I was sitting in my garden yesterday afternoon at 3 pm in the sunshine. My Jack Russell pets, Aria and Buzz were lying at my feet and the whole scene was perfect and peaceful.

My thoughts turned towards God and I prayed. I then felt a very silent and still presence and I was deeply moved. I praised God for all the wonderful things he had done for me during my life. I asked him to help me with all I was doing and also asked him to let me know if anything I was doing was against his wishes to give me a sign. And all my heart heard: “Just tell people how good I have been to you”.

I had two good parents but we were very poor. As the oldest of 17 children I, very early, felt the burden of being a third parent. That made me very serious too early and I had a childhood overshadowed by worrying about things that no child should have to worry about. 

But my dad had introduced me to daily Mass at the age of 4 and that habit continued all my life. As a child I brought all my worries to God at Mass and in the church. It really got me through my childhood and especially my teenage years when I became aware of my sexuality. Because of RC teaching I became very guilty and ashamed of who I was. My daily Mass and my daily hour in the church talking to God got me through – even thought I was not aware of it.

At 18 I entered Clonliffe seminary Dublin. I loved the seminary life especially Mass, the Divine Office and the spiritual exercises. I enjoyed the camaraderie of some companions but carrying the “secret” of my sexuality made me feel difficult in small and large groups where a lot of banter went on. I had a big problem of blushing and of course others saw this and it gave them something to tease me about. But good God was with me and that got me through.

My second seminary was St, John’s in Waterford. Life was wonderful there. I felt no pressure and the president, Monsignor John Shine was a wonderful inspiration to me and he gave me wonderful encouragement and support. God works through good people  like John Shine RIP.

My ordination on Pentecost Sunday June 6th 1976 was the best day of my whole life. God had granted me something I had longed for since the age of 4.

I had a tough beginning to ministry in Wales in 1976 to 1978 with having two old Irish parish priests who were absolute tyrants. I will not go into the details but all this was helped by having a wonderful spiritual director who belonged to the Servants of the Paraclete order.

In 1978 I came to Belfast and to St Peter’s in Divis Flats. At the beginning things were good in the presbytery but after a year went sour. I got through those years by spending an hour a day before the Blessed Sacrament. 

When Cahal Daly came to Down and Connor in 1982 things began to change. A couple of priests convinced Daly that I  was a “problem”. Daly moved me from Belfast to Kilkeel and then tom Larne. He disliked my public and media outspokenness about the failures of the church. We had a few conversations and one big 4 hour meeting, I was respectful to him but refused to accept his way of looking at the world and told him my way. It was obvious we were not going to agree. He did not like that. Daly was the boss and it was his way or the highway. In 1986 he showed me the door. All that time I felt God close to me and I was able to deal with my distress by taking it to God.

For the past 33  years I have ministered independently from Larne, I have kept an open door.  If all the people that have passed through The Oratory turned up at once we would have to meet in a large football stadium. 


Father Sean Rogan who was a curate told a Larne parishioner not to worry about The Oratory as “only the dregs went there”. 

I sent him a message thanking him for what I said,

Other priests call The Oratory a hayshed. I take that as a great compliment. Was not the Saviour born in a stable/hayshed

There are people/Christians who like to be part of a herd and then develop the herd mentality. It was a herd of Jews and others at Calvary who shouted “Crucify him”

Then there are individuals, who while being far from perfect, are either not part of the herd or are rejected by the herd who do their own thing.

The Oratory has ministered to thousands of people in 33 years who were rejected by their own priest or minister. They said NO to them. We said and say YES to them.


Archbishop Helder Camara of South America once said:

“Try and say yes to people. and when you have to say no to them try and make the no as much like yes as possible”.

Anyway, as I said at the beginning, I want to acknowledge today how good God has been to me all my life.

No offence meant to our atheist and agnostic readers.








Jun 10, 2019 by Joshua J. McElwee NVR

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican office responsible for overseeing Catholic educational institutions around the world has blasted modern gender theory, claiming in a new document that it seeks to “annihilate the concept of ‘nature.’ “

In an instruction released June 10 as LGBT people globally are celebrating pride month, the Congregation for Catholic Education calls the idea of people’s gender identities existing along a spectrum “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants.

Labeling the biological differences between men and women “constitutive of human identity,” the office also questions the intentions of those who identify as intersex and transgender.

“Efforts to go beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference, such as the ideas of ‘intersex’ or ‘transgender,’ lead to a masculinity or femininity that is ambiguous,” states the document.

