GALWAY – DAY 2

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WHEN LOOKING INTO GALWAY DIOCESE THIS WEEK I CAME ACROSS THE STRANGE CASE OF A GALWAY PP REFUSING A LADY MEMBER OF THE TRAVELLING COMMUNITY INTO HIS CHURCH BECAUSE HE THOUGHT SHE WAS TOO SCANTILL CLAD!

Father Willie Cummins was holding a First Holy Communion ceremony for the children of Enistymon Parish – settled and travellers – and was standing “on guard” at the church door.

In his opinion, the woman was not suitably dressed for the ceremony and he refused to let her in.

Thank God the lady Traveller was not afraid of the priest and let him have a piece of her tongue.

She also accused Fr. Cummins of swearing at her!

THE CLARE CHAMPION

Silence about Traveller family who were ‘publicly humiliated’
Kathleen Sherlock says priest refused family entrance to church over dress-code

Kathleen Sherlock with (from left) Stacey and Jim – who made their first Holy Communion – Annishia Mahoney and Mary Ellen Sherlock in Ennistymon, Co Clare. Photograph: Eamon Ward

A Co Clare priest, whom a Traveller family say “publicly humiliated” them by preventing them attend a first Holy Communion service last weekend, is maintaining his silence on the issue.
Fr Willie Cummins, parish priest in Ennistymon, has not returned five calls from The Irish Times over a two day-period. Nor has he visited the Sherlock family in the town, two of whom he allegedly refused entrance to the church, telling them they were dressed “inappropriately”.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Galway also declined to comment, saying the matter was best addressed privately and locally. When put to him it had not been addressed privately or locally a week after the alleged incident, he said: “For all concerned, such things are best not played out in the media.”
Gardaí were called to the Church of Our Lady and St Michael, Ennistymon, at 11am last Saturday, a spokesman confirmed. “There was no public order incident or breach of the peace detected and no one was arrested.”
Kathleen Sherlock, from Deerpark halting site in the town, had two children – Stacey (8) and Jim (9) making their first Holy Communions. She says Fr Cummins refused her sister, Caroline Sherlock, and her older daughter, Kathleen Marie (19), entrance to the church as they had breached a dress-code. It dictated “no low-cut tops” and “no mini, mini skirts”.
“We took the dress code very, very seriously. It was an important day for us and the children were overwhelmed with excitement,” said Ms Sherlock.
Her sister Caroline wore a long-sleeved, high-necked white dress cut just above the knee, while Kathleen Marie, wore a “dress, sandals and a cape” and was “well covered up”, she says.
They were, however, told by Fr Cummins they were “inappropriately dressed”, says Ms Sherlock.
“I was inside the church with the children,” said Kathleen Sherlock. “My husband arrived with the other sons and he saw the gardaí had been called. He was so humiliated, he took the boys home. My son Patrick (16) came in to tell me what was happening.

“So I went out to Kathleen Marie. I was coming and going, trying to attend to her while also looking after Jim and Stacey inside. I was so upset my family was being treated like this.”
“All we wanted was a lovely family day. We are Traveller people and are entitled to our identity, and we respected the dress code. And still our day was destroyed. We are very hurt. We have lived in Ennistymon for over 20 years. That is our church. We have children due for communion and confirmation next year and now we’re worried. What will we do? If we’re not welcome they’re not welcome either.”
In a statement, the parish of Ennistymon said: “Every child who received their first Holy Communion in Ennistymon last Saturday did so with great dignity and grace, in an inclusive, prayer and song-filled, joyous liturgy.
“No child and no parent of a participating child was or would be excluded. These young people are a credit to their parents, their families, their schools, their community and their parish.”
Ms Sherlock said her family would like a “public apology as we were publicly humiliated”.

PAT SAYS:

Father Cummins was a very silly man to insult and humiliate this Traveller lady on a special day in the parish.

I think she was dressed very well.

The Traveller girls and women have their own idea of style and they are entitled to that.

I have celebrated hundreds of wedding for the Travelling Community and I have seen all kinds of glorious dress.

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ME – WITH THE QUEEN OF SHEBA 🙂

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THE PRINCESS ROTAL

Father Cummins owes that family a VERY BIG APOLOGY!

The Bishop of Galway should have severely wrapped his knuckles!

59 thoughts on “GALWAY – DAY 2

  1. Pat. That “lady” was dressed somewhat inappropriately for Church, but that aside, she had a right gob on her. She has a track history for arguing with Priests and recording/uploading. As for you – you are only in in for the money, and let’s not even start about your track record around marriages!!

