Monday, 13 March 2017

"ON YER BIKE CHARLIE"


The Curious Case of Charlie Brown

BY: A Vatican Cleric - A Friend of Bishop Pat and The Oratory


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The clerical chattering classes in Rome (and beyond) are abuzz this weekend with news of the very public humiliation by Pope Francis of Archbishop Charles John Brown, who up until this week at any rate was the all-powerful Nuncio to Ireland for the last five years. Without any notice the handsome American has been dispatched to Albania, which may well have many things to recommend it as a country (it is the birthplace of a saint after all - Mother Teresa was born there, but got out as quickly as she could) but in terms of diplomatic postings is the equivalent of being sent to Outer Mongolia. 

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Vatican insiders cannot recall such a humiliating appointment since the time of Pope Paul VI, when the liturgist Archbishop Annibale Bugnini C.M. (who steered through the reform of the liturgy following the Second Vatican Council - and lost everything for his troubles) was exiled from the Vatican as Apostolic Pro Nuncio to Iran in 1976. The posting is all the more puzzling as the word on the streets was that Charlie Brown was moving across the Irish See to take up the very prestigious appointment of Nuncio to the Court of St James in London, following the (real) promotion of Archbishop Antonio Mennini who has left to take up an important role  in the Secretariat of State. In fact the influential journal The Tablet speculated just last week that Archbishop Charles Brown was to be named the new Nuncio in London.

So what went wrong? Charles Brown has had a glittering, clerical career from his earliest days as a young priest in Rome when he was spotted by then then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who invited him to come and work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. To be sure the Cardinal had an eye for handsome young priests (look at his secretary) and many eyes were raised as Charles Brown was never considered a leading intellect. When his boss became Pope, Brown was suddenly catapulted into the maelstrom of Ireland as Nuncio (considered a senior posting in Church terms) even though he wasn't a diplomat and had not been through the Church's school for diplomats, the Academia. In fact he was as surprised as everyone else. He owed his promotion not only to Pope Benedict, but to the then Secretary of State, one Cardinal Bertone. Like Brown, Bertone was not a diplomat either and had worked for Ratzinger in the CDF. The truth was that the pope did not trust diplomats, considering them part of the liberal Paul VI elite who dominated the Vatican and Holy See even in the time of John Paul II. Bertone's appointment was a disaster and the chaos he caused more than anything else led to the decision of Benedict to stand down.

With the resignation of Benedict and the election of Pope Francis, the diplomatic  Paul VI faction came back centre stage, led by Cardinals Sodano and Re - both protoges as young priests of Pope Paul. Bertone was booted out and his job given to Archbishop Pietro Parolin, another pupil of Paul (and a man to watch as a future pope). Ever so slowly, but with ruthless efficiency  every single appointee of Bertone (and Benedict, therefore) has been exiled, or sidelined and demoted. Charles Brown was an appointee of Bertone, and he has paid the price of being on the wrong side in this pontificate. 


AMY WITH CAP


Apart from the sycophantic words of Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, there won't be too many tears shed in Ireland as the New Yorker heads for Tirana and oblivion. He was singleminded in his control of every episcopal appointment in Ireland, appointing middle managers and also-rans as bishops and archbishops. The bishops feared him, the priests resented him. He had that smug air of a man who thinks he knows everything and knows best.  He will have a lot of time to reflect from the run-down nuncio in Albania. , "Where did it all go wrong", he may well opine.


PAT SAYS:

That you Vatican Friend for your piece.

Charlie Brown has definitely GOT THE SACK and being DEMOTED.

Rumours from Rome are giving various reasons:

1. The Gaynooth and the Tuam Baby Scandals.

2. Being too friendly with the Irish Bishops.

3. Being too informal - photographed out in jogging gear.

4. Anger from priests on the type of man being promoted to bishop.

5. Disapproval by one or two senior Irish bishops who talked in Rome during the recent Ad Limina.


There is also talk that during the recent Enda Kenny visit to Rome many criticisms were leveled at Brown from political circles.

Yesterday in the USA Enda Kenny said:

“I referred a number of matters to the Pope when I met with him last year and I would expect that the Vatican would respond to those.”


