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VATICAN PRIEST STEPS DOWN – SOUGHT SEX IN CONFESSIONAL

vatican-resignation-geissler
Fr. Herman Geissler

Hannah Brochhaus CNA

An Austrian priest and theologian has resigned from his position at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, amid charges that he made sexual advances toward a woman in the confessional several years ago.
The priest maintains his innocence.
Fr. Hermann Geissler, 53, has been an official within the CDF since 1993, and in 2009 became the head of the congregation’s teaching office.
A statement released on January 29 said that Geissler “affirms that the accusation made against him is untrue, and asks that the canonical process already initiated continue. He also reserves the right for possible civil legal action.”
Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed to CNA that allegations against Geissler are being examined by the CDF, which is the Vatican office charged with reviewing allegations of this kind.
CDF prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria accepted the priest’s resignation, which was submitted on January 28. The statement said Geissler decided to step down “to limit the damage already done to the Congregation and to his Community.”
Geissler is a prominent scholar of Blessed Cardinal Henry Newman and a member of the Familia spiritualis Opus (FSO), informally known as “Das Werk.”
The accusations against him became public at the end of September, when a (now-former) member of “Das Werk,” Doris Wagner, claimed in a lengthy piece in the German newspaper DIE ZIET that she had been sexually harassed in the confessional by a member of the religious community she then belonged to, identified in the article as “Hermann G.”
Wagner again spoke of the accusations last November, saying at a conference in Rome that she had received unwanted sexual advances and been “groomed” for sex by “a priest working to this day as capo ufficio at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith,” according to La Croix International.
The solicitation of a sin against the sixth commandment within the context of confession is considered in Church law to be a “grave delict,” or offence, for a which a priest can be dismissed from the clerical state.

PAT SAYS:

The crime of a priest using the confessional for sex is a most serious canonical crime.

To use a holy entity for sexual gain is such a contradiction.

That a member of the Congretion of Divine Worship which investigates clerical sexual crimes committed this crime is most serious.

It shows that the RC church at the highest level is sexually compromised is devastating.

This is a destroying development.

It is Armageddon.


 

FIRST NIGHT IN KERRY

We made our way from Larne to Tralee yesterday – distance 300+ miles – 7 hour journey.

We stopped in the Dunraven Arms hotel in Adare for lunch wit h a Cloyne priest who wanted to discuss the rampant homosexuality in Cloyne and in particular of the case of the PP living with a young Eastern European male.

On then to Tralee where King Puck is a curate.

1

After our long journey we had a meal in the Bella Bia Italian restaurant in Tralee.

Just Euro 15 for the pre theatre menu which was as tasty as it was reasonable.

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PAT WITH NOREEN – OWNER OF THE BELLA BIA, TRALEE

Tomorrow I have a wedding and more meetings.

In upcoming blogs I will be dealing with Cloyne/Kerry issues.

115 replies on “VATICAN PRIEST STEPS DOWN – SOUGHT SEX IN CONFESSIONAL”

The accusation against that priest seems sketchy and incredulous at best. In the Church you are deemed guilty until proven innocent, a reversal of the presumption of innocence. I bet he will be eventually exonerated

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I had already heard this story from other reports, and have to say I am confused. Is the former religious claiming she was solicited in the confessional AND had been raped by another priest the year before. Or is the perpetrator the same person? Or was she not raped as reported but pestered by her confessor? Also was this really something she was told by her superior she had to expect and put up with? Either there has been very sloppy reporting, or something doesn’t quite hang together.

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Apparently this priest was investigated and cleared of this charge about 6 years ago, but the female made specific enough references to her alleged groomer at an open forum discussing me too type incidents at a conference in Rome. The papers then could work out who the alleged perpetrator was, and ran widely with the story. The priest then denied it still, but resigned from the CDF to save it scandal.
This woman had affairs with 2 other priests. She wrote a book claiming she had been raped by one priest, while neglecting to mention she went on to have an affair with a second priest who she then married. An investigation found the relationship with the first priest to have been consensual. I would be sceptical about the truth or accuracy of this particular woman’s claims. She might have had wanted a story to rage about at her conference.

