PRIESTS WHO LOVE CLERICALISM

by Russell Pollitt SJ

Russell Pollitt SJ

“It seems the younger priests emerging from seminaries, here and elsewhere, are getting better (or worse!) at demanding full allegiance from the laity,” said an email I received this week.

Last Saturday the Archbishop of Johannesburg, Buti Tlhagale, preached about his woes – and sufferings – as a diocesan bishop at the first profession of a religious sister. He reportedly said that some priests “regard the money of the parish as their own, like Zuma with state funds, it is their own little piggy bank.”

Here is the burgeoning question: When will we deal with the elephant in the room – the clergy? Pope Francis has condemned ‘clericalism’. One of the big systemic problems in the Catholic Church is us, the clergy. Yet, this is not being addressed. If anything needs urgent reform it is the current archaic formation system that is failing dismally. Two seminary professors write an article worth reading in CommonwealMagazine entitled “The Reform Seminaries Need”.

Many lay people too have bought into the clerical caste and so aid and abet clericalism. Our ecclesiology needs serious rethinking.

People often talk about how they are treated by those in (and those who support) the clerical caste. One priest stopped children from serving at Sunday Mass because he hadn’t seen them at Mass the week before. In the sacristy he told them that they could not serve as they had missed Mass and needed to go to confession first. He assumed they had missed Mass — is his the only parish? He assumed they hadn’t been to confession — is he the only confessor in town?

A priest refused to say a weekly Mass for a local school and forbade the school from asking another priest to celebrate Mass in ‘my territory’. He said he could only celebrate Mass once a month at the school.

Another newly minted priest, starting out in a parish, stopped a religious woman who has been in religious life for over 50 years, from doing a communion service for the sick and infirm (as she had done for many years).

Yet another priest told a woman whose marriage was a real source of unhappiness (for too many reasons to write here), that even if she cried herself to sleep every night and woke up in the same state every morning, she had no choice but to make the marriage work. This was her “cross” in life!

There are many good priests who have given their lives generously and at great cost to the service of others. There are, it seems, a growing number of us priests who would be better off heading-up dictatorial fiefdoms. These pastoral issues don’t even begin to address the mismanagement of resources. Priests have, for many people, become the weekly cross they bear.

Unless there is considerable attention given to reforming the way priests are trained and carefully discerning who is put forward for ordained ministry, we are in great danger of becoming more like the Pharisees Jesus was so often at odds with.

PAT SAYS

The priesthood as we have known it is dying.

It has being killed by generations of cynical, corrupt and selfserving bishops and priests.

If there are goood priests they have been eclipsed by the bad ones.

There used to be rotten apples in the barrel.

Now the barrel is rotten and any good apples are quickly spoiled.

We need married priests.

We need women priests.

We need priests, men and women who have other jobs and finance themselves and atlre not paid for by the laity.

St Paul combined being a tent maker and an apostle.

There were no PPs and CCs in Jerusalem or Antioch.

Dioceses and parished should be run by the community with the bishop and priest having one vote.

That will sort out the clericalists, the lace and latin brigade, the canonists and the wolves in Rome.

80 thoughts on “PRIESTS WHO LOVE CLERICALISM

  1. I’m breaking my heart laughing at this trite, repeated so often as a panacea fir All the ills if the Church. Pat, where have your efforts brought you in terms of creating a viable, fully functioning and self sufficient church. We hear nothing from The Oratory. You seem to be The Oratory. I achieve as much, if not more in my parish, not by condemning, ridiculing or besmirching all others, but by engaging positively AND constructively about all issues of relevance to our Parish. It’s a vibrant community, one Jesus would feel welcome into and sit at our table, washing the feet if the poor whom we embrace…Pat, truth is, there are some wonderful, living, vibrant parishes living CHRIST. Just open your bloody eyes… be fair, be just, be kind, be honest, above all, be merciful. Rediscover the true Christ, not the one tailored to your small mind or petty vindictive agenda.

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    1. 12:59
      Be fair, be just, he kind, be honest, and above all be merciful, hierarchy and clergy, to all abused by the Rcc.

