Monday, 19 February 2018

CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING PERSONS




I HAVE SERIOUS CONCERNS THAT CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING PERSONS IN DIOCESES MAY NOT BE AS PROFESSIONAL AND INDEPENDENT AS THEY SHOULD BE!

Personally, I believe that diocesan safeguarding persons SHOULD NOT be people who have previous and other associations with the Church, bishops, and clergy.

I think that such safeguarding persons should be TOTALLY INDEPENDENT of the Church and its personnel and organizations and that they should come from a government registered body of safeguarding officers.

I would like to see a body called something like THE IRISH (English etc) INSTITUTE OF SAFEGUARDING OFFICERS.

Like nurses and social workers, they should possess qualifications laid down by government regulations and legislation.

They should also have no conflict of interests - that is - having been previously employed by the Church.

Ideally, it would be good, in my view if Church safeguarding officers belonged to another church or religion on indeed were agnostics or atheists.

I think that their offices should not be in diocesan or parish properties.

A safeguarding officer should be 100% committed to the protection of children and vulnerable adults and I think it would be better if their thinking was not influenced by religion or by feeling that they had any moral obligation to any priest or bishop.

There will be a time in every good safeguarding officer's career when they will have to take on the Church authorities and champion a child or an adult against the bishop, the clergy and the Church's PR and financial interests. 




I think that it is particularly worrying when diocesan safeguarding officers are priests or nuns. These priests have the conflict, in my opinion, of having a promise of obedience to the bishop and in the case of a nun will have a solemn vow of obedience to her religious superiors.

We all know how some Catholics are in awe of priests and indeed more in awe of bishops. 

It's not so long ago since all Catholics were expected to call a bishop "MY LORD" and had to genuflect to him and kiss his ring.

Catholics are taught to believe that the Pope is infallible and that the bishops are the "successors of the Apostles".

Can a Catholic who believes that the Pope is infallible be truly independent if they receive a claim that the Pope abused someone in the past? Can a Catholic who reveres a bishop be truly independent if they receive a claim that the bishop abused someone in the past?

Maybe they can?

I have worked with victims who made complaints.

I ALWAYS tell them to bypass the diocesan safeguarding officer and go directly to the police and social services.

And if the diocese is paying for counseling I ALWAYS advise the victim to go to an independent counselor and not one recommended by the diocese.

I often think that the Church and diocesan safeguarding and Catholic counseling are too "cozy" for my liking.

There is a clear conflict between championing the victim and the Church's desire to cover things up and not pay compensation.

My dad, God rest him, used to say:

"IF YOU INDICT THE DEVIL - MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HOLD THE COURT IN HELL"!




What do readers think?






130 comments:

  1. That's very fair comment, Pat. I agree with you.

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    1. Yes, it is very fair comment indeed.

      Having watched the Spotlight documentary on Fr Malachy Finnegan, I was not impressed that Patricia Carville was truly independent in her role.

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  2. I am a longterm (not Diocesan in role)Safeguarding Officer who is also responsible for training other new Safeguarding Officers. My training was thorough and detailed and involved working alongside people from Probation Service, the police, social workers and the legal profession . Nevertheless, I am still expected to refresh, renew and update after every third year but that's OK. I have never been accused of bias or favouritism. Much of a good Safeguarding Officer's role is essentially advisory as prevention is a thousand times better than cure where problems re/children's wellbeing is concerned. We listen carefully to young people and advise on ways to remain safe and what to immediately do if they are uneasy or in difficulty. We advise parents in ways that ensure their child is never allowed into an unacceptable risk situation eg to avoid doubtful overnight stays etc.. what to be aware of re/grooming,both online and otherwise,bullying in its many guises - - all kinds of issues.
    We co-operate with schools and many different kinds of youth organisations who train youngsters eg in sports, swimming, drama etc.to make sure everyone concerned is made fully aware of what is acceptable in all their dealings with their charges. Again the best way to prevent abuses being possible or likely is to guide the trainers and club leaders in their task of setting up their robust Child Protection Policy or set of firm rules for the club eg no trainer must ever offer a one-to-one lift home to any young member after the training session or invite a child to his home unless accompanied by one of his parents would be two very frequent rules and there are many others. Each Officer draws up a tailormade policy of rules for the organisation he/she is responsible for. The Officer is around the place on a daily basis , observing that good practice is been adhered to and is available if anyone wants to talk in confidence. We also have to advise Committees on recruitment policy re/police checks on intending applicants. (There is a very fair and stringent exact procedure for this which I follow to the letter as I would have a legal responsibility myself for it being done properly)
    Sorry if this post is too long for some! I wanted to respond to Pat's request for some insight and I have tried to do that.

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    1. I took part I mandatory training for those involved in ministry in CoE. Lots of information. The bottom line is if in doubt know who to ask for guidance.

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    2. There is great work being done by child protection people and it will need to continue, but problems can arise when a crisis occurs and somebody is accused of not doing their job. While the state can drift in and out of trustworthiness over time, I am surprised that dioceses don't ask for an outside body as Pat is suggesting.