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Strange wan that I would say innocent till proven guilty. There are/ were women who thought twas great to have it off with a priest. Thornbirds Syndrome hi. Some priests can be naive some are are right sonsoes but

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A female who is in love with, chases, or wants to marry priests – especially Catholic priests. It is a practice that has almost died out and most resign themselves to faghag status nowadays.

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Her chief complaint is that the old-style religious life of Das Werk stifled her and was abuse in itself.
Her account of kneeling for hours before the CDF priest in confession souls unrealistic.
So many allegations against priests are iffy, iffy, iffy….

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11:03;
What do you mean, ‘snowflake alert’?
Is empathy to be vilified or laughted at?
If so, thanks; then I’m a snowflake. 😇

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Pat
The notion of a Priest ‘gaslighting’ those who challenge him when they are caught in their ‘indiscretions’, relationships & ways of life, is one I’ve seen a few times. Gaslighting gives the impression of someone with some sort of personality disorder.
I would be interested in hearing your & other posters views and perspectives on just exactly what goes through their head when they are caught ‘red handed’ & what is their motives when they strive to destroy another and their reputation by utilising ‘gaslighting’ As a tactic? Is it merely projection? Or is it more sinister?
One of the posters below referenced Bishop Conroy & his blatant disregard for Church Tradition & Teaching with regard to his own life. His choices ultimately impacted his authority, that of his fellow bishops and the wider Church.
I’m curious about the Clerics internal disposition regarding their actions? Their emotions? Their intent? Do they feel any remorse for their actions?
Is the errant Cleric really not aware of the impact should their life choices become known?
Or do they simply not care about the impact their way of life will have on the people & communities they minister to?
Do they have such little regard for their fellow Clerics who try to live authentic lives of service?
Or is it just that the individual is lonely or lacking in some critical and effective area of their being.

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11:12
Well, that’s not surprising considering !
And, what’s a cleric, who chases young men, cause he’s ‘in love’ called?
A collar chaser? That’s very common nowadays, is it not?

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4:51pm

How is ‘gaslighting’ by clergy to be reconciled with the gospel of charity that’s espoused by the church?

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Gaslighting hi that’s new to me. Father Jekyll and canon Hyde Eye see where ur coming from but

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Every seminary I’ve been in has been sexually charged. Paul Prior, who later was senior dean of Maynooth, used to put on display on his duvet his extensive underwear collection. This would happen unannounced if you called to his room for tea. He expected you to comment.
Later there was an Armagh deacon who would knock on bedroom doors in Marys late at night seeking sex. A Cloyne sem beat him up over that.
Then I went to the Irish College.
There was a sem there who used to leave a crate of empty wine bottles outside his room.
I once stumbled upon a circle jerk in a bedroom in the Irish College and was even more surprised to see it involved straight porn.

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I was an invited guest to the Scots college in Salamanca years ago to attend the Deaconate ordination of my cousin. One of the students, now a high profile Priest in Glasgow, invited me to his room for a beer that I thought nothing of. Within seconds he had his todger out and was knocking one off, asking me for oral. Dirty bugger.

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If this man is still a Priest then he is clearly not suitable to be and this needs reporting to his Bishop. In Glasgow the Ordinary is Philip Tartaglia.

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I see that there was a piss-poor attendance at the WYD in Panama. The Vatican has even stopped publishing the audience figures for Frank’s general audiences. Truly the emperor has no clothes.

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Good to see you last night Bishop Patrick in the restaurant. The craic was great. Us lads had a great laugh, couldn’t believe a bishop could be so cool and down to earth. It was gas all together. Hope you’re back in Tralee soon again. Cheers
Jason

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Nice to see a priest having the balls to wear the collar. The others are running scared, of course …
🙂

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Talking about Confession. I am a gay man and went to confession a few years ago in a Scottish Parish. I was gob smacked when the Priest refused me absolution as I confessed to having it off with a another man. I only went there as I thought he was gay friendly as I had spotted him in a gay sauna several times. When I asked him about this he said that he did not dabble, he was there to try to understand homosexuality so he could be a better pastor to his people. Double standards.

