Thursday, 18 October 2018



Top of Form
Bishop Treanor ordains first permanent deacons for Down and Connor
By Sarah Mac Donald - 16 October, 2018
Nine new deacons include two prominent barristers, one of whom was raised a Presbyterian before he became a Catholic.
Bishop Noel Treanor ordained nine men as permanent deacons on Sunday in Belfast, the first cohort to serve in Down and Connor since the permanent diaconate was reintroduced into the Church after Vatican II.
The nine new deacons are: Joseph Baxter, Terence Butcher, Brendan Dowd, Brett Lockhart, James McAllister, Gregory McGuigan, Patrick McNeill, Kevin Webb and Martin Whyte.
The group includes two prominent barristers serving in Northern Ireland.
Brett Lockhart QC represented the Omagh bombing families. He was raised as a Presbyterian and was an Elder in his Church before he joined the Catholic Church.
The group also includes two teachers. Brendan Dowd is a religious education teacher at St Malachy’s College in Belfast and Martin Whyte is principal of St Oliver Plunkett’s Primary School in Toomebridge, Co. Derry.
Speaking after the ceremony at St Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast, Rev Lockhart said he was “overjoyed”.
“I was a Presbyterian and became a Catholic 20 years ago, and this has been an extraordinary journey. I am still loving parts of the Presbyterian background that I come from but being received into the Catholic Church, and now being able to serve the Church, is just overwhelming and brilliant,” he told the Irish News.
Gregory McGuigan QC was also ordained at Sunday’s ceremony.
Speaking ahead of the ordinations, Bishop Treanor said he welcomed the arrival of the permanent diaconate to the diocese.
“To these men, and to their families, I express heartfelt gratitude and appreciation and I assure them of the prayers and support of myself and of the priests and peoples of Down and Connor.”
Permanent deacons can celebrate weddings and funerals and they can read the Gospel at Mass but they cannot hear confessions or celebrate the Eucharist.
The deacons will take up pastoral work in parishes across Down and Connor.

I watched the recording of the ordination on St. Peter's Cathedral webcam.

I was very impressed with the music. Well done whoever was responsible.

I skipped through Treanor's homily as it is my opinion that he is some kind of functioning atheist or agnostic.


Great emphasis was placed on the fact that two of the new deacons are barristers, one a Catholic school principal and one a Catholic teacher.

Nothing wrong with that per se.

I was just left wondering what occupations the other 5 have?

Was there a labourer, a street sweeper, a chef, a joiner or a plumber among them?

Are any of them on Job Seeker's Allowance, Personal Independence Payments etc?

Or are they all "professionals"?

Maybe someone can let us know?

It would not be nice if all permanent deacons were only from the middle and upper classes.


There was one of those who started out with these 9 who was not ordained.

The reason?

His best friend was married in a registry office and he asked this prospective deacon to be his best man.

The prospective deacon agreed - not because he agreed with registry office marriages - but because he was his lifelong friend.

As a result of his kind and compassionate action, he claims, the deacon training diocesan priest Darach Mac Giolla Cathain and Noel Treanor dismissed him from the diaconate preparation course.

Was this a Christlike thing o do?

I think Jesus would have been best man for his beloved friend.

Of course, the Pharisees of Jesus time would have condemned him too for his compassion.

To paraphrase Jesus:



Concerning St. Mary’s College, Oscott

Dear Bishops,

Like countless faithful Catholics around the world, I am sure many of you have been shocked and sickened by the recent scandals committed by the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.  Further suffering is being inflicted by the silence of other cardinals and bishops who knew about his behavior and said nothing — and indeed continue to say nothing. In light of the explosive report by Archbishop Viganò, it becomes even more apparent that the homosexual cabal operating in the Catholic Church exists at the very highest level and even incriminates Pope Francis himself. 

I hope and pray that the action of the Holy Spirit is now beginning to purify the hierarchy by exposing the evil committed by homosexual clergy around the world. I feel it is my duty to now inform you and faithful Catholics that the homosexual collective within the hierarchy which enabled McCarrick to function in an unobstructed manner is still alive and well today in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Towards the end of May 2018, I was dismissed from my post as formation tutor at St. Mary's College, Oscott by the rector, Canon David Oakley. The reason for this was that I recommended that an openly gay seminarian discontinue the program of formation. Clearly, as an openly gay man, there was no hope of him being ordained. David Oakely informed me that his bishop was "adamant" that his student was staying in formation and that this was not how he and a number of bishops interpreted the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.   