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  3. I imagine excluding Catholics from safeguarding roles in the Catholic church would somehow come up against discrimination and equality laws.

    Also, I am sure there must be a statutory body governing the role and responsibilities of a 'designated person', the new name for a child protection officer.

    However, as you say, there may be cause for concern; perhaps another transparency issue effecting the church.

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    1. 09.08 Catholics are not necessarily excluded from applying for such posts, people are appointed on merit and experience. Some English Dioceses have non catholic safeguarding officers which I think personally is a good thing. In Dromore Diocese is not the safeguarding lady mixed up with the CCMS and a personal friend of the Bishop - I don’t think that’s a good idea.

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  4. Pat, your inferences in this piece are fallacious. You are wrong on many points. You are misinformed. The Safeguarding personnel in my Diocese are highly trained, skilled and educated. They operate firts and foremost for the PROTECTION and SAFETY of children and do so in a thorough way, ruthless almost. They ensure that Parishes ate up to date, there's a constant audit of patishes. So, it's very dishonest to make the spurious claims you make. I also know of one Safeguarding Person in one Diocese who's an atheist! All men/women are trained professionay and most come with qualifications in social care, psychology and psychiatry. Pat, give us examples of where you have "found" conflicts of interest? Tell us the evidence to back your claims. Otherwise you have done a huge injustice to these qualified, honest, principled Safeguarding Personnel in Dioceses. I've had reason to approach our Child Safeguard Person and he acted swiftly, professionally and justly. No stone was left unturned and the child was first priority all the way. Absolute professional approach. No equivocation on priorities. I believe your musings are simply to cause trouble. VERIFY WITH RESEARCH AND NOT HEARSAY AND GOSSIP...You are damaging/defaming good lay people

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    1. Thanks for that @ poster 9.26
      What you describe has been exactly my experience of Safeguarding Officers and Pat needs to know that many of the RC ones are the best and most careful ones. They are so thorough about the priority being given to the child's happiness and safety and you daren't slip up on a rule or they'd be on to it instantly! We certainly wouldn't change our RC Officer whom parents and young people can rely on.
      I think you, people need to be fair.

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    2. We have only your word for what you say, 09:26. Where is YOUR evidence.

      You criticised Bishop Pat for lack of evidence and unjust inferences. I don't consider as independent evidence a partial review of one's work...and this is precisely what you offer here.

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    3. 9:26: I am not going by HEARSAY and GOSSIP.

      I have experienced major problems with Catholic safeguarding people in 3 dioceses - 2 in Ireland and 1 in England.

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    4. Magna at 13.45, in these matters of Child Safeguarding, I am speaking the TRUTH , certainly for my Diocese. And I am certain that most, if not all Dioceses, follow stringent guidelines and procedures. I know from my everyday work and my own Parish's Child Protection Policy which is constantly audited by my Diocese. The personnel are excellent, professional and thorough. I think Pat's piece casts a slur on the integrity of our committed, professional lay people on Diocesan Child Safeguarding Panels. It seems that you, Magna are trying to do the same. Shameful.

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    5. I wasn't trying to cast a slur on anyone, 14:13. But if someone like you raises an evidential bar on others, then I shall hold him to the same standard.

      You don't get a pass because you're a safeguarding officer, anymore than a priest now should because he's a priest.

      The days of 'trust me cos I'm one of the good guys' are over. If your word is good, then back it up objectively...with hard evidence.

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    6. Magna at 15.33 and Pat at 14.11 are both deliberately placing unnecessary doubts on the absolute integrity of Child Protection Personnel. It is reprehensible that you, Pat, tar all with the same brush just because you may have had difficulty with one or two cases. Perhaps the fault lies with you. Who is your Safeguarding Person in The Larne Oratory? Are you a registered charity? Magna, I only follow the exacting, high standards, procedures and policies as requured by the state and I believe the Church probably has the best policies in place. Certainly in the Dublin Diocese, they are rigorous and comprehensive. Pat and Magna, please do some proper research before you attempt to mislead and musguide.

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    7. 16:43, one thing about you concerns me most, and it comes across implicitly and strongly in your post: the professional conceit that child-protection officers are above criticism and beyond reproach, that the system for safeguarding children is so good, so watertight ethically and procedurally, that improvement here is impossible and therefore that anyone who dares question any of this must be an enemy 'placing unnecessary doubts on the absolute integrity of Child Protection Personnel (sic)' (Your unnecessary use of capitals here suggests a high degree of self-importance and strengthens my point about professional conceit.) Such conceit is arrogantly unwilling to accept that critics, too, can have the welfare of children at heart.

      Your defence and your combativeness remind me very much of Roman Catholic clery: they, too, were conceited enough to consider themselves above scrutiny, above criticism, and above the Law. In the process, children were harmed and the wolves protected.

      Do not repeat this injustice. Be willing to acknowledge that you don't 'know it all', that you may, despite your training, have much yet to learn.