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Now that story sounds ENTIRELY credible! A lot of these characters get a kick out of hearing confessions: imagine having the power to lift a sentence of eternal damnation. Don’t give these creeps the satisfaction. You should have reported him to his bishop. Who was he at that time? Not KOB surely?

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10:27
Priests have the power to lift a sentence of eternal damnation?
Absolute, clericalist nonsense!
People are wasting their time confessing to Roman Catholic priests. There is but one who can absolve sin: Jesus the Christ.

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I am as skeptical of male and female religious as I am of priests. It is a bonkers way of life and bound to produce neurotics. There are plenty of ways to challenge the commercialism of the modern world and develop spirituality without claiming a special charism by virtue of simply being there. A few years back, the main Sunday Mass in my parish was given over to a Consecrated Virgin involving the Archbishop. The woman was dressed up in full wedding rig with a reception to follow. There are plenty of people who follow lives of prayer and quiet goodness without this kind of ostentation. How do you explain your job without inviting laughter? I gather there are or were a couple at the Pro in Dublin. How did they get on with the queens? Fur and feathers flying, I’ll be bound!

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The world is full of contemplatives who have never heard the term. The woman behind the check out at Tesco who prays constantly, just to survive is closer to God. Religion can be such an ego trip.

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When Dermot is gone the full story of what he allowed to happen to those two girls in the cathedral and continues to allow, will come out.

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1.11 do you mean, did he allow the abusers to win? If an abusing priest is called out to his bishop, and the bishop replies by promoting him, who do you think won (in this life) ?

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I don’t know the story, but think I get the picture. Were they then driven out? I take it the abuser is then a queen. Friend of anybody we know?

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I remember Paul Prior’s keks. He had about fifty of them, all pastel coloured and he used to spread them out on his bed in first year in Long Corridor. Everybody was very repressed but it was enough to cause comment behind Paul’s back.

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Like armies. I’ve had very good visits to army barracks but the best was HMS Collingwood in Hampshire. I was a lay chaplain. Talk about lusty sailors! There were 2,000 lads far from home.

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There was a young man on here last year who was also refused absolution at a Glasgow Church for being gay and for refusing to break up with his partner. These Priests are off their rockers and will get their just rewards when the Lord calls them.

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In all moral matters great and small I always ask what would retired Bishop Joe Duffy do? Having established that I do the direct opposite.

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Of course, Bp Pat, it’s not the first time we have heard about the recreational use of the confessional. Remember KOB’s peepshow booth in St Mary’s, or the one at Farm Street, often frequented by the late Alec Guinness, with a handy six-inch diameter hole in the fretwork.

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1. The lady concerned in this episode really does seem to be ‘trouble’, and her accusations have been found to be unsubstantiated. That means that the priest is truly innocent, and his resignation appears to be an attempt to stop the story running and running to the detriment of the Church and himself. Seems a pretty selfless thing to do, and I think on this story we should just move on – ‘nothing to see here’
2. The Work lot are a bit strange, another one of those groups that hive themselves off from the mainstream Church, dress themselves up in intellectual and academic character, and attract rather strange and odd individuals. Mostly harmless. But not mainstream.
3. The episodes that have been reported here by individuals being propositioned, assaulted, whatever, by priests even a number of years ago, should be reported to their respective bishops. I say this not because I necessarily want these men to be in trouble, but because until we are transparent and honest about what has gone on, then we will not heal the problem. It also sends out the message, because we know that these things went on, that you can get away with them for a lifetime, and that sends out the wrong message to the next generation that they can behave as they want, and get away with it.
4. I knew some years ago a Cathedral administrator / dean, who was insufferably pompous and clerical and overly pious, and yet he could be seen in gay saunas in the city, including one that was not a stone’s throw from his own cathedral ! If he saw you and recognised you, he didn’t seem phased at all, presumably because he didn’t see any disconnect between what he was as the cathedral dean and what he was in the gay sauna ! He is still alive, and I wonder if he does see even the slightest inconsistency in his behaviour ? He was the kind of man that would lay it on thick in the confessional and in public conversation about the Church’s stand on certain moral issues. The kindness thing I can say is that he was a hypocrite. His bishop was told what was going on, but I’m not sure he believed it, or thought it a matter of importance. Eventually he was moved to a nice parish elsewhere and given a title and a bit of fur to wear around his neck at cathedral celebrations ! Move them on and move them up seems to be the tactic.

