Saturday, 2 September 2017

SHOULD PAT BE RECONCILED WITH ROME?


30 YEARS AGO WITH FR MICHAEL KEANE AND MY MOTHER JO

EVERY WEEK I GET LETTERS AND EMAILS FROM PEOPLE SUGGESTING THAT I WOULD BE RECONCILED WITH ROME.


There are a number of things I need to say about that:

1. I never jumped ship. I was pushed overboard.

2. As a Christian, I am always open to reconciliation with those from whom I have become estranged.

3. I have tried on many occasions to seek reconciliation - and my efforts have been turned away.

Cahal Daly and I had several talks and much correspondence from 1983 to 1986.

He moved me from parish to parish twice in two years and I always obeyed him and moved.

When he finally axed me in 1986 I made every effort I could to be reconciled with him. After years of refusal, I brought my case to the Industrial Tribunal and the High Court hoping that these independent institutions might broker a reconciliation.

When Cahal Daly left for Armagh in the early 1990's I had a lot of contact with his successor in Down and Connor - Paddy Walsh.


PADDY WALSH


That contact came to a head with me having several meetings with the diocesan chancellor - Canon Raymund Fitzpatrick - and with me producing a 15-page proposal for our reconciliation. 

I based my proposal on the Parable of the Prodigal Son - with me playing the role of the repentant prodigal and inviting Paddy Walsh to play the role of the forgiving father.

Paddy Walsh thanked me for my proposal - and was particularly grateful for my use of that Parable - and said me needed some weeks to think and pray about it.

When his response came it was not an answer to my proposal - which involved me making a public apology to the Bishop of Down and Connor.

Instead, it was a letter giving me a number of days to stop celebrating marriages and the threat of suspension and excommunication!

THAT I5 PAGE PROPOSAL OF MINE IS AVAILABLE IN LARNE FOR ANYONE WHO WISHES TO VIEW OR EXAMINE IT.

It is too big to print here in full on the Blog.

But here is the kernel of the document:




IN CONCLUSION - THE PRACTICAL WAY FORWARD:

FROM ME:

1. That I acknowledge, in writing if required, that I have acted, albeit in good faith and clear conscience, contrary to official Church teaching and Canon Law with regard to marriages, Confessions, and Confirmations.

2. That I will guarantee, in writing if required, that as of a certain agreed date, I will cease to act contrary to official Church teaching and Canon Law, thereby in faith subjecting my own individual conscience to the "universal conscience" of the Church.

3. That I will guarantee, in writing if required, that my future writings will be more circumspect and will reflect official Church teaching.

4. That I will guarantee that I will work under the authority of the Bishop of Down and Connor, in an open, co-operative and positive way for the good of the church in the Diocese.

5. That I will not stand for re-election to Larne Borough Council in deference to Canon Law's prescription that a cleric not hold public office.

6. That I will guarantee to keep all contact and discussions between myself and the bishop on our pastoral solution strictly confidential.

FROM YOU:

1. That you formally incardinate me into the Diocese of Down and Connor.

2. That you appoint me to a mutually agreed and clearly defined ministry in the Diocese that affords me "rehabilitation" in the eyes of the clergy and people and that affords me full faculties and financial security.

3. That you offer me pastoral care and guidance as to how I might acceptably put forward my conscientious views on various matters internally and privately within the Church.

That letter was given to Bishop Walsh - 25 YEARS AGO - on the 29th March 1992.


Bishop Walsh's response was to threaten me with suspension and excommunication.

BISHOP TREANOR:


BISHOP TREANOR - LOOKING FOR LOST SHEEP?


When Bishop Walsh retired in 2008 Bishop Noel Treanor became the Bishop of Down and Connor.

-On the 11th August 2008 I wrote the following letter to Noel Treanor and sent it Recorded Delivery to make sure he got it.



