Saturday, 21 July 2018


James was 11 years old when Father Theodore E. McCarrick came into his bedroom in Northern New Jersey, looking for the bathroom. Father McCarrick, then 39 and a rising star in the Roman Catholic church, was a close family friend, whom James and his six siblings called Uncle Teddy. James was changing out of his bathing suit to get ready for dinner.

“He said, turn around,” James, who is now 60, recalled in an interview last week. “And I really don’t want to, because I don’t want to show anybody anything.” But he did, he said, and was shocked when Father McCarrick dropped his pants, too. “See, we are the same,” James said he told him. “It’s O.K., we are the same.”


It was the beginning of a sexually abusive relationship that would last nearly 20 years, James said in the interview, the first time he has spoken publicly about the trauma. He asked that his last name be withheld to protect a sibling.

As the decades passed, Father McCarrick became Cardinal McCarrick, one of the most prominent public faces of the Catholic Church in America. He was suddenly removed from ministry last month over a substantiated allegation that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old altar boy in 1971.

The news changed James’s life. “I got down on my knees and I thanked God that I am not alone and it is going to be O.K.,” James said, through sobs, recalling the moment. “And I can tell somebody and someone is going to believe me.”

Interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times after Cardinal McCarrick’s removal showed that some in the church hierarchy had known for decades about allegations that he was sexually harassing and touching adult seminarians. On Monday, The Times reported that a former priest, Robert Ciolek, had received an $80,000 settlement in 2005, in part over allegations that Cardinal McCarrick, as a New Jersey bishop in the 1980s, had sexually harassed and inappropriately touched him. Another former seminarian received a $100,000 settlement for similar allegations in 2007.

But James’ allegations — that he was repeatedly sexually abused as a minor — are the most explosive yet to be leveled against the cardinal, who is now 88 and living in seclusion in the Washington, D.C., area. On Monday, James filed a police report detailing his accusations against the cardinal with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, where he lives.

Cardinal McCarrick, through a spokeswoman, Susan Gibbs, said on Wednesday that he had not been notified of the accusation, so he could not respond. But she said he was committed to following the process the church has put in place for abuse allegations.

James said he had tried to tell his father that he was being abused when he was 15 or 16. But Father McCarrick was so beloved by his family, he said, and considered so holy, that the idea was unfathomable.

James was baptized by Father McCarrick on June 15, 1958, two weeks after he was ordained as a priest, records from Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tenafly, N.J., show.

“He had chosen me to be his special boy,” James said in the phone interview, with his lawyer, Patrick Noaker, listening. “If I go back to my family, they tell me that it’s good for you to be with him. And if you go to try to tell somebody, they say ‘I think you are mistaken.’ So what you do is you clam up, and you stay inside your own little shoe box, and you don’t come out for 40 years.”
After James learned the cardinal had been removed, he began to tell his siblings what had happened to him. His sister Karen said in an interview that her brother had been particularly close to the young priest.

“It was explained to us how Jimmy was special to Father McCarrick, because of that very special thing that happened, that he was his first baptism,” Karen said.

The connection between Father McCarrick and James’s family was deep. The cardinal has talked in interviews about how his best high school friend was from a Swiss family, and how the two men spent a year in Switzerland after graduation. That friend was James’s uncle.

Karen, now 62, remembered that the young priest would bring her family marshmallow candies each Halloween and hard candy each Christmas.

“I never thought about him other than Uncle Teddy,” she said. “He was equal to the other uncles, and very much a part of our lives.”

When the family moved to Hillsborough, Calif., in 1971, Father McCarrick visited repeatedly, James recalled. James had a difficult transition to his new home, and was struggling in school and getting into trouble. In 1972, James asked Father McCarrick to write him a recommendation to a boarding school. He did, James said.

By then, James said, Father McCarrick had begun abusing him sexually. When he was 13, he said, the priest first touched his penis. At 14, he said, Father McCarrick masturbated him in a beach parking lot. When he was 15, James said, Father McCarrick took him to a restaurant in San Francisco, the Tonga Room, and poured vodka in his drinks. He then brought him back to his hotel room and masturbated him and brought himself to orgasm, James said.