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    2. Derailment 101: when caught out, try to deflect attention to the person criticising you. In fact that technique is used so often by comments here I’m beginning to suspect that that and the generalising the problem (used recently by Elsie Nichols about abuse) are the only two techniques they’ve got left. The games up, they have their backs to the wall and are having to go on the offensive. In the last few days the argument about considering the good the church has done has gone a bit quiet (but then it is like saying that the mafia look after their widows). Poor dears, even the church’s defendants may have to realise the days of denial are over and they’re clinging to the wreckage.

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      1. 10:08
        👍. The game is up!

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      2. @10.08
        The non-Christians back again. You are obviously threatened by Christian ethics, which is why you expend so much energy in trying to destroy Christianity.

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    3. The church is a top down organisation. When the people at the top placed sexual abuse under the Pontifical Secret, the top became corrupted and infected the rest of the church. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think many people knew the church had to crash. George Tyrell, Lord Acton and Karl Rahner. A lot of the clergy have never been taught how to pray. Until it reconnects with God it is going nowhere.

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      1. good post.

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    4. 12:59
      How would Jesus feel welcomed in your parish when he couldn’t feel welcomed even in your self-trumpeting, self-regarding little heart?
      YOU take up too much space there, priest, for anyone else not to feel, shall we say, more than a little self-consciously constricted?😆

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      1. 1.07: Poor old Maggie Cartwheels! Can’t bear “truth”. Goes into apoplectic rage and contemptible language. Your tyranny of abuse is despicable. What wonderful crowds our Church has had so far for Holy Week cereminies! Thank God for our good priests. The constricted one is you, Magsy, constricted with hatred, poison, venom. Your heart must be so tight by now that soon it will burst……and then your Mumsy will grieve – or if truth be told, give thanks to God for your demise. God bless our many good priests. Oh, how jealous rage diminishes and crushes you!!

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      2. We have afternoon tea in the local church for the oldies. 3/4 parishioners make a dozen cakes each and provide unlimited tea. Last time I was there there was a retired policeman chattering to an exprisoner, an ex headmaster with a degree from Oxford and a man with downs syndrome. Everyone washes up and the conversation never stops. It’s a delight to watch. I really hope the parish survives. It deserves to.

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    5. Yet, we only have your word for that. Why post anonymously? Is it because if you were recognised you might be challenged about your claims by your parishioners?

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      1. “Why post anonymously?”, asks Anonymous!

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      2. The sort of parish described at 4:48 is exactly the sort that gets shut down in short order these days.

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      3. 2.58: Another trollope who can’t bear the TRUTH about our good priests and our vibrant parishes. Go wash yourself clean and allow God’s grace touch your hating heart.

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    6. 10:38

      ‘Trollope’?

      You sound hating yerself, dear.😆

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  2. Who was the deacon yesterday on the RTE broadcast from Maynooth? He was nice. However, the standard of the liturgy and singing left an awful lot to be desired. Maynooth is truly dead, it was quite sad watching it. If they want a command performance on how to communicate and be on top of your game, they need the Masterclass from the broadcast on St Patrick’s Day which came from Sligo with Niall Ahern.

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    1. At last, someone with insight.

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    2. It was a bit sad. They couldn’t fill the college chapel despite pleading with local parishes and advertising on social media and Event rite.
      A smattering of sems was scattere d among a congregation of old women with no connection to the college and there aren’t even enough sems to form a choir. I don’t know why the college agreed to this.
      Maynooth is truly dead.

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    3. Niall Ahern, who destroyed lives in Maynooth, went to the same acting school as those other confirmed bachelors Brian D’Arcy and Ronan Drury.