IT READS:

Dear Noel,

I wanted to let the initial fuss die down and let you catch a breath before dropping you a note to welcome you to Down and Connor. Hopefully, you are beginning to find your feet.

I have offered Mass for you and asked God to give you the wisdom, strength, courage and good health you will need so that you can spiritually and pastorally renew the church in the diocese.

It would be nice if, at some time, you and I had the opportunity to have an informal courtesy meeting to simply say "hello". I will leave that thought with you.

Again, wishing you every blessing on the occasion of a very major change in the course of your Christian and priestly life.

Warmly yours,

+ Pat

-----------------------------------------------

That letter was never acknowledged or replied to. 

It is very difficult to be reconciled if those you seek reconciliation with will not meet you or will not acknowledge or reply to your overtures. 

Am I still open to reconciliation?

Yes.

Have things become more complicated?

Yes.

Does that make reconciliation impossible?

No - especially not for those who say that they follow the Jesus who prayed: "FATHER, MAY THEY ALL BE ONE - AS YOU AND I ARE ONE".



OF COURSE, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN ALL THIS IS TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOD'S WILL.

I'M SURE HIS WILL IS REVEALED IN ALL THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO US - IF WE RESPOND TO THEM WITH THE EYES OF FAITH.

AND I KNOW - THAT IN SPITE OF ALL MY HUMAN WEAKNESS - I DO WANT TO DISCOVER AND DO GOD'S WILL.

DERRY DIOCESAN CHANGES

Bishop McKeown has announced the following appointments for priests, which will be effective from 8th September 2017:

Fr Peter Madden, PP Ballinascreen, to be, in addition, Vicar Forane for County Derry Deanery;
Fr Kevin J McElhennon, PP Cappagh, to be, in addition, Vicar Forane for Tyrone Deanery;
Fr Michael Doherty, PP Mourne, to be, in addition, PP Sion Mills;
Fr Charles Keaney, returning from sabbatical study leave, to be PP Granaghan;
Fr Eugene Hasson, CC Drumragh, to be PP Drumragh;
Fr Thomas Canning, CC Three Patrons, to be CC Sion Mills and CC Mourne, residing at Sion Mills;
Fr Christopher McDermott, CC Templemore (St Eugene's), to be CC Drumragh and part-time further studies;
Fr Kevin Mulhern, on loan from the Society of African Missions, to be CC Three Patrons;
Fr Malachy Gallagher, newly ordained, to be CC Glendermott and Strathfoyle;
Fr Kieran O'Doherty, PP Granaghan, to be Priest-in-Residence Maghera.
In addition, Bishop McKeown announced the following:
Mgr Joseph Donnelly, PP Drumragh, to retire;
Fr Peter McLaughlin, PP Sion Mills, to retire.

NO MENTION OF FATHER BRENDAN COLLINS WHO WENT ON SABBATICAL LAST YEAR ???

88 comments:

  1. What has changed here on this occasion? Pat opening up his inner wounds. That's very therapeutic and maybe a cathartic moment for Pat. But sadly, it seems all the main players are dark forces, conspiring together to ensure Pat remains isolated. That's if you believe all that is given. I don't accept a one sided narrative and quite frankly, I'm not interested in this issue in Pat's life. Please Pat, get on with your life. And when at prayer tomorrow, do not forget the 3 people who needlessly died this week, all homeless people. This for me deserves a blog through a Christian perspective and not this total obsession with whether Pat should/shouldn't be reconciled with Rome. True change come about when we accept the full truth of our own behaviour. But for now - LET US REMEMBER THE 3 PEOPLE WHO DIED THROUGH HOMELESSNESS. This reality should absorb our reflections and conscience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are not inner wounds.

      I am simply replying to letters and emails I regularly receive.

      I am happy and at peace where I am.

      Of course I have remembered those homeless people and will do so again at my 12 noon Mass today.

      Delete
  2. Bishop Walsh got rid of a few seminarians too. At least one returned as a priest not long ago to give a homily.