In light of the McCarrick scandal and the Viganò report, it has become very clear that cardinals, bishops and senior clergy from around the world are still openly dissenting against the Church's teaching that prohibits the entrance into seminary formation of men with a homosexual orientation. This is the root cause of the most pressing scandal of our times. In fact, it is destroying the priesthood from within.


Apparently, the policy in Oscott appears to be if a candidate is not "acting out" his homosexual tendencies at the moment or behaving in an inappropriately "camp" way, then he is free to follow the formation program and move towards holy orders. The rector will not dismiss a candidate from the seminary who admits to being "gay" out of fear that his bishop will not agree with his decision. The problem, therefore, quietly continues.

This approach is clearly ignoring the Church's teaching on this vital issue, yet for some strange reason, bishops are still not being made accountable for disregarding this important instruction. Whilst the teaching is clear, the practice in so many dioceses is deeply compromised. Can I make a huge plea that something be done about this widespread abuse?

I can also state that two of the spiritual directors in the seminary are very compromised on the issue of homosexuality — one individual admitting to me his own gender identity is very confused and the other openly stated that homosexual priests are a good idea as they are better able to minister effectively to homosexual Catholics! Neither would adhere to Church's teaching and acknowledge that a key part of their role as spiritual director contained the "duty to dissuade (a homosexual person) in conscience from proceeding towards ordination."

I am writing to you all with a petition to act and take the necessary steps to reform the three remaining seminaries in England. The orthodox and heterosexual seminarians deserve a seminary free from a gay subculture and free from academic and formation staff who are homosexual themselves.

For the sake of brevity, I will summarise my findings from the year I spent working in the seminary:

The problem begins at St. Luke's Institute in Manchester where a number of seminarians are asked to undergo a psychological assessment as part of the selection policy. The director of the institute, Fr. Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne, has some very strange views on homosexuality himself and seems happy to admit homosexual men into the formation program. This is a problem that the bishop of Salford needs to address.

Canon David Oakley is prepared to admit homosexual men into his seminary and will not dismiss them unless their public conduct becomes unsavory. He is a compromised and cowardly man who is not prepared to make a stand and disagree with the bishops on the issue of homosexuality.

A number of bishops from England and Wales are happy to admit seminarians who are openly gay into the formation program and proceed towards ordination. The bishop of Menevia is one such example.  

One of the spiritual directors at Oscott Seminary has admitted to being sexually attracted to young men. It is highly inappropriate that such an individual hold such a post. The rector is aware of this fact but seems unable to confront this individual. He even noted that the friends who accompany this individual for holidays each year are also homosexual. Another of the spiritual directors in the seminary thinks that homosexual priests are a great idea as they can minister to the gay Catholic community.

The archbishop of Birmingham and the archbishop of Westminster have both been informed of these issues and seem to prefer to ignore them. Why do we continue to have such passive and feeble-hearted clerics in such high places of leadership in the Church? Why are they afraid to speak out on topics such as homosexuality in the clergy and the toxic gender ideology sweeping through our schools?  

These are not only facts but shocking allegations against the present life of the seminary in Birmingham. Action needs to be taken to address the homosexual culture in the Church's hierarchy. Scandals like those of Theodore McCarrick and Cardinal Keith O'Brien are just waiting to happen. The normal, heterosexual students in Oscott demand that the homosexual clique in the seminary be dismissed and that the homosexual or bisexual staff members be dismissed also. 

Are there any good bishops left who are brave enough to begin the wholesale reform of the priesthood that is so badly needed?

I was fired from the college for striving to uphold the Church's teaching on homosexuality which is a grave injustice to me personally. It is extraordinary to think that I was asked by the rector to make a public oath of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church at the beginning of the academic year. It is my fidelity to that oath that has cost me my job and deprived the seminarians of the only qualified formator in the seminary.    

In the summer of 2016, I was forced to resign from St. Patrick's College, Maynooth because they were ordaining openly homosexual men to the priesthood, and two years later I have been fired from St. Mary's College, Oscott for stating that homosexual men are not to be admitted to seminary formation and priesthood. We are surely living through dark times for the Catholic Church. Are there any good bishops left who are brave enough to begin the wholesale reform of the priesthood that is so badly needed?  

With every blessing in Christ,

Father David Marsden, S.C.J.
Former Formation Tutor


One has to admire Father Marsden for his consistency and courage.

It is the accepted teaching of the Catholic church that homosexual men are not allowed to enter the seminary or be ordained.

But while pretending to uphold their Churches teaching many bishops around the world are sending  homosexual men to seminary and to ordination.

This is total hyprocisy.