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    4. I wouldn’t kick him out of bed

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  3. I have been making these or similar points on the blog repeatedly, and for quite some time. And the response from other commentors? For the most part, hostility, often with ad hominem (accusations of anti-clericalism, or anti-Roman Catholicism; or both. Neither is true.).
    Priesthood must change from the papacy down, as it were. But, frustratingly, he papacy will not budge until shaken from the so-called ‘bottom up’.
    Clericalism, by definition, is resistant to change: to dumbed-down privilege, to servitude from pastoral control, to humility from entitlement, to economical living from extravagance through accessibility to parish or diocesan coffers (shades of Noel Treanor), to self-effacement, to dimuntion of power (often, and wrongly, equated with authority).
    Authority (supernatural authority) does NOT come from position in the Church, but by DISPOSITION to grace; this was understood by Paul, and was eloquently addressed by him. Unfortunately, the institutional Church’s reliance on ‘Tradition’ (in pious theory, the ongoing direction of the Spirit) has too often mistaken ‘tradition’ (the customs and ecclesiology of clericalist men) as the source for magisterial authority.
    Christ spoke with authority because he was open fully to the Father, not because of his position in a hierarchy.

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    1. Good post, MC.👍

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    2. Excellent point Magna.

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    3. 1.32: Magna, when you convert to being Christ-like and a decent human being we might listen to your homilies. Till then stay in your cave. We don’t need your hatred. And – Grow up.

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      1. Magna, for pope!

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    4. Well put Magna.

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  4. Africans! What do you expect!
    In Africa and the like it DOES mean access to a free education and position in society etc. I query their motivations.
    We are not Africa.
    Saw one African priest here saying Mass. Had never even noticed a watch on the wrist of any priest here, this one raised his arms during the Mass and the whole congregation was blinded by the bling.
    This author is in S.A. The country of gated communities, armed guards and where 50% of the females have been raped.

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    1. It’s lucky that in Europe, priesthood isn’t a life-long meal ticket of invitations to join golf clubs and gifts from the gullible faithful. What state would the priesthood be in if it was!

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      1. @10.13
        You think that’s corruption? You’ve a lot to learn, buddy.
        BTW have never given a ‘gift’ to a priest in my life, neither has my family and I’ve never seen one given either.
        Who are these gift givers?

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  5. Good one Pat. 👍

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  6. Crimes against humanity were covered up by the hierarchy for generations.
    Crimes have ALSO been committed by catholic laity sympathetic to church hierarchy
    and its obsession in protecting the clerical caste reputation in the church.
    There are so many elephants in the room there’s no room left for the Gospel.
    Some of us have known this for many years but had to keep silent or suffer consequences.
    Finally, the Holy Spirit is purifying the church. Hopefully, this purification will be rapid,
    like the fall of the Berlin wall. The new springtime has sprung.

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    1. 7:05 am
      The powers that be in the hierarchy better be very careful who they appoint to Dublin.
      They may unwittingly trigger a tsunami from a different direction.

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  7. Michael Mullaney in his Maynooth Palace.

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  8. I watched the third and final episode of BB2 “Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome” last night. Overall it wasn’t very good, Bp Pat, I’ve seen better. Dana never sang you’ll be pleased to know, but they all had a nice meeting with Pope Francis at the end of the programme.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0004b6f/pilgrimage-the-road-to-rome-episode-3

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    1. 9.26: The most inspiring and touching moment of last night’s final part was the time spent with Pope Francis. A wonderful moment for all of them and very refreshing to all viewers. God bless Pope Francis.

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  9. Joe Mulvaney has an interesting article in the journal today.

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  10. Their love of clericalism is only surpassed by their lust for men, Bp Pat, the combination is toxic.
    https://www.virtueonline.org/sites/default/files/styles/news-large/public/gaypriests2.jpg?itok=XlW0JJ-w

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    1. Most if them are lustaholics, Bp Pat, as well as alcoholics.

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  11. Buckley, don’t you just love seeming to tower above all others.? No faults, no moral or spiritual blindnesses, virtuous beyond imagining. I haven’t read one word of encouragement expressed by you towards Catholic Priests this Holy Week. The inability do so reflects bad on you, displaying a smugness, arrogance and horrible self righteousness. If I was lying dead on the side of the road and you passed by, the very smell of you would hasten my death. Hatred and vengeance destroy our souls…..I hope Pat you find it in your heart to overcome your obsessive hatred of Catholic Priests.

