Monday, 20 November 2017



He has always refused to admit that he was a member of the IRA and that he held a senior position in it.

He has obviously done this because it would open the floodgates of massive against him.

Although, I imagine that under the Good Friday Agreement he would not have to do time in prison.

As I have been in Northern Ireland since 1978 I have met Gerry Adams on a number of occasions and I like him as a person.

I do not believe that he was not in the IRA - and was not very senior in it.

I, personally know of no action he has ever undertaken. And no one has ever told me of any action he ever took.

And I do think that many Dublin politicians are not less than genuine when they try and get him to admit the full extent of his past. They want to use that information for their own personal political gain.

I read The Irish Independent and The Irish Times online every day.

The Irish Independent and The Sunday Independent are fixated on Adams and Sinn Fein in a totally negative way. As far as they are concerned neither Adams or Sinn Fein ever did anything good.

I also find that people in the Republic of Ireland who never lived through The Troubles have any idea of what it was really like and yet they talk about it and are experts on it.

They do not appreciate the things that Catholics and Nationals suffered in Northern Ireland during the 50 years of Unionist misrule at Stormont - in housing, in employment and at the hands of the RUC, the British Army, the B Specials and the UDR.

I saw the situation first hand in the 1970's and 1980's - and it was even worse between 1969 and 1978.

I also ministered to the 10 Hunger Strikers when they were dying in the Long Kesh hospital wing.

People like John Hume and the Civil Rights people were wonderful people - but even they felt the opposition and the crack of the baton.

In an ideal world, political change SHOULD come about peacefully.

But in the real world what unjust regime ever gave up their power without being forced to. This is a sad fact of life!

I could never hurt or kill anyone with a gun. It is morally wrong and sinful to do so. No cause or country is worth the spilling of human blood -even though we Christians believe that the cause of Salvation came about through the spilling of the blood of Jesus of Nazareth.

And in war, it is often the case that innocent people are killed and terribly injured.

I sometimes think that had the Provisionals not emerged we might still have a Stormont ruled by the Unionists?

I wish it had all happened with the loss of all those lives and the injuring of all those people on every side.

I believe that the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland could have prevented the war!

I believe that if the Northern Ireland bishops and priests had led the Catholic people in a mass protest against Unionist misrule The Troubles might not have happened.

But everywhere in the world the Catholic Church, politically, sides with the establishment and not with the oppressed. 

In Northern Ireland the Catholic Church kept in with the British so that they would continue to have their Catholic schools, hospitals and institutions funded. 

The Bishops were right to condemn violence. But they should have equally condemned Unionist misrule and the atrocities committed by the police and Army. This did not happen - it certainly did not happen often and strongly enough.

Bishop Philbin went up the Catholic Falls Road on the back of a British Army lorry, with a British general and told the people to dismantle their barricades and go home and obey the authorities.

The people behind the barricades threw tins of beans at the bishop and the general.

Cahal Daly was very vociferous in condemning the Republicans but not so vociferous in condemning the British and Northern Ireland authorities.

At the time I said that he was: "Strong with the weak - and weak with the strong".

Sadly, establishments nod at each other.

History and God will judge Gerry Adams. 

But I think that history and God will also judge those who did not stand up to state violence and injustice.

Ireland needed an Archbishop Oscar Romero.

We did not have one!

Saturday, 18 November 2017


Prof Chris Fitzpatrick, a Catholic, on how a revelation of sexual abuse changed his firmly held beliefs

Prof Chris Fitzpatrick at home in Dublin: “From between the lines I could hear the distressed voices of the abused – some of whom I may have known – ringing in my ears.” PHOTOGRAPH: AIDAN CRAWLEY

