Wen I was in St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast I looked after the schools and youth club. I would have heard the youngsters confessions in a room in the school. Not to embarrass the teenagers I had a special way of going through the Commandments and the young person would answer yes or no to each.
Later when they left school they would come into the cathedral confessional and say :”Fa’rr an we do it the way we did it in school”? And we did.

One summer Saturday afternoon, with the sun splitting the stones, I was in the confessional and I heard the administrator screaming at someone at the top of his advice.

It was a teenage boy of 18 who had his shirt off for the summer and was coming to Confession to me. Father McKinley physically pushed him out of the cathedral. I ran after the young man called Brendan and apologised to him and heard his Confession walking around the cathedral grounds.

Brendan meant no disrespect to God or anyone else. He was passing and just said he would come to Confession.

God would have had no problem with his naked top. God made his body.

When judging matters like this we need to understand the person’s intentions. Brendan was coming to Confession out of respect to God and out of trust in me.

Let’s not forget that for the first part of their existence Adam and Eve met God naked in the Garden of Eden.

By all means, challenge and correct people who act to offend God.

But don’t punish people for being young or Travellers.

If only we had more young men and women in our congregations.

Finally, the priest DOES NOT OWN the church.

The people own it.

A church is the house of God’s people.

Teach Pobal as we say in Irish.

“Let the young ones come to me. Do not stop them. For theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven”.


What a load of cart shit! Our Pat always to the rescue – everyone else is wrong. Pat, you can bring all the top naked men to your oratory: advertise it – you’ll get no response. People have grown out of their need for the sacrament, sadly. We live in an age when people decide for themselves their own morals, values and if religious, they speak to God in the integrity of their conscience. A few still avail of it but since your ordination centuries ago we’ve moved on. And I’m quite certain that you don’t have queues of people at your confessional and that there isn’t a long queue of semi naked men or women at your gates first thing Sunday morning. Get real and be real. More urgently: be honest. This preaching piece today is utter nonsense.


You really didn’t ‘get’ the point of this blog, did you? It wasn’t about the ‘sacrament’, but about unhealthy, prudish attutudes to unclothed (I didn’t say ‘naked’ for fear of setting you off.) human flesh and the near-hysterical over-reactions it can evoke.

Maybe McKinley revealed more about himself in that encounter than he knew.

About his OWN sexuality.😲


Mc Kinley came onto the dining room for tea after Confession and said to McGurnaghan: “Joe,, pour me a double whiskey. I’ve just spent half and hour in the box listening to a queer”.


9.48: Magna, when you reconcile yourself psychologically with the reality of your sexuality (!!) and feel comfortable with the real “you”, then you might possess a more humane, rational and balanced understanding of others. Now, you present as a twisted, narky, insufferable, lonely, unfulfilled and pathetic creature. Go and find yourself a real partner (as distinct from the anonymous people you connect with on this blog), who will love you and give you some intimacy which ultimately will make you a better human being. You, Mags Carta, miss the point I was making at 12.28….


In 1978 – 1983 we still had a very large number of young people coming to St. Peters. Of course I realise that it has all changed now.
The secret now is to go where they are and it always was. In Divis I used to sit on the concrete steps of the blocks and have a beer with them at 1 am. One Sunday 4 of the beer drinkers who did not normally attend Mass turned up at Sunday evening Mass. When I asked them why they came they replied “Well you sit with us in our place so we thought we would come and see you in your place”. Young people are still spiritual but not religious. We have to find new ways to talk to them about God.

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You made it plain to them that you cared. And when people feel cared about, they feel wanted, important: that they are someone, not a nobody.
This is precisely how Jesus drew people to him: he shared their space and they, in turn, wanted to share his.
It’s all about attraction, even if we don’t realise it.
Too many priests are into authoritarianism… and then they wonder why people dont turn up in church.😕


And in return they validated me as a person and a priest. It’s always a two way street.



No, no! Not at all. I didn’t miss the point you were making: I ‘caught’ it in its entirety.

It’s just that it was totally irrelevant to the topic of today’s blog.😅


Magna darling, put your shirt back on at once. You know mummy doesn’t want anything reconciled except on my own terms… rather like the clergy, darling.


(Sigh) Oh, must I dearest!😕
I’ve come over all Dorian Gray today. All self-infatuation.
And I can’t cease admiring my bodily reflection in my shiny kitchen tiles.😎
That sainted pontiff JP II, were he here with me today, would be inspired to add another chapter to his mighty tome, Theology of the Body. And from a purely Grecian perspective.


McKinley sounds a real charmer – and a recognizable type! Did anyone ever suggest a different perspective on his priestly life – that he was a gentle confessor, a humble man, a wise counsellor, a champion of the poor, fond of animals, good with odd-balls? Anything? Thought not.


You’re dead right, pat. The people own it all. The people of the diocese of down and Connor own the house you’re squatting in 😂😂😂


9.30: “Risk” – yes Magna but only when you’re about….🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🦁🦁🦁….


I should have had no problem with that…as long as he was sitting on the kitchen floor and not the kitchen counter.😨


Bishop Pat at 11:47

Good God!

30 minutes?

On his head?😲

He must have been one fit boyo. How old was he?


Pat, at 11:30
Your old Jesuit friend may have done yoga on the kitchen floor. But it’s not credible that he would have used such ungrammatical Latin.


Actually (since you brought up the subject), I’m typing this comment ‘au naturel’: just out of the shower, see?
I ‘work out’ , and I have to say that, were I a narcissist, I should never get dressed.😎


An old Jeduit friend of mine used to do naked yoga in my kitchen in the early morning. He always apologised for being “ad naturalibus”.


Pat, I have no doubt whatsoever that McKinley was a deeply dysfunctional individual. But then so are you. The only narrative of your time in St Peter’s we are hearing is your own and most would take that with a pinch of salt.


I would swear an oath on the Bible that what I say happened. You not believing me is like a Bishop not believing a victim.


3.04: Pat, you keep on playing the VICTIM CARD. You may have been hurt but you also hurt many people – clerics who were good to you. You give a biased version of the entire experience but always blame others. It’s a recurring theme if your narrative. And to put yourself in the same bracket as those who were abused shows how delusionsl you are. STOP PLAYING VICTIM. You victimised many others. I din’t see “sorry” anywhere in your story! Be truthful. We’re sick and tired of your lies and your story.


I was a victim of aggravated clerical bullying. You were not there. You did not see what went on. I did not suffer in the way victims of your clerical colleagues. The RC priesthood is rotten to the core with some exceptions.


There’s one of the Magna Carta composite who sounds like an uptight, pedantic, schoolmarm-type and very prim, elderly nun.
I can picture her with tightly pursed lips, a piercing baleful stare, wearing her hair in a tight bun (no veil of course), dressed in a sensible navy trouser suit and a ladies cream polo neck, with a discreet but expensive brooch.
No bra because totally flat chested and a hip flask in her Louis Vuitton clutch bag. Certainly, no religious symbol of the Presentation sisters to which she belongs as such things are outmoded. 🤣


You have bullied and belittled many young seminarians on this blog. How is that any different from the way you were treated? Some food for thought.
Mckinley would probably just justify himself like you do. He would say he was just “exposing the rot”.


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