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    1. Oooh guess what, the look at yourself argument again. At this rate the pagans will be looking at the Christians and saying ‘See how these Christians love each other!’

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      1. Love each other or, …eh,. hmm,… lust…😍

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      2. @9.17
        Here we go! Yesterday’s pagan Christian hater back again! Still haven’t put your big boy pants on and tackled the religion of peace. Come back when you’ve grown a pair.

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      3. 9.17: Pat absolutely needs to search his soul these days…..he spews out too much nasty vitriol. He is as damned as the priests he forever condemns.

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      4. From the gospel according to the corrupt, bullying Catholics:
        ‘You have heard that it was said, “When someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other cheek also”. But I say to you: when you are criticised, shout abuse and tell your interlocutor to grow a pair. When the church is caught out covering up child abuse, start screaming that you’re being persecuted. Pay no regard to the effects of your behaviour but always minimise your own fault and point the finger at someone else. In my father’s house are many mansions but it is for you to make out you have the right to decide who inhabits them, and don’t forget to hide how many of these mansions are filled with gold, for thus behave the children of the insurance companies.’
        This is a little known marginal reading which has influenced the majority of Christian behaviour for centuries, but is only read in church after the catechumens have departed.

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    2. 9:48
      A true good Samaritan.😇

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      1. Yup there it is again, the distract attention technique. But to answer your question:
        I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

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      2. 11.47: Stay with your day job Sir! Your attempt at satire is rather inane. Apply the lesson to yourself first and foremost. Who gave you authority to play ‘god’ with other people?

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      3. @11.48
        Jog on.
        Your influence is zilch.
        Crawl back to your den to print your abortion, lgbtqixyz ‘rights’, refugees are welcome here, I always knew I was an agender alien, euthanasia for all, Trump is the devil, Ilhan Omar for President, revoke article 50, and climate extinction posters.
        The Catholic Church is responsible for all the evil in the world. The world would be perfect if it wasn’t for the rich and the Catholics. Socialist (non) workers unite! We want to build a model society like our friends in Venezuela, no! I mean the caliphate, no! I mean ……………. Oh God, where the hell do I mean!
        You are full of it. Go buy an island, move there with your like-minded buddies and build your utopia. Send your descendant back in a couple of hundred years (if you have one) to show us what we’re missing.
        Not a lot, I’d say!
        Funny how all the inhabitants of non Christian countries are scheming to get here.
        Why don’t you take yourself off somewhere without residual Christian values and laws? What, can’t find anywhere you’d deign to settle? Whaddya mean they’re all shitholes?
        Dumbass!

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      4. 12:34 manages to project a lot of things on to me which are not even mentioned in any of the comments I’ve made here! Symptomatic of not listening to others and, I’m afraid, feeling under threat.

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    3. I do not “hate” priests or an individual priest. I have a small number of priest friends who will tell you that.
      I have come to see that the RC institution is rotten to the core and that rottenness has bern created by the clerics who ran/run it.
      I am 43 years a priest this year and my priesthood is at the centre of my life, no longer in an institutional way, but in relation to God and others.
      I know there are good priests out there but I wonder how can you be good and stay within and defend pure evil?

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      1. 12.37: Pat, do you lack a sense of logic? Your mantra that ‘because I am still a priest in the Catholic Church’ makes me complicit as a co-abuser is offensive and ignirant. How often do you have to be told that the majority of us abhor abuse of all kinds and the cover ups, yet you continue to make your self righteous judgment on all of us. That’s an injustice. Get over your hatred of priests. Cover it up all you like, your prose is vitriolic and offensive to the majority of priests. All this Holy Week, you made no reference to Christ. Rather telling!! Hypocrite.

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      2. 12: 24pm

        Tell us, who gave the hierarchy the authority to play god with peoples lives?
        Who gave the hierarchy the authority to cover up for criminal predator priests and reassign
        them to ministry to commit more rape, while supposedly being responsible for children’s spiritual growth and salvation. Meanwhile, they continued raping and committing spiritual abuse and soul murder.
        Where was there respect shown from the clergy and hierarchy, to children, or their parents, or the Christian community, or Church teachings on marriage, the family, faith development ?
        Had the hierarchy implemented their canon law, this obscenity might not have happened, at least not to this extent.

