Monday, 26 February 2018

Leaked docs raise question of Pope’s personal role in new Vatican financial scandal
ROME, February 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –
Leaked documents obtained by LifeSiteNews connect the Pope himself to a new Vatican financial scandal and raise serious questions about his global reputation as the “pope for the poor.”
LifeSiteNews has obtained internal documents of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, a charity with a stellar history of assisting the world’s poor, showing that last summer the Pope personally requested, and obtained in part, a $25 million grant to a corruption-plagued, Church-owned dermatological hospital in Rome accused of money laundering. Records from the financial police indicate the hospital has liabilities over one billion USD – an amount larger than the national debt of some 20 nations.



The grant has lay members of the Papal Foundation up in arms, and some tendering resignations. Responding to questions from LifeSiteNews, Papal Foundation staff sent a statement saying that it is not their practice to comment on individual requests.
Speaking of grants in general, the Papal Foundation said their mission has not changed. “The grants to help those in need around the world and of significance to the Holy Father are reviewed and approved through well-accepted philanthropic processes by the Board and its committees,” it said.
Lay membership or becoming a “steward” in the Papal Foundation involves the pledge “to give $1 million over the course of no more than ten years with a minimum donation of $100,000 per year.”  Those monies are invested in order to make a perpetual fund to assist the Church.
However, the majority of the board is composed of U.S. bishops, including every U.S. Cardinal living in America. The foundation customarily gives grants of $200,000 or less to organizations in the developing world (see a grant list for 2017 here) via the Holy See.
According to the internal documents, the Pope made the request for the massive grant, which is 100 times larger than its normal grants, through Papal Foundation board chairman Cardinal Donald Wuerl in the summer of 2017.
Despite opposition from the lay “stewards,” the bishops on the board voted in December to send an $8 million payment to the Holy See. In January, the documents reveal, lay members raised alarm about what they consider a gross misuse of their funds, but despite their protests another $5 million was sent with Cardinal Wuerl brooking no dissent.
‘Negligent… flawed… reckless’
On January 6, the steward who until then served as chairman of the Foundation’s audit committee submitted his resignation along with a report of the committee’s grave objections to the grant.
“As head of the Audit Committee and a Trustee of the Foundation, I found this grant to be negligent in character, flawed in its diligence, and contrary to the spirit of the Foundation,” he wrote in his resignation letter accompanying the report. “Instead of helping the poor in a third-world country, the Board approved an unprecedented huge grant to a hospital that has a history of mismanagement, criminal indictments, and bankruptcy.”
“Had we allowed such recklessness in our personal careers we would never have met the requirements to join The Papal Foundation in the first place.”
The audit committee chairman’s report noted that the Foundation’s “initial $8 million was sent without any supporting documentation.”
He said the board eventually received a “2-1/2 inch thick binder of information (mostly in Italian)” but it lacked essential details. The report notes:
There was no Balance Sheet.  There was no clear explanation as to how the $25 million would be used. Normal grant requests are fairly specific about how our money will be used. Buried in the thick binder was only a one-page financial projection labelled “Draft for Discussion” showing:
2017   1.6 million Euro PROFIT
2018   2.4 million Euro PROFIT
2019   4.4 million Euro PROFIT
And on this data, our Board of Directors voted to grant this failing hospital $25 million of our hard-earned dollars. To put this in perspective, rarely have we given above $200,000 to a grant request. I pointed out that there was NO PROFESSIONAL DUE DILIGENCE, just a lot of fluff. If the numbers presented were accurate, then this commercial enterprise should go to a bank.  They don’t need our money.  If the numbers were not accurate, then a decision could not be made.
The controversial hospital
The lay members of the board have good reason to be concerned about the supposed recipient of their generosity. Pope Francis asked for the funds to be directed to the Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata (IDI), a dermatological hospital in Rome that has been plagued with corruption and financial scandal for years.
On May 15, 2013, ANSA, the leading news wire in Italy, reported “police confiscated over six million euros worth of property and bank accounts as part of investigations into alleged corruption at the Italian hospital group Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata (IDI).”
The news of Vatican financial corruption connected to the IDI hit international headlines in 2015 with a June 20 Reuters article showing the Italian magistrates suspected Vatican Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi diverted 30 million euros destined for a Church-owned children’s hospital to the Church-owned IDI.