Other than its also being a revelation of cataclysmic proportions, my road- to- Damascus moment was very different from St Paul’s. I was not on a horse, galloping along some dusty road in the Middle East. I was at a pre- Christmas drinks party in south Co Dublin. I was not a persecutor of Christians; I was one of them myself – a practising Catholic to boot. Nor was God the recriminating injured party on this occasion. (“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”) Instead it was the distressed voices of suffering children that I came to hear.
Unlike Saul, who changed his nom de guerre to Paul, I did not change mine; nor did I reinvent myself as a proselyte or epistle writer or even as a martyred saint. Unlike Paul, who, without a hint of concussion, was transformed into a believer and a follower, the faith I had tenaciously held, ever since my First Holy Communion, in the institutions of the Catholic Church was shattered in one fell swoop.
It was as if a stone had been hurled through the centre of my windscreen. I could no longer see where I was going. The curtain of the temple was torn in two, and the world was suddenly a much darker place.
Let me backtrack. A few weeks before the party, which took place in 2009, I happened to become involved in a conversation with some friends about the clerical sex abuse of children. In response to a general agreement that, sadly, no one would trust a priest (or any man, for that matter) to be alone with young children these days, I replied that I had the privilege, as a kid growing up in the Dublin of the 1960s and 1970s, of having come under the positive spiritual influence of a saintly cleric, a paragon of virtue, a man beyond reproach. Or so I thought.
I explained that I had travelled all over the country and abroad ( including to Lourdes on three occasions) as part of an unofficial, semi- illegal soccer team – the GAA ban was in full force – run by this charismatic and dynamic Capuchin, who, out of devotion to his Italian boy- hero saint, had taken the adolescent’s name, Dominic Savio, as his own religious name.
At the party I happened to bump into someone I hadn’t met in a long time. We had been at school together, and had been protégés of the same friar. After some pleasantries he leaned towards me and, checking that we had a moment of privacy, said in a semi- whisper, “Did you see that Domo is all over the Murphy report?” He was referring to the report by Judge Yvonne Murphy’s Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, which had just been published by the Department of Justice and Equality.
Shocked, I leaned against a pillar in the kitchen as I listened to the horrific catalogue of the cleric’s crimes – which were all the more surreal against the backing track of a party in full swing.
Neither of us had suspected anything. Neither of us had been abused. Within days I had sought him out in the Murphy report and was once again physically sickened when I read what he had done. From between the lines I could hear the distressed voices of the abused – some of whom I may have known – ringing in my ears.


The Capuchin was now a convicted child sex abuser, and living under court-approved restrictions in one of the Franciscan order’s houses. For many years he had been a wolf in sheep’s clothing, like one of the false prophets in the Bible – except much worse. Why he hadn’t been locked up in jail I couldn’t fully understand: it was another appallingly lenient sentence for sexual crime.
I left the party, reeling under the horror.
For as long as I can remember, the archaic “suffer”, in the biblical imperative “Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come to me”, had carried with it an unintentionally sinister undertone. This was a priest who for me and countless others had embodied Catholic virtue – an image of Christ, beard and all. The innocence of my childhood was finally destroyed. The rug had been whipped from under my feet, and what was broken has never been fixed.
Although newspapers variously referred to him by his civilian name, John Boland, or his religious name, Fr Dominic Savio, he was Domo to the raggle- taggle schoolboys of Dublin’s northside inner city who played on his football teams, served his Masses or came down to the friary on Church Street after school for the bowls of t i nned pears and i ce cream t hat he brought from the refectory fridge, or the sweets and oranges that he magicked out of the dark recesses of his long brown habit – including, to the delight of all, his hood.


His left arm was paralysed as a result of a birth injury, and he had told us on many occasions that photographs of him holding a wafer and empty chalice had to be sent to Rome for him to be passed fit to take holy orders.
Despite his disability he could play the piano ( Fats Domino and The Beatles) and the mouth organ and could juggle small apples and oranges one- handed. He viewed his physical vulnerability as a blessing that brought him closer to those in need of spiritual succour – and to God.
Along with the sweets and fruit that he secreted in his habit he sometimes had one of Padre Pio’s mittens or a relic of the true Cross. He visited (and reputedly cured) the sick, anointed the dying, and blessed new cars and house extensions and throats prophylactically.
When he visited homes he would lay his right hand gently on the bowed heads of all who stood in the hallway, bestowing blessings as we lined up to say goodbye. He was especially devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to his own widowed mother.
Mothers loved him. He also loved their young sons. He hinted that they might join up some day. He regaled his audiences with hilarious accounts of the high jinks that he and his classmates got up to when they were away studying for the priesthood – all good, cleanfun. Because he loved soccer, and gave their sons the chance to play with leather footballs rather than plastic ones, fathers liked him, too.