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      3. See it’s like this. Where I live there are two main employers in the industry I work in. I have worked for both, but now wouldn’t be seen dead working for the other one, because while it projects a better image, it treats its staff like dirt, has an awful safety record, but creates dependency among its employees. Are there good people working for it? Sure. Are they minions of an awful organization? Absolutely. Do most of them leave? No, not even if they can see it’s bad, because they can’t imagine not being fed by the company.
        I recently went for an interview there, purely for the interview experience and they asked me why I’d applied, so I told them. The panel then started arguing among themselves in an interview.
        I can understand Pat’s position because it’s not much different from mine!

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      4. @1.14
        We’ve got your number. You’re trying to be careful on here not to give the game away, but you fit a pattern. You’re views are those of all the leftie, globalist, Christian hating clones. You don’t need to say it all, we know the score. Listening? Ha, I can smell you!
        As to being under threat, yes, the way of life I wish to hand on to my children and grandchildren is very much under threat. Not just the way of life but the very land on which to pursue that way of life.
        But I don’t intend to lie down.

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      5. @4:35 Thinking you can read other people’s minds (and in your case bizarrely smell their opinions) is the preserve of charlatans and the mentally ill. I would strongly advise you to see a doctor quite quickly, because assuming you genuinely believe what you are saying, you need medication.

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  12. Magna Carta's Mum 20th Apr 2019 — 10:44 am

    Magna darling, have a wander over to mummy’s Dansette and put a record on. This one, I think:

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    1. Ah ….HaHaHa… 😂😂😂…LOL!!! Loved it, MC.! 👍

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    2. Una (Secretary of the Parish sandwich making committee) 20th Apr 2019 — 7:59 pm

      makes a change from the days he used to sing on the outings to knock. he got up one time and sang ‘little boy blue come blow your horn’. Poor Mrs Carta didn’t know where to put her face

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    3. @7.45
      Who are you kidding!
      Hear about the hipster who complained about him being filmed and on social media when it wasn’t even him – couldn’t even recognise himself. Clones. That’s what you are: a ‘type’.
      The human brain is intrinsically designed to categorise: things with 4 legs, an appendage that waves and which makes a certain noise – lets call those things”dogs.” Things that infest blogs discussing a superior being which the infestor doesn’t even believe exists – let’s call those things “assholes.”
      No medication indicated. Perfectly functioning brain, doing what it’s designed to: recognise and categorise assholes.

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      1. 9.00: And the biggest asshole of them all – You, dear commentator. You are a classy asshole which is about the only good thing one could say of you. ASSHOLE writ large.

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      2. This is what I love best about this blog. Nobody, but nobody, understands the passion has for the truth.
        Yes, the truth.
        And people complain that he lets people get away with things on here, not realising that all the time he is merely letting people show themselves up for what they are. People like 9:00.
        I’m just going to park this here and let everyone reread your comment above.
        Pat, love, you’re doing an excellent job, keep it up. These people will do more on their own to end their mediaeval city state-inspired fantasy than anyone else 🕸️

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  13. Dearest, didn’t you used sing this to pappy? Just after he caught one of my many ‘uncles’ slipping through the ensuite window?
    Pappy always smiled, fixedly, when you sang him that Cole Porter number. And how his cheeks were flushed!
    Another G&T?

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    1. Magna Carta's Mum 20th Apr 2019 — 12:51 pm

      Wouldn’t say no, darling. But how many times must mummy tell you. Stop calling that man ‘uncle’, it should be ‘Your Grace,’ and be sure to kiss his ring for a partial indulgence.

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      1. I should kiss his ring, dearest. And with great earnestness! But I’m told he never washes it.

        And you know what dear Pope Francis thinks of ring-kissing, and lack of hygiene.😕

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      2. Dearest, I’m not certain, but I believe there are people talking over us!

        Can you imagine?