Another ANSA piece from 2016 reported, “Finance police discovered IDI was 845 million euros in the red and 450 million euros in tax evasion while 82 million euros had been diverted and six million euros in public funds embezzled.”
In May 2017, La Repubblica – the only newspaper Pope Francis says he reads – reported on court rulings revolving around the IDI detailing twenty-four indictments, leading to a dozen convictions, some of which carried over three years in prison. The court recognized the evidence from the financial police including “about 845 million euros in balance sheet liabilities and over 82 million in diverted funds, plus the undue use of another 6 million public funds.”
‘He is the Pope, and we listen to him’
On January 19, after numerous calls and emails among lay members supporting the audit committee’s position, the Foundation’s executive committee sent a letter trying to placate the donating members.
That document, sent by Foundation President Bishop Michael Bransfield, and signed by Cardinal Wuerl, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as well as several Stewards on the executive, highlights that the request for the donation came directly from Pope Francis. They wrote:
Many of us believe that, had it been us, we would have told the Holy Father that the Papal Foundation would not be able to help on this project – but we weren’t in the room with him. We can surmise what we would have done, had it been one of us, but we really don’t know. In fact, we have been explicit throughout our history that this is the Papal Foundation. We have worked in conjunction with the pope from the very beginning. We don’t approve every request he makes, but he is the Pope, and we listen to him, and we listen intently. (emphasis in the original)
Attempts to mollify big donors
The executive’s letter regrets “the significant degree of discontent” but admonishes: “If we do not have love in our hearts toward one another, we are like clanging gongs or clashing cymbals.”
“We do not believe it is in the best interest of Christ or his Church to presume bad faith or ill will…,” it adds, but allows it is “legitimate to have disagreements over prudential decisions.”
“The Papal Foundation has bylaws that put the ultimate control of the organization in the hands of the US-domiciled Cardinals,” says the letter.
The executive concedes that when a grant is “over one hundred times the size of many of our other grants, there should be near unanimity in the vote, and that is not what happened.”
The letter also notes that while half of the $25 million was already transferred to the Vatican – for the IDI – Cardinal Wuerl “has written to the Secretary of State to request, given the circumstances surrounding this grant, that the Holy See decline to accept any further monies pursuant to the grant that was approved in December.”
Moreover the executive proposes a “new grant policy wherein any grant of more than $1 million must be approved by a majority of both lay and clerical Trustees on the Board.”
A first attempt to quell the stewards was sent on January 8 suggesting that the massive request of funds for the corrupt hospital was actually a part of Pope Francis’ effort to fight financial corruption. Accompanied by a letter and reflection from Cardinal Wuerl, a “PF Stewards Report” explained that the $25 million request of the Pope for the IDI was made, “in the larger context of the Holy Father’s commitment to confront and eliminate corruption and financial mismanagement both within the Vatican itself and in outside projects with which it was involved or sponsored.”
A highly trusted source inside the Vatican informed LifeSiteNews that much financial corruption continues unabated under Pope Francis even though the Pope was informed of it.
The Papal Foundation’s record
The Papal Foundation has a stellar record of assisting the Popes to support the poor, largely in developing nations. Since their first gift to Pope St. John Paul II in 1990, the Foundation’s fund has grown to over $215 million, and has given a total of $121 million in grants and scholarships.
From a look at their recent grants it is evident that the use of funds heretofore has been above reproach. The wealthy American Catholic families funded the building of churches, monasteries, schools and seminaries in impoverished nations. AIDS hospices, facilities for care of youth with physical and mental disabilities, and the like have also benefited from their generosity.


It seems this scandal is the first in the 30-year history of the organization. The executive letter states: “It is true that over the last fifteen years, if not longer, most of our donations have gone to the poor, and most of those poor have been in the poorer countries of the world.” It acknowledges that throughout the organization’s history, “almost all of the decisions of the organization were made with near unanimity of the Board.”


PAT SAYS:

A big part of me wants to believe in Francis and to believe that he is sincerely trying to reform the Church.

But another part of me thinks that he is just like the rest but is a good PR man?

His recent track record on the abuse commission, Bishop Barros in Chile - and now on finances gives me great cause for concern.