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    8. And that coming from Mr Arrogance, himself! From Magna Blue of course, who else...

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    9. For classic arrogance, conceit and narcissism, we need look no further than the bombastic troll calling itself “Magna Carta” (the blue one).

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  5. It would be churlish,Pat , in the extreme not to offer our heartiest congratulations today to our Catholic grammar schools over N Ireland who have once again done outstandingly well in the annual performance reports. Catholic schools have taken no less than the first NINE positions and the very best non-Catholic came 10th(out of a total of 30 schools) !

    Non-grammars have Catholic in seven of the first ten places in a different list of secondary schools. That was a very praiseworthy result for them too.

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  6. There's a wild lot of typos in that post.

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  7. To which post do you refer? (@ 11.09)

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    1. The 09:26 post.

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    2. 12.26: Outline the wild lot of typos you refer to re: poster at 9.26. Enlighten us....I'm confused about what you speak of....

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    3. 09:26 "firts", "patishes".

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    4. 18.18: Despite my spelling errors, my points are still valid. What's the point of you correcting people? A rather inane contribution from you. Empty.

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  8. FATHER RORY COYLE


    Father Rory, it's time to get back to work. If you are certain that your life is destined for a vocation, then your future will demand that you also bear the burden of a crucifix. This path will not always be one of comfort, content or satisfaction, but if it educates the rightous and perfect people that walk among us, then for the sake of goodness and wisdom, your vocation requires that you must continue. You don't know me, but I was asked by a younger relation in the family, in the company of two of his friends, why you were leaving. 'He's gay, but he's a nice man, what's wrong with that....?', from three thirteen year olds. You have the answers here, your responsibillity is to address the youth. Judgement by the elders is not judgement from the wise, just judgement.

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    1. It’s got nothing to do with Rory Coyle being gay. It’s to do with a man so seriously lacking in the modicum of decency and maturity expected of a Christian, never mind a priest, that he exposes himself online and pursues young men for sex.

      He can’t EVER return to priestly ministry. He has forfeited his credibility and damaged it irreparably. Rory’s place now is not on the Altar or in the pulpit but in the pews, as a penitent, for the rest of his days.

      Hopefully, he will find it in himself to lead a good human life - but not as a priest. He’s well and truly blown that for good. He has destroyed his priesthood by his own actions. He has to live with that reality. Actions have consequences, Rory. Your priestly ministry is over. End of.

      He can still save his soul and that should be his principal concern for the rest of his life as a layman.

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    2. I miss Rory's cheeky ginger grin round the cathedral. It was great that, contrary to stuffy Vatican rules, he used Eucharistic Prayer 2 every Sunday, to keep Mass nice and short.

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    3. That cheeky grin said: "If you only knew what I was up to on Grindr last night"!!!

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    4. As a 20+ year old who encountered the same Rory on Grindr in all his glory I think that Rory needs to find a new profession.

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    5. @ 13. 07

      I am afraid it takes a lot more than a "cheeky grin" and the ability to skimp on the liturgy to make a good priest.
      Coyle thankfully has gone. He was grossly unsuitable and we deserve a lot better.

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  9. 11.09: Tell us the wild lot of typos! Correct what you think may be wrong. Or is it the TRUTH about Catholic Schools that's troublesome to you or what are you referring to? If it's Pat's blog, yes, there are wild typos in his post today, i.e. - misleading and incorrect assumptions leading to fake news!!

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  10. How Rory Coyle behaves in the future is now in his hands Following a vocation as a priest demands acceptable standards of morality and he has to be sure he can meet those standards before he embarks on religious life again. He cannot be in a position where he could give further scandal to everyone but particularly to idealistic impressionsble lovely young people such as those you mention. That is what is important. (I am a lay person)

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    1. Rory Coyle is irrecoverably damaged as a priest. Evermore, he will be, the guy who got his todger out on the internet. Pictures of his erect willy, ginger balls, etc., are out there. He needs to quietly blend into civvy steet for the rest of his days.

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    2. Did you see his erect willy 14:09? Or his ginger balls? Do tell us more

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  11. @12.34 Your post is senseless because I’m afraid it’s not up to you to decide if Rory Coyle returns to ministry. He has caused great scandal and caused much hurt to his family, parishioners and his diocesan family too. Being gay was not a crime but engaging in casual sex with people who recognised him was. I think all that had to be said on this issue has already been said many times so I don’t see any mileage in discussing it all over again. End of.