He was wary of daughters and older brothers who were interested in girls, and they were wary of him and kept their distance.
Young boys loved him. Although he was a priest, he was like one of us. He had a good right foot and could bend a ball long before David Beckham could. He often told us about his namesake, Dominic Savio, who even as a very young boy wanted to be a saint. (We didn’t.)
Despite his piety and otherworldly powers of healing, he was also at times anarchic and didn’t seem to mind when we came back from Lourdes with metal combs we’d bought there that were in the shape of flick knives but with a picture of Our Lady on the handles.
Despite his devotion to Our Lady he used one of them to comb his own hair, as a joke. Although mothers thought it a little disrespectful, they let it pass. “Boys will be boys,” he would impishly pronounce. “How innocent he is,” they said, and forgot all about it.
Because he had taken the vow of poverty (along with those of obedience and chastity) he could not own a car. An almost telepathic consensus, among the working-class women who idolised him, that his ministry should not be restricted by a lack of transport led to the purchase of a small car, along with the tax and insurance, for him to use. Paid for through raffles, cake sales and whip-rounds, the car was parked in the nominal owner’s drive, not far from the friary. As a named driver the Capuchin could now travel far and wide – without breaking his vows. Not even the canon lawyers could catch him.
Parents considered him both harmless and trustworthy, and they willingly entrusted their children to him.
Behind the smokescreen of vestments and incense, like many of his ilk, he preyed on his defenceless charges. Convicted of nine counts of indecent assault against one victim, he acknowledged up to 100 offences against 20 children and was judged to pose a significant risk to boys between the ages of nine and 14. He is now dead, and his name is rarely mentioned.
This story is, tragically, not unusual. Dominic Savio was cut from the same cloth as the outwardly decent and charming Christian Brother – described by Fintan O’Toole last month – who abused children in Belfast.
There are thousands of similar stories, replicated in almost every diocese on every continent. They are now part of the narrative of the Catholic Church, better known to many than the liturgy of the Mass. We can but imagine the physical, mental and spiritual pain suffered by those who were molested and raped and had their lives destroyed by paedophile clerics.
They say that all history is local and that one’s view of the world is predominantly shaped by personal experiences and by the individual stories of others. And so the shock waves of what Dominic Savio and others did travelled far beyond those whom they most grievously injured – and affected us all.
The inadequacy of the church’s response to the crisis added insult to injury. Church attendance has plummeted in two generations, starting with mine – part of the collateral damage. And we were the lucky ones. We only lost our faith in this church, and our innocence. Vocations have also dwindled to a trickle.
Even committed parents dissuade their children from any thoughts they might have of entering the religious life. Who would blame them? Seeing Bishop Eamonn Casey and Fr Michael Cleary on reruns of Reeling in the Years, leading the papal singalong in Galway, still rankles those of us who remember being cynically duped in another context.
Some will defend the church, of course, saying that a few rotten apples don’t necessarily spoil the barrel and that lots of organisations have their share of deviants and hypocrites. That may be true. The difference is, however, that the likes of the Irish Amateur Swimming Association, the BBC and Hollywood never pontificated on how we should live our intimate lives.
Nor did they (including the perpetrators among them) ever claim to have sacramental powers, the forgiveness of sins among them. To borrow a phrase from Matthew, in hunting for specks of dust in the eyes of others, the church missed a plank in its own. A legacy of corporate cover-ups, com- bined with an often deplorable lack of empathy with and compassion for the victims of sexual crimes has seriously eroded the moral authority of the Catholic Church and cast a long shadow over its model of governance and canon laws.
Placed alongside the church’s hard-line views on such issues as contraception, homosexuality, divorce, clerical celibacy and women priests – why not women bishops and popes? – it would make you wonder if the powers that be are living on the same planet as us mere mortals.
Similar thoughts must cross the minds of the many decent priests, nuns and brothers who do their very best and now find themselves in an almost impossible position, trapped between an out-of-touch, inflexible hierarchy and oppressive public suspicion.
And although the foundations are still shaking, the church doesn’t seem to get it. Unable or unwilling to move, it seems increasingly stuck in a time warp. Recent pronouncements on the HPV vaccine are one example of this. Decrying a role for condoms in halting the spread of Aids is another. So is equating the rights of an embryo and a woman.
These views are not only morally and medically wrong but also dangerous. The Ireland of the 21st century is a modern, secular, pluralist republic. As citizens we must respect the rights of others and draw distinctions between private and public morality, between the affairs of personally held religious belief systems and the affairs of state. The role and influence of religion in modern civil society needs a more nuanced reinterpretation.
The idea of avowedly celibate men, deliberating obsessively over the small print of consensual sexual morality and “sins of impurity” – from the glittering splendour of the Vatican all the way down to the dark recesses of the confession box – seems disturbingly dysfunctional.
Male hegemony is not some God-given right; I have never seen it written on any tablets of stone. It is a form of abuse, just like abuse based on race or sexual orientation. It has, however, been a problem in the church for a very long time, superimposed on historical social norms – bound up with politics and power. It should no longer be part of the subtext of what it means to be a Catholic.
Were Jesus to arrive for the first time now he would, I’m sure, be an equal-opportunity- promoting Messiah with a gender- balanced, diverse band of Apostles and with less dogmatic views on human nature than many who currently claim to speak on his behalf.
Like many Catholics, I voted for marriageequality in May 2015. I will also vote for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution; I suspect many Catholics will do likewise.
The time for another reformation is long overdue. Maybe, 500 years later, it’s time for another Martin Luther – preferably a woman – to nail her theses to the doors of St Peter’s. And if Jesus is around, maybe he’d clear out the temple again.
l‘ Boys oved him. Although he was a priest, he was like one of us. He could bend a ball long before Beckham
m‘ Like any Catholics, I voted for marriage-equality. I will also vote for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

