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A PROPHET AGAINST CATHOLIC CLERICAL SEXUAL ABUSE

FATHER RICHARD SIPE – 1932 – 2018

Tribute-to-Aquinas-Walter-Richard-Sipe-2018-09-20

https://vimeo.com/284000603

 

A.W. Richard Sipe (1932-2018) was devoted full time to research into the sexual and celibate practices of Roman Catholic bishops and priests. That path led him to the study of the sexual teaching of the church and its effects on behavior – especially sexual abuse of minors by clergy – and the tangle of sexual problems that some people claim are blocking every religious agenda and destroying beyond repair the credibility of the Catholic Church in sexual matters. He had spent his life searching for the origins, meanings, and dynamics of religious celibacy. His six books including his now classic A Secret World and Celibacy in Crisis explore various aspects of the questions about the pattern and practice of religious celibacy. He spent 18 years serving the Church as a Benedictine monk and Catholic priest. In those capacities he was trained to deal with the mental health problems of priests. He and Marianne had been married since 1970 and have one son, Walter. Both as a priest and married man he practiced psychotherapy, taught on the faculties of Major Catholic Seminaries and colleges, lectured in medical schools, and served as a consultant and expert witness in both civil and criminal cases involving the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.
The Sipe’s own spirituality has deep roots. Sipe was born Walter Richard Sipe on Dec. 11, 1932, in Robbinsdale, Minn., a farming town of 5000 within the shadow of Minneapolis. He had an upbringing that he joked could have been a chapter of a Sinclair Lewis novel: The dominant values were Republicanism and pro-business; life centered around school and the church; and Main Street was two blocks long and full of stores. Sipe’s father owned several gas stations.
The family was devoutly Catholic, and Sipe admired the enthusiastic young monks who came down to do parish work from St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, 80 miles away. “I was pious, I was intellectually inclined, I think I needed community support,” Sipe said. “You know, if you’re one of 10 kids, how do you make your mark?”
Sipe had no professional sympathy for the cardinals and bishops and other ranking church officials who cover up their crimes. “Some of them are so terrible,” Sipe said. “I mean the plain lying that I’ve seen, bishop after bishop saying, ‘No, this was never true. I don’t know anything. I can’t remember anything.’ And sometimes the bishop just smiles. One bishop said, ‘I only lie when I have to.’ ”
A.W. RICHARD SIPE was a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who earlier spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. He was trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of Roman Catholic Priests. In the process of training and therapy, he conducted a 25-year ethnographic study of the celibate/sexual behavior of that population. His study, published in 1990, is now considered a classic. Sipe is known internationally and had participated in 12 documentaries on celibacy and priest sexual abuse aired by HBO, BBC, and other networks in the United States, United Kingdom, and France. He had been widely interviewed by media including CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, People magazine, Newsweek and USA Today. Sipe lived with his wife, Marianne, in La Jolla, CA.

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AMY GETS PSNI TO STOP A CATHOLIC MAN GOING TO MASS!

Amy Martin in Armagh has used the PSNI to stop James Luke McConnell from going to Mass in any parish in the archdiocese of Armagh.

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AMY PRETENDING TO BE KOOL

In his Bail Conditions Luke is not allowed:

  1. To go on to any property owned by the RC Church.
  2. Not allowed to approach and priest – not even for the Last Rites.
  3. Not to approach his parish priest Father Sean Moore.
  4. Not allowed to approach any Church staff.

This comes after Luke’s longstanding campaign against Armagh over the sexual abuse of a relative of Luke’s.

bail letter

The actual complaint was made to the police by Father Sean Moore

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FATHER SEAN MOORE

52 replies on “A PROPHET AGAINST CATHOLIC CLERICAL SEXUAL ABUSE”

James McConnell seems to have chased after, harried, annoyed and intimidated many clerics. His behaviour warranted the actions taken. He behaved wrongly and dangerously placing all priests in potentially critical situations where he was likely to claim against them. I have every sympathy for all abused people but not for this man’s outrageous behaviour.

