Tuesday, 20 March 2018

CARDINAL KEITH O'BRIEN - DEATH



KEITH O'BRIEN IS DEAD!

WHAT SHOULD BE OUR REACTION TO THIS NEWS?

Well, first of all, we should be sorry to hear the news. The death of any human being, whatever they did in life, is a sad event.

After that, we who are Christians think of the fact that he has gone before The Lord and has been judged in the way God does to perfection - with a mixture of MERCY and JUSTICE.

Keith will have either helped or harmed himself in that respect with the amount of true sorrow he had for any wrong he ever did.

He will also be helped or harmed before The Lord with the amount of effort he made to put his wrongs right and seek the forgiveness of those he hurt.

But all that is done now and The Lord has "rewarded" him for the things he did in the body, both good and bad.



THE FUNERAL:

Personally, I think it would be inappropriate to give Keith O'Brien a triumphalist funeral of any kind.

We Catholics believe that a funeral is NOT a memorial service - but rather an occasion where the Church prays for God's mercy on the sinner who has died.

We are ALL sinners and in life, Keith showed that he belonged to the Body of Sinners.

I think it would be appropriate for Keith O'Brien to have a simple funeral during which is emphasized the need for God's mercy and forgiveness. 

It may be appropriate for his successor in Edinburgh to celebrate this funeral - but it might also be very nice that a humble parish priest of Edinburgh led the funeral?

I do not think it should be an occasion for the gathering of dozens of men in mitres, papal knight in green and gold, international dignitaries or boy's choirs.



Of course, those at the highest echelons of the Church will be gathered today to discuss how the funeral can be held in such a way as to not to embarrass the institutional Church and it's mafiosa. 

THE VICTIMS:

I think that in planning the funeral Keith O'Brien's the thoughts, feelings and wishes of his victims should have a paramount place.  

We know that Keith sexually abused a number of seminarians and priests - even in the Confessional.

We do not really know if all his victims have come forward and if those who have managed to tell their whole story.

Some of them may have already been given sufficient grace to have forgiven Keith?

Others may still be struggling with senses of anger and hurt and not having been truly listened to?

Those organising the funeral should think very strongly of the victims.

In fact, it would be wonderful if someone in the Scottish Church consulted the victims with regard to the funeral.

THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS:

I imagine that Keith O'Brien has family members living and has retained friends - and maybe even made new friends since his "downfall"?

We need to take the feelings of these people into account also.

They loved him, warts and all, and to be still loved when we disgrace ourselves if often one thing that keeps us going in low moments and moments of disgrace. 

THE LESSONS:

The Catholic Church internationally and locally must learn some important lessons from the Keith O'Brien situation.






This Blog has a great variety of readers.

I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of these readers on the life and death of Keith O'Brien.


86 comments:

  1. A most important things that Pat said was a funeral Mass is not a memorial of the person's life but an opportunity to ask God's mercy and forgiveness for his soul. That should be kept in mind and it may help the victims of Keith O'Brien a little if they are helped to see things that way . I would love to tell the victims not to be surprised or further hurt if the funeral is larger than they expected. Each person present will have decided, for his own particular reason, to attend . Some will be relatives who feel they needs to be present in order to be comforted and helped to accept the good and the bad of the situation as they now know it to be. Then there will be people who barely knew him but are close friends and work colleagues of his relatives and they will want to show support and understanding to those innocent relatives on a day which is made all the harder by the revelations which, in all probability, were at one time a shock and are now a permanent embarrassment. There will be past colleagues of O'Brien who will be there simply to witness to the fact that they will leave his judgment to God and that they don't wish to add further hurt to the nearest family members by snubbing the funeral Mass from which the family try to gain comfort. Who knows.. in the crowd there may even be some of his victims who are there for very private reasons to settle their own demons and get a sense of closure. People are varied in their choices and in the ways in which they try to cope with anger and hurt. It is wholly up to them and we respect their decision . Some may find it cathartic to go through the process but many others won't do so and may not even wish to switch on the TV in case they catch a glimpse of the funeral or hear the name that burns in their brain.That will be perfectly understandable too.
    (If this should be read by even one of the victims and he happens to find it helpful, I would be pleased at that.)

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  2. I wonder will this be like a Maggie II where people are out on the streets of Northern England partying and chanting Ding Dong the Monster is Dead ?