“I was absolutely disgusted, afraid,” James said. “I felt fear. What have I done?"

On visits to the East Coast, James, then 16 or 17, said he would go with other boys with Father McCarrick to a fishing camp in Eldred, N.Y., identical to the one described by adult seminarians who said McCarrick abused them there. On these visits, they would sleep together naked, James said, and Father McCarrick would touch him.

When James turned 18, he joined the Navy, and was stationed outside Chicago. When Father McCarrick, who became a bishop in 1977, was in town, he would call James to his hotel. When James was transferred to San Diego, Bishop McCarrick would invite him to the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles, James said.
“He introduced me to the most incredible people in the whole wide world,” James said, adding that the bishop introduced him as his nephew. “Bob Hope. I met the scarecrow from the ‘Wizard of Oz.’”

James described repeated sexual touching that always stopped short of intercourse. There was no kissing, no holding hands, which is also how the adult seminarians had described their alleged abuse. Like James, they said the bishop called himself “Uncle Ted” and them his “nephews.”

James left the Navy in 1980, he said, and moved back to the East Coast. He said he would sometimes stay overnight with Bishop McCarrick in the rectory in Metuchen, N.J., and later in Newark, after Bishop McCarrick was promoted to archbishop in 1986.
By then, James said he was drinking heavily and doing drugs, habits that began in his teenage years. He said he tried to dissociate himself from the archbishop in 1985, after meeting a woman he went on to marry.

The last time he visited Archbishop McCarrick, in 1989, he asked for money, he said; McCarrick refused, and never called him again. By then, James was 31.

Instead of feeling relief, James said, he spiraled downward. “I am done,” he said. “He has thrown me away.”

His marriage fell apart, and in 1991, he said, he attempted suicide. He landed in detox and has been sober since, he said.
Through his life, James said, he only told a few people that the priest had abused him. His younger brother. His uncle, Cardinal McCarrick’s former friend, now deceased, who advised him to take the secret to his grave. As James became sober, he also told his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor and a therapist, he said.
But now James wants to take action against Cardinal McCarrick, to give courage to others who might have been abused, and to find some justice for himself, he said.

His lawyer, Mr. Noaker, said that James’s police report will be forwarded to sex crimes investigators in San Francisco, New Jersey and possibly New York. He provided The Times with a copy of the report’s receipt, dated Monday. The statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes may block criminal charges or civil lawsuits, but Mr. Noaker is hopeful. He will also seek compensation from the church.

James’s sister, Karen, said that she was horrified and surprised when he told her in late June that the cardinal had abused him. She recalled how she had attended Bishop McCarrick’s installation as archbishop of Washington in 2000 as part of his official entourage. “We were part of a superstar’s life,” she said.
But she said she believed James “100 percent.”

“My brother has had such a horrible life,” she said, “it just doesn’t make any sense, that his life would have been so different from his six siblings. Father Ted was supposed to fix this horrible boy, and he sure fixed him.”


Cardinal McCarrick - 88 - was an abuser for between 50 and 60 years.

And during that time he was constantly being promoted - bishop - archbishop and cardinal.

There can be no doubt that many people knew about his abuse and covered it up.

In my mind, there is no doubt that McCarrick himself as a seminarian and priest was having sex with other seminarians and priests and probably doing sexual favours for his superiors.

He got promoted by people who were themselves compromised.

And McCarrick had THE DIRT on those who promoted him.

It's a never-ending roundabout of sex, power, money, and prestige.

James and his other victims will never see McCarrick in court because of the US' statute of limitations.


Have any of our Irish bishops behaved like McCarrick?

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid was accused of coming on to a 15-year-old boy. This was never proven.

There were two other complaints about McQuaid made to the Gardai.

Both files disappeared!

I visited McQuaid every week during his year-long retirement. I used him as a confessor and spiritual director.

He was never in anyway improper but as Clonliffe seminarians we all found a certain tension in meetings with him. I always felt that he was a homosexual but always felt that he never acted on his inclinations. 

We can be quite sure that some Irish bishops were compromised.

What about the current lot?

There are stories - but as of yet, there is no proof!

But that may be about to change!