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6:02;
We’re talking about clerical CRIME which has been systematically covered up for generations.
Come to terms with the fact that the hierarchy are being made accountable.

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6:58
Families covered up sexual abuse.
Come to terms with the fact that the vast majority of sexual abusers are non-clerical.
Hypocrisy is allowing the focus to stray from where most abuse occurs and pinning it on a subgroup.

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Sipe told the truth we didn’t want to hear; even now there are plenty in denial about the fact that we have an overwhelmingly gay priesthood in varying states of dysfunction. Forty years ago I was young, gay and thought I wanted to be a priest, so classic case. I got hold of a novel by an American woman novelist, Patricia Nell Warren, who for some reason specialized in gay male love in various situations. This one, The Fancy Dancer, was about a priest. Not a bad read, serious minded and pretty illuminating on seventies Catholic and gay culture, but, though I read it with my eyes out on stalks, I afterwards binned it simply because I could not bear reality. I wanted the fantasy of, say, another novel The Cardinal, which was based to some extent on Cardinal Spellman; ‘nough said. Please, folks, let’s get real.

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Yes, Sipes told unpopular and unwanted truths that many in the Roman Catholic hierarchy would have preferred to hide permanently under a public ecclesial facade of pious righteousness. I should even go so far as to say that some hierarchs may have wanted Sipes dead, by fair means, or foul. (It wouldn’t have mattered to them how, as long as he was gone. This, after all, was the lot of prophets in biblical times: a violent and bloody end. And Sipes was, indeed, nothing if not a prophet.
I can almost hear the cheers, and the popping of Dom Perignon Brut corks, as these holy men of the Apostolic Succession, er, lament Sipes’ passing.
But God always has another prophet in the pipeline, boys.😆

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11.44: A rather childish, immature response. Typical of Magna. Sipe was a great “prophet” and brought much needed enlightenment and truth to uncomfortable issues. His analysis is very necessary for the Church and for all priests. While many men have personal struggles with their sexuality and seek expression of their human urges, many, many more live the ideals as best they can. Being gay does not and should stop any person from exercising their responsibilities in their respective profession. A culture of dysfunctionality can easily surround an institution, particularly a male dominated priesthood. Against the background of vicious and nasty criticism and unfair caricaturing, I will continue my struggle in living priesthood as best as I can, always depending on God’s grace.

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12.32: Sipe was indeed a very insightful and accurate analyst of the dysfunctionality that celibate male priesthood would bring about. While many, many men lived incredibly good, disciplined and faitful lives in accordance with requirements and ideals, many others could not do so. Many also struggle to live as humanly and as spirituly as possible with great conviction. Having personal, unresolved sexual issues around identity and relationships, the style and model of priesthood as it evolved was conducive to those of gay orientation. That’s fine but the present lack of accountability and the insufficient psychological, moral and spiritual preparation for students has allowed an unhealthy, dysfunctional culture emerge within the Church. I struggle with my human emotions, urges and temptations. I try to be faithful. I try to work efficiently and caringly. Today’s environment of being almost on our own administering a parish(or parishes) adds greater challenges and brings much distress and can, in a bizarre way wreck your humanity and emotional balance.

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Anon @ 12:22: Your comment seems a genuine acknowledgement and acceptance of both your own limitations: (the human weaknesses we all share); and that of the institutional RC church as it has developed.
From what you write, I think you are probably one of those RC clerics such as I have encountered in the past: genuinely caring, pastoral and selfless with little of the “airs and graces” syndrome. In this way you represent what is best about the caring ministry mission of religion.
It is regrettable that so many of your fellow clerics have demeaned this. Do not let this disillusion you about the value of your efforts, and stick with what you know to be right.
MMM

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12:45

Re-read my post, but this time with the literary care and acuity of an adult (I presume you’re an adult) rather than that of a child.

My post was a testimonial to Sipe, not a denunciation of him.

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1.29: Magna, the first part of your “essay” was a testimonial but the end paragraph was drink induced immaturity and childishness. Or was it humour?? Otherwise I’d give you 4 out of 10. My criticism – you are too predictable and repetitive in your daily homilies or essays…

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2:40

The ‘end paragraph’ of my post at 11:44 reads: ‘But God always has another prophet in the pipeline, boys.’