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  3. I have just read that the pope will have input into the funeral arrangements for Cardinal O'Brien. I agree that it should be a private Mass for the sake of his family. I pray that the church gets this correct for once.

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  4. A funeral mass does not control God or force him to have mercy on anyone. We need to trust that beyond this life God will do the right thing in relation to all of us when the time comes. The right thing is not necessarily all sweetness and roses. I'm sure O Brien must have done some good as well as some bad. The funeral service should be realistic and reflect a true picture. At this stage leave judgement to God who I'm sure knows what h/she is doing.

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    1. Well said, Sean.

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    2. A good comment, Sean.

      The offering of funeral Mass has long puzzled me. What is its real (apart from its notional) value? Does it achieve anything other than provide (hopefully) solace to the bereaved?

      In so far as we know (or assume we know) about 'after-death', the deceased has already been 'judged' (for urgent need of a better, and more accurate, word) by God. Hasn't he? So of what use to him is a funeral Mass? Why anyway should we feel it necessary to appeal to God for mercy for the deceased. Isn't God capabable of rousing himself to mercy? Or have we been wrong, all along, about the nature of God? That he is not 'love' after all?

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    3. Your basic Catholic formation, not to mention priestly, is defective. The answer is found in an article of tHe Apostles’ Creed. It’s called the Communion of Saints.

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    4. Had you been ordained you'd be celebrating Requiem Masses without calms and pocketing the stole fees.

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    5. M C I have signed mass cards. I have concelebrated at an anglican high church requiem Mass The mass reassures us of what Christ has done for us whatever theological view one has. Paying for masses is a way of raising money and perhaps brings comfort to the mourners. The theological purpose of paying for prayers in a modern world merits discussion

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    6. 18:14, don't assume that my asking these questions is 'defective' of anything. Such questions ARE asked, frequently, by others, including young people. If your response to this is to call into question their 'formation', then you won't make a good evangelist-cum-educator. You need to be ready to give at least plausible answers, not credible insults.

      Speaking of answers, what has the 'Communion of Saints' to do with my comment on funeral Mass, and on petionary prayer for mercy?

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  5. Thank God Pat is not our ultimate judge. Thank God for that grace. The arrogance, dressed up as some kind of christian sensitivity and wisdom is stomach churning. "Judge not and you will not be judged: do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves: grant pardon and you will be pardoned ....for the amount you give out is the amount you will be given back". (Jesus). I find Pat's lecture and laying down of conditions both offensive and nauseating. Remember, you didn't have a glorious past and we each stand in need of God's mercy at all times. You conveniently forget this truth and yet again, you show such disrespect for the dead. I hope all who were hurt by the Cardinal can find healing and pray that this man will be judged kindly by the only God of mercy - the God of Jesus and not the trolls on here.

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    1. "Judge not and you will not be judged: do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves..."

      Just a pity O'Brien did not follow the same Bible passages.

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    2. Obviously, Keith was more interested in other passages.

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    3. And you are not, 11:35?

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  6. 1. A triumphalist funeral for Cardinal O'Brien would be a mistake. I don't think it will happen.

    2. I doubt if it will take place in Scotland. I think Cushley won't let that happen, mostly for his own reasons of trying to distance himself as far as possible from his predecessor as he can, for his own advancement. He will sift every action and word through a sieve which is designed to protect himself - oh, and the Church, of course !

    3. Cardinal O'Brien did wrong, no doubt. But, he was not a child murder, he was not a paedophile, he was not the worst of the worst. So, let's get this in perspective and not blow it out of all proportion. He was a damaged and flawed man (like so many of us) struggling with demons of his own, lacking in healthy integration, with a penchant to alcohol and the abuse of authority and power (which arguably could be laid at the door of the Church which brought him up, educated him, ordained him and advanced him in a dysfunctional clerical culture), which led him to make advances on young men of an age where they could, if they had so wanted (and eventually did when it suited their own purposes) have done something about it. I doubt if the damage done to them is as great as they or others make it out to be (oh, I can hear the dismayed cries of the victimhood clan who think that being a victim gives one carte blanche to claim how terribly damaged they are !). So, let's get it in perspective and not make out Cardinal O'Brien to be what he is not.