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  12. I share your concerns Pat. In my dealings last year with Portsmouth safeguarding, I was uncomfortable with the initial contact. Firstly it was suggested that they could get an opinion regarding the possibility of any criminal investigation from a police "Colleague" anonimously if I preferred. Although they in no direct way tried to influence me not to proceed or to contact the police myself, which I did with your kind help and advice, it felt rather like the safeguarding coordinator was behaving like some sort of "Gatekeeper." "I must warn you that it may be that they decide that no criminal offences were committed but its best to get that decision from them." "WARN??" Advise, surely! The word warn is a veiled threat! You know, you go over things in your mind. What was my exact feeling when HE (Abbot Cuthbert Brogan) put his hand on my leg and asked, is that ok? Shock and confusion I think. What maybe the Portsmouth safeguarding officer didn't realise was that the very kind detective from Hampshire Constabulary attempted to help me see things from a great many angles, but I could only see things i the round and maybe made the decision that the DPP would have made, namely that given there was clear interest on my part some days or weeks earlier and within a few minutes there was clear consent and continuing on and into the future, proving that the initial "Contact" was in fact "Assault" would be a non starter, however, perhaps in hindsight I should have let the police and DPP come to that conclusion. So the letter from Portsmouth to me, confirming that no criminal offences were disclosed then went on to say that a discussion between Portsmouth and The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service concluded "this matter raised by yourself does not come within our Safeguarding remit." (Pity the advisory service couldn't have replied to the emails I sent to as many on the board as I could find email addresses for!) Anyway Portsmouth agreed that contacting the benedictine congregation, they called them "French Benedictines" when in fact it's "Subiaco- Cassinese" was "the correct course of action for a complaint of the nature you have made." (I'm sure they realised this would kicking it into the long grass!) I have yet to hear from the Abbot President, one year on!

    I'm glad you've addressed this issue Pat. I think there needs to be an appeals process to a higher body, but exactly how it would all look and work needs the attention of many heads from as wide a field as possible. I wonder if a special safeguarding provision needs to be made for people who place themselves under the authority of another, like church hierarchies. On the one hand a person has made a decision based on faith, which involves a mental process different to other walks of life and then secondly they have entered into a subservient relationship. This surely makes a person vulnerable to coercion in potentially many forms. Perhaps a "Special Visitor" board constructed from again, a wide variety of sources, should both do the rounds of diocese and religious houses as well as being available 24/7 by phone / email / social media.

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    1. Tom, tell me to f**k off if you wish, but have you thought of forgiving Brogan? Even though (to my knowledge) he has never asked for your forgiveness?

      I hate to see you in pain.

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    2. I'm not answering for Tom, Magna, but I'm another former Farnborough monk. Tbh while your question would normally be a perfectly valid one, unfortunately what Brogan needs is to be controlled not forgiven.

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    3. Hi Magna, Hi 22:11, Magna, rather than hail you with that familiar "Sex & Travel" expletive, I was more minded to reply indignantly, "What makes you think I'm in pain?"

      You are bang on though...

      The football coach trial hasn't helped, though not for one moment do I wish to attempt to equate my travail with them poor lads, also lately I've been forgetting the words of the late Fr Richard Rasi of Dignity "Let Us Not Be Our Own Oppressors!" But rather than spam Pat's blog with DCB inapproprately, todays theme was pertinent. DCB is on Portsmouth Diocese Safeguarding and care for my wellbeing and others, sacrificed to The Institutional Church. Never mind, all will out, Gai will uncover, the earth will reveal that which has hitherto been hidden! I am becoming more convinced. Sadly as has been reiterated recently, it often takes 30 years of pain and distress before it wriggles free. Anyway, enough of my wailing prophesy, With regard to forgiveness I said in reply to The Abbot Primate:

      "I close this note with prayer for the healing grace of Christ to come into your heart, to bring some resolution to your situation, and find the peace which all of us look for in our pilgrimage through this earthly life"

      Ultimately I aim to focus with the mystics that "All Is Well" which is where for me, forgiveness abides, however as you rightly point out, we are journeying together on this earthly pilgrimage and there are temporal matters that God will attend to, but if we would follow His Son, shouldn't we be attentive to the cry's of the dispossessed for justice?


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    4. Tom, I love your posts: you say a great deal worth pondering. But 'the cry of the dispossessed for justice'? In what form? Jesus makes it clear that men's ways are not God's ways. It does not mean that justice is irrelevant to God, just that it matters to him in a way different from our own.

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    5. I don't remember pondering over that phrase, just that it felt right. I think I was visualising it as multi layered. On a mundane level, after being quite a loner during my youth ( I'll avoid diverting to examine that, for now) the weekend and following that, the month I spent at Farnborough was perhaps one of the happiest times of my life. Not without it's anxieties and doubts but I felt a deep connection and a sense of belonging and indeed, that people cared for me and were genuinely interested in me. (Actually, I prefaced this with "Mundane level" but actually I think I can explain the multi layered facets in a singular exposition.) I know now that F'bro had it's problems even then, but oh boy were they compounded when Brogan arrived! It's a huge pity they didn't test him a little first with a months trial but perhaps it would have made no difference. He charmed and flattered, pushed the boundaries of respect with familiarity and started his whispers of dissent and character assassination building his mental dossier of "Useful" information, a strategy that hitherto has served him but that will eventually be turned on him when his protege emerges. "Live by the sword, die by the sword!"
      Naive it may have been, but I'm sure many good catholics reading this would, at least back in 1987 anyway, have believed that a young man wishing to explore his vocation and receive good spiritual encouragement in chaste expression, would receive that in a monastery. I don't know how things might have turned out without brogan, it wasn't just the sex, it was the wholesale jealous manipulation and exploitation of innocence, joy and of validation he was bent on invalidating, of which I was one of a very long line on his way to the top! Follow my profile back dear Magna / dear reader for links to more of the story but I have felt materially dispossessed of a home or at least an alma mater, dispossessed of the spiritual gifts of that regular life and psychologically dispossessed of a burgeoning wholeness integrating a lonely brokenness that had so blighted my youth.

