Thursday, 22 June 2017


Emmett McLoughlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Emmett McLoughlin (February 3, 1907 – October 9, 1970) was a Catholic priest of the Franciscan order who became known in the 1930s as an advocate for low-income housing in Phoenix, Arizona. He left the priesthood in 1948 in order to remain superintendent of St Monicas (later Phoenix Memorial) Hospital (Time, 1948), and wrote a number of books, including his autobiography People's PadreTime magazine (1970) called him "America's best-known ex-priest".


St. Pius X Catholic Church was built in 1935 and is located at 802-815 South 7th Avenue in Phoenix. 815 is the location where Father Emmett McLoughlin established the "Father Emmett Mission" in 1930.

The main office of the Marcos de Niza Housing Project , established by Father Emmett McLoughlin in 1941. The housing project is located at 305 W. Pima St. in Phoenix, Az. This property is recognized as historic by the Hispanic American Historic Property Survey of the City of Phoenix.
Born John Patrick McLoughlin. He grew up in Sacramento, California, and entered St. Anthony's seminary in Santa Barbara, California. He took the name Emmett during his novitiate in the Franciscan Order.
After his ordination in 1933 he was assigned a parish in Phoenix, Arizona, and began work there that would last for 14 years. Time magazine (1948) said that "soon young Father McLoughlin began to be almost as well known in Phoenix as the mayor." During that time he founded and directed St. Monica's Hospital, organized a slum clearance campaign, was instrumental in applying for federal funds for the Matthew Henson public housing projects (opened in 1940), was appointed as the first chairman of the Phoenix Housing Authority in 1939, and served as secretary of the state Board of Health.
His Franciscan superiors charged him with neglect of his priestly duties and ordered him to resign as superintendent of the hospital. McLoughlin decided that his work for the hospital and urban renewal was more important than his vow of obedience. He resigned as a member of the Catholic priesthood on December 1, 1948 to remain head of the hospital with the support of its board of directors, many of whom were Catholic. On August 13, 1949 he married Mary Davis (Time, 1949). He met her when she came to work at Phoenix Memorial Hospital working in the Medical Records Department. Friar Emmett was already disillusioned about the church hierarchy. He reports in his book, "People's Padre",that he did not lose faith in God, after leaving the priesthood/Romanism/Catholicism, but found he read more of the Bible and religious periodicals. He achieved more national prominence with the publication of his autobiography, 'People's Padre' in 1954.
He has been criticized in orthodox Catholic circles for not following the vow of obedience to the Church that he had taken as a Franciscan. McLoughlin, on the contrary, criticized the Church for requiring young men to take such a vow, often without having experience of life outside school and seminary. He also criticized the Catholic parochial school system, and alleged that a Roman Catholic plot had existed to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, criticisms which fed anti-Catholicism in America in the 1950s and 1960s.
McLoughlin moved to Oklahoma where he died on October 9, 1970. He is buried in Berwyn Cemetery, Gene Autry, Carter County in Oklahoma.
The city of Phoenix named the Emmett McLoughlin Community Training & Education Center in his honor ("City Dedicates", 2006).

Works published[edit]

  • People's Padre: an Autobiography (Boston : Beacon Press, 1954).
  • American Culture and Catholic Schools (New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1960).
  • Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church (New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1962).
  • An Inquiry in the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1963).
  • Letters to an ex-priest (New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1965).
  • Famous Ex-Priests (New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1968).


Gradually, as the years went by, it began to occur to me that something was wrong.

Middle aged and older priests seemed, for the most part, resigned but apathetic. The said Mass, they heard confessions, the preached sermons - but they did it as a job, not as a religious dedication. 

I realised that my past, my present, and possible my soul, was tied to the Catholic Church. 

Was I losing faith in God? No. Was I losing faith in the Catholic Church? Certainly.

Should I continue to give my life to a system that could involve the exploitation of my years of service for the political aggrandizement of the Catholic hierarchy?

The young priest leaving the protective shelter of the seminary to enter the active ministry in a parish is soon shocked by the lack of charity he encounters. He finds this lack among the clergy themselves. 

The power of the bishop over his priests is as unlimited as that of a monarch of the Middle Ages. Only the right to capital punishment is denied him.

No Negro student was admitted to the St Louis University and a young Jesuit priest was hastily transferred back to California when he recommended that the student body protest.

How could I believe in the Mystical Body of Christ - and refuse to accept a Negro into a school, a church or a hospital?

The fact that a nuns hospital refused to teach white and Negro nurses together shocked me.

In Franciscan churches and in those of the secular clergy, the race for money goes far beyond the abuse of the ideal of poverty. It approaches greed.

Every priest who is sincere deplores the financial exploitation of the laity that is permitted - even promoted - by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy.

