Saturday, 23 September 2017

WESTMINSTER / VINNEY'S PASCALINAS


VINNEY IN A RED HAT

WHAT HAS CARDINAL NICHOLS AND POPE PIUS X11 GOT IN COMMON?

THEY BOTH HAVE THEIR OWN BELOVED MOTHER PASCALINAS.


MADRE PASCALINA:

MADRE PASCALINA

Madre (Mother) Pascalina Lehnert (25 August 1894, Ebersberg, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire – 13 November 1983, Vienna, Austria), born Josefina Lehnert, was a German Roman Catholic nun who served as Pope Pius XII's housekeeper and secretary from his period as Apostolic Nuncio to Bavaria in 1917 until his death as pope in 1958. She managed the papal charity office for Pius XII from 1944 until the pontiff's death in 1958. She was a Sister of the Holy Cross, Menzingen order.

In Rome during the reign of Pope Pius XII Madre Pascalina was known as THE POPESS!

She was the power behind the throne. Pius consulted her on EVERYTHING and you betide any cleric, senior or junior, who fell foul of Madre Pascalina.


After our recent blog about the Westminster "Gin Queen's" - which delighted many Westminster clergy - a few priests invited us to consider the small few "Pascalinas" that live and work in Westminster Archbishop's House.

WESTMINSTER PASCALINA NUMBER 1:

The first "Pascalina" is Sister Carmel Ragg who began working for Vinny as his diary secretary when he was Archbishop of Birmingham.

When Vinny moved to Westminster Sr Ragg moved with him and now looks after, with another nun, Vinny's domestic arrangements.

When Vinny was made a cardinal she accompanied him to Rome and was actually photographed attempting to don the cardinal's biretta:


WHOI WEARS THE HAT IN THIS HOUSE

Apparently, Vinny warned Westminister priests that he would not be very happy if any of them published the particular pic. However, one daring Westminster PP sent it to this Blog :-)

It was not the first time that Vinny and Carmel made the press. In 2014 the DAILY MAIL carried a report of them spending time together in a holiday caravan in Oxford: 


Image result for daily mail title
DAILY MAIL - 17TH FEBRUARY 2014


"Newly-elected RC Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who describes Coalition welfare cuts as a ‘disgrace’, wrote to wealthy Roman Catholics asking them to contribute to a £400,000 fund to upgrade his palatial Archbishop’s House in Westminster.
He promised: ‘My prayers for you and your family.’ But Nichols isn’t considered especially extravagant by Vatican standards. He enjoys caravan holidays at a holiday park near Oxford.

It was reported that he was joined there once by his then diary secretary, Sister Carmel Ragg. There was no suggestion of impropriety".




Image result for holiday caravan

According to Westminster priests, Sr Ragg takes nothing to do with clergy matters in Westminster.

She does of course occasionally play hostess at archdiocesan social and drinks receptions.

One West London PP told me that he finds Sister Carmel a most friendly and companionable lady.

WESTMINSTER PASCALINS NUMBER: 2

The second of Vinny's "Pascalinas" is Sister Clement Doran. She describes herself and her mission in the following terms:





PODCAST
CATHOLICNEWS.ORG.UK: 24.07.2013

Care For Sick And Retired Priests:





Day for Life is the day in the Catholic Church’s calendar when we celebrate the dignity of the human person – from conception to natural end.
For today's podcast we catch up with Sister Clement Doran - a religious sister who's been looking after the Diocese of Westminster's sick and retired priests for over a decade.
“I’m an Augustinian Sister. That’s been my life - a life I chose at 21. I love people and want to help them life to the full.”
“My community is the Augustinian Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus. Cardinal Wiseman was looking for a community that would care for the sick. He was very concerned about the care of the mentally ill and no care at that time. He knew priest a who was working in Belgium – Fr Peter Maize. He's our founder.”
“Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor invited us, when he was made Archbishop of Westminster, to come and work in the diocese. He wanted me to care for our retired priests and I've been on the team full-time for eight years - the first woman on the team.”
“Every day is different. I visit our priests in various nursing homes throughout the diocese... My main concern is placing our priests properly, at various stages of care, making sure they have the choice of where they want to live or what they want to do."