Tell me, you face-saving pillock: What is ‘childish’ about that paragraph? God does always send additional prophets when those he sent previously die, or, in the Old Testament period, were murdered for their efforts. This is biblical, and post-biblical, reality.

I normally don’t ask pillocks to answer sensibly (intelligently is an ‘ask’ too much), but can you at least try? Who knows? You may manage to redeem youself. 😆

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3.24: What a marvellous word to use Magna – pillocks – it so accurately described people of your immaturity and foolishness. Accept criticism for God’s sake. Grow up dear little child. Your mummy is failing in her duties.

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1:46am,
Come to terms with the fact, the mask of hypocrisy has fallen from the hierarchy, and this clerical subgroup (according to yourself) while presenting the ‘faithful’ with a blueprint for living, were been protected by their superiors, having committed appalling crimes, contrary to and the antithesis of the gospel, gospel values and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The clergy call themselves alter Christus. 😇

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I think it’s time for you to stop using this man McConnell. You used Fr Mulvihill and now you seek to exploit McConnell because why else would you have a copy of his bail conditions?

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Patsy 9:46am
Patsy the less you have to do with that auld bowsie McConnell the better.
Evviva Maria!

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You’re a sad man if this is McConnell is the best you can come up with Buckley!
If you only knew of his behaviour when he was a Taxi Driving in Armagh City and beyond, the reasons why he’s no need to work anymore!

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It is a sad day when the Church has to go to these levels however I am sure it was the last thing the Church could do. However it is only just now in the Archdiocese of Armagh.

However the twist in the story the last rites NO clergy even Archbishop Eamon Martin would refuse the last rites.

It is All about FACTS and not gossip or hearsay and if the Church gets facts action will be taken but on this blog there is many accusations but we never seem to get facts and no stories seem to have an ending.

Father Mulvihill, Rev Rocker Edinburgh, allegations against clergy and you could not write it.

James can be assured Bishop Pat and his merry band will jump at the chance to administer to him.

Ever the “Trads” on here cannot take a hint and gets abuse but comes back for more Bella use your energy doing better rather than going so low as one voice agaist the many does not work.

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The Church has been given plenty of facts and has not taken action in countless cases.
Pat Buckley may be over the top at times and his rhetoric driven by his own hurt; however, I have seen enough pictures, solicitors’ letters not being executed, failures of clerics to defend themselves when given the opportunity to do so, etc., to realise that the Church in this country is a morass of lies and sexual licence.
Sorry, but the usual boring and banal defence will not make me suspend my critical thinking faculties.

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11:22;
Oh…so it’s All about FACTS is it…! So why didn’t previous pontiffs deal with facts they were aware of for years! 😆

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FIRST THINGS ARTICE

Dear reader, I am not censoring the comment you sent me about the First Things article.

I think it is important enough to make a full blog tomorrow.

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No, Bella dear. That was not Magna.

Magna NEVER posts anonymously, but always under his own name, of which he is inordinately proud. 😆

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11:50
There’s church personnel who could do with a spell ‘inside’, to cool their heels, knock them off their arrogant high horses, and give justice to survivors of clerical crime. The justice system are the right way to deal with these individuals.
Sure the prison chaplain could hear their confessions and they might be even permitted to concelebrate mass with him as well. 👍

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And survivors of non-clerical abuse, who, unfortunately, vastly outnumber the others? What do you have to say about them and their abusers?

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This is a strange wan hi. In this day and age would the peelers place an injunction on somebody without good cause. This shows more the church as institution than a gathering of people of faith but

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But Fr Magna, you always post anonymously ALWAYS! Sure none of us know who you are, Fr. There are many suspects and a number of names in D&C are mentioned. But no one knows and, probably, they never will until the Parousia and they see your sorry ass going off with goats 🙂

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Magna is the Scarlet Pimpernel of the blogoshere. His identity is more guarded than…than the Crown Jewels, really. Even MI5 is at a loss here.
Magna, like the unknown soldier, is known to God alone. (And, of course, to Mommie Dearest.😆)

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This is a strange wan hi. In this day and age would the police place an injunction on somebody without good cause. This shows more the church as institution than a gathering of people of faith but

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Oh, my goodness! (And I have plenty of the stuff to go round.😆) What are you worshipping? God does not send his beloved to Hell, because (well) he loves them, of course.

