Friday, 16 June 2017

Catholic bishops tell of ‘hostility’ and ‘persecution’

A newly ordained Catholic priest has been warned about the hostility he will face in a changed Ireland.

Image result for father billy caulfield

Bishop of Ferns Denis Brennan told Fr Billy Caulfield how at times “you will feel the anger/hostility people have for the church in general directed at you.”

The ordination was at St James’s church in Horeswood, Co Wexford.

“There is a lot of concern in church circles these days about the future. This is understandable given the volume of criticism and negativity directed at the church over recent times,” Bishop Brennan said. “In these Pentecost days we need to cast off our fears too, we are not the first generation of Christians to worry and wonder about the future. In every age people have written the obituary of the church and our age is no exception.”

Bishop Brennan is the second Catholic bishop in recent days to address the issue of increased hostility towards the church in Ireland.

Image result for bishop leo o reilly

In Cavan last week Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly spoke of a “hostility to the church that is now a settled part of our society’s culture. People from abroad are often astonished at the antipathy to the church displayed in our country.” Bishop O’Reilly said “I don’t think you have to be paranoid” to believe that there is a kind of persecution of the church taking place in Ireland.

“It is not physical persecution but it is no less real for that. It is more subtle. It takes the form of gradual exclusion of church people or activities from the public space,” he said.


DENIS BRENNAN says that people are "angry and hostile" towards the Roman Catholic Church.

He is right!

We are!

And our anger is the same as Christ's anger when he went into the Temple with a whip and threw those who were using and abusing the House of God out of it!


We are not angry with the RC institution because of its doctrines of transubstantiation, papal infallibility, the Assumption of Saint Mary into heaven etc.

Many Catholics agree with these doctrines to a greater or lesser degree.

There are other reasons we are angry with you:

1. We are angry because so many innocent little children were abused by you and yours.

2. We are angry that you covered up - and are still covering up - for these abusers.

3. We are angry about what you did to our young women in your Magdalen Laundries.

4. We are angry about the Tuam Babies.

5. We are angry because the head of your church in Ireland locked two little boys in a room and asked them if they enjoyed their abuse, if they got erections when BRENDAN SMYTH molested them.

6. We are angry because you are still allowing this man SEAN BRADY into parishes to celebrate Confirmation and allow him to give the Raphoe Priests Retreat next Monday.

7. We are angry because you have allowed the national seminary of Maynooth to become a place of disrepute.

8. We are angry because you and yours allowed little children to starve to death in your baby homes. 

9. We are angry because you are continuing to ordain unsuitable men to the priesthood to cause havoc in the future.

10. We are angry because you hide people like Archbishop Marchinkus and Cardinal Pell to hide in your Vatican.

Denis and Leo - do you not get it?

Why do you not get it?

Are you that out of touch in your ivory towers?

Yes young priests like Father Billy Caulfield will feel the anger and hostility of the Irish people for years to come.

But that will not be the fault of the good decent people of Ireland - the people of Ireland who are now saying: STOP" WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

It will be your fault Denis and Leo and the fault of other members of the Maynooth Sanhedrin 

So please stop this bleating of yours. You are not the victims. You are the perpetrators !


  1. Congratulations to Billy. The only good thing to come out of Maynooth in recent times. A gentleman!!!. Well done Father Billy.

  2. Every religion should be put under the same scrutiny. Catholicism, as it has been the religion of the majority in this island, is a fair target under such circumstances. However, the same level of criticism should be applied to every religion where that criticism is due. Islam, in particular, should not get a free ride from the liberal elite media.The Enlightenment emerged from what was Latin Christendom and was a critique of all religions. Certain religions should not be treated with kids' gloves as if they lack an agency of their own or as if they aren't mature enough to be treated like the other big boys. At least Christendom has had its Reformation and more importantly, its Enlightenment. Islam is only currently undergoing its own long Reformation with all the bloodshed that entails.

    1. I don't know if you are familiar with the dreadful child abuse in Rotherham in the UK. Gangs of Moslem men were preying on young girls from children's homes. Everyone knew if was going on, but looked the other way. They did not want to be seen as racist. The same also happened in Oxford.

    2. @9.18

      Yes, Jane. The recent TV drama "Three Girls" shocked everyone who saw it. It was closely based on the Rotherham scandal. You refer to the difficulties in your post - - the authorities not wishing to be perceived as racist and the blind eyes which were turned. Child Protection is particularly relevant and important for young people in children's homes and care and foster homes. It is very important that Staff in charge of these places are caring and vigilant and also they need to have the authority and courage to give guidance and kindly correction at times eg to young teenagers who stay out too late in the unsuitable company of people who see them as easy meat for exploitation and worse. Sometimes "freedom of choice" is misunderstood I have discovered (in my experience as a Child Protection Officer.)

    3. MourneManMichael16 June 2017 at 23:01

      "Authority and courage to give guidance and kindly correction to young teenagers."

      Therein lies many dilemmas!
      When those 'vulnerable' teenagers are climbing out through the children's home windows to go late night street roaming after telling staff to "F**k off you can't touch us", and those care staff must abide by Home Office Official Guidelines forbidding any form of physical restraint unless the child "is in immediate danger of harm to self or another", the all to frequent reality is that the young people in care effectively have the upper hand over disempowered care staff.
      I'm unfamiliar with current official guidelines but back in the '90's when I was in child protection management this was the all too familiar scenario being encountered.
      Theoretically and ideally the care staff would not need to use preventive physical restraint, but a combination of factors created a harsh reality: poor pay and progression prospects for residential care staff led to high turnover of poorly trained, often low skilled individuals outfaced by staff shortages and their demanding workloads dealing with very damaged and demanding young people resentful of authority and testing limits and boundaries to the extreme.

