admire all that you are, all the struggles you have had and all you are trying to do in your life.

And I also agree that it is harder to survive as an INDEPENDENT PRIEST in Ireland than it is in "Pagan England".

But Sean - IT CAN BE DONE !

I HAVE DONE IT  !

AND I HAVE DONE IT NOW FOR OVER 30 YEARS !


When Cackle Daly sacked me in 1985 - 31 years ago - Ireland was a different place - a place in where the Roman Catholic Junta had much more power over Ireland than it has now.

In 1985 it was still in the period before the RC Junta had been disgraced by clerical sex abuse, Father Brendan Smyth, Bishop Eamon Casey, The Magdalen Laundries etc etc.

I was not "sacked" for any form of misbehaviour.

Kitty Daly gave me two reasons for my sacking:


MARGARET AND PAT CLEANING UP DIVIS FLATS EARLY 1980'S


1. "You are overly involved in community work".

2. You are being critical of the Church in the media".

That was it. There was no woman on the go. No man on the go. No nun on the go. No financial scandal. No abuse shadow. No heresy. NOTHING.

Kitty Daly was just a BULLY -suffering from SMS - Small Man Syndrome :-)

At the time it was "normal" for RC priests and bishops to be bullies. The laity were in fear of them.

When Daly sacked me he told people: "DON'T WORRY ABOUT BUCKLEY. HE HAS NO MONEY OR BACKING, HE'LL BE GONE IN 6 WEEKS".

SIX WEEK CACKLE. That's what you said. It is now 31 YEARS and I am still here - right here in the Larne Presbytery you did not have the balls to evict me from!

You knew that I would be chained to the radiator and that the world's media would be here.

And like all bullies, Cackle, you ran away when someone really stood up to!

You even tried to bribe me Cackle by sending your secretary Father Eddie O'Donnell to my door with a cheque from your private account for £1,000.


O'DONNELL CAME WITH DALY CHEQUE


£1,000 was a lot in 1985 and especially to a man who had no income and a huge overdraft.

But, Cackle, I photocopied your pathetic attempt at a bribe and then I got into my car and drove up to your palace door in Belfast and stuffed it through your letter box with a little note that read:




"THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER WAS OFFERED TO COVER UP AN INJUSTICE.

AND LIKE THE FIRST TIME - THIS TIME IT IS AT LEAST AS UNACCEPTABLE".

And, having failed to get anywhere with you in private I took our dispute into the public arena - the media, the industrial tribunals and the courts.

You wanted us to talk behind the red velvet curtains of your palace - just me before you and your henchmen. 

I took you to the industrial tribunal and the High Court. Your well paid lawyers cross examined me for days. 

But when your turn came to take the witness box to be questioned by me you chickened out.

Of course the Northern Ireland Judicial establishment would not allow me to defeat the "great" Cahal Daly who had afternoon teas in Buckingham Palace and who was the friend of the political establishment and the chief constable.

But I had one victory. For the first time I made a Catholic Bishop sit as a DEFENDANT in a civil court.

And then you had your press officers spread the rumour that I was "mad".

Using your influence with politicians you tried to stop me celebrating marriages - and you failed.

I stood before you THREE TIMES in cathedral and churches until your hired six "heavies" to keep me out.


PAT TACKLING DALY DURING MASS IN A CROWDED ST PETER'S CATHEDRAL


And then you hid in your palace and wrote to the priests telling them that you were MY victim and that I was stopping you do your work!

But I got on with my ministry.

I set up my chapel in my sitting room.

I travelled Ireland and the world celebrating the marriages of those you alienated.

I became a bishop and ordained men and you squeaked at me that I was "excommunicated".

Excommunicated? From what?

The most corrupt man made institution ?

O Felix Culpa. O Happy Fault.

I am God's son. I am a member of God's family. GOD does not put ANYONE out of his family.


Of course you went on to "greatness".

In your 70's they made you an archbishop and a cardinal. The company rewarding the company man.



But the only difference that made is that the Armagh worms - and not the Belfast worms - consumed you.

Not that there was much to consume.

Your skeleton was a emaciated as your soul!


I told you something during our last four hour meeting:

That I would be here long after you had gone.

That has come to pass.


The god's favour the brave.

The god's favour the David's over the Goliaths. 

You presided in a cathedral worth millions.

My chapel is a converted garage.





But hey !


Jesus was born in a stable !

He died on a rubbish dump !


Sean, it is more difficult to survive in Ireland.

But it can be done.

And it can be done against the greatest odds and in spite of the power of the greatest "empires".

It takes a bit of faith, a bit of determination, a bit of stubbornness.

In fact it takes what the Irish call LIATHROIDI

If you do not know Irish - its a word you will see in the picture at the top of this blog that begins with the letter B and ends with the letter S.