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    2. @10.34
      Hahaha
      I’m not on an atheist site berating them about all their disgusting behaviours.
      You’re the one who can’t leave US alone.
      Pathetic. Go get yourself a hobby – or a job.
      “You’re an asshole.” “No, you’re an asshole.” “No,you are.” “No, you are.”
      You’re like a re-run of Mrs. Doyle trying to pay for the tea.
      You’re so busy trying to convince us how awful we are you forget you’re really showing us how pathetic You are – and why we don’t ever want to be like ye.
      Eejit!

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  14. PPCCRIP Yr not far off Pat hi. Sure I may aswell repeat what I said yesterda Shells without eggs. Maybe this time to restart the true Easter egg hunt for the real Jesus hi

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    1. Hello fly hi.
      Hope its sunny side up where ur egg huntin hi fly.
      Begorra fly, there’s nathin worse than a leaky googie- egg.
      Nathin to hold it in from leakin out. Th hunt is on from heavens
      hounds and th Easter God may yet be found.
      I’m not long after a hot cross bun hi fly.
      Bye fly hi.

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  15. Interesting to note the blog content from Johannesburg… One of the non-Irish Diocese who use Maynooth as their seminary (for their white seminarians). [Do not blame me for the race-based observation, it’s just a fact].

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    1. Where do they send the others?

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      1. Local (cheaper) seminaries in S.Africa if what I was told when I asked my class mate from there.

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  16. @11: 47am
    You failed to mention; ….renounce yourself, take up your cross, and carry the cross,’…. given, for the sake of secrecy., etc….For this is gods will for the good of the name of the church and not to be questioned,
    as god will be your consolation. Don’t expect a Samaritan, named Simon, to give you any assistance. etc. etc, etc.

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    1. LOL so I did!

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      1. Your omission is forgiven. Just don’t do it again, like a good man! 👍

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    2. @7.01
      That’s because it would be like Olympic athletes – once in the West they wouldn’t go back.

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  17. I see the exceptionalism, exalted, privileged, ontologically and sacramentally signed and superior, young clerics all the time. I despair. There is little of the servant about them, rather princes, who expect to be listened to and obeyed, and who cannot be gain said. There appears to be little or no mechanism which is able and willing to rein them in. Bishops are too scared, having ordained them, now to loose them, so few clergy who can walk and talk at the same time do they have. Parishioners are just ignored. These little emperors know that they have leverage, and they simply do their own thing, all dressed up in orthodoxy and traditionalism, but in reality they enjoy a very nice and pleasant way of life. Once they get fed up of all the dressing up, long boozy and bitchy boys only lunches, and have been to all the must go places, they will find that their lives are empty. They will experience loneliness and a lack of love, having been incapable of developing healthy relationships, and that will lead them in to dysfunction, of which some will be abuse that we have seen in the past. These young priests are hand grenades waiting to blow up in the face of the Church. And we let them continue on their merry way, even though we know that they are a liability. The US lawsuit that was mentioned yesterday will be the result, because the Church and its bishops are culpable in allowing these young priests to develop like this, and not to have taken action.

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    1. There’s plenty of other hand grenades waiting to blow up in the face of the Church.

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    2. 1.12 Begorra that’s the best diagnosis I heard in a long time but. What’s the cure hi. And who needs the medicine What kind of tablets hi.

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    3. Are you a nun, a lezzer or both?

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  18. So if tommorow the rules where changed and admitted married men and women to the priesthood what would happen?Well in England there might be a few odd ones who put themselves forward, Bishops would try to go out of their way to invite certain people they already know to join something they don’t do at the moment but where they will find them I don’t know, there has been a marked decline in the married Deacon project they are all now in their seventies at least, the usual suspects of retired head teachers wouldn’t want to settle down for that sort of commitment anymore. A few women would be put together in Valladoild but it would be a place of conflict like any seminary not some heaven on earth for a new version of the Church, five years later zero recruitment on any level, men, women, married not interested, they are not in the congregations now anyway. Good luck with the psychological assements and the bizarre panel interviews all celibates asking you about your sex life!!

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