Hi there Bishop. I am a regular reader of your Blog and was quite taken aback and genuinely disappointed with your recent post on the appointment of Canon Deenihan from Cork as the new Bishop of Meath. I had naively thought that Deenihan would bring about some much needed positive change and energy to our Parishes and Diocese. 

I have just received information on good authority pertaining to the aforementioned Fr Dwayne Gavin. It now transpires that Dwayne has "found love", of and that this is the reasoning for his recent departure as PP of Slane and not the supposed pursuit of further studies. 

This information comes to me from a reliable, credible and well-placed source. 

His immediate predecessor in Slane, Fr Joe Deegan also left in a cloud of mystery to take up a teaching role in China. 

Separately, Fr Robert McGivney who was ordained in 2015 and was serving as a Curate in Mullingar along with Bishop Mickie Smith has also in recent months departed owing to allegations that he was being severely bullied by his clerical colleagues and which huge affects on his mental health. 

You might use your influence to investigate further. We need accountability, transparency, and honesty from our clerics. Is there a culture of bullying in the Meath Diocese? We already know that Mickie Smith allowed his priests get away with blue murder. His interest and investment in the goings on of parishes left a lot to be desired. 

These three individuals I mention here are all young men. I wish them all the best in the future and thank them for what they have given to the people of the Diocese while they were serving us. 

Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx

Meath Diocese. 


  1. Today I read on rte news that Dermot Martin says pope fran needs to address abuse as a present problem during his visit... why has Dermot Martin been silent on the matter himself?

  2. Another three, three-letter men, presumably.

  3. Meath is a mess. Good luck to the new bishop.

    1. Dennihan will make the mess far worse.

      Watch and see.

    2. I will certainly be watching, Bp Pat, like many tens of thousands of others.

  4. Armagh Clergy changes delayed now even further. Some priests won't play ball with Eamon. One or two being recalled from other places also but don't want to come back into Armagh diocese anytime soon.

    1. Once ++Eamon finalises his list, I am confident +Pat will let his followers see it first as usual.

    2. Forewarned is forearmed thanks to Pat

    3. Amy hasn't the numbers he has to negotiate rather than dictate as was done in the past.

    4. Priests everywhere are getting very disillusioned with weak and inept bishops.

      They will slowly rebel.

    5. 16.40 Those that speak out and rebel Pat get punished.

  5. Hi, I was born in Derry, but moved away from there in my teens, and I have always been fascinated by the annual clergy moves.

    I have always wondered why the Derry Diocese changes always take a long time compared to others. The diocese next door, Raphoe seems to always announce their changes in mid-July for commencement in mid-August. Derry seems to have problems with their changes each year. Now from reading people on this blog, I can understand why there are delays.

    The diocesan office have confirmed that the changes will happen "around late August", as apparently their Bishop, a Mr Donal McKeown has to "make calls" probably to persuade priests to come to the diocese to fill the gaping holes left by priests who have fled the diocese in disgrace.

    I have read on here many times the case of Father Brendan Collins. From my talks with people over there in Derry, he has gone for good, never to return. What a shame. I met him there at a baptism in 2015, and he seemed a pleasant enough young man, effeminate, but very nice.

    They have had one priest deciding to live a life in a monastery as a Dominican in Dublin and not taking part in diocesan life.

    They have a priest who is "on study" in Washington DC and seems very hard to lure back to the diocese (except for Christmas holidays).

    From what I gather from friends who live there in Derry, it seems most of the parishes are now supported by retired clergy. They are supposed to be retired, after decades serving as a priest, you would think they could enjoy their retirement.

    Here in London, in the Southwark Archdiocese, the appointments are held differently, usually not announced in one batch, but implemented through the year. Maybe this is what the Irish dioceses should do?

    1. Thank you for your interesting comment.

      Most Irish dioceses are in a mess due to the poor management by bishops and the strange goings on in the priesthood.

      The celibate priesthood is not working and is, in fact, damaging the whole Christian project.

      A full and total renewal and reform is required.