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    Replies
    1. An awful pity Bishop Walsh hadn't been "got rid of" too, when he was a seminarian!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing Pat. It appears you were being given every reason to believe your obeisance would bring about reconciliation and regularisation. Do you think the Bishop was lent on? It seems bizarre that your contact with every nod and wink that it would all be ok should suddenly be responded to with this finite curt and barely veiled aggression. Your asking for a legitimate avenue to express your conscientiously held views privately within the Church is more than going the extra mile. I beg the indulgence of yourself and blog commentators and ask to be corrected, but in 1992 what was so different about your views that you were willing to bring back within the privacy of the Church and Richard Rohr today who is very public? 20 / 25 years difference? Or perhaps his huge popularity? I'm afraid to me it's looking all too much like the power of popularity and therefore the Church will allow Richard more latitude lest to do otherwise might risk shrinking their congregations and coffers! So much for absolute truth! The Church blinkers itself through this arrogance which it sets and sets aside for itself at will, so it would seem! For me, I'm very grateful for truth seeking, perfecting pilgrimages of faith as lead by people like Richard Rohr, Sean O'Laoire and your good self +Pat.

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    1. Tom, I apologise for my ignorance on the subject of Richard Rohr but can you elaborate? I'm aware that he's a Franciscan priest in the US who does a lot of work on male spirituality. What's the situation with him in the Church? Did he fall foul of his superiors?

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    2. Hello Anon 11:45. I'm rather ignorant too having only heard about him this year but I intend to try and discover more. I'm not sure his exact current situation but being so popular wouldn't it be widely known if he was currently under sanction? This is why I hinted that his popularity might be affording him a wider latitude than others. I'll share a few links. Apparently he presided at a LGBT wedding and was reprimanded by the local bishop. I seem to recall a blog reader, either themselves or someone known to them, not sure if it was just being sidelined or if they had been pursuing permanent diaconate or something, but they had been a witness at a gay wedding and then suddenly found themselves persona non grata.. double standards? And this person wasn't even a Priest or the presider!
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rohr

      This link is highly critical (I haven't yet read it all but wanted to get back to you. :-) ) I've just noticed this one is from 1997 making my earlier post more poignant in that Pat's situation and Rohr's back then, are almost contemporary, which I hadn't previously realised. http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=655
      I had briefly looked at Rohr (earlier in the year)when I saw reference to "The Enneagram" and superficially I am not concerned. I am neither concerned if it's wisdom emerged from Sufism (Love Rumi) or through a mystical experience with mescaline. It's test is the universal indicator Christ gives us, does it bear or facilitate the bearing of good fruit? The critical article likens this to other typologies of the human character mentioning tarot and Jungian analysis. I have found great imagery in the tarot and think that "The Tower" has a message for the institutional church and those who put their trust overly in dogma and rationale. For me it is akin to The Tower Of Babel (or babble) as I like to call it and how God makes fools of those who believe they can contain him / her in their rational, linguistic constructs! This summer I was sent this link to a Rohr meditation. What a delight! In sympathy with a blog poster recently I think that a God who demands a blood sacrifice is no god at all but a Monster! Jesus shows us that in the practice of love, we are all called to make daily sacrifices and one day that might mean our physical lives but through this, we find life! He leads and shows the way! Think todays Gospel! Anyway Rohr's meditation. https://cac.org/incarnation-instead-atonement-2017-07-25/

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    3. Most of his writings are very clever, lucid, well written and heavily invested in scripture and the long mystical tradition of the Church, especially his own Franciscan tradition. He sees himself as orthodox in the true Catholic sense, not the way it is narrowly defined today. He can be very critical of very narrow conservatism but equally so of the opposite extreme, whether in Catholicism or Protestantism. In fact, he writes about the shadow side of the so called enlightenment, the reformation and the subsequent rise of rationalism and modernism. He is all for reconnecting with the deep mystical tradition which as a Church we have downplayed for the past five hundred years since Trent. He seems to be quite influenced by Thomas Merton.He is widely read in spirituality, anthropology, psychology, scripture and has the ability to simplify complicated concepts in a very readable, idiosyncratic, thought provoking way for average readers like myself.