(Chris Fitzpatrick is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, and former master, at Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital and clinical professor at University College Dublin school of medicine. Earlier this year he resigned from the project board overseeing the National Maternity Hospital’s move to the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus because of the Catholic ethos of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, which was to have a role in the ownership and governance of the new hospital. He is a Catholic)


This is an excellent and thorough article by Professor Chris Fitzpatrick - a lifetime Catholic.

I too knew Father Dominic Savio Boland.

I attended his Masses in Church Street in Dublin as a teenager and a seminarian.

When I was a curate in St Peter's Cathedral Belfast from 1978 until 1983 he arrived one Sunday a month to celebrate Mass for the Belfast Third Order of St. Francis.

He was a skinny, odd Franciscan friar with a disabled arm who seemed pious and oldfashioned.

My fellow priests ridiculed him for being a "Holy Joe".

He expressed horror at the foul language that was in constant use in the priest's dining room - on one occasion saying that Satan was there!

And all the time he was secretly preying on and sexually abusing little boys between the ages of 8 and 14!

There were absolutely no signs of the abuse as far as I could see.

Surely his superiors in the Capuchins had some reports?

Maybe not?

He professed to be a very holy priest.

But he has destroyed the faith of many in God.

After his exposure, he was not sent to prison - but to the Capuchin Friary in Donegal.

I did not know he was dead until I read Professor Fitzpatrick's article.

I found it impossible to find a photo of him on the internet.

Has anybody got one?


Church’s stance on women alienates people, says Martin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “Young people felt unwelcome in parishes”

The low standing of women in the Catholic Church is the most significant reason for the feeling of alienation towards it in Ireland today, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.
“Next would be the ongoing effect of the scandals of child sexual abuse,” he said in an address yesterday.
“I believe, in particular, that people have underestimated the effect of the scandals on young people.”
He added that young people’s “disgust at what happened is deep-rooted”.
Dr Martin said one of the most disappointing documents that he had read since becoming archbishop concerned a recent survey of young people in Dublin, conducted in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on Young People in Rome next year.
“Young people felt unwelcome in parishes,” he said of the survey’s results.
This reflected “on our system of faith education, which is overly school-centered” and “does not bring young people into better communication with the parish”.
Looking at the current Government, he said he was struck by “the fact that there are more members of the current Cabinet under 45 than there are of priests of that age in the [Dublin] diocese. The same applies to leadership cadres in many other sectors of society”.
He said 57 percent of priests in the Dublin archdiocese were over 60 and this was projected to rise to 75 per cent by 2030.
He said that leadership in “many aspects of our culture belongs to one generation and leadership and the mainstream membership of the church belongs to another”.
“How do you bridge that gap?” he asked.
Dr Martin said he was “happy to see a new generation of young politicians who are inspired by a politics of changing Irish society for the good rather than just fixing problems”.
However, the archbishop said some people might interpret what he was saying as that he was “happy to see politicians who support same-sex unions or wider access to abortion”.
“Let me be very clear. The church will never change its teaching on marriage and on the right to life.”
The archbishop made his remarks in a talk titled The church in Dublin: where will it be in 10 years’ time? held at St Mary’s Church, Haddington Road.