These are matters that he has been PERSONALLY involved in.

It's just like people who get to be millionaires or billionaires. Do you build up that kind of wealth without trampling on a lot of people?

AND - to become a bishop. archbishop, cardinal and Pope in the RC Church - it begs the question as to whether or not you have had to be part of - or at least cover up - a lot of corruption.

There are rumours about Francis' worrying relationship with the Argintinian junta when he was head of the Jesuits.

There are even stories that he was somehow involved in the death of a couple of radical Jesuit priests who were challenging the junta?

It makes me ask:

"CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF ROME"?

105 comments:

  1. Pat, do you mean come out of Rome or 'come out' in Rome? Lots of escapades in the Irish College. Why don't you do a blog on that?

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    Replies
    1. I am sure these escapades involve hours of intimate hugging, cuddling, and group soul searching.

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    2. How do you expect Pat to write on something that he knows very little about? Or do you expect him to rely on lies and hearsay with very little basis in reality?

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    3. @12:50 were you there for the shenanigans of the Cloyne and Meath?

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    4. No, I wasn't there....

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  2. Pat, Life Site news has absolutely no credibility as an objective and trustworthy source of information.

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    1. Yes. Was about to say the same. Their agenda dictates everything. Truth is the casuality.

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    2. Lies+half-truths+misinformation+disinformation +hatred of the Pope+extreme ideological prejudices and bigotry+our agenda+why spoil a good story with something as inconvenient as the truth+twist the facts around if they don’t fit our bill = Life Site News!

      Pat, you really should know better.

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    3. And we are to take your word for it? Give evidence and let it speak. Lifesite is not the only source saying it. http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/21/papal-foundation-pope-francis-financial-scandal/ Religion definitely is opium when this pope gets away with so much and the media ignores any scandal he creates. There was not a word in the Irish tabloids about his brutality towards the alleged abuse victims recently.

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    4. The respected Catholic Herald and Crux have reported this too. Sorry to break the bad news. Isn't there a logical fallacy in which something is dismissed simply on the basis of who's saying it?

      http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/02/21/popes-request-for-25-million-donation-to-scandal-hit-hospital-divides-charity/

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    5. Everyone has 'an agenda', 09:40, even you and I (not to mention Jesus). Does having an agenda preclude a person from speaking truth? No; but bias can.

      LifeSite News certainly has an agenda, and when it reports, uncritically, on a book by Cardinal Robert Sarah (in which he makes the capricious and extraordinary claim, that receiving the Eucharist in the hand rather than on the tongue is a work of Satan), then that agenda seems extremely conservative, theologically and pastorally.

      LifeSite News is entitled to its agenda, and it does report truth; but where it fails is in its lack of journalistic professionalism and objectivity: its unwillingness to report truth CRITICALLY.

      I should know: as I recall, it is one of the ultra-conservative sites which barred me from commenting. (And I had been such a good boy, too.๐Ÿ˜†)

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    6. How unreasonable of them barring you, if you were just being your normal agreeable self.

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    7. Thank you, Faux Magna, for offering me that narrow shoulder of yours to cry on.๐Ÿ˜†

      Thank you.

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    8. 12:58, 'not a word in the Irish tabloids about his (Pope Francis') 'brutality towards' certain abuse victims/survivors? Perhaps. But there was a cornucopia of such, right here on this blog. ๐Ÿ˜†

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    9. That site can't be all bad then! They may have standards to which they adhere.

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    10. The Tablet, Irish Times, NCR all have agenda too. All media outlets do.

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    11. I wonder, when JPII set up the Papal Foundation, did he think it was intended to give money to profitable dermatological hospitals in Rome.

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  3. On behalf of the other Magna Cartas I would like to disparage most strongly anyone giving money to an organisation run by Cardinals which listens to the Pope. Fools.
    Seriously there's a real reason the hospital needed do much money - the fake Magna Carta went in to see if they could make him look any better.

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    1. 06.51. You need to seriously look at yourself. You are becoming a greater fool by the day. You absurd creature!

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    2. As I've said here before, you can't love other people if you don't love yourself, dear.

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    3. Did you really say such a thing, Faux Magna? You've been at the fortune cookies again, haven't you?๐Ÿ˜ก All that faux wisdom. Tch!