Of course Brown only got to the Vatican on the basis of his good looks.

Cardinals and bishops in Rome like to surround themselves with good looking young priests - sometimes as ornaments and sometimes as "PLAY THINGS"

Now that Charlie is heading for 60 his days are coming to an end.


Anyway the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is finished in Ireland.

Any new nuncio will simply continue to OVERSEE DECLINE AND SHRINKAGE.


67 comments:

  1. I think Bugnini was 'exiled' by John Paul II not Paul VI.

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  2. I stand corrected! Bugnini was 'exiled' in 1976, under Paul VI.

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  3. @Pat you missed the most important reason (from a Dublin perspective). Many priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin feel that the Archbishop of Dublin resented him. The nuncio gained far more media coverage, parishes wanted him invited as opposed to the Archbishop (then again at least the Nuncio was in Dublin as opposed to on his holidays). I suppose it was because he was one of the first Nuncio's who was English speaking, his good looks etc. Let's face it he cut a dash at ecclesiastical events. The word on the street - or rather in parochial houses - in Dublin is that he was resented for appearing at Dublin liturgies and the like. There's only room for one English speaking Archbishop in Dublin. On another matter, the Archdiocese is in direct contravention of one of it's own rules concerning former priests of the diocese. Unlike many other dioceses, Dublin has promoted at least one former cleric. Indeed he is on a whopping salary doing diocesan work, a very cushy number if you can get it. It has been suggested by very high authorities that if nobody says anything that nobody will notice. Least of all Rome or other priests. Some Dublin priests are aghast. But I know you won't say anything Pat, and that secret is safe with you.

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    1. Brown was in fact the fourth Irish American nuncio to Ireland. The Franciscan Robinson, himself a Dubliner by birth, was the first modern nuncio to Ireland and lasted nearly twenty years (1929-1948).

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    2. But Brown was the better looking, tha'ts the difference

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    3. Is religion not more about INNER BEAUTY?

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  4. A close confidant of the Irish bishops, Timmy Biggishbottom, was out tonight in the Gorgeous George pub in Central Dublin.

    The following conversation was overheard. He had just polished off his fourth tube of Pringles and was well into his sixth pint of Babycham:

    "So, Ted, all the talk among the great clerical unwashed is about Chuck (Chuckles) Brown being sent to Siberia .... sorry, I mean Albania. The fools know nothing. It truly is, of course, a promotion, Ted".

    "There's a whole batch of fresh young priests in Albania - fine-looking young fellows - in need of hope and inspiration from Chuckles".

    "The Vatican knows Chuckles is great with the young priests. He's a true motivator. He fills their heads with spectacular fantasies .... I mean ideas".

    "You see, Ted, Mongolia, sorry Albania, is a hole and the young handsome priests do get very bored and dispirited. Old Chucky will soon have them all buzzing again, in hope of favours and promotions".

    "You mark my words, Ted, the cook books will be out and they will be vying with each other, to outdo one another, to prove the old adage: "the way to a mitre is through a nuncio's well-fed belly". Haw haw, Ted, gives "brown-nosing" a whole new ecclesiastical meaning, eh wot?"

    And another thing, Ted. They're all saying His Grace of Armagh is looking somewhat haggard. Do they not know its a season of penance and self-denial??? Struth!"

    "His Grace is off sweeties and cake. That's why he's looking a bit peaky. Nothing to do with anything else, Ted. You know .... all that other business ... " (At that point, Timmy gave Ted a big wink) ???

    "Once the horrors and terrors of Lent have passed, His Grace knows the Easter Bunny will come abounding over the lawns of Ara Coeli with a big sack-load of delights".

    "Nothing to worry about at all, Ted. It's all fake news. Sure isn't fake news all the rage these days?"

    Thanks, Ted and whatever your having yourself ...."

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  5. He's a prick. I wrote to him dozens of times about Maynooth way before the revelations of last year. I got the automatic reply to acknowledge receipts but no actual reply.

    Good riddens to bad rubbish.