Once again Patsy McGarry is giving Dermo of Dublin a wonderful outing in The Irish Times.

Its nearly got to the point where - if Dermo breaks wind - Patsy is publishing and recording every detail of the flatulence.

And Dermo is the master of the FORKED TONGUE!

Here, on the one hand, he is lamenting the downturn in priestly vocations and the unfairness of the Catholic Church to women - and the lack of young people at Mass.

On the other hand, he is repeating RC dogma that only single men and women can marry and that abortion - even in the most extreme cases - will never be "allowed" by the RC Church.

But DERMO MARTIN is PERSONALLY PARTLY RESPONSIBLE for the decline of his Church in Ireland.

He is an absentee archbishop!

He has a deplorable relationship with the priests he has!

He has a deplorable relationship with his two auxiliary bishops!

He promotes favourites among the clergy and is either disinterested or hostile to those who are not favoured!

He rules in secret and has even stopped publishing his clerical changes!

He has made his archdiocese far less democratic and collegiate that it was prior to him!

On appearances at least he seems to have a preference for gay priests and seminarians!

He has failed to act in the most serious of cases.

His stand on Maynooth was not sincere. He simply wanted to give Maynooth a kick in the goolies!

He is obviously fiercely ambitious - even in his early 70's.

If he really wanted to give the Church in Dublin a future he would need to:

1. Argue for the ordination of married men and women.

2. Spend more time in Dublin and less time traveling.

3. Re-establish his Personnel Commission.

4. Stop his favouritisms!

AND GENERALLY, put his money where his mouth is.

But Dermo is a politician.

Dermo is an empty soundbite man.

Dermo is more interested in his PR profile than he is in being a pastoral father to the people and priests of Dublin.

His legacy will be:


Image result for bishop cartoons

Friday, 17 November 2017



In fact, the deacon assisting DM was ????

Also assisting was Conor Gannon of The Irish College in Rome.

As you can see there is no resemblance between Byrne and Gannon.

The mistake was made as the webcam in the Pro-Cathedral was at the back of the church. 

Before entering the priesthood Conor Gannon qualified in Dublin as a barrister.

He is also an accomplished musician.

His online CV says:


Organist - Our Lady of Victories Church, Glasnevin - 2012 – 2014 (2 years)

Organist, Pro-Cathedral Girls choir - Cathedral - September 2012 – August 2013 (1 year)

Archivist - Belvedere CollegeJanuary 2012 – August 2013 (1 year 8 months)

Organist Our Lady of Dolours church - September 2010 – February 2012 (1 year 6 months)

Census Enumerator Central Statistics Office - February 2011 – May 2011 (4 months)

Journalist Intern - Irish Independent - July 2010 – September 2010 (3 months)

Organist - Pontifical Irish College Rome - June 2008 – October 2008 (5 months)

Shop Assistant - Kavanagh's Newsagent - 2005 – 2008 (3 years)

Conor is also very highly regarded by Diarmuid Martin - whom we all know is a very good judge of character.

Conor Gannon will be ordained a priest for Dublin .



Ordained - Fathers Bill O'Shaughnessy and James Daly.



Someone, on behalf of Maynooth, is working away trying to have all google references to the MAYNOOTH GAY SCANDAL removed from Google.

Below are listed their latest attempts:

Do they really think that they will be able to wipe out the memory of the MAYNOOTH GAY SCANDAL from the minds of EVERYONE in Ireland and the world by taking down a few blogs from Google?