      You just won't be told: fortune cookies dont just pile the pounds on your hips (and we know how sensitive you are here), but pile on that fake news, too, you're so fond of.๐Ÿ˜†

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    4. - Sharp intake of breath -
      I'll have you know, dear, that I weigh the same as you did in 1956.
      Actually I like fortune cookies, although the last one I had said 'Help! I am trapped in this Chinese bakery and forced to make cookies'!

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    5. Faux Magna, we're into metaphysics or existentialism now, aren't we?

      Let's see. In 1956, I wasn't even the proverbial twinkle in my dad's eye, since he himself was much too young then, even for nocturnal emissions. So when you say you weigh as much as I did then, it must mean that (what must it mean?)...that you really don't exist! Which very fact has been my point all along, hence the title, 'Faux Magna'.๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜†

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  4. The Guardian did an excellent account of the Pope's complicity in the killing of the two priests.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/14/pope-francis-argentina-military-junta

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    1. Are you posting from North Korea?

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    2. Did you even glance at your own link? This story has been doing the rounds since 2013.

      One of the two murdered priests is still alive. Francis was reconciled with the other who has died.

      Gutter standards of posting on your behalf. An excellent account was it?

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    3. The Guardian wrote selected and highly edited snippets. It has an editorial viewpoint which pleases its readership. I thought that was pretty obvious long before that particular item. (Read several papers over a longer period of time )

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    4. Francis worshippers up in arms. That would make a good headline.

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    5. 09:41 the defence of this Pope that goes on, no matter what he says or does, is positively North Korean. The personality cult of His Humbleness on Vatican News and Radio Vatican would make the editor of Pravda blush.

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  5. I wonder which will get sorted first the church or the N I assembly. The talk seems to go round and round...

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    1. The talk is about you Mr Page not the N I assembly. What do you know about it being a sheep stealer and now living in England. Get a life

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  6. @ 06.51 Get rid of this half wit who is as funny as a wet Sunday afternoon in Lisnamuck.

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    1. Oh I couldn't agree more. Someone keeps claiming to be me.

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    2. Lisnamuck on a wet Sunday afternoon is hilarious. So shut yer gob and p*** off.

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    3. @10:05 youre the halfwit - telling Pat to ban someone just ensures they keep posting. I told him to ban the original Magna Carta idiot months ago but he wouldn't

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    4. Plus there's loads to do in Lisnamuck if you're bored:
      https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/northern-ireland/county-londonderry/lisnamuck

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    5. I'd never even heard of Lisnamuck but it's now been rushed to to top of my "Top Days Out list". Thanks!

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    6. We have just changed our family'summer holiday plans.
      No Benidorm this year!
      Instead we're having a fortnight in Lisnamuck..
      Should be so exciting!

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    7. Book early! I'm thinking of getting a second home there. Is it handy for Artigarvan?

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    8. 13:04, you do see the problem, don't you? With your post? Er, it's you: 'I told him (Bishop Pat) to ban the original Magna Carta' genius, 'but he wouldn't'.

      I'm struggling to be diplomatic here...heck! Sometimes ya just have t'tell it like it is: you don't get to tell anyone ANYTHING, you moron, especially Pat Buckley.

      There! That wasn't too harsh, now was it?๐Ÿ˜†

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    9. Lisnamuck, Co. Londonderry?

      Sounds deleightful. Lios na Muc, Co Dhoire! The fairy fort of the swine.

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    10. Magna Blue being a twerp again

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    11. @21:38 Like you my Irish sat-nav would respond "address unknown", or give directions that would include a boat trip!

      @16:05 I'm certain Lios na Muc includes many an interesting thing... but when all of the activities "to do on a day in Lisnamuck" are actually not in Lisnamuck? Hard times!

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    12. The activities happen in Greater Lisnamuck, which is Co Londonderry, more or less. (It's Co Coleraine if you're a traddy).

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  7. 10.05...are you proud of how you use the English language.
    Had understood that those words were confined to the gutter years ago.
    Mental ill health is now one of many illnesses.
    Pat,you need to clean up this blog of inappropriate words.

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    1. 12:58, did you not read 10:05's post with your glasses? Or are you just another halfwit who takes offence where none was intended?