    Bye bye Charlie. Let us pray for Albania

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  6. I'm afraid the politics and inner workings of this one are above my head. Will there be any positive fallout for the person in the street in Ireland

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  7. Any church that puts earthly desires first, even your own church Pat needs to fall, for this is not the good news Jesus came to proclaim, and theres no point me quoating chapters and verses as every church seems to say it's open to interpretation. What a lot of cock and bull its open to miss use, all modern Chrtistian churches have lost their way.

    They all promote something of themselves for Rome its as you say nice looking clergy.For the Anglicans its women, homosexuals and liberty. Here in this God for saken sod its how can I be as un christian to my neighbour as I can.

    This includes your blog Pat as it is far from balanced. Theres always attacking the bad very rarely if ever the Gospel.

    Surely as a Bishop you Pat have to preach the Gospel even in your blog. It's high time all religious got off the high horse position they are on and worked properly for the Gospel.

    As for me I have no reason to boast, God knows my heart and actions for yes I am a sinner of the world on life's pilgrimage as a simple pilgrim.

    All I have to offer is myself and prayer.Time for all to step up to the call of the Gospel.

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  8. God Bless him for his service to God's Holy Church in Ireland. May God bless him in his new apostolic geography. The gates of hell shall never prevail..........

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    1. God bless him? For what exactly? His good manners? Last year I took the trouble to e-mail Brown a respectful, carefully considered enquiry that spared none of the diplomatic protocols, such as correct form of address. How did Brown respond? Er, that's the problem: he didn't. Nor did he bother even to acknowledge my e-mail. I wasn't impressed, to say the least.

      Perhaps Brown's diplomatic and social skills (such as they are) would have been sharpened had he actually been trained as a diplomat (rather than a Vatican civil servant) by attending the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. That he didn't points up the shortsightedness (silly you, Pope Benedict) of promoting the unqualified to positions where they are supposed to act graciously even if they don't feel like doing so.

      When Charles Brown was interviewed in October 2012 about his appointment as Papal Nuncio to the Republic of Ireland, he said: 'I have a lot of work to do...and it remains to be seen if I'll do the job well.' We now know the answer to that. And so does Charles Brown...in far off Albania.

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  9. No reason at all why Archbishop Brown shouldn't find Albania a very enjoyable and positive experience. It is a beautiful country, very nice climate a bit like Greece with some interesting old churches. There is a small but dedicated Catholic population as over half the people are Muslim as you would expect. (Living in a place where you feel appreciated may be more than a compensation for having to uproot)

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    1. The posting is still considered a demotion, whatever its climate, etc. .

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  10. Pat, did the GardaĆ­ ever come back to you on any of the information you provided over the last year?

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    1. I am still in touch with then and all matters referred are progressing.

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    2. Oh do reveal your secrets? Or are you the same as the rest? No, Brown is not running form Buckley, he could crush him.

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    3. Its not me that Charlie is running / being pushed from.

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    4. 14:26, how could Charles Brown crush any one from Albania, the papal equivalent of Siberia?

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  11. I have been an Armagh Priest for many years and I met with Archbishop Brown to present a dossier to him on 6 Priests in the diocese that I had serious concerns with in relation to their sexuality. This dossier included the infamous Fr X, names and addresses were provided. Archbishop Brown was gracious but was keen to note down every detail of the sexual activity regardless of how explicit some of the information handed over. He didn't appear perplexed at all. I was also highly critical of how the present Archbishop of Armagh was privy to all the information that I was relaying to the Nuncio but refuses to take any action. When I left Navan Road I was confident Archbishop Brown was taking the sensitive information seriously, I was reliably informed that Ara Coeli received a phone call from the Nunciature afterwards.

    That information was not acted upon by the Nuncio to this day, Armagh continues to ignore a lot of the information concerning several priests including one having sex with a teenage boy. Because I was being ignored by the Nuncio I took my dossier to Rome and to the Congregation of Bishops, I have heard nothing from them except an acknowledgment for the receipt of the information.

    Why has there been no replacement for Brown announced? It seems to have been a hurried and unexpected appointment. A clear sign of demotion is sending him to Tirana in Albania, may as well have sent him to Timbuktu. My only hope is that the Congregation for Bishops did read the information and have started taking action against those named. Some of them are keeping very low profiles including the Archbishop of Armagh.

