Wednesday, 4 October 2017

"NEVER SPEAK ILL OF THE DEAD"



I AM NOT A FAN OF THAT PROVERB/PLATITUDE: "NEVER SPEAK ILL OF THE DEAD!.

Simply "being dead" does not give anyone an absolute right to be spoken well of and not spoken ill of.

I was reminded of this last night as I was cooking my dinner and my doorbell rang. It was a homeless man (48). He broke up with his wife last December and has been sleeping rough in England and Belfast ever since. He also has some mental health issues - depression, anxiety, self-harming and suicidal thoughts. 

I managed to find him a bed for the night in Belfast and I gave him his train fare to get there and a few quid for some food.

During our chat, he told me about his father and his father's funeral. His father had been a violent alcoholic and is probably greatly responsible for the state this man is now in.

At his father's funeral, a priest who did not know his father was giving him a glowing send off. My friend stood up and said: "I'm here to bury a father I never knew and who tortured me all my life".

Image result for a violent father

He was ushered out of the church by family members and parishioners and his family has not spoken to him since.

He asked me what I thought and I repeated to him something my own dead father used to say: "If someone was a bastard when they were living they become a dead bastard when they die".

People sometimes say that we should not speak ill of the dead because they are not here to defend themselves. Nonsense. We should tell the truth about both the dead and the living. And just as the dead are not here to defend themselves - they are not here to be hurt by what is said about them.

I do not like the fact that death seems to give people the automatic right to canonization.

CAHAL DALY:



This Friday evening in Queen's University, Belfast there is a gathering of the great and the good to celebrate the centenary of Cardinal Cahal Daly who was born in 1917.

It is called the Cardinal Cahal B Daly Memorial Lecture.

The speaker is Archbishop Paul Gallagher from The Secretariate of State in the Vatican. The lecture is entitled: "Go The Extra Mile - Reflections On The Practice Of Dialogue".

A suitable floury and meaningless title.

Presumably, it is going to talk about Daly as "going the extra mile" and about him being a man of "dialogue".

Cahal Daly was a little bully who would not budge an inch with or for anyone. He did not engage in dialogue. He pontificated and gave orders. 

He may have had ecumenical cucumber sandwiches with Protestant notables and the fur coat brigade - but that was as far as his "dialogue" went.

At our last meeting in October of 1985 - 32 years ago now - he asked me if I believed if that the bishop was the voice of God?

He said that this was a teaching of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

I told him that I did not believe that nonsense - which he seemed to believe absolutely.

I asked him if that meant that when he broke wind God broke wind!

Pity I did not ask him also: "Would God cover up child abuse"

All you have to do is look at last week's cock up by Phonsie Cullinan of Waterford condemning cervical cancer vaccines.

Does that mean that God condemns cervical cancer vaccines?

And when Phonsie had to apologize later for his ignorant statement - does that mean that God was apologizing for his ignorance?




It's always very dangerous when men think that they are God or that they speak for God.

How many atrocities have been caused by that kind of mindset?

How many millions of people have perished as a result of that kind of thinking and practice by those who believe that they are god-like in their rule and their power?

Religion is one of those areas where men like to claim they speak for God. And just look at the abuse and atrocities that have come from that claim.


"WOE TO YOU WHEN MEN SPEAK WELL OF YOU.

THIS WAS THE WAY THEIR FATHERS TREATED THE FALSE PROPHETS"

(Luke 6:26)














54 comments:

  1. A disgruntled and angular man who had very few friends became ill and died. Another man, who despised the deceased, decided to celebrate with a few pre-funeral drinks. At the funeral the priest, who was attempting to be diplomatic, gave a homily full of exaggerated praise for the unpopular dead man. Incensed, the drunk mourner stood up and angrily announced: “There is a dead man in this church and he’s lying there and there’s a priest in his pulpit and he’s LYING there”.

    Brother Jim

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    1. It is easy to believe that one speaks with the voice of God when one is the Bishop.

      I wonder what St. Ignatius of Antioch would say if he knew just how far his teaching has been exploited. Did he mean for it to be used to make the lives f hard working priests miserable? Did he mean it to be used to cover up child abuse?

      Then again is he another historic figure that history has been generous to? If we could go back in time would we find the type of generous, kind hearted person that one would expect a Saint to be? Or would we find a man, who like the rest of us is neither all good or all bad... I'm inclined to think we would fine the latter. 

      If a bishop speaks with the voice of God then we need to look at the type of God we follow, Does God hide sexually active clerics in Killarney, Rome or the USA? Does he make abused children sign confidentially contracts that protect the church? Or perhaps God is like a certain prelate I know and he is an all powerful drinker seeking spiritual life from a bottle... or and all powerful dresser like AB Burke?