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    4. Thanks Tom for your helpful insight on Richard Rohr.....I'm now intrigued and will have to do some reading to get to know more about him. If his only 'crime' is to have presided at a gay wedding that's mild in comparison to much of the harm done to others by the Church. Anyway, thanks for your reply.

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    5. Fr. Richard Rohr writes a weekky article for the Irish Catholic and it's the first one I read. He combines psychology, scripture, theology, christian mystics and a little anthropoligy into his reflections. His articles are excellent as are his books. I think he also has a website. But you will be nourished by all of these sites.

      Delete
  4. Pat, I continue to pray for every day and I do believe you deserve and would receive great peace of mind from a reconciliation. It is long overdue and I pray that people will be guided by the Holy Spirit to see your suffering and meet you more than half way. I wrote you a long post a short while ago setting out what I felt was your best approach and then frustratingly accidentally deleted it just before it was sent.. ugh! It's so late too on my clock here ...Trust in prayer which moves mountains and the hearts of men.
    So don't be surprised when the magnet becomes stronger still. Don't ignore it. You had courage before and you may need it again. Don't be goaded into provocative words or actions by 'friends' on the sidelines. Oh how easy that goading is when it's not oneself who is suffering!
    ......Cecily.

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    Replies
    1. Cecily, thank you for your prayers.

      I am not lacking in peace of mind and I am not suffering.

      But as I say if we want to be Christians we must be always open to reconciliation.

      Delete
  5. Why, Bishop Pat, do you care, obsessively it seems to me, for reconciliation Edith the Roman WHORE?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MC, I am not obsessive about it. Just open.

      Even whores can change -)

      Delete
    2. Magna, stay in the gutter. Your comment is disgusting. You are just a foul mouthed old whore yourself. In fact you do an injustuce to the word! You are worse. Pat, why allow this contempt to continue from MC...? Why?

      Delete
    3. 02:25am, Magna Carta! We draw our own conclusions. You need help.

      It is very sad that your experiences in Maynooth damaged you so much; but therapy can help you.

      Roaring "WHORE" at the Church though, in the middle of the night, is simply not going to help you - or anyone else - at all.

      Delete
  6. Im sure Pat that if you apply to Rome all will be sorted.
    If the Scottish priest is reconciled, then you sure can be.
    Give it a try and good luck.

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  7. 23.34
    Evertrhing in life can be up for discussion.
    Pats reconciliation is very important and well worth our reflection and conscience absorption.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pat, why bother with them. You are reconciled but it is them who have the problem. Never submit to the rule of those who would destroy you - for that will destroy you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would never allow myself to be destroyed.

      Delete
  9. Wè should get on to Channel 4 and make a Fr Ted style/ brittas empire style comedy of Seminary.

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  10. I wonder if reconciliation with Rome is possible given the way history has evolved in your ministry. Will they accept a gay married cleric for starters. Your mother was a brave woman all those years ago. The question does need to be asked how the Oratory Ministry will function in the future. Perhaps it would be good to publish something on the highs and lows of the last 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As The Oratory is a faith project it and it's future is in God's hands primarily.

      Of course there are plans in place.

      We can only plant and water. It is God who gives/withholds growth.

      This does not over preoccupy me.

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  11. Sometimes you can't go back.

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    Replies
    1. "Sometimes you can't go back.." That's true.
      But you can decide to move on and in a purposeful way.
      (Reflect on Cecily's insight @ 2.04)

      Delete
  12. Pat, your offer to Paddy Walsh looks sincere, practical, pragmatic, so it's silly that the diocese declined it. I spoke to you once on the phone about a personal matter and I found you wise, helpful and encouraging, so it's Down & Connor's loss.