20 comments:

  1. I admire your journey Pat. I don't think I would have the courage or energy to do what you did in Ireland. Here in UK I did not go in search of ministry. Ministry found me through my God and my wife. She is a lifetime church goer and reintroduced me to church when she wanted a church marriage. I had not been to church or chapel for 10 years. If some think I am on a moneymaking journey I am not paid for anything I do in Church. My paid work is as a mental health support worker. I have been lucky in many ways and God has been looking after me. As someone in Church told me recently I discovered I am worth something after all. I do not bear any animosity against my former church or diocese.I pray God will guide them in the challenging future that is ahead

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  2. Happy christmas Sean and your good wife
    Yes God will look after you always,as youdoingGods work in your paid job

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    1. 13 27 Happy and blessed Christmas to you and yours. Indeed to all on hear. Hope 2017 is a good one

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  3. Pat, what you have done over those 31 years has been nothing less than the movement of the Holy Spirit. You are and have always been a priest of great conviction, faith and bravery, one that has had so many lies and much defamation thrown at him, but you have overcome everything with a strong faith and compassion.
    At a time when faith is being pitted against sexuality as though they are incompatible and one is from God and the other Satan, your arms have always been open to bring LGBT and others outcast by the Roman Church closer to God, indeed as far as I know you are the only option LGBT Catholics have, Evangelicals having All Souls and Anglicans St. George's. The RCC continuously claims that they do not damn anyone to hell, well we all know that is not true in the traditional rite of bell, book and candle, and more than most the LGBT community feel this. Pope Francis is the epitome of this, by in word he is compassionate, in action he is quite the opposite,but you in word and deed are nothing but compassionate, loving and accepting.
    So I thank God for your independent ministry, as a gay man, you have held together my faith when you didn't realise you were and have allowed me to see a God of love, compassion and mercy, not the God the RCC presents who creates people gay, expects them to spend their lives suffering and hating themselves,which only destroys the person, then damning them to hell because they couldn't live up to impossible heights. Indeed being gay is not all that defines a person, but just like being straight it greatly impacts who the person is, especially when so called Christians force LGBT into boxes.
    May God continue to bless your work and guide you in all that you do, may Our Lady pray for you and the angels protect you. You are a beacon of hope for LGBT Catholics.

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    1. Are you having a laugh? Have you read the pages upon pages of internalised homophobia on this blog?

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  4. It's so sad that the Church will sacrifice men of honesty and integrity yet hide those predatory,promiscuous cowboys who are just modern pharisees, empty gongs and clanging cymbals using the priesthood for their own benefit. Shame on us as a church and as a people.

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  5. Each bishop is like a mini pope in his own jurisdiction. The bishop's power over the majority of the laity is minimal but he does still carry a lot of power over the lives of priests. Bishops are not really accountable unless they engage in criminality. A bishop can be a huge force for good or bad. Most are in-between. Another bishop would have engaged with Pat in an adult, emotionally healthy way. A man with good conflict management skills. Historically many reformers might not have gone into schism if treated properly and listened to by the powers that be. Once a bishop is in place not much can be done about his stewardship. Some can be sociopathic tyrants causing a lot of hurt. There have been a few of those in the hierarchy. So it's really important that the right man is chosen for the job. A very mature man. Wise, prudent, pastoral, patient, humble, simple, holy. A man of kindness and compassion. A man whose only ambition is to be a unifying presence of Christ's love. A man willing to listen and to admit his humanity, even personal mistakes. A bit of give and take goes a long way. The days of the lord bishop, the feudal bishop are no more. A bishop needs a big heart. He must be mature enough not to be heavily on the defensive if other points of view are put forward. Being very defensive and easily offended are not good traits for a bishop. Ideally a bishop should be like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. All of the characteristics of a good bishop are found there. I'd much prefer a bishop who would err on the side of mercy rather than one with a ledger book mentality noting old scores.

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    1. That you Timmy B making your plug for a mitre?

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  6. Pat,
    Am I not the quare boy sitting on my big chair here this cold winters night with a big fire blazing and a wee glass of Powers at my right hand.
    Pat, there is far too much mocking here of the late Cahal Daly. This man was bestowed with much greatness. Just like the infant in the stable in Bethlehem was the son of god this wee man from Tully, Loughguile was the voice of God. He told more than a few folk that one! How blessed and humbled the good people of Loughguile must feel about that.
    Cahal was a great servant of the Church- not necessarily of the gospel!
    To him the church was first, last and everything in between. The preservation of the church's image and reputation was paramount. His ability to deny, prevaricate and obfuscate when confronted with abuses and wrong doing was admirable. The iron fisted approach to rule and discipline lacked tolerance and Christian charity.
    It was such a terrible loss to many parishes where he could have served that his career took him away from the smell of the sheep thereby denying those good people full benefit of him being able to share his intimate knowledge of the writer Tertullion. A fat lot of use to the socially struggling denizens in many Belfast parishes!!
    His love of having the great unwashed kissing his ring and his love of being called My Lord and Your Eminence- and his ability to correct anyone who fell short on ecclesiastical etiquette- showed little of the meekness or humility spoken about in the gospels.
    As an oul doll in Armoy said when Daly died " We will never see his likes again" I said Deo Gratias.
    Dalriada Dick

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    1. Dalriada Dick,
      As one as yet unshaven but washed, I would appreciate a translation of your "obi wan kenobi"
      Have not gone sleepless trying to make sense of this but would be grateful for clarification.