      It does not take long to realise that St. Ignatius of Antioch's teaching does not apply the way Daly would have wished unless we have a very interesting God...

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  2. Psychological bullying is rife in the church and it is right that we speak out, whether the person is dead or alive. Our, very lovely parish priest died on Sunday. The bishops office put the details of his funeral on their web so I emailed it to my friends. This morning I get an email from a member of the parish council to say this may be "unlawful". The secrecy in the church is ridiculous. Knowledge is power, so they use the mushroom treatment...kept in the dark and fed on rubbish. It is a form of psychological control and cruelty.

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    1. You did nothing wrong.

      Your critic is a strange one indeed.

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    2. I honestly think our parish council think all bishops are saints. It is really quite tragic. The man in question is very clever but spiritually immature. For years they have tried to get me involved at the cathedral. I have an honest streak and I would only last till coffee break. The parish priest was Kevin Lowry OSA. He was a remarkably humane and intelligent man with great integrity. I honestly don't know how he managed to survive in such a toxic environment.

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    3. How did that parish priest "survive in such a toxic environment" asks for a poster 10.48.
      Maybe it was because he realised that you can work best for the good of a situation when you are on the inside. There are many people who are tempted to up sticks and walk out "at the coffee break" but they have the perseverance and courage to stay with the situation and enable others around them to battle through and find solutions. Those are the most valuable members. Anyone can grandstand and walk out.

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    4. That situation re/poster @9.36 talking about emailing his friends with details of upcoming funeral of their parish priest is surely an example of an over-zealous parish council member acting out of order and trying to curtail the poster's freedom to contact his friends if he wished to contact them.
      It is hardly appropriate to describe it as "psychological bullying" being "rife" in the Church! Things like that can occur often in any profession or organisation and believe me, they do! (All it takes is one of those "little Hitler" types to get unto a committee.)

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  3. I was never in favour of over elevating the deceased at a funeral homily. I remember being told in college that the key is the redemption and salvation won by Christ and how this applies to the deceased and ourselves-sacraments are for the living not the dead. The deceased though we honour their bodies their souls are no longer in our jurisdiction.

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    1. MourneManMichael5 October 2017 at 10:56

      Sean, you say "their souls are no longer in our jurisdiction". This raises an 'issue' I once raised on this blogsite before. Why, at RC funerals, months mind, anniversaries, cemetery Sundays and the like, often years after death, is there such a focus on "praying for the souls of the faithful departed?"
      For me it's another example of the convoluted thinking of orthodox catholicism for to my mind, (provided one believes in the whole soul, heaven, hell purgatory scenario in the first place) once dead, the soul goes either "up or down" (or shuffled sideways to roast for a while in purgatory!), so what's the point of all the praying for their soul. (and of course the financial trade-off in the lucrative mass card industry!)
      I'm not ridiculing here, though personally I do think it so. Has the RC church ever explained either the logic or the faith imperative behind such traditions and beliefs? I'm puzzled, albeit I can understand many of the psychological and social imperatives driving such actions.
      MMM

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    2. MMM, I once heard a story about a young Irish soldier who wanted his father to buy him out of the army. The father's response was: "Let him soldier on".

      When the father died the local PP called at the house to arrange the Months Mind and get his fee for said Mass.

      The son replied: "Father, if he is in HEAVEN he does not need a Mass. If he is in Hell a Mass will do him no good. And if he's in Purgatory, let him soldier on" :-)

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    3. Hardly in the spirit of the "Communion of Saints" though.

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    4. Love the humour on this blog today.

      Good one, Bishop P. And Bro Jim (above).

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    5. Well 12:39, if the 'Communion of Saints' lacks as much humour as you obviously do, then I'm heading south post mortem. (Have heard 'Happy Hour' there seems an eternity.)

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  4. I think the only purpose we have in speaking ill of the dead is to to ensure that any shred of good reputation that they have left is finally removed from them when they are are no longer in a position to defend themselves. (Oh what heroes we are..!
    If we are aware of others'faults I think it would fit us a lot better to remember them in our daily prayers, especially with the month of Nov. soon here to remind us of our duty in that respect and to remind us that one day we ourselves will be in the same position.

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  5. Apropos the lecture at QUB this Friday, Dermo is lecturing in Maynooth also on Friday, at the annual symposium of the Irish Theological Assocation. I hope there are no "strange going ons" when he's on the premises.

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    1. What's Dermo's theme this time - OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN THE LOCAL CHURCH !!!