Maynooth is now a byword in the Irish and international church and world for scandal.

Its days are numbered!


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Cards give priests advice on abuse claims

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has issued an information card to assist priests faced with abuse allegations.
The move comes amid claims that guidelines prepared for the handling of such cases by the church’s own child protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), were not being followed by bishops and religious superiors.
The issue was raised at the ACP’s annual meeting in Athlone last week.It had emerged at regional meetings that very little support was being offered to accused priests and many feel the right to due process is being denied to them, Fr Tim Hazelwood of the association’s leadership team said.
It was claimed that priests’ statutory rights were being denied in instances while there was “no strategy for innocence”. It was also claimed that innocent priests were “often grudgingly returned to ministry” and it was unjust “that a priest should be asked to stand down on the basis of an anonymous accusation.”
Such was the current level of unhappiness among priests about the handling of allegations by bishops that “there is an expectation that a priest will eventually sue a diocese for ill-treatment, bad practices, etc.”
There was also a call for a strengthening of the NBSC standard for the care and management of accused priests.
Fr Hazelwood presented the meeting last week with some current cases as examples of what ACP members are concerned about.
No support
One priest was phoned by his superior who asked to see him. No reason was given nor was he advised to have someone with him. He was told there was a complaint against him. The priest asked if he should get a solicitor and was told, “it might not be a bad idea.” The priest was not offered any support.
Another priest was phoned by his superior who asked to meet him. Again, no reason was given and he was not advised to bring anybody. He met the superior and a canon lawyer. The priest was told he did not have to say anything and was advised to seek the help of both a canon lawyer and civil lawyer. He suffered huge trauma and felt someone should have been with him, Fr Hazelwood said.
Civil law
According to guidelines for bishops and religious superiors prepared by the NBSC for such cases an accused priest should be told he may be accompanied at such meetings. He should be informed of his rights in canon and civil law and the right to remain silent.
He should be given sufficient details of allegations so he may offer a response if he wishes. A written record should be sent to him for signing after the meeting and he should be given written information about church procedure in such cases.

Image result for innocent priests

Information card Steps to follow

1. When contacted by your bishop/superior always insist on knowing what it relates to.
2. Bring someone with you who is of strong character and aware of the process. (ACP can provide someone.)
3. We advise you to say nothing at the meeting.
4. Request the diocese to resource a canon lawyer and civil lawyer of your choosing.
5. Sign nothing and give no verbal undertaking at the meeting.
6. Do not be persuaded to ignore or bypass these guidelines no matter how often they say it is in your own best interest.
7. Ask the person who accompanies you to take notes of the proceedings and to sign them.


Generally speaking, I do not have much respect for the ACP.

However, they do have an important point to make on the issue of innocent priests being accused of abuse and not having much support from the bishops and dioceses.

Priests, like all other citizens, must be regarded as INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.

These days all you need to draw suspicion on yourself is to wear a clerical collar.

Innocent priests have been proven innocent in court and still, their lives and futures have lain in tatters.

In fact, I often wonder if the name of the accused - as well as the name of the victim - should remain secret until after a verdict?

I think an accused priest should be provided with both a canon and a civil lawyer by his bishop, superior or diocese.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017



Dear Bishop Buckley 

I hope you are keeping well.  I recently attended the novena in the Long Tower Church in Derry City with my cousins, the novena is nine Sundays leading up to Christmas, and they have asked to me find out information about their former curate Fr Brendan Collins.  We had a chat after the novena, and it seems to them that the Long Tower Parish under the administrator Fr Aidan Mullan wants to eradicate the fact that Fr Brendan Collins ever served in the parish. 

They asked me to email Bishop Donal McKeown, something I knew would be pointless, but I did. Bishop McKeown actually sent me an email when I asked about the lack of priests in our cathedral parish, and he sent me a vague reply about not having enough clergy and that other parishes in the city have survived with few priests, the cathedral will be alright. 

Well, a week has passed by and no reply from Bishop McKeown to my email. I told my cousins, and it is coming to the point where some are ready to jump ship and worship in the Church of Ireland cathedral.  I have been there many times and have taken communion there, much to the annoyance of many of my Catholic relatives.  However, my cousins are sick and tired of the lies and the silence. I am too.  My mother has already left the church and has become a Baptist, and attends the North West Baptist Church in Derry and is very happy and content with not being part of the Roman Catholic Church. 