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    1. Why must we presume that the move to Tirana, the capital is a demotion? He may not necessarily think so,especially if it is a much more supportive environment which, by all visitors' accounts, it is.

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    2. I'm told the nunciature in Tirana is pleasantly appointed. Ivan Dias spent six years there. He left as Archbishop of Bombay and went on to beome a cardinal and the prefect of an important Roman dicastery. He was even 'papabile' in 2005.

      Brown is known to have a Ratzingerian antipathy to actively gay clerics. His abrupt departure may sadly be a sign that our gay-friendly bishops have triumphed.

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    3. Have you been to Tirana 15.50? If so you will realise What a demotion it really is.

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    4. 15:09, I admire your integrity and courage.

      Well done, good and faithful servant.

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    5. Worked in Tirana for a few years and found it suited me OK but never enjoyed the plane journeys as I had to return home for a family reason at times (Thanks for asking though)

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  12. Is it not a little weird that the Government is seeking the Pope to intervene and ask the Orders to pay the money they agreed to pay for abuse from some years ago THIS week, and the Nuncio announced he was leaving LAST week?

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  13. 6 is a lot in one dioceses, expect you are not on the Christmas list of Eamon
    then.
    And still the brady parades around too...and we the sheep continue to pay if not praying all that much.
    Suppose if the cathedral keeps all flowered up things will be grand

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    1. One of the cathedral priests loves flower arranging.

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    2. Even as little as ten years ago flower arranging would have had feminine connotations. Certainly not now! Like chefs, the big names in floristry design are now all men. So this is a welcome sign of progress and the dropping of tired old stereotypes.

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  14. So Pat, has Amy still got you on his psni wanted list ?

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  15. Pat is it a coincidence that a Senior Armagh Cleric suddenly announced he was going on a sabbatical for 6 months? Who takes a sabbatical for such a short time? Some senior clerics are unhappy in Armagh, lots of sour grapes and I'm not surprised at what the Armagh Priest said earlier on the blog. Which is the Archbishop conspicuous by his absence?

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  16. @Pat did you ever send a file on deacons to the Nuncio?

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  17. This has all got to do with State/Church relations. Charlie wasn't a diplomat. He was parachuted into the job. Out of his 'diplomatic' depth. If a diplomat was in the job he would have negotiated with the government concerning payment of Orders, concerning PR relating to Tuam and not waiting for a week for Archbishop of Tuam to come out and apologise etc. They were caught off guard. The Nuncio ought to have been tipped off. It's his job to 'liaise' with government and not the bishops job. He was too busy showing up to Parish events. The result is that the Church is at a massive low and the pope is due next year and the referendum on abortion may well be passed as a protest vote against the Church. You must remember that Kenny withdrew the ambassador to the vatican. It was seen as a huge step forward when the Ambassador was put back. The current Ambassador could find herself recalled shortly if the Orders don't pay.

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    1. That would be tragic if we were so unbelievably shallow and unthinking as to allow the abortion vote to become part of a protest! Please God no - - Haven't innocent victims been punished enough! There are much more acceptable ways to make our voices heard - ways that will help our future generations.

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    2. 17:44, I totally agree with you. I should be horrified if, in protest against the injustices inflicted by the institutional Catholic Church, Irish people sacrificed the lives of little ones by voting for abortion.

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  18. 15 .53
    Him and his little women...all at his beck and call

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  19. So Pat, did Amy's psni interrogation with you upset your apple cart somewhat ?

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  20. Just saw on the news that Bishop Eamonn Casey has died. RIP

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    1. Will they give him a full bishops funeral ir a "Spies Funeral"

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    2. Pat what is a Spies funeral ?

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    3. A funeral where no one wants to be seen :-)

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  21. Lord have mercy on him. He was a good man, if a somewhat hypocritical one, but by current standards his offences were relatively minor. I understand he will be given a public, but low key funeral with few members of the hierarchy in attendance. He was forbidden any public ministry right up until his death. So much for the mercy of Pope Francis.