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    2. The theme is "Encountering the other". If anything there's too much encountering of the other in Maynooth.

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  6. Bette Davis quote on hearing that Joan Crawford had died,
    "You should never say bad things about the dead only good,
    Joan Crawford is dead. Good "

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  7. MMM at 10.56. It can be difficult to grasp the concept of eternal life in God's presence. Though a Catholic and an adherent of my Catholic beliefs, I struggle with the concept. My anchor is always the gospel of Christ where I find comfort in his words. The only human way I understand the "beatific vision" or "resting in God's presence" is the analogy of deep, warm, meaningful relationships or deep moments of inner peace. When I am happy in my relationships or have moments when I'm lifted beyond myself, I try to imagine that a hundredfold, as lasting forever in my mind. When I'm fortunate to have these blissful, deeply peaceful, contented moments, I "IMAGINE GOD"...ALWAYS. It helps me to believe....

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    1. MourneManMichael6 October 2017 at 13:24

      Anon @ 12:51: While your understanding of the beatific vision is interesting it doesn't address or answer the question I posed above.

      I've now read the comments below, and those so far today, 6th Oct at 1:13pm. I am obliged to remain puzzled, given that so many professedly knowledgeable clerics and non clerical contributors follow this blogsite, and that nobody has made any attempt to address my query about the paradoxical nature of RC beliefs concerning death, the 'soul's' destiny afterwards, and the efficacy/value or otherwise of prayers for the soul after death. I suppose it's just another great RC 'mystery' of 'faith'.
      MMM

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  8. Pat, it is indeed very dangerous when any person presumes to speak for God but we know of God through Jesus, so we have a revelation about which we can speak. The same "revelation" in Jesus exhorts us to have respect for the dead, irrespective of that person's life. WE LEAVE THE ULTIMATE JUDGMENT TO GOD - though we may feel very aggrieved by the deceased. Encouraging a "tearing apart" of a deceased person is outrageous and anathema to any Christian understanding of salvation. Emotionally, mentally and spiritually it would be more useful to seek professional help when we are overwhelmed by memories, loss and grief. But to go into - and encourage a hateful rage as you are doing re: Cardinal Daly is unredeeming and can only contribute to prolonged inner turmoil. I suggest that anyone ecperiencing traumas around loss and grief should seek out professional counselling and not follow the agenda of this blog today. Pat, life is too shiet to forever carry painful memories. In my own personal conflict re: loss, grief and traumas I found healing through a professional therapist. Too many people only added negatively arising out of their own unresolved issues.

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    1. Wise, wise words.. Thank you for that.

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    2. 13:06, 'never speak ill of the dead' is not a saying that encourages lies about the deceased, but total (even ruthless) honesty.

      If a person has been a 'bastard' to someone in life, then that needs to be acknowledged, not swept under a carpet of eulogising nonsense.

      You have a point about nursing painful memories, but you've missed a point about healing from such: they HAVE to be 'held on to' and 'processed' before healing can take place. There is no conventional length of time for such.

      Don't rush this process in anyone. You may end by causing more damage than you know.

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    3. Hope u liked the song I put on for u Magna

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    4. 14:12, 'Honey, I don't blame you'?

      Have just listened to it on YouTube.

      Ha ha Love it! 😅👍

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  9. Cahal Daly was an abuser - an abuser of power and an abuser of those he had power over. His abuse was of a psychological nature dressed up in fancy theological terms like "obedience to the bishop".

    I suffered personally at his hands when he was my bishop.

    Unlike Pat Buckley I did not have the strength to go public and fight him. Instead I just withdrew into myself, became depressed and disillusioned and an alcoholic. I am now sober again for quite a while.

    Am I not allowed to say he abused me psychologically because he is dead? Priest.

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    1. Yes, you ARE allowed to do this, for to do other, either by omission or by words, would be to lie.

      However, do seek the grace to want to forgive this man. If he is with God, he will, even now, be fully aware of what he did to you and will be seeking your forgiveness.

      He cannot be in God's presence and remain the man he was.

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    2. Dear Father, I am sorry to hear all you have come through and I am glad that you seem to have emerged now into a better place. I have spoken to priests and seminarians in Ardagh & Clonmacnoise, Down & Connor and Armagh who were victims of Daly's small man's syndrome and love of power.

      And he made sure to cover it all up by parading around the Maynooth grounds saying his Breviary to give the impression of holiness and saintliness.

      The auxiliary of Armagh once tried to tell me that Daly was a saint. I replied: "Saints do not take pleasure in ruining people's lives".