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  7. Good read today Pat, change is good.

    Wishing you a happy and Holy Christmas.

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  8. It happens to everyone who takes the title bishop. Without exception.

    But all that craic about a bishop should have the smell of his sheep. Sorry, but that's a load of bollocks. They weren't taking into account the fact that many of the sheep in Ireland have a bath once a week if we're lucky and hygiene isn't a priority - lank, greasy hair being de rigeur in Chapels across the land and the concept of a daily shower as foreign to many as a firm grasp of the doctrine of transubstantiation. Nope, in Ireland, a bishop definitely should not have the scent of the flock.

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    1. I think you should realise that "the smell of the sheep" has nothing to do with baths or hygiene. Don't be so crass. Are you Timo, or are you some other sociopathic wannabe bishop, who has no pastoral skills, but oceans of self-confident importance?

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    2. Yes, I am Timo and I am a sociopath. Like the blogger, I also believe the world divides into good and bad, with no grey, and that everyone who disagrees with me, is OUT TO GET ME. Because no reasonable person would think differently to me. Now there's a pathology....

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    3. 22:38, Don't be an idiot all your life.

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  9. A sociopath is someone who a) lacks a moral conscience, b) acts completely in self-interest, c) is an expert liar and manipulator, d) is often incompetent but knows how to get credit for others' work while blaming others for his or her own mistakes. Sociopaths are only obvious to the few people who are willing to stand up to them, to whom they become belligerent. But it's all done as much as possible behind-closed doors, and then the sociopath, whether by manipulation or by simply intimidating any other involved parties, turns the tables on the whistle-blower.

    Gaynooth is run by sociopaths. There have been many sociopaths as bishops - there still are.

    Fair play to you Pat for standing up to them.

    I wish the Gaynooth and clerical sociopaths would go out to join their master Ledwith worshipping Orbs in the US.

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    1. Yes. In my 7 yrs of seminary I have no doubt there was a fair share of sociopaths. Many of them could 'out act' any Hollywood actor. I'd also guess that a higher than average proportion of clergy are narcissists as against the general population. I've met some uber confident clerics with barely two brain cells operating at any given moment. Yet these are the ones who are scarily sure of themselves, never self questioning or self doubting and who can market themselves very well and pull the wool over people's eyes. Sadly they are the ones people go to for weddings and funerals, the so called popular priest. All glitter and tinsel, zero substance, minimal knowledge, just image. I suppose it's a sad reflection on the emptiness and self obsession of today's 'culture'.

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  10. "The preservation of the Church's image and reputation was paramount" - - -
    Such an accurate summing up of the Church's traditional stance when abuse revelations first threatened to surface and victims had the courage to try and defend themselves!

    Nowadays, the word "paramount" appears frequently in Child Protection and Safeguarding training manuals. Thankfully the context though has changed vastly.
    Nowadays, the sentence would read "The needs of the child are always paramount" and this principle would apply "first,last and everything in between". It has taken quite a struggle against much resistance and there is still a huge amount to be done.

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  11. Just a P S. Pat you were accused of being overly involved in community work. Bullshit. Jesus was a community worker hence the parables. C o E now has a ministry of Ordained Local Minister in the workplace. These folks are self supporting priests who keep the day job and minister to those around them. There is also pioneer ministry which emphasises the community side of ministry and mission. The days of side altars and private masses are over. Lord Bishop and alloof father are things best left to history

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  12. People are called where they are called to. Bishop Pat, you have been brave these past 31 years and are a Godsend to many both in person and in blog. Fr Sean has also been brave by honouring both his priestly vocation and his matrimonial calling. I respect, thank and acknowledge ye both as great examples. Thank ye.

    On a similar reflection; what of men forced out of seminary (rather than forced out of ministry)?

    Why do I ask this? Well this year the seminary welcomed 14 new seminarians. The seminary always publishes the number of new entrants each August; and is subsequently quiet about them. However the silence breaks now as the seminarians return to their respective corners of the country... My neighbour is a seminarian (but not one of the 14)... The new, what they've not admitted... One semester in and 6 of the 14 have walked out. 6 of 14?

    What the heck is happening behind closed doors???

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