The fee for a low Mass is a dollar. The fee for a High Mass is from 5 dollars up. A solemn Mass requires 3 priests and the fee is from 25 dollars up.

Image result for catholic church and money

I can remember working on an annulment case that lay undecided in Rome for a long time - until I met a count from Albania who knew an Italian cardinal. A generous donation uncovered a legal solution for the couple involved. They still live in Phoenix.

I thought too of Italy. How could its own pope, preaching the inalienable dignity of the human soul and its value before God, bless Mussolini's planes as they swept over to annihilate the Ethiopians?

No priest who has ever heard priest's confessions will deny that sexual affairs are extremely common among the clergy. The principle concern of the hierarchy is that these affairs are kept hidden.

Another priest colleague of mine decided that the companionship of a nun was preferable to converting Indians on the Arizona desert. When the nun fell pregnant the bishop offered to transfer the nun to another state and let the priest stay put. The priest refused. The last I heard is that they are married and living happily in Chicago.

Many a priest who remains in the Catholic priesthood relaxes into a life of laziness.

I came to the irrevocable conclusion that the Roman Catholic Church had misrepresented itself to me. 


I only heard this week of Father Emmet Mc Loughlin and ordered this book published between 1954 (when I was 2) and 1962.

I am amazed that things were like he says in the Catholic Church of the 50s and 60s.

He gave 20 years service to the Catholic Church and the Franciscan Order.

Then he left to work in the slums among God's poor.

He admits that there are very good people - priests, nuns and laity in the Catholic Church.

But he concludes, that because the Church produces so much bad fruits it is a bad tree.

I agree with him.

Corruption in the Catholic Church is worse today than it was 50 years ago!

Image result for a rotten tree

  Priest at Belfast school quizzed pupils about sex - report criticises child protection failings
11A review of De La Salle College found serious flaws
By Allan Preston
June 22 2017

Image result for de la salle belfast

·         A west Belfast school has been criticised for multiple weaknesses in its child protection measures after three pupils complained when a priest invited to the school asked them sexual questions in confession.
An independent review - ordered by De La Salle College's Board of Governors in January - detailed several flaws in how the school dealt with the childrens' complaints.
This included delays in reporting complaints to police, poor record keeping, and a lack of understanding of child protection issues.
The report centres on a visit by a Dublin priest to De La Salle College during May 2013, and of alleged inappropriate sexual conversations with three children.
The pupils complained separately to school authorities in June 2013, September 2014 and March 2015.
The PSNI previously confirmed the first complaint was dealt with in June 2013, but the remaining reports were not received until December 2014 and July 2016.
The review details that in May 2013, a session of confessions was held in the college over a number of days for some 160-180 pupils in years 10 and 11.
On June 14, 2013, a pupil told a teacher about his experience.
"He was asked if he masturbated, viewed pornography and how often," the report said.
"The teacher was concerned at this and made a child protection referral to the designated teacher."
A week later on June 21, an anonymous phone call was made to a Diocesan Safeguarding Office about the priest.
The office informed the school and referred the matter to the PSNI.
Two further referrals were made by teachers after pupils complained.
A long delay followed and the PSNI were not informed until November 2014 and March 2015.
Ultimately, as none of the pupils' parents wished to make a complaint, the PSNI did not investigate.
The report explained that the questions asked by the priest related to issues raised by pupils in class before the confessions.
The priest had been briefed about this and "this appears to be the rationale behind the questioning, however ill-advised and inappropriate".
The review team said that if the priest's questioning had been brought to the attention of Child Protection Service for Schools or social services, the advice would have been that it did not reach the threshold for a referral and should have been dealt with by the priest's parent organisation.
"The relevant church authority was advised of the concerns about the questioning and it did take action," the report said.
Serious problems with child protection in De La Salle were identified such as poor record keeping, a lack of cooperation between the safeguarding team and "the absence of a shared understanding on key aspects of child protection, such as, what constitutes child abuse".
Only the final complaint made in March 2015 had sufficient evidence for a full analysis by the review team.
"This case demonstrated good practice after a delay which exposed many system weaknesses," the report said.
The review team acknowledged that the "college staff has engaged in considerable efforts to rectify the deficiencies".
This includes a detailed Action Plan for 2017, although the report warned that constant staff changes and absence means there is "major concern" over the plan's long-term sustainability.
It adds: "This pattern must change if team members are to develop the appropriate competence in child protection matters that inspires confidence in members of the school community and ensures the best possible outcomes for pupils."
In an open letter to parents, De La Salle Board of Governors chair Monica Culbert welcomed the report and was "wholly committed" to implementing the report's recommendations.
She added the governors were very grateful to the review team for its "conscientious and sensitive manner".