      There is nothing ethically amiss with the word 'halfwit', halfwit. It makes no reference or allusion whatever to mental illness.

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    2. "Halfwit" is absolutely objectionable. It is an insult.
      It was intended as an insult and that's that.

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  8. The rather acerbic Hilary has a posting about Catholic Ireland from a conservative point of view.
    Oh, What’s Up With Francis Church or some such title is the name of her blog.

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    1. Hilary White. She has a photo of the aged ACP priests. Lots of big bellies on display. Overeating, beer or both. A big problem in my diocese, apart from Joe McG, Joe D, Fr D in 4 Darling St, and Peter O'Reilly, who is about to be given a Prebendary's stall in the "Church of Ireland" (lolz) cathedral in Enniskillen.

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    2. You seem to be a publicist for the said madam. Never heard of her. You’d be better off taking down your rosary beads and dusting them off @17:24.

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    3. It is properly called St Macartin's Cathedral.. Didn't you know its name?(Very Rev.Kenneth Hall)

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    4. What!Joe McGuiness hasn't now a 'big belly'? Dear old POOFY Joe. (A poof in my humble opinion, of course.๐Ÿ˜†)

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    5. Hi Kenny. Of course I know it's name. A while back I lived opposite you on the top floor of 6 Darling St, above what were called, quaintly, the 'Parochial Rooms'.

      Give my regards to your bestie, Canon Peter. We are estranged but that's a story for another day.

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    6. Oh, Kenny, in these more ecumenical times we don't like to mention the predecessor of yours who left the CofI (lolz) when lady vicars came in.

      The octogenarian VD of Clogher caused uproar when he let slip this news to some parishioners, who spread it all round the town when it was still a secret.

      The parishioners of St Macartin's (sic) were furious to hear these bad tidings for the first time out of Catholic mouths.

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  9. At this stage evidence of sexual abuse and financial corruption that goes to the very top of the Church is incontrovertible. Yet, we have the usual mafia deceivers and liars disputing reality itself.

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    1. And so it continues. A Pope elected by a gang of perves won't inspire.

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    2. 17:45 What a useless generalisation. Save your energy and your fellow posters. You are starting from a low point though.

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    3. E.g Mahoney, Brady, Danneels, Coco, Maradiaga, with Murphy-O'Connor orchestrating the gang.

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  10. Francesco has fairly piled on the weight. That's not very humble.

    I see that there has been a third national church collection in Eire to pay for his visit. Wouldn't that money be better spent on the homeless or given to Cafod?

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  11. Francesco has fairly piled on the weight. That's not very humble.

    I see that there has been a third national church collection in Eire to pay for his visit. Wouldn't that money be better spent on the homeless or given to Cafod?

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    1. Why would the Irish give anything to Cafod? Where were they during the Famine?

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    2. You @ 13.58 need to re-read what Jesus say to the self-righteous people who scolded Mary Magdalen for "wasting" money on buying ointment to anoint Jesus' feet after his journey.The people said the money should have been used to buy fรณod for the poor...
      You reminded me of that...Sorry to say .

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    3. English Observer at 13.58: It's none of your business concerning how Irish people contribute to Pope Francis's trip! Simple as.....Keep your cheap shots to yourself. Look after your own poor instead....

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    4. You're right 17:46 but the "libs" who post here often say that.

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    5. 16:44 because we are not making the amount we didn’t receive during the Famine the measure of our generosity.

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    6. 13:58 If you had a fraction of Francis’ integrity and went public we’d be able to compare your weight gain with his.
      You don’t know the meaning of humility.

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    7. 18:54, 'it's none of your business...'. Oh, the hallmark phrase and defence of every Roman Catholic authoritarian, control-freak, and Kim Jong-un on the planet! 'Leave me be.' 'Butt out.' And 'Let me act unhindered while I sexually abuse kids'. And so on, ad infinitum et ad nausem. (The Latin here proves I attended a good grammar school.๐Ÿ˜†)

      There is nothing, 18:54, that isn't anyone's business (can you understand the rhetorical value of a double negative?) where the matter concerns moral illigitimacy.