Fr Brendan Collins simply does not exist and never has existed, that is the attitude we get from the diocese. His photo and name remains on the diocesan website, God knows why? What do you think? 

I do not want to abandon my own parish of St Eugene's Cathedral, to be honest, Fr Paul Farren who is the cathedral administrator seems very Anglican to me. He is best buddies with the Archdeacon of Derry, Robert Miller, they wrote a book together. Fr Farren even wears a very Methodist type of priest clothes. He usually never wears black. Take a look at his photos when you Google him and you will see what I mean.  Fr Farren never says the "Fatima Prayer" after each decade of the rosary and his sermons are very Anglican, so I am happy with the cathedral but detest Bishop McKeown. 

For my cousins, it seems the final straw has come, and many have said to me they will give it to Christmas, and in the new year, they will reconsider their church attendance.  The lies, the silence, it is appalling. I would like to know what you think, what should I advise my cousins, and will Fr Collins ever be mentioned again in the diocese?

My best wishes to you. I remember you in my prayers every week.


Dear XXXX,

You are wasting your time with Donal McKeown. He has sold his soul to the institution in return for a mitre and Derry.

When he was a younger priest 30 years ago when I first met him, I would have hopes for his integrity.

Not anymore. He is a waffler with no substance.

Nobody seems to know where Father Brendan is or if he is ever coming back. As you will be aware there were "rumours".

You and your family should worship God where you feel comfortable - and where there is integrity.

In the RC diocese of Derry, integrity, is as rare as the Corncrake !!!



Several readers had told us that Deacon Micheal "Gorgeous" Byrne would be ordained with two others yesterday in the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin on the Feast of St Laurence O'Toole.

As it turned out there was no Gorgeous - but the ordination of the other two went ahead.

Where to now - for Georgeous???

He has not been seen in Ireland for many months.

One Dublin priest told the Blog that Diarmuid Martin was financially supporting him at an overseas location???


Former abbot warns against dangers of moralising

Pandemic of sex abuse is a ‘religious problem’, says ex-head of Glenstal

Moralising will not help us understand the wave of sexual harassment and child abuse cases that have emerged nationally and internationally, says Mark Patrick Hederman, former abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Glenstal, Co Limerick.
Instead, he believes we must look at the human passions that connect people such as Harvey Weinstein and Tom Humphries.
“We’ve had three philosophers of the 20th century that decided there are only three basic energies that move us all. One is power, the other is sex, and the other is money.”
While this does not capture the full picture, “it’s a good beginning . . . The world goes round because of sex, said Freud; or money for Marx, and power for Nietzsche,” he says.
“The church had found that out in the Middle Ages and they said: ‘We’ll put three stops on those three things – poverty, chastity, and obedience’. So they put vows over them. It was like putting a manhole over the sewer. It doesn’t work like that.”
Fr Hederman, who last year completed his term as abbot at Glenstal, ruffled some feathers in the Catholic Church last week when he appealed to priests to stop calling their bishops “spineless nerds and sycophantic half-wits”. Next week, he is giving a talk at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre entitled “what Ireland needs to nurture its soul”.
Speaking to The Irish Times in advance, he says religion is “absolutely essential for us. Connecting with the spiritual is vital to our whole culture now and when it disappears you’re into drugs and alcohol, everything that will block everything, or suicide”. Or criminal activity, he adds.
‘Lowest of the low’
“With Kevin Spacey and all these people, you get to a point where your whole life is destroyed. Tom Humphries again. We’re all moralising about this and saying: ‘Oh these are the lowest of low.’ The real truth is what were those people looking for? I don’t know but it is a religious problem, that’s what I’m saying.”
It is not about “judging or condemning – it’s a finding out. And I’m absolutely certain in every one of those cases it’s spiritual. In other words, those people were trying to achieve something at a level which was carnal and which should have been spiritual.”
The idea “that we can all sit and moralise about it and say, ‘Oh they are dreadful’, I mean, that’s all of us. We’re all in the same boat. It’s not as if they are monsters. These are all people and we’ve all got the same humanity.”
In Ireland, he says, “we’ve had a huge liberation but the trouble is that every culture – no matter what you’re talking about – they all had a taboo about incest”. That was now gone, he says. “We had a culture here and it was very repressive but at least it was a taboo.”