    4. If Pope Francis is taking an interest, then hopefully he will apply his own exhortation to mercy which he was encouraging us to apply a year or so ago, and not listen to the culture I've described in 3, but sensibly see Cardinal O'Brien as a sinner who is worthy of forgiveness and mercy, both from us and from God.

    5. The truth is, the Church got upset at Cardinal O'Brien not so much because of what he did and how he did it, but because the Church got egg on its face and was acutely embarrassed. What the Church is still interested in more than anything else is its own reputation and its own backside. Decisions about O'Brien in life and in death will be made by the Church with that firmly in the front of the mind. Everything else will be secondary. I am not fooled. All of this has more to do with Francis, Cushley and the optics, and how the reputation and standing of the Church can be protected. O'Brien and his family, even his 'victims', will be very secondary. So, before all you victimhood people start howling at me, just realise that for the Church you are truly secondary. Do not be fooled!

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    1. 08:51 I agree with you Cardinal O'Brien is not the monster that other priest's and bishops both past and present are and were. Maybe I am wrong in this but his wrong doings were with adults and not children as some celerics wrongs were against, and as a result what he done is no more wrong than what other priests and bishops are doing if you call to be involved in a same sex relationship a wrong. The author of this blog has put it in writing that he to was involved in what some might call inappropriate behaviour.

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  7. Perhaps the funeral will be carried out according to Keith O'Brien's wishes.

    He probably left some instructions on the matter, including a long list of former male lovers who should or should not attend.

    It will also be interesting to see who attends from the political and business world as well as from the entertainment world now Jimmy Savile is no longer here.

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  8. I’ve never heard the one about the Confessional turned into a peep-show-booth, but I expect there will be plenty of similar anecdotal stories about him doing the rounds at the moment

    +Pat, please keep us updated on the arrangements and, of course, anything else you might hear about Britain's once highest-ranking Catholic leader.

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  9. Yesterday’s comment at 20:05 is apt and worth revisiting.

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  10. The saddest aspect of KOB’s story was his hypocritical public statements on people with same-sex attraction. Truth was not well served. It must have been very difficult for him to have had to live with his demons.

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    1. I am not sure about that. I think he had his cake and ate it too. He had a good laugh at everybody else's expense.

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    2. Gay people have been reviled by a priest during Mass in Dublin also.

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    3. That can only mean one thing, the priest is gay... and probably up to some hanky-panky.

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    4. He lived the life of Riley.

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    5. It happened at the Dominican church off Dorset Street in 2015.

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    6. “I doubt a single gay man in Britain has not observed: the prominence among our tormentors of individuals who themselves turn out later to be homosexual, or partly so. A morbid interest in a topic is so often, in so many other areas of life too, an indication of complicity. Or as a friend put it, ‘The person who first mentions it, is.’ Or as someone else once put it: ‘Methinks the lady doth protest too much.’ I shall labour this no further: it’s simply a fact; anyone will tell you.”

      Matthew Parris - Spectatot

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    7. In a Catholic priest’s case, self-hatred is particularly likely to be involved. It is very, very common for a person to be almost reflexively alert to and nettled by traits in others that they observe in themselves. In the case of homosexuality, Catholicism adds to that reflex a whole theology of sin and guilt, overlaying upon self-awareness a seething mess of self-hatred. Is it any wonder that in both his private life and in his public pronouncements — though in directly contradictory ways — the former cardinal just couldn’t leave the subject alone?

      Matthew Parris The Spectator

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    8. No quotation marks, 19:09?

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    9. Well spotted. Citation is sufficient.

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    10. Matthew Parris has a dog in this fight. He's not impartial. He's a rich Thatcher throwback who is economically conservative and socially liberal, both stances happening to suit him personally. And check out any Google images of him. A rather knowing character, perhaps born of the cynicism of being a Parliamentary sketchwriter for decades.

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  11. It’s good to see the issue of a funeral Mass’ primary purpose identified orimarily as asking God to have mercy on the departed.

    If that had been remembered in the case of Malachy Finnegan much of the hyperbole and media frenzy would have had to evaporate.

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  12. The brute was named “Bigot of the Year 2012” by gay rights charity Stonewall. The Catholic Church in Scotland called for the withdrawal of public funding for the group afterwards. LOL! You couldn’t make it up!

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  13. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16097612.Pope_to_determine_final_resting_place_of_disgraced_Cardinal/

    Here is what is happening Cardinal Nicoll's has been appointed.