Many of the bishops and seminary staff ignoring these rules are sexually active themselves and some of them are having sex with seminarians and priests.

This also makes a total laughing stock of the celibacy requirement.

The church hierarchy needs to make its mind up.

1. Impose celibacy properly and expell all sexually active  bishops, priests and seminarians.

2. Change the rules and teachings and allow all sexually active bishops, priests and seminarians carry on to their heart's content. 


Tuesday, 16 October 2018


Analysis: Justice by papal fiat points to serious lack of trust within the Church

Pope Francis cannot earn back trust simply with displays of raw power given piecemeal against old men who used to be someone, or secluded perverts that nobody likes and few even realized were still breathing.

The Catholic World Report  Christopher R. Altieri

Francis and bishops last Sunday

Vatican announced on Saturday that Pope Francis has reduced two Chilean bishops to the lay state. One of the defrocked is an 85-year-old man reported now to be suffering senile dementia, Francisco José Cox Huneeus, who was bishop of La Serena from 1990 to 1997. The other is 53-year-old Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, who served as bishop of Iquique from 2006 to 2012.


Allegations against Mr. Cox go back at least to 1974, the documentation of which contains gruesome details. Mr. Órdenes had what can only be described as a meteoric rise, becoming in 2006 the youngest bishop in Chile’s history, at age 42. He would retire a half-dozen years later, citing ill health.


Órdenes has apparently lived a quiet and secluded life since handing in his letter, while Cox bounced around for a while — with the help of another high-ranking Chilean prelate (and Cox’s confrère in the Schönstatt fraternity, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz — before settling at the Schönstatt General House in Germany sometime in 2002.

(The best nutshell version of Cox’s and Órdenes’s stories is to be found in the e-pages of Crux, where readers will also find a succinct rehearsal of the Vatican’s involvement in the rise of both men, along with details regarding the management of each man’s fall.)

There can be no real doubt that the men merit the most severe punishment.

While no one can reasonably deny that the men thus reduced deserved at least what they got from Pope Francis, the manner in which the Holy Father has done the thing brings questions of his ability to govern the Church into tight focus. The statement announcing the moves came on Saturday. CWR’s translation from the Spanish follows:

The Holy Father has dismissed from the clerical state Francisco José Cox Huneeus, Archbishop emeritus of La Serena (Chile), member of the Institute of the Schönstatt Fathers, and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, Bishop emeritus of Iquique (Chile).

In both cases, Article 21 § 2.2 of the motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela has been applied, as a consequence of manifest acts of abuse of minors.

The decision adopted by the Pope last Thursday, October 11, 2018, admits no recourse.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has already notified the interested parties, through their respective superiors, in their respective residences. Francisco José Cox Huneeus will continue to be part of the Institute of Schönstatt Fathers.

Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela is the piece of special legislation governing the gravest delicts — the most serious crimes — in canon law. Article 21 § 2.2 states that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has ordinary jurisdiction over such crimes, may present the gravest of the most grave cases to the Pope for his decision with regard to dismissal from the clerical state or deposition, together with dispensation from the law of celibacy, when it is manifestly evident that the delict was committed and after having given the guilty party the possibility of defending himself.

The Vatican, in other words, was at pains to make it clear that this was Pope Francis’s decision.
It was also a decision taken outside the Church’s normal system of judicial procedure: in short, Cox and Órdenes were laicized with no judicial process — no trial — to speak of. Even in normal circumstances, canonical trials are paperwork affairs — conducted in secret, to boot — and that is a problem. Said simply: (at risk of sounding like a broken record) justice must be seen to be done. There must be independent investigations conducted in the light of day, and reasonably transparent processes for the adjudication of criminal charges against clerics high and low.

Vatican City has the rudiments of such investigative and judicial mechanisms, and has used them recently in connection with crimes both financial and moral. For reasons both juridical-political and practical, the Vatican City system could not possibly be used to process canonical cases. Nevertherless, the existence of the system shows that the Church at the highest levels of governance is not unfamiliar with either the process or the reasons for it.

In any case, Cox and Fernandez received summary justice by papal fiat — and that is a bigger problem.

If the Church’s continued use of secret trials is a hindrance to the recovery of trust, insofar as it renders reasonable persons incapable of confidence in her capacity to administer justice, so much more will naked exercises of raw power serve to undermine and indeed destroy the very ground on which any such confidence must be based: the reasonable belief in the Church’s own bona fide commitment to doing justice at all.

With specific regard to the Chilean theater of the global crisis, there can be no doubt, but that Pope Francis faces a terrible dilemma.