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    1. Fr Martin who lives nearby 19th May 2019 — 8:23 am

      Agree with everything you say Robbie and the one inappropriately dressed wasn’t even in shot. Her thrupenny bits were hanging out big time. Father was right.

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  2. I have nothing against travellers Pat, but they turn up at our Churches and are often very demanding, rude and aggressive, particularly the females. Most never step foot inside a Church unless they want their children “done” (baptised) or for one of the other sacraments. Sad. Father was right in this case, as I believe that particular female has a history for kicking off.

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    1. 10:55 It sounds as if you do have a thing against travellers. I have a number who come to Mass every week in the parish where I serve. They have a greater understanding of the sacraments than some “educated” middle class people. Also without breaking the seal of confession, a traveller’s confession is deeply honest and not full of euphemisms.
      I thank God for the travellers and the witness and example they give to me.

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    2. I agree. Father Cummins was in the right here. I remember a couple of years ago, we, female students in France, were wearing short sleeved tops (not skimpy by any means) and long skirts. We were given white linen scarves to cover our arms.

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  3. Are dress codes the done thing nowadays?
    If so, who decides what’s considered appropriate or inappropriate?
    Is a priest legally entitled to stop a person entering a Church?
    It’s pathetic.

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    1. MournemanMichael 19th May 2019 — 12:00 pm

      Anon@ 10:57: You pose an interesting question: “Is a priest legally entitled to stop a person from entering a church?” Is anyone aware and able to quote any UK or ROI legal precedent?
      For what its worth, for UK law my view would be that a priest, as the designated ministerial “keyholder” (on behalf of a diocesan “owner” ) may be legally entitled to shut the door to an individual, it would be an illegal use of force to physically push aside/restrain/lay hands on/ eject an individual who is proceeding peacefully into an area to which other members of the public have free access.
      That’s a view “of the top of my head” to invite comment, correction and clarification. Has any priest contributor experience/information on the matter?
      Mind you if the cleric was physically restraining someone it would be interesting to see how the Garda/PSNI would handle it!
      MMM

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    2. 10.57: In your logic therefore it would be fine/acceptable to walk into your Church naked!! Low standards are not for me. Stuff your nonsense.

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      1. Maybe at a Mass for the Nudist Community?

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  4. Pat, this was 4 years ago! Has there been no progress since?

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    1. 4 43: Pat, I have little difficulty in imagining you at a nudist camp…..but I hope you’d never subject the Holy Mass to such desecration….CHRIST’S MEMORY IS SACRED….

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      1. 7:33

        Christ hung naked on that cross; he wasn’t wearing a stylistic loin cloth for modesty.

        The Romans inflicted not only physical agony on those condemned to death for treason, but humiliation by crucifying them naked.

        There was, therefore, nudity at that sacrificial love offering on Calvary.

        Nudity is not offensive to God, but immodesty is.

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  5. Fly On Th Wall 19th May 2019 — 1:27 am

    Begorra and begosh didn’t St Paul tell the womens keep their hats on their heads hi. Thing is culture and time changes What is really important. Is thauld church as careful about accountability as it is about an auld skirt. Does thauld Fr ever say anything about them what show up for baptism with boobies blowing in the breeze hi

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    1. Mornin fly hi.
      Begorra fly is there a law against boobies blowing in the breeze not enforced at the baptisms of babbies?
      Not for luv nor money?
      What about those three sheets to the wind,
      Is there a test to be done at the door for those boyos?
      With all the goings on from the kooky kollared klub short skirts are a class act.
      Bye fly hi.

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  6. The Curate’s Cousin 19th May 2019 — 6:12 am

    Good morning Pat. Your readers are not stupid. Yes, the woman in the video does seem to be dressed appropriately and she was allowed in. Maybe, if you show a picture of the other two ladies who were refused entry (Caroline and Kathleen Marie) we might understand why the pp did what he did!

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    1. Fly on Th Wall 19th May 2019 — 5:38 pm

      6.12 ahem. Sure tis like the story of th outside of thpot vs thinside hi. City v United Sad U Sees v common sense but

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  7. Is it any wonder many travellers are becoming evangelical Protestants. There was nothing wrong with the way she was dressed and the tight shirt on the priest’s massive belly was far more offensive to the eyes.