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    Replies
    1. I'm grateful I was able to assist.

      Delete
    2. Pat, pay attention to the person who said they would pray for you.
      Be unceasing in prayer yourself too and never give up!
      If I weren't such a shy and private person I could astound you with proof of Divine intervention in my life for, my God did I give him some "impossible" meshes to be unravelled for me! But perseverance and humility were really needed (and openness to the magnet, as mystics would call it.. :)

      Delete
  13. I've just checked my pocket Oxford for definitions of "reconciliation", for while understanding the word in general terms, I wanted to be sure to get it right.
    There are several, but one description/definition, is " to make acquiescent or contentedly submissive (to what is disagreeable).
    Now I have to ask a question at the heart of the matter. Given all the abundant negative evidence now in the public domain concerning the RC church: its organisation, hierarchy, and the actions of its episcopal managers; how, in all conscience could Pat become acquiescent and contentedly submissive to the practical requirements of such a regime?
    That is not to deny that there may well be morally courageous and upright RC clergy at all ranks of the institution. But leaving aside what seems to have been many distinctly unchristian behaviours (such as ignoring Pat's letter to +Trainor), given the different perceptions Pat has of the essence of Christianity from the rigid controlling edicts of the RC hierarchical regime, is any kind of acquiescence viable from either side? And at what cost?
    The legend of Faust and Mephistopheles springs to mind.
    MMM

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  14. Sometimes the answer you need is to be found in the dictionary.
    But sometimes, Pat, it's to be found in the human heart.
    It's your call...

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. I always say that if life was a car the heart should be the driver and the head the navigator.

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    2. Re/your "car" analogy.. Spot on, Pat I like it...

      Delete
  15. MMM. The Cambridge Dictionary says of reconciliation:

    "a situation in which two people or groups of people become friendly again after they have argued"

    AND:

    "the process of making two opposite beliefs, ideas, or situations agree".

    And I think Christian reconciliation is one based on the Gospel.

    That is why I suggested to Paddy Walsh that we use the Parable of the Prodigal Son as a model.

    The son moved towards the father - the father in response came towards the son and they met in the middle.

    And of course there was the Older Brother in the background resenting the reconciliation.

    True reconciliation does not involve a "winner" and a "loser". It needs to involve two "winners".

    Remember my document was written 25 years ago.

    You pose a very valid question about all the negative material about the RC Church and how in conscience that could be dealt with.

    And that is a very real problem.

    Its important to state that I am not "begging" for reconciliation but "open" to it.

    And I agree that the difficulties are very great.

    I wrote the Blog by way of an answer to all those who write and ask me about the issue.

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    1. Absolutely Pat! - - and it's very important to remember that as a 'reconciled" person, your voice as a force for good would be even more widely acknowledged and even stronger than now. Is that where the pull will lead you...I wonder..

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    2. 14:19, that reconciliation about which you so enthuse would undoubtedly require, as a pre-condition of it, the muzzling of Bishop P's discerning voice.

      Rome's ear for truth is highly selective; it always has been.

      If Rome truly wanted Bishop P. back under her capacious skirt, it would be only that he might be henceforth under her control.

      Rome is controlling; always has been and always will be.

      Delete
    3. You would have been fine, Pat, had you been dealing with more humane people. Let's face it - Cackle Daly was a total self-absorbed little jerk; and Paddy Walsh too - a twisted and conniving aul bollox.

      You also, as a young priest, were left to contend with deeply dysfunctional men in Down and Connor. Had you been colleagues with kinder, more integrated priests, you would have been fine.

      I hope, one day, you will be brought in,
      home, out of the cold. Many of us will make you welcome.

      Delete
    4. Thank you. I was far from perfect and Daly was a bully.

      Two of the priests I lived with in D&C were very dysfunctional indeed.

      I agree I would have fared better with kinder colleagues.