      I expected years later, to see a humble man, but the vain, self publicising bully and to see a liberal become an arch conservative just highlights the mistakes I made in not exposing him sooner, but I'm not sure that that would have been psycologically possible for me. It's taken to now and the stark realisation of what he and f'bro and I have become! I just want the same for him as Keith O'Brien, though he can go to a foreign monastery. And I don't want anyone else to be hurt by him!

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  13. Ask a safeguarding officer if they have authority to suspend a bishop for abuse... then you discover that they are not independent at all. They work at the whim of the bishop - regardless of their sincerity, education or personal intent. They can be silenced and ignored.

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    1. Some people don't seem to fully understand the Safeguarding Officer's terms of office
      A Safeguarding Officer is not the person with the power to hire and fire in many instances.
      Read my earlier post from 2.42
      away up nearly at the top of these posts. That will help you understand our role
      We report to the employing authority when we have discovered something to concern us. But crucially, we ALSO INFORM, the relevant authorities which will likely be police/Social Services at the same time. (They will immediately check that we have also informed the employer etc)
      If it is the actual employer who IS the suspect,then the police and Social Services have a slightly different but even more robust way to proceed. Believe me, if it needs to happen, it will happen
      But in the normal course of events, it is not the actual Safeguarding Officer's prerogative to suspend, hire or fire.
      We can't be "silenced and ignored" By then, it's up to the police to carry it forward anyway.

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    2. To poster @ 18145
      Thank you for for giving us valuable insights into what a Safeguarding Officer is responsible for and where your role finishes and the police and Social Services take over.
      Your post at 2.42 was very heartening and informative earlier today also.
      There will still be misconceptionsI dare say but you have done your bit

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    3. Tish-tosh.
      If every priest is self emploged how can a bishop be the employing authority that ye report the priest to?? The bishop is not the employer but is your employer and ye report to him. And where the bishop is accused ye have no employer to report to.

      Ye make recommendations. Bishops can ignore ye and as employer can silence ye.

      "Yes Sir, My Lord Bishop. Thank you for your time".

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    4. Some people today here have been very slow learners! They are STILL confusing the Safeguarder's role with the role of the employing authorities.
      They are still confusing the Safeguarder's role with that of the police .
      However, let's be patient with them. They haven't had your intensive Child Protection training after all!

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    5. @, 20.40
      For the sanity of the rest of us patient posters - - will you actually READ what the professionals who took time to explain the respective roles of Safeguarding Officers and the police when they TAKE OVER the suspected case of abuse actually wrote in some of the better and more informative posts today. . Then you wouldn't be coming out with the same old nonsense! So tedious and annoying! You were spoonfed details today without it costing you a penny. Talk about pearls before swine!

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  14. Rory is still young enough to retrain for a new career, meet a man, marry and settle down and have children.

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    1. It seems strange to me that you are advising a gay man to marry and have children - unless you mean for Rory to marry a man and have children by adoption or surrogacy?

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    2. Well, I think that goes without saying, +Pat.

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    3. I wouldn't put Coyle in charge of my dead parrot never mind put him in a position of rearing innocent children!

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  15. Rory is still an ordained priest. If his vocation is to minister then he should have an opportunity. However behaviour alleged or otherwise from the past can not be part of the picture. When I left ministry it was with the intention never to return. Almost 20 years later I see things differently. If Rory returns he will need appropriate guidance not control. I wish him well whatever the future holds

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    1. Very compassionate words Sean.
      If can I ask, Sean, would you will be to do a piece for this Blog if Pat allowed you, on your own life story.
      You bring a lot of wisdom and compassion to what you write and I love would love to hear more, not in an noisy way but I think you have a lot to offer.
      Just a thought.

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    2. I suppose the difficulty in reassigning Coyle, or McCamely, is the alleged content of their profiles and live appearances on Grindr and Caffmos respectively.

      They should have used lesser known online dating sites, for example, HotForGinger, who have helped thousands of ginger people make dates, or perhaps MuddyMatches for McCamely.

      I wish them both well for the future.

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    3. No, @ poster 16.58
      Coyle should not have used "lesserknown" sites as a better way to cheat and deceive us, his parishioners. He is a dirty scut. We never want to be deceived by trash like him again. So good riddance!

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    4. 15.53 Thank you I suppose I could but as you say that is up to Pat. He has my email I think

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    5. @18:53

      Fancy expecting young men to be celibate, or old priests being reduced to truck-stop guzzlers, just to please you.

      Mind, +Pat's just as bad really, but I hope he only exposes those pulpit douchebags who call out another douchebag for being a douchebag.