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    1. Fly on Th Wall 19th May 2019 — 4:41 pm

      6.23 am. I have seen this happening. Fair play to them. Must take a lot for some to re evaluate the notion of sacrament and ritual hi. There’s a lesson for us there somewhere (Hi)

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    2. They will find the “evangelical” Protestants a lot stricter than the Catholics!

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      1. 9.39pm Maybe you are right. Thing is Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus in the Spirit. It’s not just joining the dots. If you know Travellers or anyone who has “gone evangelical “ why not ask them (Hi. )

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  8. It looks pretty unremarkable to me but, of course, the big bare legs could have been a factor in the decision to ban her. For example, when she sat or knelt down the hemline probably went up a further twelve-inches above the knee.
    Mind you, it’s a bit rich when you consider the shocking escapades you read about Irish priests and seminarians on here, Bp Pat.

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    1. No it’s not Vatican Two’s fault it’s clericalism or not fully putting in place Vatican Two or like all Church councils it always takes 200 years for the effects to be seen or this is an amazing Spirit driven opportunity for the sleeping lay people to fully embrace their ministries, but it is not in any way connected to the New Pentecost of Sts John and Paul

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  9. Pat, seriously, as someone else pointed out – this was 4 years ago!! Yes the priest was wrong, nobody should be refused entry to the house of God. BUT, can we stick to the current issue here. What is happening regarding Robert mc Namara?

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    1. I never heard about until now and I was looking at Galway this week.

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      1. Will there is a “Galway – Day 3 or 4”, Bp Pat? I wonder.

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  10. Just listening to St Peter’s Belfast on BBC Radio 4. Terce. Sounds like an Anglican Cathedral, with only the odd bit of Plainchant. Perhaps Dean Kennedy’s Durufle wasn’t so bad after all ? Now, some gobby and loud Travellers could give it some Catholic character, God bless them.

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    1. The organist / choir master has very Anglican leanings etc.

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  11. Inclusive liturgy ? Maybe that’s why people wear what they want because they have been told everyone is welcome just as there are, every year the same priests – sorry Presiders at the Lord’s Supper for the People of God- decry the behaviour of people at First Communions, they can’t admit that it’s absolutely their own fault they dropped the reverence put in the jokes and they everybody’s welcome but only when they still thought they were the boss. Those lay people are just not the right kind of lay people.

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  12. Bishop Pat, have you a pic of the ladies in question? Could you publish it so we can have a better idea of whose point has greater merit?

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    1. No. Maybe someone could send us one?

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  13. Orthodox churches with a dress code usually have some kind of wraps for people to cover themselves in when they visit. I think this includes men in shorts. Having a dress code is fine, but you have to face the fact that you will find some people will see their clothing differently.

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    1. St Mark’s bascilica in Venice has such a dress code: wraps for women, but no admiitance for men in shorts.

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  14. I had a traveller baby’s baptism two years ago and the godmother wore a very revealing outfit. Her skirt was very tight and up to her arse while her pink tee shirt was clinging to her ample breasts. It was probably a bit too skimpy but tbh I enjoyed it.

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  15. We have to be very careful about how we treat everyone who comes to our Churches. All, irrespective of their background should be welcomed to our Church communities. In this regard the Church has a long road to travel. It needs to embrace all people’s and groups who have a desire to belong to their parish community. Over the years I have officiated at the baptisms, weddings and funerals of traveller families. I sought to celebrate the baptisms and funerals at the normal parish times. After a couple of years doing this with great pastoral care I gave up. I had to because of the unrealistic demands made, inability to turn up on time, complete disregard for church property, crazy dress codes, restlessness at ceremonies, in and out for smoking, chatting etc….I was unable to continue offering my pastoral care at this level because the norms and codes of “doing things” their way was utterly bizarre. And once I was accused of racism because I insisted we begin on time! In fact when doing baptisms and funerals at the normal times, many regular churchgoers started going elsewhere: a 10.00 scheduled funeral mass often becam 10.30/10.45… and invariably those for baptisms would be at least 20 minutes late….I still respect any traveller who knocks on my door or who will attend church celebrations but I no longer officiate at their celebrations.

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    1. Agreed. I help at a Parish in Cumbria and the same happens. No respect for the Church, always leave it a mess with sweet wrappers, chocolate etc all over the place. Last year at holy communion one lady was blowing bubbles on her chewing gum whilst waiting to receive our Lord. Weddings and funerals are often very late with no apology whatsoever and the dress sense concerns me – I don’t want to see an overweight lady with massive knockers squeezed into a dress two sizes too small hanging out all over the place thanks.