      Thank you for the kind promise of a welcome.

      Many will think another way.

      And somehow one gets used to Siberia :-)

      Delete
    5. I am not aware that Pat has been given a set of "muzzling" pre-conditions.He may not see it exactly as we pre-guess. That is not in any case how a true reconciliation happens. Maybe a "compromise" could be described in superficial terms and even in such language eg "We will take you back provided that you accept.... and concede that...." etc
      That would be classified a "compromise" and works fine to resolve many issues, especially minor ones..
      But a reconciliation is a completely different and much more complex issue for both parties (though it can take only micro seconds to finally activate it once the - - maybe years of mental groundwork has been done) Many of the first steps towards a reconciliation are virtually unconscious like very slowly changing scenery. You gradually realise you are have shifted into a new scene but you don't - - didn't - - see anything changing really. You may be convinced that nothing at all has changed! And yet one day you wake up and feel in your bones that a subtle change has taken place. You cannot fully subscribe to how things seemed to you before. It is virtually impossible to pinpoint the first dawns of a new insight. But there comes with it a new restless uneasiness that the old certainties no longer soothe and satisfy. Some people get that far. Others can't.

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    6. The biggest conniving aul bollox of all has to bishop Joe Duffy of Clogher.

      Delete
  16. Bishop Pat, could you tell us a little about Fr Michael Keane, the priest in the above photo with you, and your dear mum?

    Was he a D & C priest? Was he the only such priest to support you publicly? Did he support you publicly? What happened to him? Was he penalised by his diocese for supporting you? Is he now dead?

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    Replies
    1. Fr Michael Keans was a priest of Tuam archdiocese who fell out with the archbishop there when he inherited a large sum of money and refused to hand it over.

      He later moved to Dublin where he was shafted by Archbishop Diarmuid Ryan and evicted from his presbytery.

      In the end he was "reconciled" with the Hierarchy - but it was a reconciliation where he gave in and where he never received a proper apology for the injustices done to him.

      I was more a supporter of his than he of me.

      He was a good man with forward ideas who was treated badly.

      They gave him a full RC funeral when he died but there was no apology.

      Delete
    2. I remember Fr Keane founded the Knock Marriage Bureau long before on line dating came in and he was in favour of women priests and married priests. He was too forward in his thinking to suit the old fogeys in the hierarchy .

      Delete
  17. @15.11
    I agree with you.
    Different people, with more humanity and indeed just more simple common sense would not have over-reacted and handled things so badly. But they did handle things clumsily and set a downward Catch 22 situation spiralling downwards out of control. A vortex for both sides...

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  18. Who is this Fr Collins ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Father Brendan Collins was a curate in Longtower parish in Derry who disappeared a year after ordination amid rumour.

      Delete
  19. So are we gonna confront Frankie when he comes here regarding Pat?
    Or will that bishop who refused Pat holy communion be standing with a pitch fork?
    Now that Frankie has been through psychoanalysis he will understand about Pat's husband.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phonsie will certainly be standing with a mitre in one hand and a pitch fork in the other :-)

      As far as the RC Church is concerned I am not married.

      In fact I have merely had a civil partnership.

      I would welcome a respectful and warm chat with Frankie.

      But I cannot imagine his handlers allowing that to happen.

      Delete
  20. We the people shoul insist, handlers or not.
    It is us the people he is coming to see
    So we need to get a petition set up.
    The wounded healer wd know all about ignoring petitions so expect he will be a big influence.
    Perhaps someone from the oratory can set one up.
    Maybe on Facebook or outside the chapels on a Sunday

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  21. I hope Brendan Collins is happier now wherever he is.
    Must be an awful life to go through with some thing and discover you should not have
    Thank God he got away to live his life.

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  22. I suspect if you were reconciled, you would be gagged..and that is what they want. They don't want you. They want your silence. You have an honest streak. You would explode within a week or become very ill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or you might experience a feeling of peace and contentment that had eluded you for years...