Oh, dear! If you’re a priest, I dread to think the holy slurry you’re feeding your aged, and dwindling, congregation.😨

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Does it even matter who Magna is. His points are as valid as anyone’s and they are usually eloquently put. Why should he publish his real name? What does it matter? Is it so that some can attack him even more. Magna from what I can see has experienced the darker side of the RC institution and is entitled to make his points under whatever handle he chooses. Unlike others (Bella comes to mind) he does make sense in his posts. If you don’t like the content then by all means put up a counter argument but it matters not one iota what his real identity is

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Magna darling, it matters greatly who you are, as you are my Magna and I’ve always brought you up to ignore ‘pillocks’ (Darling, where do you find these words?).
As you know mummy has greatly valued Fr Sipe’s contribution to the current crisis in the church. If the readers would however take a little advice from an old lady of experience: it is rarely wise to publish ones bail conditions on the internet. Much wiser to keep them private.
Mummy knows these things.

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I think we all know that the culture and life of the clerical class is one that is widely open to dysfunction and lack of integration. I think we all know that most clergy do not have a calling to celibacy, but take it on as part of the package for becoming a priest. They may well have a calling to be a priest. But, not a celibate one. For many priests of a certain age, celibacy was simply dealt with in seminary in a muscular christianity sort of way. Just get on with it. Compensate. Which usually meant smoking, drinking, sport, being a ‘man’, golf, authoritarianism, instant wisdom syndrome……doesn’t sound healthy, does it ?! And many compensate in much more sinister ways. And many others just suffered lonely and sad lives, believing it to be the ‘sacrifice’ to which they were called. What a waste. What a sin on behalf of the Church to condemn men to that. Seminaries nowadays make a stab at human development, relationships and sexuality, but the situation still exists where seminarians who are not naturally called to celibacy undertake it because it is the only way to priesthood, to which they still feel called. Sipe knew all of this, and called it out. I know it. I think many of you who read this know it, even those of you who are priests.
If we want priests, we want men (and, I believe, women too) who are fit, healthy and well, physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally, and have a sense of their sexuality that is integrated in to their lives. We do not want priests who are hobbled. Until the Church creates a priestly culture that is healthy and integrated, we will not have happy and grounded priests. We will have odd people, some of whom are able to keep their heads above water, but the majority of whom will flounder, some drowning and taking others with them. What a shame.
So, the remedy is a priesthood that reflects normal human life and behaviour – in relationships, marriages, with families, with jobs, understanding a simple life of paying the bills and dealing with the bread and butter issues of their lives. It hasn’t worked with having imposed mandatory celibacy, so why not give it a try. Oh, and include women. And gays. And transexuals. And a variety of other beautiful people who feel called to serve the Lord and his people They would be such a gift.

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Thanks A@ 6.54. An excellent analysis.
It would be instructive for those of limited understanding who persist in calling ex seminarians ‘failures ‘ to ponder your comments. The reality for many ex sems, like myself, is that after “sampling ” clerical life and with more knowledge of its reality and implications, hard choices were made to leave rather than the easy but ultimately damaging alternative leading to so much of the current problems for the RC institution..
MMM