And - rightly or wrongly - Westminister priests think that Sr Clement has some authority when it comes to clergy matters in the diocese and that Vinny SOMETIMES takes her advice. Although her advice was not taken when - against Sr Clements advice - Vinny sent a Father Terry McGuckin - formerly of the Beda in Rome - to Kingsland Parish in Westminster - which resulted in a "disturbance" of some kind.



Fr Terry
FATHER TERENCE MC GUCKIN

As a result, Father Terence was exiled and both he and Vinny sent contradictory emails to all the Westminster priests about the "happenings". Of course Sister Clement was far too gracious and ladylike to say to Vinny: "I told you so". Father McGuckin is now c/o Archbishops House, Westminster.

Some Westminister do attribute some other powers to Sister Clemente. One East End PP said: "She is the only person in England in Wales. not in episcopal orders, who can have a PP moved"?

I don't know if there is any truth to this or if some Westminster priests are being paranoid?


In any event, the main point we meant to make today is that Madre Pascalinas are not merely a thing of the past in papal and episcopal palaces. 



88 comments:

  1. Doesn't Fr McGuickan look just like Abbot Marmion!

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  2. Dear +Pat,

    Have you begun to lose the plot? Today's blog attempts to make something of nothing. A man is bound to consult others if he is to be wise man. I am sure that Cardinal Nicols takes advice from both priests and non-priests. This would be wise. You name two sisters, and I say "so what?". There will be others that he also takes advise from, such as his secretary, vicars general, vicars fornane, axillary bishops.

    If he takes advise from these two sisters, and I do not know that he does, but if he does then I applaud him for the inclusion of women in the decision making processes. All too often people such as yourself argue that women are not included enough by the church, yet today you criticise a man for doing the very thing you seek.

    If two priests were close friends people often state that it's great that they find friendship and companionship with each other to live out their celibacy together in fraternal support. Why begrudge Cardinal Nichols if he finds chaste companionship in people of the other gender? (And again I do not know that he has).

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    1. The Blog is not critising anyone. Nor do I begrudge Vinny his chaste friendships.

      I am just writing about something that Westminster priests talk about.

      In fact I do think it a good thing that women should be consulted.

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  3. I love the last line. Who are you suggesting filled that role in recent times in papal circles?

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    1. I don't think Francis has a Pascalina?

      JP11 did have the mysterious lady who letters became public in recent times - although his letters to her are still retained in secret by the Polish authorities.

      Sometimes a Pascalina can be a Pascal - as in George in Benedict's case

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  4. From all of the above, Cardinal Nichols is coming over as a thoroughly decent man.

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    1. Vinny is a control freak. He has a number of people around him who are his eyes and ears and carry stories to him.

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    2. True. When he had a hip replacement he continued to control even little matters from his hospital bed.

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    3. 10.05 You know him. I stand corrected.

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    4. @10:25 Sounds like Dandy alright.

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  5. Are any men involved in the election of Mothers Superior or Provincials of female orders and congregations? Do any men take part in the decision to admit female postulants? Are any men, especially priests, appointed 'vocational growth counsellors' or 'pastoral directors? No, no, no & no and imagine the reaction from the nuns if such things were proposed.

    Yet for decades nuns have been sitting on seminary selection committees and working as vocational growth counsellors in Maynooth. This is farcical on many levels. Since Vatican II nuns have grown older. The current Maynooth one is knocking on a bit, so her experience of the vocation journey is decades old. Also, why is a nun doing this. The female religious experience and priesthood are complementary but different. She has no lived experience of being a priest. I see from her Maynooth profile that she's yet another therapist. Is Maynooth a psychiatric hospital or a seminary?

    Finally, if we must have a non priest acting as vocational growth counsellor let it be a lay person, male or female. They are in the real world, at the receiving end of it in parishes and have direct experience of marriage, raising children, unemployment, and paying mortgages or rents.