    2. For those with great interest in the Diocese of Armagh let me give you a few points Archbishop Eamon Martin was not due in Magherfelt last night it was some one trying to undermine this blog and the Archdiocese.
      Monsignor O'Byrne want to die on the job this is what Real priests prefer to do and it is his wish and he also has a home provided for him by the Archdiocese.

      Clergy changes will be announced in due course but be assured they will as 11.54 states in other diocese they happen all year round and that is the future due to changes in parishes.
      can I reassure you Archbishop Eamon Martin is a very talented Holy Man sadly he has got some not fit for purpose clergy who should resign.
      Finally it is + for Bishop and Archbishop not two for Archbishop they are first and foremost a Bishop.

    3. The Liturgy of the Holy Mass in the Roman Catholic Church this weekend is about the Shepherd and that is what a Bishop and Archbishop are so that is why Monsignor O'Byrne referred to Archbishop Martin a few times.
      Highlighting his Leadership as a True Shepherd appointed by the Holy See.
      Monsignor O'Byrne was scheduled to say Holy Mass last night in Magherfelt.

      Archbishop Martin has nothing to apologise for so why would he.

    4. Like that's going to happen.

    5. 14:31

      Amy is the useless captain of a sinking ship.

      His episcopal colleagues are inept to varying degrees.

    6. 14.31 You are talking a load of rubbish in relation to Eamon Martin, Armagh diocese and Chris O’Byrne. If as you falsely claim he has a house provided for him why are other retired Armagh clergy having to live on in empty Parochial houses, a bit like the one with the wounded healer. Chris O Byrne owns several properties including his own house in Blackrock in Louth so why would the diocese provide him with one. You spout inaccuracies and misinformation. I’m sure His Grace, as you like to call him, will be happy with you defending the indefensible. Are you looking for promotion

    7. 14.31 & 14.36 Well said Wounded Healer and Colm.

    8. There is no delay in the Derry Diocesan changes - they have always been announced mid to end August taking effective at beginning of September - no big deal -though it will be interesting to see the if the priest in the US will be staying there another year

    9. 14:36 Why do you speak in such outlandish, and unecessary, ways of Mass: 'The Liturgy of the HOLY Mass...'

      Is there such a thing as unholy Mass? Your statement implies it.

      Your degree of 'reverence' suggests neurosis.

      There is help for this.πŸ˜†

    10. 23.34 magna dear your on the drink again or do not understand and should really know the Church offers u the Holy Mass.
      However maybe been so long out you do not know the constant changes.
      I understand your a member of the oratory too.

  6. You say a full total renewal and reform is required in the formation of seminarians.
    I don't think so! we have been plagued by renewal and reform since Vat.II. IT HAS NOT Worked! everything is worse! vocations decimated and all these disgusting stories of abuse! What we need is a return to discipline.

    1. How can you foolishly claim that something that was neither completed or implemented (Vat II) was to blame. It’s a lazy argument.

    2. I guarentee that 18:09 has not read the documents of Vat II.

    3. I guarantee I've read them and I can also spell unlike you.

    4. What did it say about retaining existing Rites with great care; conscience; the teaching authority of the Magisterium?

  7. Celibacy has had its day!

    1. Celibacy has had its day, say the unchaste.

    2. So you think sex is morally dirty, 20:35?

      There ARE therapists for this.πŸ˜†

    3. Magna at 22:42

      Have you been to one?

      (just askin',like)

  8. I worked in a vocational school in the 80's the last two chaplains there left to marry female teachers!

  9. On reflection though I think the two lads were disillusioned with clerical life.

  10. Eamon Casey and Michael Cleary were the start.

    1. Yep. That where the ball of wool started to unravel.

      Casey was pompous and foolish.

      Cleary was a vicious Rasputin.

    2. Pat wrote, "Casey was pompous and foolish".

      Caey was an out-and-out scoundrel.

      As it was told to me, around 1979, if he hadn't been a Catholic priest he'd have gone to prison for his swindles when he had charge of Westminster diocese's Catholic Housing Aid Society.

  11. 12.06: Another sweeping judgment - very subjective. Very biased. Of course there are difficulties. Tell us Aunti Agony Pat, is your "gay" priesthood the model for the future? What benefits are/might there be? If your style - zero!!