      Many of us who were his victims - including myself - went on to engage in in depth counselling and therapy and worked it all out.

      But it does not change the fact that our abuser was indeed an abuser.

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    3. When they are alive the Church moves their abusers (all types) from place to place. When they die the Church wants us to think kindly of them or even canonise them. Forgiving our abuser is one thing. Forgetting the abuse is another!

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    4. To Magna @ 14.12 comment...

      Spot on Magna, and I hope you were helpful to the person to whom your response was directed. Forgiveness eventually frees oneself to move forward and enjoy good things coming our way. It doesn't imply we condoned someone's bad behaviour.
      It doesn't mean we have amnesia! It is something much more powerful than nursing a grudge. It is ultimately something we do for our OWN growth and well-being and benefit. For if we cannot forgive, we are holding ourselves forever IN the trauma(--should the other person be dead or hundreds of miles away!) and so preventing ourselves from moving on. Since we only get one life(and this is not the dress rehearsal!) we should not permit that tragedy to happen.. But it has to be in our own time. It cannot be rushed and we are all different.. You made that point very aptly.

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    5. MourneManMichael5 October 2017 at 23:41

      Many years ago when living outside NI. and at the time having had no involvement nor interest in catholicism or religious matters for 30 years+, I happened to see a TV prog featuring Daly and Fr d'Arcy. At that time I'd never heard of either of them. It
      became a confrontation. I can't even remember the subject, but
      my clear memory was of d'arcy trying to be reasonable, logical,
      and rational, while Daly presented as an intolerant, shrewish arrogant little man believing he had some god given insight/understanding superior to all and everybody. As such, he neither listened to, attempted to understand, nor debated the actually salient points made by Fr d'Arcy.
      Now I say that irrespective of whatever views (as previously expressed on this site) people may have of d'Arcy. It's simply a recollection I have, and an assessment I made at the time concerning Daly, not a particularly positive one I have to add.
      MMM

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  10. How many other Bishops in the past did such things to priests as Cathal Daly did Pat. Might some priests on the blog share their story in confidence if this was the case?.

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  11. Magna at 14.12 and poster at 14.47. I do not doubt your sincerity when you emphasise the healing needed over time in dealing with psychological bullies like Cahal Daly. I just wonder if time can't heal an open psychological wound inflicted by a nasty bully like Daly. That little man did a grave injustice to my brother who was a Priest in Down & Connor. He went into depression, for a man who never drank he hit the bottle to deal with the humiliation of the treatment served out by Daly. He was all smiles to people in public but get him one to one behind closed doors he was a vile horrible nasty man. My brother suffered as a result of Cahal Daly and no one can expect anyone to forget that irregardles of time.

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    1. I'm truly sorry, 17:54; I didn't mean to sound crass, to belittle the bullying your brother suffered by Cahal Daly.

      You are right: time, however broad its span, isn't always 'a great healer'.

      What to do, then? Should we just throw in the towel in face of such odds? When I speak of forgiveness, I'm thinking principally of grace, not of human effort; nor, really, of time, despite my use of the word.

      It can be psychologically and spiritually very damaging to make anyone's victim feel that they must forgive another, especially if that person has neither asked for, nor feels the need of, forgiveness from his victim; and even more so if he continues to cause hurt.

      Quite plainly, forgiveness in not in our gift, which is why we should ask God frequently (every day, in fact) for the grace to at least want to forgive offenders, especially those who have hurt us in ways too painful for words. And if we are doing this faithfully, we should never, ever, allow ourselves the little luxury of wallowing in personal guilt for not being able to forgive an unrepentant other. But we SHOULD feel absolute confidence that if we perserve in prayer for grace to want to forgive another (even some inordinately mean sonofabitch bastard), God will eventually provide that grace.

      It is important to remember, though, that a person cannot forgive another, however much he may wish to do so, unless the offender seeks forgiveness. When I point this out at spiritual conferences, I meet this objection: no; you must forgive regardless! 'BULLSHIT!' is my staple response. Well no; it isn't, actually. But it is very much what I should like to say were there no decorum and protocol on these occasions... What I do say is that God forgives us ONLY if we repent ('desire to turn away from') our sins. Why, oh why do we think it different for forgiving one another?

      Cahal Daly, if he is with God, now knows the truth of his conduct. And he is pleading for your brother's forgiveness for the terrible harm he caused him. Can your beloved brother at least desire to desire to forgive him? It is all that is wanted.

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    2. Sorry, that is incorrect in some of its detail.... A person CAN forgive someone who does not seek forgiveness. Many people do not seek forgiveness for varied reasons eg they have already passed on--emigrated - - never met their victim face to face again - - didn't realise the damage which the victim had victim perceived as having been done to him etc etc
      Forgiveness ultimately rests with the victim.