    If we

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    1. Your comment is an interesting perspective on the topic you address.

      I suppose after Vatican 11 there was some liberation for nuns and many of them went off and studied psychology and spirituality.

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    2. Before Vatican II nuns exercised authority and had responsibilities that few of their lay counterparts of any religion enjoyed. There were abbesses and nuns ran large schools and hospitals. Very few lay women did so, irrespective of denomination, and until only a few decades there were no female authority figures in the CofE or the CofI for example. The position of Catholic laywomen was no better or worse than their non-Catholic counterparts.

      People go on about women priests in the Catholic church, with lapsed Catholics and non-Catholics going on about it. I don't think there's any likelihood at all of there ever being a woman iman, Eastern Orthodox priest, or Orthodox rabbi but there's never a fuss about that.

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    3. I meant are any men appointed "vocational growth counsellors" or pastoral directors in convents? Also are any men involved in decisions on the taking of simple and solemn vows in convents. I rather doubt it.

      Admittedly it would be a very light duty given that in twenty or so years time there'll be no nuns left in Ireland apart from the new and thriving religious congregations devoted to the traditional forms of convent life.

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  6. The real story here is not that Vinney has close female friends, nor that he consults women (quite a rarity in the RC church), but that his priests perceive him as a bit of a dictator. So much so that they write to +Pat saying as much.

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    1. Now here is someone who got the message.

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    2. Hence the two types of interviews Vinny has with his priest - with coffee, you are not in trouble - without coffee - you are in trouble. Priest.

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    3. I imagine the clue for O'Brien's priests was unzipped or zipped.

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    4. Significantly the with/without coffee idiom comes from army slang, I believe.

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    5. That's interesting. Can you expand?

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    6. 10:44 is correct. I worked in MoD Main Building in Whitehall and often heard the expression. Whether or not coffee was offered at the meeting indicated whether it was a friendly chat or you were going to get a roasting.

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    7. "A roasting" you say at 12:06! What an unfortunate choice of word when referring to O' Brien!!!

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  7. This is an interesting blog today as the human personalities behind these "princes" is always fascinating. They say that behind every great man is a woman! Certainly there needs to be some human contact, and from what Ive observed there seems to be almost a mother / son relationship between Nicholls and Carmel. Apparently they have known each other since they were teenagers and entered their chosen paths. Carmel was with Nicholls when he was auxiliary in Westminster, Archbishop in Birmingham and now in London. Things have changed down here though, as up there she used to sit at table when priests were invited for meals with the Arch. That happened once or twice in London and a quiet word was had. It hasn't happened again. Sister Clement is a wonderful person and much loved by the priests and people who know her. She is the sort of person who goes about doing countless acts of hidden kindness every day. She was part of the old regime of the nuns who kept house for Cormac, and she and her fellow sisters were unceremoniously booted out of Archbishop's House when Carmel arrived. She didn't do much to endear herself to the priests of the diocese as she was very vocal in criticising the decor and dilapidated state of the house she now managed. It hadn't been decorated since Basil Hume's time, and thats an indication of the sort of man that Cardinal Cormac was. He had no interest in such things. Both women are now well on in years and it needs to be proven that they have any real influence. Carmel uses a wheelchair and looks very frail; Clement is hail and hearty as the Farmer's daughter she is. Whatever about these women in his life, Nicholls is very much his own man and whoever he consults (very few) he makes up his own mind and then acts - or so reliable sources have observed.

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  8. Is it true that Vinny has banished Fr McGuckin to somewhere in Coventry?

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    1. Anybody heard any more news from Parsons Green?

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    2. Yes - An 18-year-old man has appeared in court charged with attempted murder in connection with the bomb attack!

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  9. If priests live out their promises they have nothing to fear. Everybody has a boss but priests all too often don't like supervision and think it ends after seminary - it doesn't. It ends at death.

    Vinny is fine, fair and a safe pair of hands. With so many priests in London there will always be a small few who fall foul (like any workplace). They shall moan but Vinny shall just have to continue doing his job impartially, without fear or favour.