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MMM – 8.18: You left the seminary by choice after much serious thought and reflection and that was a mature, presumably wise decision for you. You found other viewpoints or philosophies to enlighten you. I stayed through my seminary days which I found to be good and fulfilling. There were times of great doubt but also times of great personal enlightenment. I felt my decision was right for me. Shortly into priesthood I realised there was a greater learning to be done, third time by being with and listening to people of Gid. I didn’t know the real realities of lufe, though I was from a largecfamily and we hadcto work every moment for our keep and existence. My parents instilled an honesty and a work ethic that was amazing. Now almost 40 years as a priest and having experienced some incredible moments of fulfilment and joy, I am now struggling to have that same original sense of fulfilment. I never bought into the institutional approach, though I had to follow specific procedures. I was blessed to encounter some inspiring priests, religious, married couples and parishioners who sustained me in my ideals. Today that same support and affirmation is not as evident. Despite having a good relationship with parishioners I feel we are kept at a distance. I understand why this is so. It angers me that in all my years I have tried my best, often with great struggle and human failings, the Church I belong to had been so discredited and humiliated that it is almost impossible to feel relevant anymore. This is reality and I feel a great shame at my Church leaders for their negligence towards all who have been abused and hurt by clerics. The fallout will continue alongside the inevitable evolution of society into a more secular form where religion and all its associations are now consigned to a private sphere. Perhaps when we, individually as priests and together as a Church, learn true humility and truth and rediscover the “gospel of Christ” (which got lost somewhere in the mist of time…), only then will I refind a contentment and a relevance that once upon a time I experienced. Personally I believe I must begin again and again…..

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6:54
Thank you! Yours must be the post of the year! Just think what this blog could be producing! Your post is well written too! Many congratulations! Please keep them coming!

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6:27
It seems to me, as Magna’s comments are so close to the clerical bone, he’s deeply resented and disparaging remarks are constantly directed at him.
If Magna is a Priest, he’s committing a clerical ‘grave sin’ in letting down the clerical fraternity. ( that merits hellfire and brimstone👿)
Right boys! 😝

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James McConnell has been doing all he can to have any links between himself and the Catholic church broken. He has renounced his Catholic faith and is actively looking for proof from the church that this has been carried out. Now when he has been warned to stay away from Catholic churches and Catholic clergy he has a problem with that. Maybe his need to be a “wannabe” has been snatched from him. Poor James. What will he find to go after next. Maybe Kleenex, after they did away with Mansize tissues, as it makes him feel less masculine. Who knows?

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How can anyone in their right mind continue to defend the institution that goes by the name of the Roman Catholic Church ? What will it take before people wise up to this bunch of wasters? This institution is rotten at its core. No more amount of whitewashing or covering up can make this institution seem respectable nor can it be seen as Christ’s church on Earth. Sure, there are good people within the church but the leadership and practices of this institution is vile. Robbing people, beating people, sexually abusing people, taking the poor’s hard earned money for their own luxuries. Instilling fear into people. Where will it end? It has already ended for some little ones with their death. These are facts and not just made up tittle tattle. This is not the work of ones who would follow Christ’s teachings. This is being perpetrated by evil people who have hidden behind a veil. Christ would be abhorred. To all followers of this institution please in the name of God open your eyes. If you are a single person struggling to get by do you live in a mansion on your own with acres of tended lawns? Do you think Christ would live in this whilst his people were struggling? Would Christ rape a child? Would Christ beat a child senseless whilst he/she is in school? Would Christ sell a child to someone of wealth? Did Christ seduce his disciples? The resounding answer to these questions is NO. Why then do you accept this from the RC church? It is a sick and evil institution that exists contrary to the word of God. By staying within its grasp you enable all of this abuse to continue. As you go to bed tonight and maybe put your heating onto boost for one hour because that’s all you can afford, remember that your bishop, your shepherd to Christ is safely tucked up in his mansion. Where is Christ there? As we begin this new year I will do everything in my power to expose and confront this unchrist like behaviour

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Yes, Noel Treanor (if he isn’t off ‘gallavanting’ again) will be tucked up in his refurbished/renovated mansion (at an alleged cost of £4 or more million quid, with no money worries about leaving his heating on, because the sheep of his diocese keep crossing his podgy hand with their hard-earned silver.
Don’t you, sheep?
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaa🐑

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Anon @ 10.29 you comment with insightful honest integrity. Thank you.
Irrespective of my own beliefs I can certainly appreciate the dilemmas felt by those RC clerics who, as time passes and knowledge, information and experience changes find themselves forced to question their role and relevance.
I wish you well.
MMM

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