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    3. The poster at 14,47 was very understanding too and acknowledged that people sometimes cannot forget when he/she said that it "doesn't mean you have amnesia.."

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    4. Magna, I truly appreciate your words and your sincerity. You leave one with food for thought. Because of Cahal Daly my brother, who is a good Priest (I would say that) lived outside of Ireland for 30 years. Now he is back and I'm naturally protective, he is not a money grabber and never has been. He's simple and he's not like the rest.

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  12. Eric Mascall + mentioned that his old vicar at S. Matthew's Westminster taught his parrots to say: "The bishops are the enemies of the Catholic faith." Alas, I don't think he had Roman bishops in mind.

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  13. Why was my naming of the all powerful drunkard Xxx xxx XXXXX edited out?????

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  14. Because we have no PROOF that he was/is a drunkard.

    I have heard from several others that he is - and I believe you.

    But we have no PROOF- no even reliable reports.

    Sorry.

    Send me the proof and I'll publish your claims. Promise.

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    1. Alcoholism is a disease, in case your poster needs to be reminded of that sad fact..

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    2. It is but when an AB has that disease who tells him to get treatment? Nobody. Whose life does he make miserable?? All us priests who work under obedience to him.

      He should have been on medical leave years ago..

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    3. Alcoholism is a disease. But when the diseased person is incapable of controlling themselves and also exercises unfettered control over priests then that is a recipe for priestly hardship.

      Daly did to Pat what he did, and Pat can say it was because he was a horrible controlling man too wrapped up with obedience and being the voice of God. Other prelates ought not be excused from having the same attitude and effect simply because they are alcoholics.

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  15. Because we have no PROOF that he was/is a drunkard.

    I have heard from several others that he is - and I believe you.

    But we have no PROOF- no even reliable reports.

    Sorry.

    Send me the proof and I'll publish your claims. Promise.

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    1. http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.ie/2017/01/irelands-purple-parliament-2017-part-1.html

      Please see the description of Cashel and Emly for a drunkard.

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  16. Bishop Pat, do you intend being at the QUB lecture on Daly the 'Tout' tomorrow night. We as a small group have secured a number of tickets to this event. We would like you to join us as part of a peaceful law abiding protest against this British appointed Prelate. My info could be wrong Bishop Buckley, did you not stop a live UTV transmission of Cahal Daly's homily by standing in front of him when he was in a pulpit. It was said at the time nobody ever achieved interrupting a live UTV production. I stand corrected if wrong.

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  17. What about that Maynooth story last week? Much ado about nothing? No word since?

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  18. Pat, off-topic, but my wife is going to a retreat in Maynooth on Saturday. The organisers chose to have it in Carton House (the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Leinster) rather than in the college. Lol.

    My wife is staying in one of the former seminary bedrooms now let out on a b&b basis. She asked them if she could visit the college chapel. No, they said, it's locked up for the winter but you can visit next summer during the organised tours.

    Imagine the main chapel of a seminary being locked up during term time. The Maynooth website is still soliciting donations for the chapel, even though millions (including State funds) were spent on it over the last decade or so.

    The gigantic campus, once the biggest seminary in the world, now has about thirty seminarians. The bishops have seen the seminary retreat from building after building on the site, with the vacant space let out to the secular university.

    The 30 or so seminarians now knock about in St Mary's House, which has about 90 bedrooms. How demoralising must that be. Time to put Maynooth out of its misery.

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  19. @22.54

    Sorry, your point is not very clear or logical..
    In what way, for example, would NO seminarians in a closed institution be more advantageous to clerical numbers than 30 or so seminarians as at present?
    That sounds like a random rash comment that doesn't make sense.

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  20. I challenged an American archbishop about his drinking. He had three large whiskeys before driving me to a retreat centre, where he drank a whole bottle of wine and then drove me back to his house, where he hit the cocktail cabinet again. I announced that I was leaving my post. The next day he sent a hand-delivered letter with the vicar general announcing that he was sacking me. The Chancery cancelled my work visa, so I immediately became an illegal immigrant and the car that I was driving was reported as missing. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service were informed and of course the police. Neither got involved really because they could see what was going on. The INS gave me a 'Voluntary Departure' visa.

    Approximately one month later, the archbishop had a net thrown over him by his college of consultors, his appointment diary was cleared and he was installed in the Mayo Clinic. He tried to dig a pit in my path and fell in it himself, hopefully for the better.

    In faith,
    Brother Jim

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