      Here we, everyone of us, IS our brother's keeper. So, English Observer, continue to observe and comment on matters Hibernian (not for nothing did the Romans name this place 'Hibernia'...'the land of winter')...not least because it will piss off the anglophobe at 18:54.๐Ÿ˜†

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    8. Magna at 21.34: Your comment is typial of your drunken rants. Outrageously ignorant and offensive. And indeed, I still say the English Observer should mind his own business and you, evil Magna,should stay in your cave. God bless Pope Francis and heal your nastiness and hatred. You are a pitiable creature. Fool par excellence.

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    9. 22:45, a happy 'hic'.๐Ÿ˜…

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    10. I see that the first two national church collections raised €5 million and that a fourth collection is to held.

      Hiring a big airliner for Francis from Rome to Dublin and back doesn't come cheap.

      Then you have to factor in the hiring of a Ford Focus. What a gimmicky thing it is to step off a chartered plane and then ostentatiously step into a small car.

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  12. 6.51 A jzs I love you too. Im far enough away not to give a s*ite. Have a good day. As Arnie sez I ll be back๐Ÿ˜€

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  13. Boring blog today. I hear Eamonn is back in Keady

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    1. He's still c/o Ara Caeli on the Armagh website.

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    2. I hope he enjoyed his trip to America. He has +Pat to thank for it.

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    3. Really, 15:13. And why did you think that might interest us? I mean: c'mon: Eamon Martin? Seriously?

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  14. The Guardian - cop yourself on. Always was an ani-Irish rag

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  15. This cold snap is on the way and I'm already freezing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hailstones in Belfast nearly cut the face off me.

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  16. It's Baltic out there.
    I've a evening in front of a nice warm fire planned

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  17. It seemed that the Magna's were quiet for a while, but it wasn't for long.
    How many Magna's are on the go now?

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    Replies
    1. (Sigh) There is only one: c'est moi!๐Ÿ˜†

      Now repeat this for a millenium or two, or, at least, until it sinks in.๐Ÿ˜†

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    2. The Magnas multiply like greenfly pests!

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    3. 21:31, Magna is indivisible and, therefore, does not (indeed, cannot) multiply. Rather like the Trinity. (Said sniffily.)

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  18. It's so cold- I'm frozen. I told herself to put on the heating.

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  19. The weather and Magna is all we are going to hear about for the next few days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes, BBC Weather is reporting that it's -2 in Ballywatticock.

      Wonder what it's like in Lisnamuck?

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  20. Great story in today's Belfast Telegraph of the Belfast Grand Master of the Orange Order walking his daughter down the aisle of a same-sex civil partnership.

    I thought he was very courageous.

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    1. I read it too. I am glad to see he is so proud of his daughter. It doesn't always happen. I wish then every happiness and hope they get the best from life.

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    2. Great to see. A positive step if you ask me.

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    3. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/orangeman-beattie-defies-orders-antigay-stance-and-walks-lesbian-daughter-down-the-aisle-36639889.html

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    4. He was just being a dad...one doesn’t need courage to love ones own children.

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    5. Very true @19.32

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    6. I too believe this is a move in the right way.

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    7. You do need courage.. if you belong to the Orange Order, believe me!

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    8. 17:47, I've just had a mouthful of a double brandy go down the wrong hole! An orangeman walks his daughter down the aisle of a civil partnership? But there are no 'aisles' in a registrar's office.

      Fake news, obviously.

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    9. I was delighted for this lovely couple.
      I hope they share many years of happiness.

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    10. 21:50, joking aside, AND SO DO I!

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  21. 16.33 a vast number impossible to count

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  22. Forget about the pope pat. Get back to local scandals. I love to hear of seminarians and priests being named and shamed for riding each other and having one over the wrist on webcams.

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  23. Speaking of webcams what’s the talk about the PP of Keady being back in situ?

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  24. 21.37: What a pervert you are! I hope and pray that you have nothing to do with children, young people or families. Your comment is outrageous. You are a sick, dangerous person. Pat is wrong to give any recognition to your perverted and sick mind.

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  25. 21:37 It’s called prurience. It’s nothing to boast about. In fact it requires professional intervention.

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  26. Any more about Fr Robert Billing B.D. (Hons.), S.T. L. ?
    Isn’t the lettering a sad little vanity!

    Every schoolboy knows an honours B.D. is a requirement for an S.T.L.

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