    1. If you have been reading this blog you will know that I am against a totally gay priesthood.

      We need rid of hierarchy and clericalism.

      We need to return to the NT model of Church - community authority and servants.

      It may be a smaller church.

      Quality instead of quantity.

      Spirituality instead of religion.

  12. Some say the rot started with Vatican II others say it began with JP II.

    1. Vat 11 was never properly implemented.

      JP11 was a bully and did not take advice.

      A return to Trent is not the solution.

  13. Rot started with Vat II. The old way was the best way.

    1. Much of the sexual abuse was pre Vat11.

    2. The abuse yes. The sexual abuse no.

    3. Cardinal Mc Carrick born in 1930, was "at it" before Vat 11.

    4. 17:51 Myopia in the extreme.
      Inform yourself about Maciel’s actions in the 1940s.

  14. People say celibacy rule should end, and I agree. But I have no problems with clergy who wishes to live a celibate life as a Catholic priest.

    A wonderful man is the current Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Dermot Dunne, a former Catholic priest who felt he was betraying his flock if he lived a lie, and left the Catholic priesthood and joined the Church of Ireland, where with the woman he fell in love with, he married.

    There is no reason at all for Catholic clergy not to have the choice of being allowed to marry of they wish.

    I remember a friend of mine saying that the reason the Catholic hierarchy doesn't want to change the celibacy rule, is that they are scared some clergy will think they are obliged to marry, and it would look strange if they didn't marry and have a family.

    Well I know many Anglican clergy men and women who are not married, and live the single life, and they are just as spiritual and attentive to the people in their care, just as married clergy are.

    Attending the Christmas Midnight Eucharist in our local church here in London is a joy, as we see our vicar, his wife and two sons all at worship together as a family. Our curate assistant is a 33 year old young man, who has a girlfriend but not married yet. And there is an assistant curate who is in his 40s and lives the single life. All three are wonderful clergy, and they are the prime example of how the Catholic clergy should be. Choice, not a man made rule.

    I do not see it ever changing. Even with Saint Pope Francis at the helm. I wish it would. It would not solve all the problems with the Catholic church, but it would be a start.

    A paraphrased quote from US comedian Bill Maher - "Of course the Catholic church does not want priests to get married, if they did, they know that half of them would leave and marry the UPS driver".

    1. Is that why so many married and unmarried Vicars joined the Catholic Church in England, Wales and Scotland not to mention former Anglican Bishops becoming Catholic Priests too. Take your head out of the sand if you think all in the Church of England is rosy. I know married Vicars who go cruising for gay sex. Better for Catholic Priests to leave and marry the UPS driver rather than like Vicars who remain, have a sham marriage and have gay sex on the sly I suppose.

    2. There was the evangelical preacher who took his own life a while back now - very well known in “evangelical” circles and a close friend of Big Ian Paisley. He had a terrible weakness, however, for the bums of boys.

      There is the widespread rumour of a super injunction surrounding the proclivities of a very well known Free P and Dup figure - rent boys in London among other things.

      There was the “demon Pastor” (that’s what the police nicknamed him) who died last year - another well known local Catholic-hating “evangelical”. Now he would make Brendan Smyth look like an amateur. Murder and dismembering of a young boy in the 1970s are among the strings to his bow.

      Big Paisley himself is accused of turning a blind eye to Kincora when a Church Secretary alerted him to it in the 1970s.

      Among those who availed of boys from Kincora were “evangelical” ministers many of whom were married men and the pervert housemaster William McGrath was a prominent member of Paisley’s church.

      “The heart is a devious thing and who can pierce its secrets”.

    3. Did I say all was fine in the Anglican church? No. All churches have their perverts and hypocrites. No church is immune. I just told of my experience of church.

  15. Pat, tell us about Meath diocese. You mentioned some names of priests who have left recently. Why did they leave? Meath is full of young effeminate clergy who have their own little clique. Tom Deenihan will feel right at home in his new diocese.

  16. 18:05 seriously?
    Those who have given their lives in celibacy are numerous and their simple action had brought many back to a realistic and true devotion.
    Just because we have sexual organs, does it mean we have to use them as the secular world says we should?
    Do we have to go looking for sexual gratification, just because the world says we do?
    Live a spiritual life!