“This oscillation between male and female becomes, at the end of the day, only a ‘provocative’ display against so-called ‘traditional frameworks,’ ” it continues.
The document, which carries the title “Male and female he created them,” was released by the Vatican June 10 without prior announcement. Described as an aid for Catholic schoolteachers and parents, it is signed by the educational congregation’s leaders: Italians Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Zani.
The educational aid does not carry Pope Francis’ signature, and the text makes no reference of the pontiff reviewing the document.
Groups that minister to LGBT Catholics immediately criticized the document. New Ways Ministry, one such group, called it a “harmful tool that will be used to oppress and harm not only transgender people, but lesbian, gay, [and] bisexual people, too.”

Francis, whose early pontificate was defined by his “Who am I to judge?” answer to a question about an alleged gay priest working at the Vatican, has made contradictory remarks about gender theory and transgender people throughout his six-year papacy.
In a 2015 interview, for example, the pontiff compared gender theory to nuclear weapons, saying the concept “does not recognize the order of creation.” But in 2016, the pope revealed in a press conference that he had met at the Vatican with a Spanish transgender man who had been ostracized by his parish priest after having gender reassignment surgery.
“We must be attentive, not saying all are the same,” Francis said about that experience, adding that “people must be accompanied, as Jesus accompanied.”

The new document, which is 31 pages in length, does not speak of accompanying transgender people. It instead issues fierce warnings and criticisms of how children and young people are being educated today.

The text opens by saying that society is facing “an educational crisis, especially in the field of affectivity and sexuality.”

It then claims that cultural “disorientation” has destabilized the family as an institution, “bringing with it a tendency to cancel out the differences between men and women, presenting them instead as merely the product of historical and cultural conditioning.”

The heart of the document critiques modern society’s detachment of an individual’s concept of gender from their biological sex.

“Gender theory … speaks of a gradual process of denaturalization, that is a move away from nature and towards an absolute option for the decision of the feelings of the human subject,” it states.

“In this understanding of things, the view of both sexuality identity and the family become subject to the same ‘liquidity’ and ‘fluidity’ that characterize other aspects of post-modern culture, often founded on nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants, or momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual,” it continues.

The text claims that genetic studies have shown that male and female embryos differ “from the very moment of conception.” In cases where a child is born with ambiguous genitalia, it says “it is medical professionals who can make a therapeutic intervention.

“In such situations, parents cannot make an arbitrary choice on the issue, let alone society,” it recommends. “Instead, medical science should act with purely therapeutic ends, and intervene in the least invasive fashion, on the basis of objective parameters and with a view to establishing the person’s constitutive identity.”
Retelling the Genesis story of God creating humans in his image as men and women, the document calls for a reaffirming of “the metaphysical roots of sexual difference.”

In a short section detailing some “points of agreement” with gender theory, the text praises educational programs that “share a laudable desire to combat all expressions of unjust discrimination, a requirement that can be shared by all sides.”
“Indeed, it cannot be denied that through the centuries forms of unjust discrimination have been a sad fact of history and have also had an influence within the Church,” it states.

“This has brought a certain rigid status quo, delaying the necessary and progressive inculturation of the truth of Jesus’ proclamation of the equal dignity of men and women, and has provoked accusations of a sort of masculinist mentality, veiled to a greater or lesser degree by religious motives,” it continues.

The document also praises anthropological studies that focus on the “values of femininity,” lauding how “women’s ‘capacity for the other’ favors a more realistic and mature reading of evolving situations.'”

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]


This is a disgraceful and ignorant document coming from a hotbed of corruption and sexual promiscuity.

The Vatican does not have the expertise tor issues are for the medical, psychology, medical, genetic professionals.

Nature is imperfect and makes mistakes . We see this all the time when babies are born with a huge variety of serious physical and intellectual disabilities.

Nature destroys the globe constantly with hurricanes, flooding, storms and earthquakes.

This makes it quite legitimate for a person to say that nature made a mistake with them and put them in a wrong body.

We must treat transgender people with an open mind and with compassion and a desire to listen and help.

I have had the privilege of working with transgender people. I welcomed. I listened. I learned.

Ann then accompanied them to their hospital appointments?

After each appointment I brought them for a meal dressed in their desired gender.

We were stared at and whispered about.

I didn’t care.

Transgender people are often modern lepers.

Jesus would want his followers to love them as he loved the lepers of his time.

And of course the dirty Vatican has no true interest in the teachings of Jesus.

They prefer their manmade empire.

“The nearer you are to the church the further you are fom God”.