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    1. Perhaps he should be buried at sea. It would be for the best for all concerned.

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    2. 12.47: Disgusting and most unkind, unchristian and uncharitable. Just sheer hatred...

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    3. @12.47 I would gladly assist in tying a millstone round your neck you disgusting creature. That would maybe be better for all concerned. Ignoramus.

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    4. ... just like many of his pronouncements, dear.

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  14. MournemanMichael20 March 2018 at 11:19

    Reading your first paragraph +Pat ("The death of any human being ....is a sad event") resurrects a question I've asked before on your site, and did not get any sensible answer.
    Since Christians believe that earthly death is but an inevitable passage to eternal happiness then, provided one has led a good life, why all the sadness associated with death?
    While I understand the sorrow of losing a loved one, the whole mixed messages of faith belief and death are as mystifying as other Christian beliefs.
    MMM

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    1. MMM, It is a fair question.

      Ideally Christians, believing what they believe, should actually celebrate the entry into eternal life of one of their fellow Christians.

      I think the sadness is purely human.

      I think I have a strong faith - but I was still devastated emotionally by the death of my mother, Jo, who I fully believed was gone to Heaven.

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    2. MMM, your comment is puzzling. You say you don't understand, among Christians, all the sadness associated with death, and yet, you 'understand the sorrow of losing a loved one'. Isn't your second statement an answer to your first?

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    3. That grace builds on nature is proverbial. Human development is a prerequisite for spiritual growth. It can’t be bypassed. It was probably this element which was missing from KOB’s formation. It was most likely absent from his initial formation and the lacuna ought to have been filled at his own initiative when he was in a position and had the responsibility to do so. Requiescat in pace.

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    4. MMM at 11.19. Your puzzlement in sadness is understandable but answered by ├Żour phrase "losing a loved one". Yes, I believe in the resurrection but loss casts a huge shadow over our lives. Cetain and people give meaning and prpose to our lives and when that person is no longer in our lives we can be devestated. Grief can tear us apart - even if we have deep faith. I also find great comfort in " the communion of the saints".

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    5. MournemanMichael20 March 2018 at 15:53

      Thank you +Pat, Magna & A.@13:59. We seem to agree the sense of loss as a natural human response. But even allowing for that, why the pervasive mourning with so little sense of gladness? That seems conspicuously absent most times other than death following painful illness as in the traditional expression "a happy release".
      I wonder too about all the prayers at funeral masses, months mind, anniversaries etc. If the deceased's "lot is cast" on death what are prayers intended to retrospectively achieve? A "get out of jail" card for Purgatory?
      I neither wish nor intend to ridicule sincere beliefs but do question inconsistent illogicality.
      MMM

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    6. MMM : 15.53: People find immense comfort in remembering and praying for loved ones who have died. It gives a sense of connection, a sense of their presence. Why you are minimising the necessity for people to grieve is beyond me. There is nothing illogical about prayer or faith and your "get out of jail" reference is unnecessary and insulating. A typical atheistic, cynical response. Surprised at you.

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    7. MMM I think you do mock and ridicule people’s personal beliefs, why else would you question prayers at funerals, months minds and anniversaries. You do so in a very sneering way, why concern yourself with prayers on these occasions when you don’t set foot in a Church? Why even bother to open your mealy mouth on this blog if you are just going to trample what people believe in into the ground. Do us all a favour and p**s off on to some sad atheist anti catholic blog where you would fit in better. I for one have become totally sick of your utterings in recent times.

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    8. You have a point, MMM, that Christians can grieve too deeply sometimes, a natural emotion and process yes, but one that ought, for a Christian, to be tempered by hope that issues from belief in resurrection, and in eventual reunification with loved ones. Paul the Apostle was concerned about excessive grief (or its prospect) among the small congregation of early Christians in Thessalonica (now in Greece), of which Paul was principal founder. He wrote to the congregation: 'But we would not have you ignorant, brethern, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.' (1 Thess, 4: 13)

      In truth, if one is truly Christian, then oughtn't his conduct, even in bereavement, mark him or her out in some way (if not in gladness, then in hope), from those who do not share this belief? Paul evidently thought so. And yet, however theoretically appropriate for a Christian this may seem, it doesn't always go according to plan. And this isn't necessarily a sign that faith in God is lacking either.