    1. You have a hang-up about sex, don't you? A neurosis?

      There ARE therapists.πŸ˜†

    2. Magna at 20.06: There ARE therapists. Have YOU found one yet?? You are in need of professional help. Fool. So quick to judge others while you rot inside with hatred....

  17. Old Pugsy Face Buckley, what a way to spend your Sunday! Judging, condemning, engaging in gossip, hearsay, ugly, nasty commentary. No doubt you reminded your tiny flock at mass to "live your neighbour!!! What hypocrisy! What sh**e!

    1. What a way to spend any day.

      Exposing corruption and rank hypocrisy.

    2. Pat, you live your life in the now, no prayer, no contemplation, that much is evident. If you lived a life of prayer you wouldn't leave crass replies and responses.
      I hope you find real spiritual love, because now no matter how much you try to be a representative of God, you come across as a representative of he who is anything but God.

    3. Judge away.

      The only one I need to keep right with is The Lord.

      You continue worshipping men and their corrupt and made made institutions.

    4. But you're not keeping right with God. You pass smutty comments, how is that in communion with a pure God?

    5. I'm sure that Jesus, unlike morally constipated you, had a good sense of humour.

  18. Unsurprisingly, Uncle Ted is a friend of Bergolio and advocate for him at the last conclave.

    1. And a close friend of KOB no doubt.

    2. 22.32 I guess you were either rejected or have a grievance with KOB and sadly may never be resolved.

      the three musketeers that anonymous reported theses sadly they never got what they wanted.
      Sadly one has passed on in their parishes so we will see what the clergy changes are soo as the Decree's for the new parishes were announce over the past few weeks.
      and on the website.

  19. 20:53
    You link to a clip dated October 2013 - six months after Bergoglio’s election. Of course McCarrick is a supporter of the duly elected bishop of Rome - as you should be.
    But since you can’t even spell his surname correctly, you’re hardly going to be bothered about the result of the Holy Spirit’s action at the conclave and since.

    God can write straight on crooked lines. Mc Carrick’s support for Francis’ ministry, or lack of it is irrelevant.

    1. Frank is a failure.

      Mc Carrick is a serial abuser.

    2. Frank's biggest supporters were liberal perves and abuse enablers such as Uncle Ted, Murphy-O'Connor and Danneels. You can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.

    3. I am a NI Presbyterian. I owe no duty to the bishop of Rome.

    4. 22:01

      Jesus didn't keep great company. I mean Judas, and all the others who deserted him when the shit hit the fan.πŸ˜†

    5. No Presbyterian you just exclude people because they are gay. You also exclude from baptism the children of same sex couples. We know all about Presbyterians thank you.

    6. According to the Bishop Accountability site, Frank had a shameful record of ignoring abuse in Argentina. But the papalotrists don't want to hear that.

    7. 22:01
      Your argument may be summed up thus: a person is guilty by association.

      I rest my case.

    8. 22:56
      The two thirds majority at the 2013 conclave answers your argument.

    9. My argument is that theological libs demand loosening of the moral law because it suits them personally, gives them freer rein and they see Frank as a means to achieving that end.

  20. 19:45 and 20:24.
    When someone says they follow God or Jesus, to avoid the pitfall that it could be their own ego they are following, christianity down through the centuries has always relied on external corroboration of the religious impulse.

    It’s possible to draw up criteria to determine whether someone’s self-declared version of God’s will is objectively reliable.

    Dermot Lane gives a good account of this phenomenon in his book The Experience of God: An Invitation to do Theology.

    1. But this is Dermot Lane's OPINION of what are supposedly objective criteria; this makes his account as subjective (and, therefore, open to accusations of unreliability) as anyone else's.

    2. Screaming Lord Sutch at 23:18 everyone’s opinion is subjective and open to accusations of unreliability - except YOURS of course lol

  21. Who is the Armagh priest they are trying to get rid of by forcing him to take sick leave but he's refusing to budge for Eamon. He's always had an eye for married women but Eamon doesn't want that to be in the public domain.