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      1. Well not at Church anyway!

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  16. When is Dromore diocese gonna get a bishop?

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    1. Mr Smythe, sad to disappoint you however I will share what I understand and it has been said time and time again.
      Ireland has far too many Parishes and even Archbishop d. martin has made this very clear recently in the media.
      Archbishop brown the last papal Nuncio was told to get Ireland reduced by around five diocese but nothing happened and he was transferred.
      Dromore is being administered by Archbishop E Martin so it will be surprising if Dromore gets a new Bishop.
      Bishop Doyle Northampton was 75 last week and sent his letter to Rome however he issued prayer cards for the people to pray for the new Bishop and stated it takes around 18 Months for appointment.

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      1. It’s good to know @4.23pm that Bishop Doyle of Nottingham is a straight talking honest practical speaker. At least he tells his diocese that an 18 month wait for a new bishop is the reality. That’s a lesson many Irish bishops and elsewhere could learn instead of sneaky silences. I hear Nick Hudson will get it. He was a good Rector of the English College in Rome.

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  17. Second day of Galway…..Wonder what the 3rd day at the Galway races will produce? In light of comments on dress code etc….perhaps we might have a fashion competition for clerics day the races with Pat as the lead runner in his bishopric regalia…..Magna can follow with his nightcap!!

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    1. I don’t expect much more on Galway; it a bit short of public conveniences.

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    2. Well the 3rd day of the Galway races is usually the big one! So, just curious if anyone knows if Brendan Kelly even went to the first 2 days? Any update from the Galway contingent 😊

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  18. Bishop Doyle is Bishop of Northampton and not Nottingham. Nicholas Hudson is just another Yes man for Elsie as his Auxiliary, although Elsie will control who goes to a Northampton like he controls everything else. If one of his auxiliaries has already crossed Elsie they can be guaranteed a swift exit to Northampton. Maybe Elsie will get rid of the thick Irishman Byrne.

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    1. Who is the thick Irish man Byrne?

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    2. Hey 6.41 you haven’t answered my question.

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  19. Arthur Roche is going to Southwark. John Arnold to Westminster and I have heard Nick Hudson for Northampton.

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    1. 7.29 rubbish. Arthur is going to Westminster my friend

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      1. Fr Patrick
        Arthur Roche is 69 so he may go to Southwark for five years as they are not going to send him to Westminster in five years.

        The Cardinal is 73 so can be around till 80 but likely go at 77 and that make Arthur Roche too old for Westminster.

        It seems it will be announced before the summer Arthur Roche for Southwark.

        Paul Hendricks will be due a diocese so maybe Northampton or East Anglia as both are vacant.

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      2. Speaking only for myself, like the Brexit car crash, I simply do not care anymore. What can any of these characters do except manage decline. Cockroach has been in Rome for the last few years in a non job which gave us the gift of the new English Missal – need any more be said? The only person who will be thrilled if Arnold is transferred to Westminster is ….

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    2. 7.29 – somehow I don’t think Roache will go to Southwark. As for the other two that’s just speculation

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      1. I think Smithy at Southwark has been the best of the E & W bunch, which isn’t saying very much of course.

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      2. Surely T Bartlett is in with a chance for Westminster or Southwark or even Northampton/Nottingham?

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  20. The Bishops of England are all equally bad don’t be fooled by any of them, one policy unites them which is managing decline. They don’t encourage prayer or vocations to the priesthood, they are interested in ‘listening’, ‘welcoming’ and ‘ celebrating’ not fidelity to Christ. Their quoting of Pope Francis is clear toeing the line in their pastoral letters, and their support of the English seminaries must be a sign of the state of their souls.

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    1. Cynical contribution @ 3:27. You don’t like Pope Francis. Try another denomination.

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      1. Didn’t say I didn’t like him, I belive in the role of Christ’s Vicar on earth that’s why I’m pained by the mundane words of those in authority. If I left the Church I would be joining the majority who have quietly steeped away, perhaps because of their disappointment at the attitude of their priests and shepherds

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  21. Bob the builder 20th May 2019 — 6:34 pm

    Pat you exploit the travelling community for you’re own financial gains!
    They let themselves down at every occasion, drinking then fighting and almost bad manners to all and thinking they can get away with it!
    They are a torture to all here in Dungannon, sadly.

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    1. I have worked with the Travellers for 43 years.

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