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  16. As the Safe-Guarding rep for my local church I am appalled at what you have written today, Pat. We were trained to the highest standard and we gave up of our time and energy to the protection of the most vulnerable.
    We did so without looking for any reward.

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    1. Clearly you are a parish volunteer. The article is about the Diocesian safeguarding officers.

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    2. So you're not salaried, then? You work solely from personal goodness and live on locusts, and wild honey? (Or whatever the equivalent is here.)

      It's a pity you aren't doing any of these things, for then I could take more seriously any claim to role independence you might make.

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    3. Magna, 16.11: now you are being rude and ignorant and an utter fool. Our Parish Representatives are professionally trained to do what they have to do and give freely of their time and care for the well being of children. You are a sneering, contemptible fool. Read the relevant information on government and church websites. Educate yourself before mouthing off.

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    4. Who is your employer, 16:50? Who pays your salary and who can fire you?

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    5. 17.03 - Magna: the relevance of your questiin being......no need to be getting all strung up about issues when you don't do proper research.... This time Wikipedia won't help you. Look at government and church policies. Incidentally, the questiin of who pays me is not pertinent to this discussion. Since you abhor the Church, it shouldn't bother you.

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    6. Many of them DON'T get salaries. The big wage myth was another lie I read on this site.
      You must stop thinking you know everything, Magna Blue. You DON'T.

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    7. Most of them ARE salaried. Those that aren't can still be dismissed by guess whom?

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    8. I second Magna on this.

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    9. Wrong Magna Blue, once again completely wrong

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    10. Every diocese and order do have a salaried safeguarding officer. The parish safeguarding officers are appreciated, but essentially just witnesses who sit with altar boys and girls to protect priests from false allegations.

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  17. Just read in the Bel Tel that the IRA kneecapped people for being gay. According to David Norris. Have you ever come across this, Pat, in your travels?
    Could this really be true?

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    1. Frankly, I doubt the provos kneecapped anyone for being gay. For a gay (or straight) person's abusing a child sexually...yes. Absolutely. But not on account of a person's sexuality.

      I have always found Norris a pompous and stilted self-regarding ASS.😆

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    2. Are you advocating and encouraging people to break the law by kneecapping people? I’d be very careful about this and your use of language, no one can take the law into their own hands. This blog has been in trouble before by the PSNI over a similar post in the past.

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    3. David Norris! That’s who you’ve always reminded me of, Carta! DAVID NORRIS!

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    4. Damn you, 23:30. Damn you t' HELL!!!!😆

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    5. 23:27, grow up, ya prick!😆

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    6. Get back to your bottle, that’s all you are good for, nothing else. You’re a waste of space.

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    7. We-hey! Vintage Magna Blue at his most polite! Lol

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  18. I agree with you 15.41 give credit where credit is due. I also think it's important to acknowledge the good work of the Protestant churches as well, as Sean points out.

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  19. I also would like to hear about your story, Sean. It would give us a balanced view of ministry lived out in the service of the Lord.

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  20. @16.00 Growing up in Belfast in the 1970's I can testify that I was verbally abused for being gay. Thankfully I never had any physical punishment but the verbal abuse was so cruel, so upsetting, I still get nightmares to this day.

    Did some people get kneecapped for being gay?
    I'm not too sure but I now there was a lot bullying taking place and many people turned a blind eye and looked the other way.

    I lived out of Belfast for over 20 years and I think it's great that society has now moved on.

    We still have a long way to go until we have full integration but hopefully we are on the right road.

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    1. I was once harrassed and verbally abused in an office in Edinburgh of all places when I was only about seventeen or eighteen during the sixties. I had no one to turn too. It completely shattered my confidence for many years afterwards. Thank goodness it is better nowadays.

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    2. I am so sorry, 16:48 and 17:22, that you endured such mental torture.

      My own hands here aren't clean, I'm afraid. I describe myself as a 'recovering homophobe', and I still have much ground to cover.

      What set me on a different path was a conversation I was asked to have with the parent of an adult in a civil partnership. The parent (and I'm being very careful not to identify the person) told me that every time someone makes a homophobic comment, 'it is like a knife in my heart'. I honestly don't remember how I answered, but this person's story touched me so much that I began a thorough revision of relevant Scripture, especially what are known as the 'clobber passages' (those, particularly in the Old Testament, that excoriate gay people in the most appalling ways). I have come a long way on this journey (but, really, this is for others to judge) and would not hesitate to bless a gay couple, but I should remind them that God cannot bless in their union what he would not bless in a straight union: any word or act that does not come truly from love of other rather than love of self.

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    3. 18.14: Magna, glad you had a conversion about your homophobia. That's commendsble. Now, sadly, you practice the "clobber passages" indiscriminately against all clerics. Shameful behaviour - so we await your conversion from your "clobber" activity! And not just against clerics, buat against all who legitimately and intelligently challenge your hatred, prejudices and contempt.