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Hello Bishop Pat, thank you for giving us both a blessing on our Golden wedding anniversary. It was a real bonus to get the indulgence kissing your ring. We are very grateful and I hope you take up our Sons invitation to stay at his hotel in Kerry when you return again. Maureen & Ben Mahon

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Well, what about Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton ? Everywhere he went he had affairs with women, sometimes several at the same time, and people knew, including other bishops and Cormac M-O’C of Westminster. Did they do anything ? No ! Until a lay person (husband of one of the women he was bedding) complained. These people cover up for each other, it is clear. Conry got found out, but he will be supported for the rest of his life by his ex-diocese and the Church. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is rehabilitated, or has been in some quiet way, after a suitable period of prayer and penance ! I don’t wish him personally any malice, but his case does highlight how the clergy protect each other and cover for each other. Until that is the thing becomes so public and toxic that they have to do something, and even then their instinct is to protect their own.

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You are absolutely right. I liked Conry, but he was, like Nichols, the consummate insider within the English hierarchy. His progress was effortless. He was tipped for Birmingham, though, given his admitted liberalism ( Elsie would never have made that mistake – NB how she sank the Soho Masses in order to get a Cardinal’s hat ) that might have been a hard sell. Everybody who might have known about his womanizing, had done so for years. All his fellow bishops did and just went along with it – until true to form they denied everything. Pity really, as he was a pretty normal bloke in that freak show.

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The Soho Masses used to be popular, but I hope +Elsie put the kibosh the preposterous Fraternity of St Genesius.

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That’s very strong on Hume. I always thought he was a phoney, but would you be prepared to unpack a bit more?

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11:29am.
Well said.
Members of the clerical fraternity protect each other, regardless. That’s mainly why the clerical child abuse criminal issue is dragging on for so long. Moral cowardice and morally arrested development, as well as sheer hypocrisy are also contributing factors.

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Kieran Conry used to bring whoever was his current lady friend to Rome when he visited the city. It was an open secret and he’d still be at the caper if the cuckolded husband had stayed quiet.

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Mmmmm, isn’t it outrageous that his behaviour was condoned, ignored, covered up by those many people who knew, or had an inkling, including brother bishops and Cormac ? The trouble is that Conry had that air of someone who was ‘amazing’, ‘charismatic’, ‘effortless’, ‘beloved of the media’ etc. etc., and he had the capacity to carry all of this off and not get tripped up – until a cuckolded and irate husband got involved. And then everybody ran for the hills. I knew Kieran and liked him in the encounters we had. But, I always thought that there must be another side to this man who seemed to have everything. There is always a flip side to the coin. I have little problem with his need for intimacy, relationships, sex, whatever. What I do have a problem with is his neck in presuming to do all of this against the clear requirement of his Church and his position. I think he said after he had been found out that he never talked about sexual morality, so he was not a hypocrite. So, that’s alright then ! It’s incredible how self-justifying people like him can be. He was the golden boy always, and I think he just got used to people bending to his will and charisma that he didn’t even think he needed to try and get away with things. He just knew he would ! Pretty arrogant, is what it is called.

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11.56: Abuse of any kind is horrendous and totally unacceptable. Sexual abuse is a heinous crime. Clericalism as a way of living and of perceiving reality is skewed and is a recipe for disaster as we now know. However all major institutions and organisations protect themselves when under scrutiny – banks, politics, public agencies, charities, sports clubs etc….. This is not to condone clerical abuse but in our country we have a culture of secrecy and a mindset which puts the “reputation” of your club, group, organisation/institution before all other considerations. It’s a culture that still exists.