      It has been the same in the teaching profession, and well summed up by a good friend, an honours graduate with QTS (Qualified Teaching Status), packing in teaching in England without a job to go to. She subsequently emigrated to teach abroad almost 20 years ago and never returned.
      "I just can't go on teaching in an environment where I have six and seven year olds hiding under tables telling me to "F**k off, you can't touch me." And I know, as they do, that I can't do anything other than ask them to 'please come out'. I have had the same scenario given me regularly by other teaching friends.

      I make no case or argument other than to point out some of the difficulties care staff have in working with very difficult, often damaged and abused young people.

    4. (I am poster 15.39...) Thanks for your response MMM
      I agree with everything in your post and I have come across very similar situations to the ones you describe. Staff frequently feel that they are stressed and on a tight rope between giving the calm professional nurturing care that is the ideal but at the same time they are dealing with emotionally damaged and out of control teenagers who need boundaries and indeed firm rules for their own good and protection. An immature teenager often imagines that an unsuitable adult is bis/her best friend because that person has offered gifts of free alcohol and other things as part of an ingratiation ploy("grooming") The foster parents or care home Staff and of course, teachers will be regarded as the "enemy" who are out to spoil their fun. It is often not an easy task to guide a vulnerable young person but I always find it rewarding and worth the effort. (Sometimes years later the person finally appreciates the help you gave and why you acted as you did and then they are so grateful and tell you so!)

  3. The Bishops Conference have released a statement at the end of their Summer Conference to announce the appointment of Hugh Connolly as chaplain to the Irish College in Paris, but there's no mention of a new President for Maynooth.

    1. That's because this Blog said they would announce the new president.

    2. Or perhaps they haven't agreed on one

    3. Looks like the bishops are reading the blog!

      It has just been announced that Fr. Michael Mullaney is the new President.

    4. "It has just been announced that Fr. Michael Mullaney is the new President." - No change there so. The status quo is preserved.

  4. An interesting article on how the English invasion of Ireland was legitimised by the Church. A bit off topic but a nice reminder of how Ireland was so often a political football for Rome.

  5. First reaction to Bishop Brennan pic is my what a big stick you've got. Theology is all very well but the church needs to listen to real people and treat them like they have an ounce of sense. People have had the wool pulled over their eyes for years. Some priests have suffered for trying to do the right thing as in your own case Pat. Recently a Blogger said you have it coming to you. The church needs to come out from behind the lace curtains in the valley of the squinting windows and engage with people openly in real terms. I am impressed by the way the community in Notting Hill have rallied in support of the tower block fire victims. That's true church like activity in action.

  6. LOL... now they claim they are the victims. Even if they are, guess what: it's payback time,


  8. Paul the Pry-er is gone.

  9. So it really is business as usual in Maynooth!

    1. Not really. Read tomorrow's blog.

    2. its business as usual. not a single thing has changed or will be changed. Were doing very well thanks. increase on entrants for August as well.

    3. Oh good, more scandal... lovely!

    4. So the bishops do listen after all.
      A controversial director of formation has been replaced and a new post is being created for a "dedicated" seminary rector.

    5. The bishops only listen when they are under pressure and between a rock and a hard place.

      The Maynooth changes are being forced in them.

      The changes also confirm that there was / is a problem!

    6. Mullaney has been in charge of the place for years anyway, there's no change!

  10. It must be hard if you're a Maynooth seminarian.16 June 2017 at 14:56

    Fr Mullaney appears to have never served in a parish, though that has been the case with most if not all of his predecessors as President of Maynooth. Same with Paul Prior. It's bizarre that those who have never been a curate or PP should decide who becomes a priest. Well done, +Pat for predicting the appointment of Tom Surlis as Prior's replacement as Dean.

    P.S. Fanny will be pure ragin' that, thanks to Francis, he won't be made a monsignor, as had been the norm with Gaynooth presidents.

  11. It must be hard if you're a Maynooth seminarian.16 June 2017 at 18:10

    I wonder if the even bothered to interview any other candidates for the Maynooth presidency? It would have been much better to have appointed a complete outsider, with a fresh vision and approach. Mind you, president of Maynooth is not the big job it once was. 400 seminarians in my day (now 60), about 50 resident priests, and the president was head also of the National University, with its hundreds of staff and thousands of lay students. With the appointment of a seminary rector Fanny will just be head of the world's smallest university (Pontifical University Maynooth, with its declining enrolment of a couple of hundred students and about 20 teaching staff. An average primary school is bigger. Lol.

  12. Era, business as usual in Maynooth. Bishops need to hide behind such beliefs. Fanny will do feck all except cover up. Maynooth will continue to churn out cynical company men useless but great at covering up stuff. Waste of St Joseph's YPS money.

    1. Originally this comment referred to Dr James Cullen as an example of the cynical, useless company men but his name was removed for publishing ??? Why so why?

  13. St Joseph's Young Priests Society money, grants and funding has been wasted and squandered for years. Spent quickly by Seminarians in Bars, Clubs and many other establishments. It makes mugs out of good decent people who give generously towards it. I'm sure an odd jock strap has been purchased thanks to St Josephs YPS.