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    1. I am now retired. I never felt controlled at work but I have felt controlled in church groups.

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  10. I think every blogger so far today needs a Pascalina of formidable strength to put you all in order...especially Pat. Silly blog today. Irrelevant and mischevious ...

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  11. Mother Clement is feared as she is the person sent by the Archdiocese to discuss retirement options with elderly or infirm priests. Its usually a one way conversation and she brooks no opposition. She has moved many priests into retirement who didn't want to retire.

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    1. I don't know where your info is from but that is not the SISTER Clement that I recognise. She is hard working and respected. As for forcing priests into retirement, that just doesn't happen. You make her sound like a right dragon. Perhaps this is just part of the misogyny that shows itself from nasty tongues on here.

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  12. Clement was part of the small group who visited Ireland as part of Pope Benedict's Investigation of the Irish Church. Murphy O'Connor chose her, and a female psychiatrist as well as a trusted priest friend (now a bishop) to make up the group. The Irish Bishops were none too pleased at women being on the team this I can tell you.

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    1. What was the psychiatrist's role? More their line to have a spiritual director.

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  13. What an idiot comment at 12:13! The whole point of this blog is to "speak the truth to power" and so anything or anyone who sheds light on these dark and hidden areas of how the Catholic Church operates is to be praised. I don't agree with everything Reverend Buckley says and does, but in my opinion he is one of those great courageous men like Luther who had the integrity and strength to stand up to the corruption that infests those with power and challenge them. They don't like it one bit, but we know what happens when Bishops and Cardinals suppress and hide things, even seemingly innocent things, that have the power to embarrass them, or show them up for the week, fallible, sinful human beings that they are. Keep blogging Reverend Buckley; keep shining the light. God bless and strengthen you.

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    1. Yes, I, too, see Bishop P. as a latter-day Luther.

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    2. Magna @ 16.11. You are definitely cracked to suggest any comparison between Luther and Pat B. It's a laughable comment. Keep drinking. If you think so highly of him, why aren't you at the Oratory? Together you'd bring about the New Reformation!! Indeed! Keep dreaming.....

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    3. 'Keep dreaming'? Nah! I'm your worst nightmare. 😱

      And how do you know I haven't been to the Oratory?😆

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    4. You haven't...

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    5. Pat should attempt to catch hold of this silly, creepy, sleazeball, Magna. He really is a pain. Intelligent - yes - but immature and psychologically imbalanced, lacking emotional growth. Seek help Magna....

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    6. I'd put him early teens. Superficially bright rather than intelligent and incapable of analysis. Addicted to masturbation and frightened of real relationships of any sort with other people.

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  14. if Vinney had ordered Sr Carmel to wear a nun's veil instead of a hat she would have slammed a door in his face. Is having nuns act as housekeepers / doorkeepers / interior decorators/ sackers of priests a good use of resources. Can't they get real jobs helping the poor?

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  15. IRISH NEWS: Only two Meath changes. Fr Dwayne Gavin who has been chaplain in the Irish College in Paris has been appointed PP of Slane. While Slane is nice, it is a far cry from the Pontifical Academy of the Holy See in Rome. What use are all the languages in Slane? Fr Stephen Kelly was appointed to the Academy by Bishop Smith a few years ago, much to the chargin of some Meath Priests, especially a Meath priest very close to the Bishop. Fr Colm Browne is going on Sabbatical for a year. Time will tell if it is for a year. Fr Declan Kelly is replacing him.

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    1. Interesting. Do you mean the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, where trainee Holy See diplomats get two years training? I'm not being cheeky, it's just that there are several academies in Rome and it's unusual that the new PP of Slane did not get a diplomatic posting if he attended the Ecclesiastical Academy. The chaplaincy to the Irish College Parish does not count.

      A previous poster mentioned that Hugh Connolly wears blue shirts. Is that because he votes Fine Gael?

      Talking of which the FF cumman in St Patrick's College Maynooth is called Fine Gae, by special arrangement? They share an office with the MGA.