When the bishops of Chile resigned en masse in May of this year, they created a serious conundrum for Pope Francis. Basically, they left him with a set of three alternatives: accept all the resignations and start from scratch; accept some of the resignations and sit on others; accept none of the resignations and proceed piecemeal.

Each of the three options poses its own set of peculiar dangers, and none of them is without a downside. Francis seems to have opted for an out-of-the-box hybrid solution in Chile, somewhere between door number two and door number three. Seems, one says, because Pope Francis has not shared his plan with the faithful — not even in broad strokes — even as he has constantly insisted we are all in this together.

While the breakdown in trust among bishops and bodies of the faithful in virtually every ecclesiastical jurisdiction is heartbreaking and truly scandalous, there appears to be an even more grievous breakdown in trust within the bishops’ own ranks. The dilemma facing Pope Francis with regard to the world’s bishops is even more terrible than the one facing him in Chile: he can’t trust any of them.

Pope Francis also appears also to be wary of the faithful. In his recent letter to Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl accepting his resignation and congratulating him on a job well done after the Cardinal’s defensiveness and lack of candor lost him the confidence of the clergy and the faithful in his archdiocese, Pope Francis wrote:

I recognize in your request the heart of the shepherd who, by widening his vision to recognize a greater good that can benefit the whole body (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 235), prioritizes actions that support, stimulate and make the unity and mission of the Church grow above every kind of sterile division sown by the father of lies who, trying to hurt the shepherd, wants nothing more than that the sheep be dispersed (cf. Matthew 26:31).

Whatever else these lines do, they certainly tend to confirm the worst suspicions of those, who read his series of September fervorini as showing that he believes the faithful to be a ginned-up mob, and at best the tools and playthings of the Devil.

From his dismissal of the faithful in the small Chilean diocese on which he foisted the hapless and unready Bishop Juan Barros — “Osorno is suffering because it is dumb,” — to his juxtaposition — if not comparison — of the faithful desirous of transparency and accountability from the Church’s leaders to the bloodthirsty crowds calling for Christ’s crucifixion, Francis has shown astounding insensitivity to the concerns of the faithful. If his eyes were ever opened to the callousness of his disregard for the real hurt of the people he professes to love, it appears he has repented of his discovery.

Perhaps it is the case that Pope Francis himself believes — as the Catholic News Agency’s level-headed and judicious JD Flynn in an excellent piece of news analysis recently speculated Vatican officials may believe — that the crisis in the Church is somehow playing out as a referendum on his leadership?

It is certain that elements in the Church are using the crisis to make political hay. This weekend, during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, the bishop of Leiria-Fátima, Cardinal Antonio Marto called l’Affaire Viganò an “ignoble attack” on Pope Francis. “[The whole business] is nothing more than a political montage, with no real foundation,” he said. At best, he’s half right.

Even without Viganò’s extraordinary “testimonies” — the original 11-page letter and the follow-up, to both of which Cardinal Marc Ouellet responded last weekend — we have more than enough to know there is rot in the Church that reaches the Curia. We need to discover the extent of its spread and the vectors of its spreading. The Archbishop of Munich and Friesing and C9 member, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, admitted as much at a press event October 5th to launch a training initiative on safeguarding efforts at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. “[The crisis with its fallout] has not been caused by the press doing their job properly,” he said. “It’s caused by the Church leadership.”

Said simply, the faithful have a right to know.

In order to begin to address the crisis at its root, Pope Francis needs to earn back some small measure of trust. He simply cannot do that by displays of raw power given piecemeal against old men who used to be someone, or secluded perverts that nobody likes and few even realized were still breathing.

Instead, he needs to come up with a plan for reform apt to produce the necessary transparency in governance — especially insofar as the administration of justice is concerned — and he needs to be transparent about that. If he has such a plan, he needs to submit it to the faithful, who have rights in the Church both moral and legal.

Even the Archbishop-emeritus of Washington, DC, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl — a close adviser and papal favorite — admitted as much when pressed. “[Y]es,” he told CWR this past August, “the laity do have a place: they have a moral place — a right in that sense — to participate in whatever is going on in the life of the Church.” So, do victims of wicked clerics. So, do the men accused of wicked deeds, though it does not gratify our thirst for vengeance to say so.

Even if they did not, the laity is a resource Pope Francis simply cannot afford not to tap.

“Give him time,” said Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, at a recent press briefing on the doings of the Synod Assembly underway in Rome, in response to a question regarding what the attitude of the faithful should be with respect to Pope Francis’s leadership. With due respect to Archbishop Scicluna — who may be the closest thing to a good guy one is like to find in this whole sordid business — Pope Francis has had plenty of that.