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    4. 18:47, there are no clobber passages against clerics in Scripture, so I haven't the remotest idea of your point.

      I don't clobber priests, but I do clobber Roman Catholic priesthood as theologically constituted; it has little bearing on the form of discipleship envisaged by Jesus. And it continues to harm the Church. THIS I hate with a holy passion.😆

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    5. Ah ha, you show once again that you are not the real Magna Carta. I once gave Fr Fuddy-Duddy our parish priest when I was young, a turn by replying to his comment that you can get excommunicated for striking a priest, by saying that that is only if it is in contempt for the faith - it's different if it's out of contempt for the man himself!
      (no doubt a canon lawyer will say I got it wrong but I don(t care - it had the perfect effect, and as I predicted, he chose 'dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways' as the opening hymn the following Sunday!

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    6. Magna 20.09. Contradictory words. Despite your protestations you do clobber all before you. You have a psychotic and dangerous hatred of so many people. Whoever stopped you from priesthood made a very wise, sensible decision. What harm you'd have inflicted on God's holy people! Intolerant, condescending, offensive, juvenile...Many, many priest, despite your narrow view, do practice the gospel of Christ and are true disciples....It's a pity the gospel you seem familiar with doesn't find a place in your heart.

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    7. Magna Carta 20:09 There are no ‘cobbler’ or indeed no passages at all in the bible against gays/homosexuals.
      You will find there passages against what are the modern equivalent of human beings, all of whom are assumed to be heterosexual, who engage in same-sex activity.

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  21. I contacted Dromore's safeguarding officer some years ago about Hugh Connolly's conduct in Maynooth. She dutifully asked McAreavy if she could investigate and he said it was ojtside her remit and she was to tell me that and have no further contact with me.

    The Maynooth issue could have been exposed sooner and less damage done, but for McAreavy's intervention with further advice for all parties to bury their head in the sand.

    Need I say more?

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    1. You've said it all, really.

      I do not believe that these officers are truly independent.

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    2. You believe what you like MC
      We couldn't care less what you believe!!

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    3. 20:50, you cared enough, dear, to post a comment.😆

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  22. 16.11
    Magna Blue ..Wrong as usual but that doesn't stop him mouthing off!

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  23. Very moving comment @16.48 and I can identify with you as my school days were sheer hell and I was so glad to get out of the place due to the bullying I received by my class mates and those who should have known better.
    We really need to look at how we treat other people. I'm from the Republic so I have no knowledge of the republican movement but I hope it wasn't true.

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  24. I'm a gay man and I have never experienced any form of homophobia. My generation are much more tolerant I would like to think. I recognize that many older people suffered because of their sexuality and that was wrong and it's still wrong if it happens nowadays.
    The story of people being kneecapped sounds very strange to me. But then why would David Norris say it if it wasn't true?
    I think having a gay Taoiseach is a role model for some many gay people.

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    1. You were raised in a bubble, weren't you, wearing an eye mask and ear muffs?

      The very fact that the Roman Catholic Church continues to denigrate gay people's sexuality as 'intrinsically disordered' is a most serious, and unjust, homophobic slur. And it is aimed at you, Sunny Jim.

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  25. MALACHY FINNEGAN

    Finnegan also enjoyed physical violence and took pleasure in beating boys with his bare hands or a cane. I know. As a small 11 year old student, he hammered me outside the chapel one morning for 30 seconds, picking me off the ground to continue the beating with his open hand. He had seen me kick my heals off the wall as i chatted to friends. I can still hear him shout "Would you kick your own house? Well you'll not kick God's house"...The large crowd of students that watched him beat me like a ragdoll were too scared of his reprisals to come to my rescue...May he rot in hell.

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    1. My heart goes out to you, and I am truly sorry for the pain that you suffered.
      I am sorry there is not more I can do to help.
      I hope you find peace.

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    2. Sounds just like Paddy Walsh in St Malachy’s College, Belfast in the 1970’s - an other evil, vicious bastard. He became a bishop. His nickname at school was “Paddy Sniff” because of his big snout. We were terrified of that bollox.

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    3. Many of these men had psychosexual and sadism issues.

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    4. And this sounds very like Abbot Soper of Ealing

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    5. 19:32, despite what I said at 20:20, please try not to allow this man, Finnegan, to debase you to his standard of living. You are better than he.

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    6. Sorry to hear about these experiences. They should not have happened. Similar stories are known in Cork about Bishop John Buckley's time in Farrenferris. He is known to have thrown one student down the stairs breaking their arm; and who knows what else he did. And yet he remains Bishop and dictator of Cork (nobody knows if he is aware that Ross also exists).

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    7. Paddy Walsh was definitely a sadist. So were other teachers at St Mal’s. Violence and humiliation pervaded that place. I still feel queasy walking or driving past those big gates on the Antrim Road. I am back to being a frightened teenage boy in the 1970’s, walking up that tree-lined Avenue, with my heart in my mouth, sick to my stomach with nerves, dread and anxiety.