      Delete
    2. Yes, gagged is a good thing. Should suffer a death like Savanarola in Florence, not just set on fire but having his tongue forcibly removed before it.

      Delete
    3. You're all heart, you..

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    4. Heart and soul Darling.

      Delete
  23. A chat with Pope Francis would be interesting and valuable but absolutely vital that you don't attempt to do this in an unplanned or unexpected manner. That would be extremely counter-productive and would delight your detractors and the tabloid press. The handlers would be unaware of your good intentions and would regard you as a potentially dangerous crank from whom the Pope must be defended at all costs. You would be misunderstood and mis-heard. It's certainly not an impossible aspiration to have but that would not be the way to set about it.... And your meeting with Pope Francis shouldn't become a spectator sport for gleeful gossip.

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    1. @17.08

      Thank you. Thus spake the voice of commonsense.
      Of course, you are correct but Pat will know that himself..won't he?

      Delete
    2. I would not dream of trying to meet Francis in an unplanned or stunt fashion.

      You are right. It would have to be planned and "official".

      I think the problem would be more with those Francis than with Francis himself.

      I would be thoroughly respectful to him and while speaking my truth would speak respectfully.

      I would also be happy to have a totally confidential meeting.

      Delete
    3. Have you asked, +Pat? I'm not asking in a rude fashion. Pope Francis may say yes.

      Delete
  24. Yes - -spot on, Pat! Absolutely as your reply to me says (@17.25. You've got it!

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  25. The Brideshead Revisited question for all Catholics is what would we do on our deathbeds?

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  26. I see a comment above about Fr. Richard Rohr. Who is he and what's his crime? From Tom's comment it sounds like Fr. Rohr did something to fall foul of the church? Please enlighten me Pat.

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    Replies
    1. I know that he blessed the union of a lesbian couple as far back as 1996. (Don't know whether this drew opprobrium from the institutional Church, but I'd be surprised if the daring event passed unremarked and him unrebuked.)

      Rohr is not popular, to say the least, with more so-called 'orthodox' Catholics. One website, Novus Ordo Watch' disparages Rohr's work/teaching as the 'roaring modernism of Richard Rohr.

      Delete
  27. Many have argued that religion's primary driving force is the fear of death, ...and what happens afterwards. And they have criticised it all the more for captalising on that fear.

    An interesting recent study on the issue was published in March 2017 by the University of Oxford. The study was a systematic review of high quality international studies of 100 relevant articles 1961-2014 examining the attitudes of 26000 people worldwide concerning their attitudes towards death and the fear or otherwise of what happens 'once we shuffle off this mortal coil.'
    They found that atheists are among those least afraid of dying, .....and, perhaps not surprisingly, the very religious.
    An interesting reflection in respect of Anon @ 18:28's question above concerning our deathbeds.

    Anyone read and remember oul Kilty Larkin's apparant deathbed change of heart in seeking absolution in the first chapter of Leon Uris' excellant novel Trinity. It's a powerful recounting of the power of the fear of death. As I recall it, Kilty said "In the unlikely event there's a life after death, I don't want it to be like the life I've had before death, ....so I'm taking no chances!"
    MMM

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    Replies
    1. Thank you MMM. Your comments often make me aware of things I never knew - thus proving my lack of infallibility.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Pat.
      It's an interesting concept to realise just how much knowledge and information is 'out there' and how small can be our own personal perspective. Regrettably many believe their personal perspective is the only absolute objective reality.
      Acknowledging how little we know of the totality helps a realistic perspective.
      MMM

      Delete
  28. Excellent post, MMM. .

    I suspect, for most religionists, that the driving force of their theistic belief is fear of damnation, not the enticing power of unconditional, divine love (running away from Hell, as it were, rather than running toward Heaven).