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    2. @14:38 No. Apologies. The new PP of Slane has degrees in several languages and looked like he was headed to one of the Academies at one stage. However, Fr Stephen Kelly who is much younger was put on the fast track a few years ago. This did not go down well at all at all with some Meath priests who've stars have definitely dimmed. I know that the chaplaincy to the Irish College in Paris is the equivalent of being a B&B manager/manageress. A bit like being Rector of the Irish College in Rome or Director of Formation there. Where is Gorgeous now?

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    3. So has Trim lost a curate? I.e. the outgoing curate won't be replaced?

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    4. @16:24 Fr Declan Kelly is moving to to replace Fr Colm Browne. Fr Joe Deegan has gone to join the Columbans it would appear. He has gone as Parish Priest of Slane. Any news on this?

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    5. @14.38
      Fr Ger Cremin of cloyne used to ensure Fianna Fail was the only poliyical party people could openly support in Maynooth. He used to actively follow people to give out about them supporting other parties and was such a pain people were better off not talking about the topic around him.

      He's now back in the Irish college having previously been sent home from there. Yet again one needs to ask, what is wrong with actually being ordained and working in a parish?

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    6. Cloyne is notorious for draft-dodging clergy who aspire after soft jobs in Rome rather than at the coal face. That peaked under the former MC of JPII. I can't remember his name but he was from Newry, I think an SMA and parachuted into Cloyne with no previous connection to it, possibly he'd never even set foot in the diocese. Wasn't he defenestrated?

      Mgr Michael Crotty is globe-trotting as a Holy See diplomat. He wasn't diplomatic in Maynooth. On his second day there he turned up in the ref in clerical shirt and collar.

      Mgr Joseph Murphy, of the same diocese, was by far the cleverest person I've met. He's now in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican. He was supreme at whatever field of study he was doing at the time: French, maths, philosophy, theology. He always feared he would end up as a lecturer in Maynooth but he wanted to be a curate. Was sent to the Irish College, Rome and from there was selected by the Holy See.

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  16. Regarding Sister Carmel, many people at Westminster Cathedral have asked who is the elderly woman who is always shown, at the last moment, to the most important seat in the building when the Cardinal is saying Mass and at big functions that he attends. I once overheard someone asking her friend, to be told "Oh thats his mother. She lives with him."

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  17. Pat, did you tell us everything about your investigation of Meath Diocese? You said it was a slow burner. Has it come to the boil yet? Was there something about a male nurse? Something else about people changing diocese to be nearer others? Walks in Parks and truck stops?

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  18. Gosh Pat you really are running out of meaningful topics to discuss. This is a non-story and plays into the hands of those clergy characterised somewhere here as Gin Queens.
    Give us some real topic to discuss and leave the gossip to the old ladies among the clergy.

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    1. If the contributors today were to stand together, we would truly have a wonderful Old Queens Pride Party and bright Pink dresses - with Pat their cheerleader. What a crowd of street corner gossipers on the blog today!

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    2. Well duckie, you're one of contributors. So Happy Coming Out Day!😆

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    3. Mags is back again. Run for cover. He's on a roll through drink. Think he loves the company he keeps secretly....queens....but such a fool.

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    4. And sober(ish). But his duties for the day are over so that will soon change and he'll get more whoreish now.

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  19. It used to be said that there were three things the Pope didn't know:

    1. How many nuns there are in Rome;

    2. How much money the Franciscans have; and

    3. What the General of the Jesuits is really thinking.

    May I add a fourth: Is is Vinny, Vinnie, or Dandy?

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    1. Dandy seems to be Vinnie's new name among the Gin Queens.

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    2. The tea on Lough Derg is wick23 September 2017 at 17:00

      Or Ginny?

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    3. Well, that's a diet of blog gossip for you... like being continually fed diet of crisps when you were very hungry for something... welcome and tasty for a limited length of time, but ultimately unsatisfying and lacking in real nourishment.
      So no surprises there....