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    1. Relatively minor? Grow up,for Christ's sake. He was an arch-hypocrite and a moral coward since, initially, he sought to distance himself not just from his behaviour, but from Annie Murphy and their son. I'm surprised Peter wanted any thing to do with that old f**k*r.

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    2. 17.35 Did you not realise everyone in Ireland is a saint when they die. Casey was a hard man to work for I'm told

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  22. Eamon Martin is keeping a very low profile, he sends a Monsignor now to some places to conduct Confirmations on his behalf. He can't send Brady as he is too much of a liability and is not welcome or wanted by many. To think we will have Eamon Martin for such a long time in Armagh is depressing. Can they not find him a desk job at HQ in Rome?

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  23. @Pat will you go to the funeral? He felt the full whack of Rome. Although he's from Kerry, his family moved to Limerick and he was ordained for the Limerick diocese. That would make him the same diocese as Bishop Fonsie. Do you think +Fonsie will be at the funeral of his co-diocescan?

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  24. Amy is not coping with internal Armagh scandals and is "depressed".

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  25. What are the internal Armagh scandals?

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  26. Eamon certainly looks depressed and like an old hag when on tv recently.

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  27. Hi Pat, I hear yet another Armagh Priest is taking a sabbatical but not announced yet. Basically wait until the storm has passed and things are forgotten and have died down before you make a return. They tried to orchestrate a return for Rory by him turning up in the Congregation at the Cathedral but it was a botched attempt that didn't succeed.

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  28. Yes, what are the Armagh Scandals?

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    1. Read 15.09 for starters.

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  29. Casey was just as hypocritical as Deacons on Grindr looking for their hole. End of.

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  30. Could we not petition Tirana to take Amy Martin along with Charlie Brown at the same time.

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  31. @Pat insofar as you know or insofar as you can say, are the Armagh things bad? Do they involve anyone currently in Maynooth? Or are they all priests?

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  32. Has the Association of Catholic Priests any backbone? It has declined to comment o the Irish Times this evening on the C&AG report about the contributions by religious orders towards the States compensation scheme.
    The Irish Times reports: "A spokesman for the association said the matter was “outside” its remit. The association’s membership comprises mainly diocesan/secular priests, but it also includes priests who are members of religious congregations."
    What exactly does this Association do? Other than act as a sort of Union for older priests who (in fairness) may not be too gay and may come from an older generation where they were eyeing up a bit of skirt and were their mother's vocations. Could they not just leave the priesthood and settle down with their bits of skirts, or go get real jobs or else retire if they don't want to work. They appear to be allergic to taking on more work in neighbouring parishes. They are looking for a married clergy. I suppose if they were actively gay like the under 55 year old priests they'd be looking for a group discount for the George or a reduction in their Grindr subscriptions. Imagine a group such as these excuses NOT having an opinion on whether Orders should pay. It's all about money and parish collections. The Tax Inspectors need to investigate priests in Ireland and from now on RECEIPTS should be issued for any money received to 'say a mass for me father'.

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  33. Will Phonsie be concelebrating as they were both Limerick diocesan priests.

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    1. Phonsie can sing 'My Way' at the funeral for his co-diocesan, Bishop Casey. It was one of Phonsie's greatest hits in Maynooth.

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    2. Phonsie also sang 'My Way' to Pat when he refused to give him Communion.

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  34. 15.09 Amy Martin probably told those Clerics in Armagh that there names were on a list that was taken to both the Nuncio and to Rome. I wonder why some Priests there are taking sudden and unexpected sabbaticals. Something very fishy going on up there.

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  35. @Pat The poster @15:09 calls a priest Fr. X. Why bother coming on here with stuff like that? Either put up or shut up. If a newspaper won't print it, @15.09 can't prove it. Simples

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  36. 22.42 Do you realise that there is history connected to Fr X on this blog, if you haven't been following the story then you will not understand the relevance of what 15.09 is saying. A lot of Priests in Armagh know the identity of Fr X so it's common knowledge anyhow and also known to some regular readers of this blog

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  37. So is this blog just for Armagh wink wink nudge nudge priests?

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