      There is a surprising anecdote in the book, 'For God and Neighbour: Life and Work of Padre Pio', by one of Pio's biographers, Anthony Pandiscia. Reportedly, Pio once chided a fellow friar for grieving (as Pio considered) too deeply for a dead parent (his mother, I think). Eventually, Pio's own mother died. How, then, did this saint-in-making react? Not in the way his chiding might suggest: he was so disconsolate that he did not, could not, stir from his bed for three days. (Whether or not there is Ressurrection symbolism in this, you will have to judge for yourselves.)

      There is no blueprint for grief, and its expression is as individual as its bearers.

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    9. MourneManMichael20 March 2018 at 20:43

      Thank you Magna. You have replied with courtesy and sincerity, and I always try to learn something from others viewpoints.
      But I learn little from Anon comments such as ad hominem attacks of the nature of A. @18:40 , except perhaps an inkling of the commentator's personality.
      MMM

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    10. MMM at 20.43: While you generally respond with restraint, balance and respect, your attitude can at times can be sharp and condescending as at 15.53. Endearing yourself to Magna us not a wise decision. I respect your atheist beliefs, I don't agree with them but I would not ridicule or belittle them. Incidentally, the people involved in making my community a better place are also the people whom I meet at Church every Sunday. Their faith in action inspires me. I am always waiting to be surprised by non Christians!!

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    11. 22:52, MMM, for whom I have great respect, was not attempting to endear himself to me, any more than I was attempting to endear myself to him.

      What frightens you so much that you seek to denigrate independent comment?

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  15. I have some difficulty with all the subterfuge and the appearance of uncertainty surrounding the funeral of KOB.Lets face it the Catholic Church authorities will have been fully aware that when his death occurred that there would be intense media interest. Furthermore they must have known that there would be much scrutiny in how the funeral was handled. With all that in mind I find difficulty in believing that the Archdiocese of Edinburgh gets a phone call to say he has died and the Archbishop looks around his Curial advisors and asks ‘oh, what will we do now chaps?”
    Plans for this funeral will have been made long ago. The Vatican, Edinburgh, the Metropolitan for the Newcastle area, perhaps Vin Nichols but importantly his family will have all been involved in the planning of the blueprint for this event.
    For what it’s worth I think he will have a Funeral Mass at the Little Sisters in Newcastle. No media allowed! At a later date he will quietly be placed in the vault in Edinburgh cathedral.
    Sensible approach one the frenzy dies down.

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    1. 12.54 I think and hope you are wrong with the Little Sisters of the Poor after all sadly IF Keith O'Brien is not going back to his Cathedral or Saint Bennets then why would the Church want to put the little Sisters in the situation.
      he could have a private Mass in Saint Margarets at the Gilles centre the HQ of the Archdiocese that is closing anyway asthey all move out.
      Keith Patrick will certainly not be going into the vault at the Cathedral but to his victims that use the Cathedral and also in case any damage was done to the Cathedral.
      If I were to guess then it would be a private funeral followed by burial beside his Mum and Dad after he is still their Son, Brother, Uncle and he still has many friends Clergy and Laity alike.

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  16. Yes, after the death of a loved person you are experiencing the sharp pain of loss... The loss on a daily basis of access to the personal presence of the loved one is heart - wrenching. You gradually heal and get accustomed to your new reality but there's always that "scar" of loss, sometimes more acutely felt than on other days /times.

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  17. Yes, after the death of a loved person you are experiencing the sharp pain of loss... The loss on a daily basis of access to the personal presence of the loved one is heart - wrenching. You gradually heal and get accustomed to your new reality but there's always that "scar" of loss, sometimes more acutely felt than on other days /times.

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    1. That is completely true.

      However, will it apply to anyone in this case... unless, of course, as +Pat sagely suggests, he may have made "new friends"; including maybe "a special friend" during his exile. Perhaps a dormant Caffmos or SilverDaddies account may even emerge at a future date. That would be the cherry on the cake!

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    2. Sad that even the prospect of that is filling you with glee...

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    3. @14.23 I think you are sick in the head mate.

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    4. If am sick in the head, what was Keith Patrick? LOL.