Anyone with any intelligence can see that the global RC Church is imploding - and imploding fast.

What would I do if I were in Pope Francis' position?

I would:

1. Immediately suspend any and every bishop who has abused or who have covered up abuse.

2. Immediately sack any and every bishop who has been proven to have abused or who have covered up abuse.

3. Set up a new Congregation in Rome headed by a qualified layperson for the handling of abuse or the cover-up of abuse by bishops and priests and give them the authority to suspend and remove bishops and priests.

4. Set up a second new Roman Congregation headed by a layperson to coordinate global ministry to all abused.

5. Change canon law to allow for all these changes and give the people in control real teeth.

6. Appoint a lay abuse investigator to every nunciature in the world to deal with complaints and accusations.

7 Make each national churches publish a full public report on the handling of abuse every year which names all those credibly accused of abuse and coverup.

Actions like this would show the world that the RC church is serious about tackling abuse and coverup.

No person or body is a good judge in their own case.

No longer can the Vatican and bishops be trusted to investigate each other.

Maybe readers have other suggestions?

Monday, 15 October 2018



Currently, in Catholic dioceses, bishops have absolute power - and we know that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The bishop and the priest are called to be spiritual leaders and spiritual leaders are not always good "temporal" leaders - and there is no reason for them to be.

The RC bishops claim that they are the successors of the Apostles a claim I don't buy into.

But if they want to be successors to the Apostles, then let them behave like the Apostles.

In the New Testament we read:

Acts 6:1-7 New International Version (NIV)

The Choosing of the Seven

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

This is a very example and model of how the Church should work. The bishops and priests should concentrate on their role as spiritual leaders and teachers and the day to day management of the church's affairs should be handed over to able men and women.
Take the diocese I live in - Down and Connor - as an example.
The bishop here - Noel Treanor - has become a CEO attached to his desk.
The only time he leaves his desk is to go to meetings - preferably in Europe with other bishop CEO's.
He has the personality that would make him a perfect fit for a job as a bookkeeping clerk who never has to interact with other human beings. His people skills are at zero and he comes across as having the compassion of a stone knife sharpener.
I suspect that Noel Treanor does not believe in God - or if he does he relationship with Him is like the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and the street sweeper outside Buckingham Palace - they never get near each other.
I have never heard him speak or preach with passion and conviction.
I have never seen him with his sleeves rolled up kicking a football around a schoolyard with primary school children.
It is quite clear to the clergy that Noel Treanor has no interest in going around his parishes every year celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation. Rumour is that from now on parish priests will confirm - even though Cardinal Sarah in Rome has said quite definitively that it is the diocesan bishop's duty to confirm personally.

So people like Treanor and many others have abandoned the practices of the Apostles and the early church and have abandoned prayer and the ministry of the word in order to look after church property, church finances, architecture, personnel management, schools etc.
The Apostles deliberately chose NOT to do these things so that they could concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word.
If Catholic bishops think they are the new Apostles why are they not behaving like the Apostles?
The Irish Church started as a monastic church and the community lived around the monasteries and was under the authority of an abbot. 
One of the monks in the community - not necessarily the abbot, would have been consecrated a bishop without power or authority - in order to celebrate the sacrament of Holy Orders - ordination. Most of the monks were not ordained. They were simply monks.
The tendency to appropriate temporal power to bishops was a tendency that came from the secular world and that tendency grew during the middle ages when the episcopate became a monarchial episcopate and many of the bishops were from noble families and were the local landlords and civil authorities as well as bishops. In fact, the bishop bit was just an added on bit of power and status.

Over the years I heard many things on retreats that made great common as well as spiritual sense.

One of those gems of wisdom was about a priest or bishop who was so busy RUNNING dioceses and parishes that they forgot what they supposed to do:



The Abuse Crisis is probably the biggest crisis that the church has faced for many centuries.

But there is another bigger crisis that is contributing to the Abuse Crisis - the crisis that bishops and priests are very often no longer men of faith, prayer the ministry of the word.

A holy bishop or priest will never abuse a child.
A holy bishop or priest will never cover up abuse.

And I do not mean PIOUS bishops and priests.

I mean HOLY bishops and priests.

Because true holiness is always marked by conviction, integrity and radical courage.

"There was a time in Ireland
When chalices were made of wood and priests/bishops of gold.
The chalices are made of gold and the priests/bishops of wood"

When did you last surprise your bishop praying alone in his cathedral before the Blessed Sacrament when you went in to light a candle?

When did you last see your priest praying his Divine Office around the grounds of your church?