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  26. I agree with many of the people who asked if Sean would write a few lines about his life story.
    I imagine it is a story with a few twists and turns along the way.
    Would you allow something like that Pat?

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    Replies
    1. Of course I would.

      I have known and respected Sean for years and have admired his struggle.

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    2. I would welcome that you @Pat and @Sean.

      I always find Sean to be one of the most balanced, considerate and compassionate persons to write.

      Just if your were willing, Sean.

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    3. Ok Pat I'll put my thinking cap on. I do not wish to have a go at anyone from the past. I had my failings. They had theirs. I am learning to respect the past and hopefully be a better person in the future with the help of God and good people.

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    4. I for one have no interest in Sean Page's story as I know it already. I think it's an absurd suggestion because people in Sligo were extremely hurt by his actions. I think this will certainly add salt to wounds. I get extremely fed up listening about his abdication to the Anglican Church. Don't bother your head writing anything Sean.

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    5. 22.21. Yes the people of Sligo were hurt and I have to hold up my hand to that and take responsibility for it. I am not putting fingers up to Sligo. For what it's worth I pray for them every day. I did not plan to come to England and join CoE. It turned out that way in the end. If I were in Ireland would I be on a park bench with a bottle of whiskey. Only God knows. If I were on that bench I would have no one to blame but myself. The days of salt are over This is the time of ashes growth and spring.

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  27. Pat... Can you not acknowledge and give thanks that the Catholic Church is a much safer place for the children of today?
    Can you not accept that the Catholic Church has grieved for its terrible wrong, learned from its past and moved on to pastures new?
    I'm the mother of three young boys and glady welcome my kids being a part of the Church.

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    1. Jeez! Aren't you self-deluded?! I sincerely hope your kids aren't sacrificed because of your massive wishful thinking.

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    2. After Spotlight, would you really trust John McAreavey's safeguarding statement, "In every instance the welfare of children and young people is paramount. “ I wonder.

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  28. And you probably still kick walls...

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  29. I’d like to hear from Sean regarding a vocation to the Anglican Church. I don’t have any experience with this and so I think it would be constructive. The only real difference is the Pope. I think the Anglican Church is more democratic - from what I know. Who said the RCC was the true church of JC? Thanks.

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    1. The CofE is the true church of Henry VIII.

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    2. Anglican Orders are not valid or accepted as valid by the Catholic Church, you are deluded in suggesting otherwise. No matter what way you want to dress it up or express it the facts are the facts. You will find there are more differences than just the Pope, Ordination of Women is just for starters. If you want to know what it’s like regarding a vocation to the Anglican Church then I suggest you write to Church House in London - don’t bore us with it on here.

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    3. 22.08. Please ask Pat for my email. I will tell you what I can. I did not just walk in to CoE. They are aware of my past. It took me 5 years to get past first base. I had good support and journeyed humbly.

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    4. You forget the Dutch touch, 23:18! As for women, the Catholic Church has been ordaining them for centuries albeit in a different form.

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    5. At 23.18
      Cop yourself on. Enough Anglican's have converted and had their vocation recognised by Rome to know we recognise the truth of Anglican vocations. We also recognisevthe validity of anglican baptism. Please cop on or go fight a crusade

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    6. The latest and definitive decision regarding CofE orders is contained in the encyclical 'Apostolicae Curae' given by Pope Leo XIII which states that they are null and void. Pope Leo was asked to re-examine the evidence submitted by Anglican Bishops and did so from the beginning and came to the same conclusion. This is Church teaching, it is not open for debate and nothing has changed to improve an already sad lack of validity, indeed the situation has deteriorated into that in which the original Anglican promoters of recognition by the Church would be horrified by the changes accepted and promoted by their successors in office and no doubt thank Leo in eternity.

      Let me also recommend his encyclical 'Rerum Novarum' which is a blueprint for economic and social arrangements that would actually work even in today's world.

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  30. Bishop Pat, your dad was one clever son... . Just sayin'.

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  31. Pat, has the Dean Emeritus been reinstated or is he still in London?

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  32. Not in London as far as I know

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    1. The Big Dean is out of ministry due to allegations of a sexual nature involving a young man, (not a minor) but which were, nevertheless, deemed to be “unconstitutional behaviour” for a priest.

      I do recall Pat saying he heard it relates to the brief period he spent as PP of Lisburn.

      The media did report police involvement which obviously denotes a criminal aspect to the complaint.

      He is among the missing. His whereabouts are unknown.

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  33. 23 posts on this thread are by Magna Carta blew.

    What a sickening statistic.

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  34. How many anonymouses here are the same person repeating their obsessions over and over again???

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    Replies
    1. Just you, yourself @ 16.16

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  35. Pat says: 'I would like to see a body called something like THE IRISH (English etc) INSTITUTE OF SAFEGUARDING OFFICERS.'

    Sounds like a good idea, perhaps like the Church of Christ with there being only one body that has rules and a hierarchy and doesn't let others pretend that they are qualified! You really make me laugh sometimes. Who needs 'institutions' to run things? Well, we all do really or the world is chaos.

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