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  18. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2013/03/gay-sympathy-for-cardinal-obrien/

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  19. The story of Keith O'Brien is a sad tale of deceit, double standards and hypocrisy. He was a charming individual who could light up a room with his presence, warm affable and charismatic. Sadly there was a dark and hidden side to the man, a side that made him a dangerous sexual predator.
    As to his eternal destiny, that is something only the Lord can know. He is entitled to a christian burial, as is every baptised person, but there should be no triumphalism and none of the pomposity that can often characterise the obsequies of senior prelates.
    Keith O'Brien was a sinner, his fall from grace was very public and he was humiliated in a manner that he deserved.
    I for one pray for his soul, and I know that the God of Mercy will deal with him in absolute justice. R.I.P.

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  20. I must agree with 12-54. I also find it hard to believe that the Scottish Catholic Church haven’t Plans in place for this funeral. I think they are waiting for the whole media feeding frenzy to cool down and then they will put their funeral plan into action. If they haven’t made a contingency for this then they have been very remiss.

    Newcastle parishioner

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  21. I suppose in a different profession he would have been described as a con-artist.

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    1. That, I fear, could be said of many priests, and most Christians.

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    2. Magna, 20.12 - More hatred. Yiu're capable of nothing more! You are a fool....

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    3. Not hatred, 21:21. Truth.

      Why are you afraid?

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    4. Magna, 21.47, I'm not afraid of you or of TRUTH. But you are such an intolerable, offensive, hate inciting undividual that contempt is all you deserve. When you display self respect and respect for others, only then will you receive similar. Till then, get therapy....

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    5. Magna....Think we should call your detractor...the ‘fool’ poster.
      It must be the only word he knows.
      You at 21.21 and 22.42 should try addressing the post.

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  22. I see that Timbo is receiving the Pope in General Audience this week.

    https://www.irishcatholic.com/pope-expected-to-announce-ireland-visit-this-week/

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    1. Yes with DM and the icon of the WMOF. Two families selected are “perfect” and one happens to work for the Catholic Communications Office. Nepotism again in the Church of Rome.

      I wonder why a family consisting of mothers separated from their babies were not invited.

      Maybe they could have brought a relic from Tuam with them.

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  23. The Belfast Telegraph is speculating that KOB will be buried in his native Ballycastle in Co. Antrim. Down and Connor press office said they've heard nothing yet.

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    1. If he is buried in Ballycastle I shall be there to pay my respects.

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    2. Nosy...more like.

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  24. Perhaps he will have a screen set up and a projector , and a film played of him presiding over his own funeral ?

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  25. All in all it is a great tragedy.. For his victims..for him.....but most of all for us.

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    1. Speak for yourself.

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  26. +Pat, will you continue with this unpleasant subject matter in the coming days, examining and discussing it in detail? Or will you wait until the day of the funeral.

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  27. How tasteless!

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    1. What has taste go to do with anything?
      Are you another covererupper ?

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    2. Asking Pat to delay the deliberately wait until "the day of the funeral" before continuing with "unpleasant matter" was definitely tasteless in the extreme.. It has nothing whatsoever to do with covering up and everything to do with showing some sense of decency and sensitivity towards INNOCENT grieving relatives.
      I find it amazing that I even have to rell you this. Only the most insensitive crass person would need to be reminded to be at least a decent human being.

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    3. @10:51

      Ger over yourself. O'Brien wouldn't have known "decency" if it hit him on the head.

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  28. Confirmation that Fr Ian Fee has left ministry. No wrongdoing of any kind. At 47 he was one of the handful of Clogher priests under the age of 50.

    https://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/news/news/298581/popular-priest-departs-from-ordained-ministry-after-23-years.html

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    1. It’s behind a paywall. Copy and paste the article to ‘add comments’, so we can all read it.

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    2. Has Mr Right come along? I wonder.

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  29. And why would his relatives be grieving?
    You don’t grieve for someone who has behaved in an abominable way.
    You pray for them.Yes...but grieve for them ...no
    Just pray for his relatives, as I am.
    But please don’t be hypocritical for them.

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    1. You grieve for them even more...

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  30. The other diocesan changes announced today are that Father Ian Fee CC, Bundoran-Ballyshannon (Magh Ene), Co Donegal, is to take leave of absence from the diocese while Father Alan Ward CF, Finner Camp, Ballyshannon is to take sabbatical leave for one year. Rev Sean Mulligan, newly-ordained deacon, has been assigned to the parish of Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.

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