    This fear, for many centuries, has been inculcated, encouraged and exploited by the churches as a means of social control. Some more than others have been susceptible to it (a form of bullying, really), but modern educational standards, coupled with the modifying effect of progressive secularism, are tempering the power of this fear.

    Bravo!

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    Replies
    1. The driving force for me is a need to make a response to to God's love for me... I'm sure I am not alone.

      Delete
  29. So is there any way that we your friends could help to make a chat with Frankie possible ?
    I ask in all sincerity
    What would a plan be...a petition to the organisers ? ?

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  30. Pat, stay as you are. I couldn't belong to a church that woukd have you as a member.

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    Replies
    1. Could you be in Heaven with me?

      Or would you prefer He'll?

      Delete
  31. Isn't interesting that most posts today are in favour of the topic. I rest my case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God is more powerful than the loudest dissenting voice....

      Delete
  32. Fr Collins (or should it just be Mr) was our curate in the Long Tower and now he has vanished. We have been lied to by Bishop McKeown, and I expect the wall of silence to remain and they want to banish him from the diocese, even though his photo is still up on the clergy section of the Derry Diocese website, check it out here - http://www.derrydiocese.org/parishes-clergy/index-of-clergy/24-collins-rev-brendan-joseph-cc

    I have a great chat with a few relatives of mine who live in the parish, and they have told me how they have suspected for some time that he was gay.

    I see Bishop McKeown a lot in our cathedral parish, which now is reduced to TWO priests serving it with no replacement for Fr Christoper McDermott who has been shunted down to Omagh. Nearly 11,000 cathedral population and just two full time clergy. Wow!

    I am eager to chat to Bishop McKeown, who loves to stand and chat at the cathedral entrance door after mass, I wonder if he is ready for my questions over Fr Brendan Collins??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope Brendan is happy and free.

      Delete
    2. This blog mocked Fr. Collins for speaking out and defending traditional marriage during the gay marriage referendum. Of course it's just coincidence that you are still trying to fuel gossip about him, right?

      Delete
  33. Why would you lower yourself to enquire re Brendan Collins.
    If he has gone...more power to his elbow
    Let him be himself, he must have suffered enough.
    I believe he isfromOmagh.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Don't understand your post
    You rest your case 21.47
    What was your case ?

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm sorry, but I still do not understand why any Christ-seeking soul should wish to 'reconcile' itself with Rome, that stinking... .

    Pope Francis is arguably the 'oiliest' pope in living memory.

    What is wrong with certain people that they feel the goal of Christian service is obedience to the Roman WHORE?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People are responsible for their own decisions and ultimately for their own salvation (or their own co-operation with the Christ providing the means of our salvation etc) So it's good when people come to the senses and see that. They are then not so easily led and influenced by bravado and couldn't care less attitudes of others.

      Delete
  36. What liedidBishop mcKeown tell yous in your parish. ?
    If he sent him on sabbatical, that could still b the case.
    He might be in Rome with georgous and puck havingthecraic.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Bishop McKeown said he would be back in the diocese for a new appointment in September 2017, this was a lie, as he is not back in the clergy appointments. It is getting pathetic. The numbers attending mass in the Derry diocese are plummeting. The clergy we have are at an all time low, relying on aged retired clergy over 80 in filling in for masses, confessions etc. We needed Fr Collins, a young man to be the future, sadly he is now the past

    ReplyDelete
  38. Pat, what do you make of the situation of Father Peter O'Kane in the Derry Diocese, who was not part of the 2017 changes, but vanished from the diocese under this term "Fr Peter O’Kane, Director of Diocesan Pastoral Centre, to enter the novitiate of the Dominican Order". Is that rare, that a diocesan priest should all of a sudden want to change to the Dominican Order, which is a monk right? Maybe I am making something out of nothing, but he vanished from the diocese and his photo has been taken down from the diocese website, unlike Fr Brendan Collins, who picture remains.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The Dominicans are friars, not monks. E.g. Friar Tuck.

    ReplyDelete