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12:58pm.
True.
But the clergy claim to be ‘other Christ’s,
‘ontologically changed’ and ‘called apart’…etc.
They’re preaching the gospel and were considered for generations to be morally superior!
It’s not simply a matter of protecting organizational reputation related to abuse. Is the church just another organization or glorified NGO?
It’s CRIME and covering up of criminality, and putting the reputation of the church and criminal clergy before any considerations for victims of clerical criminal acts,
or before justice and truth.
The Church has been called an international criminal organization,
by some commentators and legal academics, in America, for covering up crimes and protecting criminal priests in numerous jurisdictions.
I think you may be, wittingly or unwittingly, minimizing the seriousness of the situation for the church, the Christian community, as well as, the gospel being discredited by serious hypocritical moral and criminal corruption within the clergy and hierarchy.

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Bishop Philip Boyce was a big fan of Das Werk when he was among us in Letterkenny before he headed off to Dromore. He had a little secret group of ladies to do his domestic work and to gossip about the clergy of the diocese. They were a strange group who liked dressing up in secret and inviting select prominent laity and clergy to their liturgies. Dr Boyce performed ordainations for them in Europe.

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Philip Boyce is very good at shutting people up, he deserves an award for it. Horrible man, here in Donegal he left us a terrible legacy of cleric abuse. The Vatican cares so much that they protect and promoted this man. Says it all really.

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Pat, regarding the pro cathedral in Dublin, is it true that the divine mercy image was removed from the cathedral before the pope came? If it’s true do you think it’s removal has any spiritual significance?

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The Glasgow lot are on moaning again about their gay and sexually active Priests again and rightly so. Just as bad as Ireland. We all know the gays hang about in the Pipeworks Sauna beside the Cathedral. We know the Cathedral Dean has left and gotten his lady friend up the duff (impressive for a man in his 60’s). We know about a very senior Priest from Glasgow who has had several gay hook ups in the Presbytery and beyond and who was once whisked off to a private hospital for treatment, so it didn’t come out where and how the attack happened. Then there is the Priest who who was playing with sex toys on the holy altar in front of the tabernacle, found by an elderly Parishioner who was asked to keep his mouth shut. Then of course the Priest who was blackmailed by a rent boy who followed him back to his Presbytery only to be paid off, then arrested. What about the Priest who moved his boyfriend into a Church House in the South side of Glasgow and had leather parties? At least he had the decency to pack in! Then the alcoholic Priest who admitted taking hookers back to his Church, later a body was found under his confessional – murdered by a handyman. What do they all have in common? The Archbishops knew all about their behaviour and did absolutely nothing about it. To think most of these are still serving! I am not a prude, but it all stinks of double standards.

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Oh sounds like fun. Think I will put a transfer in! I went to sem with a fair few Glasgow boys and fondly remember their sense of fun, chain smoking, terrible but funny swearing and gift of the gab. They will be in their 50’s now and even then I suspected they were all at it 😂

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The Cathedral Dean from
Glasgow is a lovely man and left recently to move in with his girlfriend who he since dumped. He’s now moved in with another lady and she is expecting his child. He was desperate for a child. Suspect he’d been at it for years.

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That’s the real problem with celibacy, obscured by the abuse and gay sex things – there is a biological imperative to reproduce which will always win when it can.

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Buckley, why do you have a bodyguard with you in Kerry/Cloyne? That must cost a few quid. I hear he carries a personal protection weapon sanctioned by the PSNI?

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2:54;
Is that ‘lollipop Josie ‘ or
‘Lillie the crack bat’ or ‘Kerry Eye’ monitoring Bishop Pats movements while in the kingdom?
They’ve gone to ground today!

