Tuesday, 10 January 2017



By; Father U.

Dear Pat

I read a comment about Nursey and the succession at Westminster. Here's a few thoughts:



Bunty is a kindly man but hopelessly weak and indecisive. It is well known that the archdiocese is ruled by the ambitious young Vicar General Monsignor Timothy "Coca Cola Kid" Menzies. 

****Monsignor Menzes stalked by female parishioner.
He is not yet 50 and is the power in the land. The joke among the priests in Brummie Land is that "Bernard writes the letters and Menzie signs them!" 

That was also said of Worlock when he was the all powerful secretary to Cardinal Griffin and Nichols when he was the all powerful General Secretary to Basil Hume. So it goes on. 

Menzies was Secretary to Nichols when he was exiled to Birmingham after Hume died. Nichols was so convinced he would succeed to Westminster after masters death. But Murphy O Connor and his friends in high places had other thoughts.

Still Nichols got it in the end, but increasingly seems strangely unfulfilled and edgy. He is not loved by his priests. He has given up all hope of a move to Rome, thus putting him in pole position for the next Conclave. Technically he could still be pope, but it's unlikely.


As to who succeeds him? Bunty is certainly the preferred candidate of Murphy O Connor, who still wields a lot of influence with the English establishment - they see him as a humane, friendly court jester - but Nichols will do all he can to prevent the succession of Bernard. Nichols detests the fact that Murphy O Connor still calls the shots with the English establishment. 

The other man in the running is one Archbishop Arthur Roche. Now there's a story to be told! Roche (known as Cockroach) is Secretary of the Congregation for the Liturgy in Rome. He's as close as Nichols has to a friend. Nichols got him that plum job in order to have eyes and ears in the Vatican.


Roches promotions have come thick and fast, all the more surprising as he has a very checkered past and is thick. He was private secretary to Bishop Gordon Wheeler of Leeds, who idolised the good looking young priest. He then had some financial "problems" which led to him being exiled to Rome for "further studies". He never completed these as he was too busy befriending powerful allies, principally any bishop or Cardinal worth knowing who happened to visit the English College where he lodged, and the then Papal MC Piero Marini (they were tennis partners). Promotion was swift: General Secretary to the Bishops Conference of England and Wales; Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster; Bishop of Leeds. 

In his time in Leeds he bankrupted his diocese and to this day the diocese suffers from his "mistakes" - in fact the diocese was put into Special Measures by the Charity Commission. 

Roche was translated to Rome and made an archbishop. He has a non job. Writing documents and is desperate to return to England to take over after Vinnie. It may well happen. That really would be the end as he is a hopeless administrator and vindictive to boot. Many priests would resign, rather than be ruled by him. There is real fear in Westminster that Roche will come home at Archbishop of Westminster. 

Stranger things have happened! In fact it is still the case that the surest way to become a bishop, archbishop and cardinal is to have been a bishops secretary or a vicar general. As they say in Rome it is only the first promotion that matters, all else follows. That and an unwavering ability to flatter the boss and kiss the episcopal backside! 


Father U.



He was a highly regarded parish priest, devoted to his flock.

She was a lovestruck parishioner, devoted to him.


But 48-year-old Cheryl Burston's romantic dreams - which saw her give Father Timothy Menezes chocolates and a teddy bear - turned to harassment when he rejected her advances.

The obsessed parishioner put a public notice about the 37-year-old priest in a local newspaper and wrote to his superiors in the Roman Catholic Church.

Burston, who denied harassment but was convicted by magistrates in Coventry, met Father Menezes in September 2006 when she began attending the city's St Thomas More Church, 200 yards from her home.

The court heard that the priest was at first happy to exchange emails about church matters.

But he became alarmed after Burston, who lives with her elderly mother, presented him with the teddy bear, chocolates and an expensive pen on Christmas Eve, 2006.

Ignoring requests to leave him alone, the former bank worker continued to send affectionate emails, including one in which she professed her love for him.

Father Menezes is said to have found the harassment traumatic.

Giving evidence, Burston said she sent the email stating her love after receiving an electronic Valentine card which she mistakenly took to be from the priest.