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    4. Who is this trying to give the Cardinal a nickname that nobody calls him. Some sad old queen who laughed at their own joke and so is trying to keep it going. A bit like this blog. Trying to keep something going that's not there.

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    5. What does everyone call him then, he must have a nickname. Most of them do, Mark Davies in Shrewsbury is Dark Mavies and then we have Alana Hopes in East Anglia not to mention bunny in Birmingham and the Prince of Darkness in Cardiff.

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  20. Pat is it true that the alleged Fr X has left his Parish overnight and has vanished. Nobody seems to know where He has gone.

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    1. Which Parish in Armagh diocese suddenly finds itself without it's Priest this weekend who won't be returning? Someone should know.

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  21. I see that there was a musical about Sr Pascalina/Pasqualina - 'La Popessa'.

    At least three questions emerge about Vinny and Carmel. Why was he able to move her about the country as a bag carrier whenever he moved, as if they were surgically attached? Did her superior agree to release her because Vinny wished it? And why is a nun acting as a diary secretary to the Archbishop of Westminster? The bishops are constantly chiding the laity to become more involved, which usually means reading at Mass etc, but this diary secretary job could be filled by a layperson, thereby perhaps also contributing to the income of a family.

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    1. Carmel did go everywhere with Vinny and she ruled the roost. She used to go to Parishes with him when he conducted Confirmations. He treats her like his Mother.

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  22. There is a gay Anglican vicar on Strictly Come Dancing tonight on BBC 1 . Which reminds me . Any news of Fr Shirley Bassey lately ?

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    1. That gay vicar on Strictly is a fascinating man. I have just read his autobiography. " Fathomless Riches " by Rev Richard Coles. He was a member of a famous rock band The Communards in his youth and led a rather promiscuous gay lifestyle which he details in the book. When the band broke up he turned to religion and converted to Catholicism for a while even thinking of becoming a monk. But he eventually returned to his Anglican roots and was ordained a priest in the Church of England. He lives with his civil partner also a minister in a celibate relationship according to himself. He has appeared on many programmes on the BBC.I highly recommend his book. It is a great fascinating read . Brianna

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    2. Richard Coles makes and made many thoughtful contributions on Radio 4, especially on the programme "Broadcasting House". As you say, he has an interesting life story.

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    3. Jesus led rather an unremarkable life until he, er, 'came out'.😆

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  23. Fr. Shirl has taken time out because she had a big showdown and busy up with Phonsie. Perhaps he took another trip to the Mekong Delta!

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  24. Does Fr Keith Sawyer still hear Confessions at Westminster Cathedral?

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    1. Mother Clement probably does that now.

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  25. Replies
    1. Thank you for this pertinent and intelligent comment, Magna

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    2. Magna at 21.52...did your fingers get stuck in the beer bottles? No words - has something left you speechless? Now that would be a miracle.

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  26. whose the killala priest who never leaves grindr and prefers stocky guys/Bears

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  27. Magna,
    Your silence at 21:52 was most welcome.

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    1. Yes, my silence was most eloquent, wasn't it?😩

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    2. Magna # 13.42. Your silence is indeed welcome....fool yourself thinking the word "eloquent" would ever describe your presence or your contributions!! Never. MENTALLY DISTURBED is a more suitable description of you....always..��

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  28. Actually its "Bunty" for the Archbishop of Birmingham, who is also known as "Nursey" by some of the wags, as he is said to resemble that character from Blackadder (Queen Elizabeth I's nursemaid). Spot on for the other ones; Dark Mavis = the Bishop of Shrewsbury, The Prince of Darkness = the Archbishop of Cardiff, Phyllis = the Bishop of Portsmouth. Then there is Ena the Cruel = the Bishop of Northampton, Miranda = the Archbishop of Liverpool...and so it goes on. All of this is started at seminary, and the Venerable English College in Rome (or "the Venereal" as it is known) source of the most amusing ones.

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  29. Delia Smith Archbishop of Southwark!

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    1. "Let's be having you!" © the real Delia Smith. See it on YouTube.

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  30. What's Campbell's nickname

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