Nowadays, “every child in fifth year wants a child, and they don’t want a husband either. ‘We’ll get a sperm bank.’ We’ve gone to a stage now where it’s so completely devoid of all notion of morality, everything. It really is a tsunami.”
He says: “There’s a pandemic now of child abuse and incest and actually what people are looking for is that rebirth which is in Christianity . . . Most people are looking for a second half of life, something which will allow them to be reborn and many of them see that in a child or they see it in a younger person.
“What’s so terrible is that instead of actually finding the religious answer to that – which is to do with going to another level symbolically to become reborn – they’re allowing their instincts and their impulses to lead them into crime.”
Psychologically speaking, he says: “Incest is actually calling us. It’s part of mid-life. It’s one of the most experienced fantasies in people’s lives and it’s calling them to the second half of their life. It’s calling them to the rebirth which Christianity and every other religion talks about”.
Raising the Humphries case, he felt the coverage in The Irish Times “was a kind of overreaction, where you’re kind of guilt-ridden or something like that”. Humphries “is a human being. He is destroyed at the moment and he becomes a kind of scapegoat and he becomes the pariah. All of that is wrong in terms of society.”

He felt “we’re not dealing with the situation. We’re actually sensationalising it and making it a form of entertainment.” Instead “of just punishing people and moralising about it and condemning them, it’s a question of making them understand so that they can move on.
“It’s certainly possible. The big, big religious movement of the 20th century was the AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] and the basic principle of that was that you have to recognise what you’ve done.”
A “sympathetic counsellor – that’s what you need to have. Locking people up in prison where they torture one another, that doesn’t do any good at all. They’re pariahs when they come out and nobody wants to have them in their vicinity.”
There has to be “an attempt to reintegrate them to their own humanity and that’s what spirituality is. That’s what the incarnation is about: that we are human beings but there is a hope and that there is nobody without hope.”
In general, “we’ve gone from one extreme to another and we’re using very blunt instruments – a legal situation where one size fits all – for dealing with things which really require very careful and very personal counselling”.
Mark Patrick Hederman will speak on What Ireland needs to nurture its soul at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre, 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 22nd.
We’re all moralising about this and saying: ‘Oh these are the lowest of low.’ The real truth is what were those people looking for? I don’t know but it is a religious problem, that’s what I’m saying


The words of Dom Hederman seem a bit confusing at times - and at other times they are asking important questions.

Some of his statements are very sweeping like:

Nowadays, “every child in fifth year wants a child, and they don’t want a husband either. ‘We’ll get a sperm bank.

I do not think that EVERY FIFTH YEAR wants a baby and wants a baby without having a husband.

In my experience, young girls and woman of that age are very romantic and want to find a young man to love and marry - and perhaps have children with. I don't think that many young girls of this age are thinking about sperm banks?

I think he will anger the parents of fifth-year girls with his generalizations?

He is right in saying that, for most people, sex, money and power are strong motivators. 

Most people want to have sex, enough money to live on - and many people like to have power.

But there is nothing wrong or immoral about the proper use of all three. 

I agree that spirituality is very important for a meaningful life.

But there are other spiritualities than religion?

And, there is no conflict at all between an authentic spirituality and a good and healthy sex life.

I tried to address this topic in my 2005 book - A SEXUAL LIFE - A SPIRITUAL LIFE (still available on Amazon and Kindle).

My chapters include chapters:




I include a quote from a Sherward A. Treadwell:

"Passion between the covers of a book
May come in the form of the undraped body of
Anybody's whore.
Or the naked form of
A man hanging from a
Cross-armed tree
Disarmingly unarmed,
Save for the look of love"

The good Abbot Emeritus is right to point out that sexuality and spirituality belong together.

But not all sexual criminals are lacking spirituality.

Some of them are just bad or twisted men and women.

For instance, all priest abusers had spent six years being "formed" spiritually by the Catholic Church!

And some of those were Dom Hederman's fellow Benedictine monks!