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2.54: Every now and then Pat’s mask slips and we see beneath the veneer of supposed human kindness, concern and justice. Pat, sadly, is as prone to freebies, acting strangely and weirdly and sponging off the laity just as badly as the priests he condemns. It’s amazing the depth of his hard, brass neck and how brazenly arrogant he is in appropriating higher virtues to himself. While he may be well intentioned sometimes, more frequently he is mendacious in intent.

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In my experience Glaswegians have a fantastic sense of humour, both dark and friendly at the same time, which is quite an achievement.
In Maynooth in 1986 there was a Glasgow sem who had been through the Jesuit’s Osterly Park. He looked and sounded like Robbie Coltrane.
For a laugh he photocopied the rude bits from the OT denouncing men knowing each other and he put the sheets up in the Long Corridor jacks. Long Corridor was where first year sems lived at that time.
Fr Frank Duhig, the otherwise saintly, humane and popular Junior Dean went on a total witchhunt and found out he was the culprit and dismissed him from the college with two hours notice to get packed.

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The Junior Dean also had to dismiss from the college a Kilmore sem (P R) who was cottaging in the village gents in 1986.

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I am sure many priests and seminarians are still outed as cottage queens. Bp Pat will have a complete list of bog-dwellers I imagine

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6.35 ‘How is ‘gaslighting’ by clergy to be reconciled with the gospel of charity that’s espoused by the church?’
I think the interior disposition of the Cleric is the question at hand here. , If the embedded nature & personality of the Cleric naturally disposed them to deliberately adopt ‘gaslighting’ as a way to deal with those who challenge their behaviour and actions then perhaps there is a real question surrounding their suitability for ministry. If they have for example a particular personality disorder, then questions should be asked around the selection & formation process. If there is mental illness involved then in keeping with the Gospel of charity they should be taken out of ministry & afforded help in that regard.
If however it is a Cleric, abusing their position of authority, deliberately & willfully living counter to their promise at ordination. If they are merely wielding power in an indescriminate & highly damaging manner then they should dealt with in the strongest manner. Not protected & enabled as some are.
The welfare of those individuals, & the community they minister to, is of paramount importance. ‘Gaslighting’ does untold & lasting damage. Damage to the individual, damage to their families and damage to the communities they minister to. The real problem lies in the breaking of trust.
Many people don’t know who to trust anymore so they walk away. Because of the silence & inaction all clergy are being tarred with the same brush. This is simply not fair to genuine clerics but most importantly not fair to those who seek and need their help during challenges & trying times.

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7:13
I totally agree with you. However, ‘gaslighting’ is/has been carried out by some Bishops to protect the repution of a priest and the institutional church.

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The victim, their needs & their healing take primacy. By dealing with the cleric or clerics guilty of ‘gaslighting’ (whatever the source of their abusive behaviour), by taking them out of ministry & engaging in restorative engagement with the victim hopefully some justice will be invoked. Can I make it clear I am not supporting ‘gaslighting’ or those involved in it. It is the most abhorrent form of emotional abuse.

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10:46;
Theoretically, and possibly for public relation reasons,
it’s frequently said victims needs and healing take primacy.
In practice, it’s not the case and doesn’t happen.

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Fr Frank – I’ve really got to try an impress the rev academics with my sermons in the College Chapel – Duhig? Yawn

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Dermot Farrell #bishop
Martin Drennan #bishop
John McArevey #bishop
Am I missing anyone else from the Duhig years who was made #bishop?

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I would love to have seen Paul Prior’s underwear collection. He’s a hot little guy. Wonder if he’s having any fun with the Jesuits?

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Maynooth in the mid- to late- 80s under Tom, Niall and Frank was actually a great place to be, a place of very happy memories. They must have been doing something right.

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I agree. Niall during a College Chapel sermon described it as a hot house. Frank Duhig said he regretted not having the BD (Hons). Apparently that was rare in his day and it required proficiency in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. Even in my time in Maynooth I needed Hebrew Latin and Greek for the BD.

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To be fair there were only four pubs in Maynooth in those days. I can’t imagine that the three of them would have wanted to go into any of them together in their clericals. 😀

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