  1. Thanks for this blog, Bishop P. .

    Like you, I had never heard of McLoughlin and would love to read that particular book, on the gross infidelity (I'm being polite and circumspect here) of American Catholic clergy. But why are you amazed at the presence of such infidelity in those decades? Did you really think morally corrupt clergy a feature of only late 20th century ecclesial life? There have always been corrupt clergy; there always will be. Roman Catholic priesthood as constituted then and now is a filthy betrayal of what Christ wanted for his disciples. Until this changes, Satan will continue to use priesthood as a vehicle for evil. Even that useless German bastardo, Pope Benedict, acknowledged that it was through the priesthood (including his 'illustrious self, since he was a facilitator and enabler of child-sexual abuse) that moral 'filth' entered the Church.

    1. There have indeed been many unfaithful priests throughout the ages since Judas. There have also been multitudes of Holy and faithful priests.

      The words of Magna Carter, as usual, are totally unbalanced and his views are deeply jaundiced by his bias and prejudice. MC is extreme and his judgment is unsound.

      There is nothing new in unfaithful priests. The Lord Himself warned us about causes of scandal. He also made clear what would befall those causers of scandal. He also gave us the parable of the wheat and the tares.

      Many priests in my experience are doing their best to be faithful to God and His people. There have been - are - and always will be - others who are self-serving and unworthy. God will deal with those Himself. We will all need His infinite mercy at the end of our lives.

    2. You are such an ass.

      It isn't just individual priests who are the problem, but the entire theological understanding of priesthood. When such a theology encourages individuals to think of themselves as 'ontologically transformed' upon ordination, it is not just theological bullshit that is being presented, but a dangerous misconception that a priest is supra-human. This is the root of clericalism in the Roman Catholic Church, and it is slowly destroying it.

    3. No, it is not the "entire theological understanding of priesthood" that is at fault. It is sinful human nature that is at fault. There are multitudes of holy and good priests for whom the theology of ordination poses no problems of delusions about themselves as "supra-human". Perhaps, Magna Carta, it is your own misapprehension of the theology of the priesthood that is at the root of your own very obvious problems. I won't reduce myself to your own level of unkind and unworthy insults. Go and examine your own heart and conscience. It seems to me that the very things you condemn in unworthy priests are present o your own heart, disposition and behaviour. Had you progressed towards ordination yourself, how better would you have been, given your contemptuous attitude towards people displayed so often here?

    4. You really don't know what you are talking about.

      The misconception of 'ontological transformation' (supra-humanity) is one reason why sexually offending priests were protected by colleagues, including bishops: they were considered special, as 'men set apart' from run-of-the-mill humanity.

      This false theology of priesthood continues in a deeply fractured church which is haemorrhaging members at an alarming rate. You don't see the problem because you have no wish to see it. In this sense, you are part of the problem.

    5. Absolute clap trap, Magna Carta. Bishops "protected", covered up for these men for a number of reasons: moral cowardice, ignorance of the nature of the problem, stupidity, arrogance, they were corrupt and compromised themselves in not a few cases, sociopathy. A host of reasons.

      The Church's understanding of ontological transformation is not about supra-human status. It is about becoming more Christ-like. It is about becoming increasingly humble and loving.

      The fact that certain priests and bishops have defaced and vandalised this truth by their perverse actions is down to them.

      We were warned about such men in Scripture. St Paul warned the Church at Ephesus about "ravenous wolves" among their own ranks who would attack the flock. He warned the elders to be on their guard. There are bishops, however, who are hirelings with no concern for the flock. The Lord warned us about them.

      The predations of unworthy and degenerate priests and their enabler bishops are why He issued these warnings, why the Holy Spirit warned the Church at Ephesus through St Paul.

      It is not ontological transformation that causes these problems - you are being absurd and obtuse (as is your wont). It is abandonment of the grace of ordination (also the fact that certain individuals should never have been ordained in the first place) that has given rise to scandal and destruction.

      The Lord Himself will deal these wicked men - priests and bishops.

    6. Yes, as you said, 'a host of reasons'. And one of them is the perceived status of the priest in terms of theology and ontology.

      As I said, you have no wish to see the problem and are, therefore, part of it.

      You, like so many others, are in deep denial of the potential for personal moral corruption enabled by this self-aggrandizing theology of priesthood.

      I agree that, ultimately, responsibility for sin lies with the sinner. But a sinner can be, and is, tempted by external factors. How can an immature and weak personality (in my experience, most Roman Catholic priests are precisely this) withstand temptation to vanity, pride and conceit arising from this theological understanding of priesthood? They can't; it inflates that personality and renders it spiritually useless at best,harmful at worst.