She told police she did not expect her advances to be reciprocated and had not meant to harass him.

But she admitted watching him from her mother's room as he stood in his kitchen, naked from the waist up.

Single: Father Timothy Menezes was concerned about the threat to his reputation

Father Menezes told the court he had repeatedly made clear that he wished to keep their relationship professional.

But after he confided his concerns to another female parishioner, Burston took out a newspaper-notice stating she had not spread rumours about the priest.

Copies were sent to parishioners and the priest's parents.

Giving evidence, a clearly embarrassed Father Menezes said: "I believe there was a presumption of a feeling on her part that I did not share."

He said he was concerned about the threat "to my reputation as a priest, having chosen to live life as a single person".

Magistrates told Burston her actions would have caused Father Menezes a great deal of embarrassment and gave her a 12-month conditional discharge.


  1. Chocolates and teddies. Them were the days...Well maybe not. The land of clerical is a strange place. A title for a possible book springs to mind... Through the Sacristy. .

  2. As ever, the 'number of the beast' is the clergy-count in the Catholic Church at any one time.

    It is through a spiritually lackadaisical and worldly ambitious clergy that Satan enters the Church.

    1. So all clergy are bad?

    2. Yes. A true bunch of self righteous evil bastards who think their shit dont smell and who cant keep their hands off their dicks or others either.

  3. Don't discard the Dominican in Liverpool or Arnold. For Westminster

  4. The OP in Liverpool, McMahon, is just a big bluff bullying ex-London bus driver, or perhaps he was a manager ! I don't think he's going to go any further. And Arnold just looks and sounds like some fascist Gauleiter, and appears to have anti-freeze running through his viens. At least Bernard of Birmingham seems a bit human and kind, and is, as far as I can make out, liked by his priests which is a big plus. He doesn't come across as doctrinaire or overly orthodox, but pastoral and subtle in his actions and thinking. I don't think he's particularly ambitious for himself, and that in itself is a reason for him to go further. He would do so as an act of service rather than an act of self-advancement, which can't be said of many of the prospective candidates mentioned in this blog.

    In keeping with the previous blog about the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre: has anyone been following the Knights of Malta latest imbroglio ? It's worth a look at their website. I know that they do good work, but what a pile of flummery and puffed upness there is about the whole organisation ! They are currently caught up in dispute amongst themselves and with the Secretariate of State / Holy Father following the arbitrary dismissal of one of their senior officers by the Grand Master. I'm not sure what he was supposed to have done wrong, something about the distribution of condoms by the Maltesers in some third world country. Anyhow, this guy was dismissed by the Grand Master after refusing to submit his resignation, and on the grounds of disobedience to the Grand Master's instruction to him to resign. His sin seems to have been disobedience rather than the original cause, the condoms.

    Caught up in the midst of this is that great cross-dresser Cardinal Burke, who is the Cardinal Patron of the Maltesers, sidelined there by the Pope after his oppostion to the Pope's direction. The Pope and Secretariate of State have tried to intervene in this matter but been rebuffed by the Maltesers who say that this is an internal matter and outside the competence of the Sec of State and / or Pope. So much for 'obedience' then ! I would have thought that they would listen to the Pope who is trying to bring a nuanced and sensitive approach to this dispute, but the Pope has been rebuffed. No doubt Cardinal Burke is stirring away in all this, and using it as a means of undermining the Pope. I just hope Francis decides he's had enough of all this kind of silliness and hardline stuff, and just kicks them all out and carrys on with his mission of bringing mercy and the love of God to people, rather than wallopping them over the head with rules, regulation and minutiae. It's time for him to 'drain the swamp', the Roman one !

  5. I would discard Liverpool for his drunken outburst when adressing Westminster Clergy at their gathering in Bognor Regis. A buffoon. John Arnold is another Tim Bartlett.

    1. 11.16 the AB of Liverpool would already be 72 by the time Vinnie retires in 4 yrs.