    1. I think he featured on Pats leaked clergy moves but they all had to be postponed. Eamon didn't like the leak.

  22. In 1992, psychologist to clergy, Sheila Murphy, wrote a little known book titled A Delicate Dance: Sexuality, Celibacy and Relationships Among Catholic Clergy and Religious.

    One of the conclusions Murphy reached from the stories of her 236 female and 97 male clergy/religious participants was that the sexual revolution of the 60s, along with the 'window opening' of Vatican II, played a part in an increase of clergy sexual activity with adults, resulting in spikes of such activity in the 70s and 80s.

    The sexual revolution and Vatican II was a release from 'parental control' resulting, for many, in the sudden emergence of full-blown psychological adolescence with all its risk taking, uninhibited experimentation and lack of a fully developed sense of responsibility. As a result, of those who did not leave the clerical life, many without developed internalised scaffolding either slid into such adolescent liberalism.

    Others grew up and adopted new ways of being 'celibate'.

    Every graph portraying clergy sexual abuse of children shows a spike in the 70s and 80s. While much more research is needed, and while acknowledging the reality of severe under-reporting, the spike is related to the sexual revolution and Vatican II reforms, as Murphy suggests. To simply dismiss this possibility out of fear of being perceived as conservative or lacking in compassion militates against a possible fuller understanding of this whole issue.

    One cannot simply ignore the reality that in this period, society, including the Church, underwent a sexual 'diaspora' from centuries of centralist control and policing. A severe pendulum-swing away from previous restrictions could only be expected and many clergy fully participated in that swing.

    The issue is that even though the revolution was needed, many forever-adolescent clergy at the time fell also into the outstretched arms of the emotional promises of sexual promiscuity, laced strongly with sexualised spirituality, or spiritualised sexuality, propelled by a 'love and then do as you please' mantra, because, after all, 'God is love'. Sadly, according to victims/survivors of clergy sexual misconduct, this new unintegrated liberal mantra too often also became the major 'pickup' line that many a misconducting cleric used for grooming, or as a way of justifying their experimenting.

    What the Church and almost everyone has up to this point ignored is that for every sexually active cleric there was and is another person involved. These real women and men have been, too often, cast aside as collateral damage; as 'mistakes' or 'experiments' of clergy on their journey to, or indeed, rejection of celibacy; their versions of what occurred rarely, if ever, validated or included in the discussion.

    1. Murphy set out to prove her pet hypothesis: that Vat II helped play a liberating role in the sexual behaviour of Roman Catholic clergy. But it is a faux theory, since there is absolutely nothing in conciliar teaching that is even remotely causal, directly or indirectly, of such conduct. There MAY be a degree of causality in subjective interpretations of conciliar documents, but this is not the fault of the Council.

      Murphy's survey group was too few and narrow to allow for reliable statistical analysis of her subjects' responses (presuming their answers were honest).

      Sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests and religious has probably experienced peaks and troughs at various times in history, with no link to Church reform.

    2. 21:56
      NaΓ―ve, tendentious and simplistically anachronistic.

      1. Ama et quod vis fac was not first sounded in the 1970s. Consult Augustine of Hippo.

      2. In relation to Vatican Council II you are confusing the categories of post hoc and propter hoc.

      3. Underwent a sexual ‘diaspora’ is an absurdity.

    3. Fair analysis MC from one who doesn’t normally agree with you.

    4. Do you have a dog in the fight, 23:29?

    5. "Vatican II contributed to abuse scandal"

    6. 13:29 When you read the article the connection is so oblique it would be just as easy to claim the same for any earlier major historical event:

      WW1 contributed to abuse scandal.

      WW2 contributed to abuse scandal.

      Welfare State contributed to abuse scandal.

      Free education contributed to abuse scandal.

  23. Is there any "breaking news", Bp Pat? Is it true, one man cannot satisfy Abp XXXXX XXXXXX.

  24. Was Robert McGivney's move not part of a reshuffle after Dermot Farrell's promotion from Dunboyne to Ossory?
    Your correspondent missed one other good example, ordained in 2004 and now a youth worker in a neighbouring diocese.

  25. He's gone. Back living at home in Navan.