      We have been overwhelmed with evidence of the personal and social fall-out of this, especially in the past decade or two.

      Open your eyes, you bloody fool!

  2. Oh, I had that book at one time, but my wife made me throw it out because she saw how revolting it was for me. As I look back now I should have appreciated it more because most, if not all, of the sex was straight.

    Who was the famous Anglo-Catholic convert-writer,oh, she came in with her husband a priest, Sheila something or other. I do remember her making the statement that she couldn't understand why priests treated their laity so wretchedly.

    BTW, Father Emmett wasn't all that enchanted by the mass of the ages as his comments show.

    1. Sheila Kaye-Smith

    2. Right, many thanks! It was annoying me all night.

  3. Who was the priest at de la salle concerned with masterbation?

    1. And the one from Cork?

    2. It's worth noting that according to the newspapers, in the case of De La Salle, the parent organisation of the priest involved took action. What kind of action is, however, not specified.

      In the case of the Cork city school, according to a contributor here, the order of the priest in question took no action. Therefore there are questions to be answered.

    3. It wasn't the first time his conduct gave cause for concern.

      On a previous occasion, as a student, his then 'parent organisation' took decisive action.

    4. Did he conceal this info from the order?

  4. Fr McLouhhlin The chapter quoted could have been written yesterday.

  5. When is a retired Cardinal not a retired cardinal? When his name is Sean Brady.23 June 2017 at 13:02

    Off topic, but have you seen that the Wounded Healer is celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (sometimes erroneously called the Tridentine Mass) at noon tomorrow in Armagh Cathedral?

    1. Traditional Latin Mass is not a technical title and is a misnomer. The Mass of Paul VI is traditional and may be celebrated in Latin.

      Tridentine Mass is the Mass of Pius V following on from the (counter-) reforms of Trent. There's nothing erroneous about the epithet.

    2. I see your the self appointed spokesperson/media relations officer for Cardinal Brady.

    3. "I see you're the self appointed" is the correct form.

    4. Sean, the Traditional Latin Mass in Armagh tomorrow has been organised by the Catholic Heritage Association, which will hold it's AGM afterwards.

    5. 18.35 Thank you. Never knew there was such a group.

    6. (Sadie on the sofa) I didn't know about them either but I believe they're the ones that still like to do everything in Latin. You couldn't keep up with all that goes on...

    7. @17:41
      Actually, 'I see that you're the self-appointed,' is the correct form.

  6. A very positive aspect of the traditional Mass is that the identity of the celebrant is of no consequence at all.

    1. Magna Carta, why don't you take a nice long vacation in this nice weather? Take your mother with you and leave your ipad, phone and computer at home. Would be good for you and a relief to us!

    2. Er, something about me vexes thee?

  7. On today, the Feast of the Sacred Heart let us pray for every blessing on Pat and on each other. His Heart burns with love for us...

  8. How can he be a Christian even if he didn't truly repent for his sin against humanity?

    1. @16.10. Your meaning is not clear as to who is being referred to?

  9. Every Christian is ontologically changed by Baptism - joined to Christ and becomes a child of God.

    It is unadulterated and bigoted nonsense for this man (woman) Magna Carta to allege that the theology of the priesthood is responsible for aberration and infidelity among priests. The poster at 22:48 is right.

    Sinful human hearts underlie these problems. No normal priest thinks that he is "supra-human" because of ordination. Any man who does would undoubtedly think of himself as similarly "entitled" as a politician, policeman or traffic warden.

    Unconverted sinful human hearts - therein lie the problems - for the ordained and for the laity - for every human being who does not cooperate with the transformative grace of God - including bloggers calling themselves Magna Carta!

  10. You're as wilfully blind as the self-deluded 'nutter' you refer to.

    God preserve us from fools, especially old fools.

    1. No no Old Ma Carter. There is absolutely NO ONE so wilfully blind as YOU.

    2. @23:42 Ironic you should include traffic wardens in your list. Please tell me that you didn't already know Magna Carta is a traffic warden, and you will make my day!

    3. Right,that's it! You're getting a ticket next time I see your vehicle even borderline-legally parked. I've let you away before, but no more Mr Nice Guy. No more!

  11. @23.42. I agree totally with you. A wise man once told me that at the centre of sin is "I". It is the desire to put yourself at the centre in stead of God. It is something we are born with and have to battle against every day.

    1. But from where does sinful temptation come? It is not always from within.

      It is naive to think that sole responsibility for sin lies with the sinner; it lies also with the tempter. And anyone of us (any social system, ideology as well.) can be that tempter.

      We ARE our fellow's keeper, whether or not we acknowledge this. And we shall have to account for how we exercised this stewardship.