  6. Statement from the Knights of Malta about their recent internal trouble:

    Because, unfortunately, some details of the events of last week are being circulated and discussed in an unbalanced manner, the Grand Master of the Order, HMEH Fra’ Matthew Festing, would like to communicate the following. On Tuesday, December 6, an extremely grave and untenable situation became apparent concerning Albrecht von Boeselager’s position as Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, and the Grand Master called Boeselager for a meeting in presence of the Grand Commander, Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke as the Holy Father’s representative to the Order of Malta.

    In the meeting the Grand Master said that the situation called for Albrecht von Boeselager to resign as Grand Chancellor, which is especially regretful because of his service to the Order for so many years. After Boeselager refused this, eventually the Grand Master had no choice but to order him, under the Promise of Obedience, in presence of the Grand Commander and the Cardinal Patronus, to resign. Boeselager refused again. Thus, the Grand Commander, with the backing of the Grand Master and the Sovereign Council and most members of the Order around the world, initiated a disciplinary procedure after which a member can be suspended from membership in the Order, and thus all Offices within the Order.

    The reason for his removal as Grand Chancellor was due to severe problems which occurred during Boeselager’s tenure as Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta, and his subsequent concealment of these problems from the Grand Magistry, as proved in a report commissioned by the Grand Master last year.

    It has to be noted that, for any member of the Order, to refuse a command of the Grand Master – regardless of the reasons behind it – is disgraceful. However, for a member in Obedience to refuse an order under the Promise betrays a disregard for the Order’s spirituality and laws, his Religious Superior and Sovereign, and for the Holy Father’s representative to the Order who was supporting the Grand Master in his decision.

    The Grand Master asks all Members of the Order to remain in the ardent desire that the Order stays united. Although some members of the Order have been publically protesting, these claims are erroneous and also illustrate a similar disrespect for the Grand Master.

    The Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta will appoint the new Grand Chancellor in the next few days.

  7. Statement of the Grand Magistry following the intervention of the Secretariate of State / Holy Father:

    The Grand Magistry of the Sovereign Order of Malta has learnt of the decision made by the Holy See to appoint a group of five persons to shed light on the replacement of the former Grand Chancellor.

    The replacement of the former Grand Chancellor is an act of internal governmental administration of the Sovereign Order of Malta and consequently falls solely within its competence. The aforementioned appointment is the result of a misunderstanding by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.

    The Grand Master respectfully clarified the situation yesterday evening in a letter to the Supreme Pontiff, laying out the reasons why the suggestions made by the Secretariat of State were unacceptable.

    He assured the Holy Father of his filial devotion and asked the Pontiff for the Apostolic Blessing, both for him and for the Sovereign Order of Malta, its 13,500 members and its 100,000 staff and volunteers who continue to provide a permanent and efficient hospitaller presence in more than 120 countries in the world according to the centuries-old charism of the Order of Malta.


    1. The Holy Father would be doing the Church a great favour by suppressing these ridiculous troupes of jackasses and Pantomime Dames - such as the Orders of Malta and the Order of Jerusalem Horses Asses - there are quite a few prize mares and not a few hobbledy horses fit only for the knackers yard - in that Youtube video posted yesterday, starring wannabe bishop Timo and co.

      So this uber-"loyal" Order of Malta basically told the Pope to mind his own business??? Definitely poisonous old Granny Burke's malign influence at work here.

      Why do this crew need to dress like clowns and buffoons to do charitable work, anyhow? Utterly ludicrous. They are an embarrassment to Catholics. The Pope should shut them down. Trumpery, tomfoolery and worse! Even Louis Quatorze would be embarrassed by these buffoons.

  8. And if you look at their website (www.orderofmalta.int) you can see lots more and get a sense of how up their current arseholes these people are ! But, I still admit that they do do some good charitable work.

  9. I would say Leeds or Northampton for Westminster because of their humility.

  10. The erstwhile Great Dane of Belfast, currently under PSNI investigation, is one of those Malteser Dames ..... It gives him an excuse to dress like a bishop .... Nuff said!

  11. A few comments:
    Nursey is more switched on then appearances suggest.
    Spud is actually quiet thick. His preferred priests in Westminster were, in the main, thick and/or very dull. They all liked to have a good laugh and not do very much. Spud also has less influence than reckoned. Not only did Phyllis and Dark Mavis make it to the episcopate, but so did Stock (Vinnie's right hand man), Grogan and Robert Byrne (traditional and rumoured to have a skeleton or two).
    Marcus Stock is worth watching. Intelligent. Also unusual in that Vinnie took him from Birmingham down to the Bishop's conference. Rare as Vinnie is not known for having favourites in the same.way that Worlock and Cormac were.

    1. I should have put,'Spud is actually quite thick', rather than quiet. Also got my Leeds priests mixed up. I meant John Wilson rather than Paul Grogan. It wouldn't surprise me if Fr. Grogan did find himself the receipent of a hat.

  12. …he assured the Holy Father of his filial devotion and asked for his Apostolic Blessing .......
    If I were the Holy Father my benediction would have been 'Fek off you pompous stuck up twat'
    What a laughing stock !!!

  13. Pat, it's all well and good pointing out the problems in England, but I think you need to stick to covering Irish matters for the time being.

    This blog has been a thorn in the side of the Irish hierarchy for months now. It's the only thing that's forcing them to act. As you know the bishops will be going over to Rome in the coming weeks on their ad limina visit. This is our only chance to force the bishops into acting over the whole Maynooth scandal. They'll go to Rome hoping to pull the wool over the Vatican's eyes pretending that all's well back here. Then they'll come back and tell us how great the Pope thinks they are and that he just can't wait to visit us and tell us himself. This can't be allowed to happen.
    Pat I would suggest that you publish a summary of all that you have uncovered in one blog, so that the extent of the problem can be clearly seen, and hopefully it'll be seen by the right people.
    The bishops have covered up abuse, corruption and scandal, they have silenced seminarians, they have lied to the media and they have lied to their people, don't let them get away with it!

  14. As a blog reader in England I find it refreshing to hear about the Church in England now and again. Don't forget that Ireland is only one small piece of a bigger picture. Keep up your reporting of matters in England Bishop Pat.

  15. Don't forget your Celtic cousins in Scotland,Pat. Don't forget we gave you Roddy Wright and Keith Patrick O'Brien. We also had Blairs Junior Seminary which was a cesspit of abusers in the Aberdeen Diocese and Fort Augustus Benedictine Boarding school. ( Still lots to come out about that place)

  16. Priests tend to be too quiet. They won't rock the boat as they have too much to lose. Bishops have so much power over their lives- spiritual power, economic power, even power where they live and work. Dictatorships work that way. Individual voices are silenced and no one will support lone wolves, even colleagues who agree with them. In Ireland,the ACP seems ineffectual. They might be given the opportunity to meet a few bishops every four years or so who just listen and subsequently ignore all their suggestions. The church can and does infantalise its clergy. Tony Flannery is going to defy a vatican prohibition by celebrating a public mass in a village hall for his 70th birthday. If that's as maverick as they can get, no wonder nothing changes. As has been said change will only come about when people vote with their pockets.

  17. 16 11. I agree. Many talk the talk but can they walk the walk. Many descent people have been anaesthetised into submission or at the other end of the scale don't give a S*ite anymore.

  18. Bishop Pat please do continue yo feature articles about the Catholic Church in England and Wales and Scotland. You have many faithful readers in England; many priests who log on every day, several times a day, to know what is truly going on. I know the Church in E&W is very different from the Irish Church - always has been - but we too have our problems. Continue to shine your light here. Please. Westminster Priest.

    1. I intend to continue to cover the whole "Irish Isles" :-)

    2. ... and the whole of Grindr I hope.

  19. Cockroach is a very arrogant man. He was not liked much in his former Diocese of Leeds. He closed parishes and he had quite a handsome Secretary at the time who I believe was from N. Ireland somewhere. Another Tim Bartlett who climbed up the episcopal slippery pole. Not a nice man despite the false smile.

  20. Why is it that Bishops tend to have handsome young Priests as their Secretaries?

    1. Not always but often. The handsome are sometimes displaced by the not-so-handsome-but-100%-company priest. The perfect stonewall to keep the people and priests removed from the Bishop.

    2. Use your imagination, dear.

    3. Who was the "handsome secretary" that Bishop Roche had while in Leeds? Does anyone know his name? Is he still secretary there?