INSIDE THE MIND OF A PAEDOPHILE PRIEST

THE PATHOLOGY OF A PREDATOR

SUZANNE SMITH

JUN 24, 2019 INQ Independent Inquiry Journalism (Australia)

Almost 1900 child sexual abusers have been identified in Australian Catholic churches. The average victim was under 12. What led people to commit such horrible crimes on such a staggering scale?

The hunched old priest walked briskly through the entrance of the Downing Centre court complex, a former grand department store on the fringes of Sydney’s business district. His eyes look down. A sports cap covers his nearly bald head.
Vince Ryan is one of the worst paedophiles in the history of the Australian Catholic Church. He sexually assaulted at least 37 boys. Most of them were primary school students, some as young as nine years old.
Aged 81, and still officially designated as a priest, he has already served 14 years in jail for his crimes. Last month, on a crisp autumn morning, he’s back in court waiting to find out if he will be sent to jail for more offences committed against two former altar boys in the 1970s and ‘90s.
As Ryan walks towards the court’s security cordon, he is followed by a man shouting obscenities. The word “survivor” is tattooed in black on his right arm. He is agitated, gesticulating towards the priest.
This man is Gerard McDonald. In 1974, he was 10 years old when Ryan abused him twice a week for a year, cornering boys in a church vestry and performing oral sex on them. In 1995, McDonald and another survivor were the first of Ryan’s victim to go to police. Although they won their case in 1996, they have never stopped pursuing the priest who defiled their childhood.

* * *
Born an only child in 1938, Ryan was raised in East Maitland on a working-class farming hamlet 40 minutes up the road from Newcastle. His father Joseph, a labourer who drifted between jobs, was a violent alcoholic who beat his submissive wife Ella with his fists. Joseph threatened suicide on a regular basis in order to control Ella. A devout Catholic, she submitted to the blows and never contemplated leaving her husband.
Violence and abuse also stalked the young Vince Ryan outside the home. From the age of eight, he was sexually preyed upon by a boy four years older who lived nearby. The sexual abuse continued until Ryan was 16, and according to his psychology reports, he found some of the interactions pleasurable and didn’t view the relationship as abusive or exploitative. For a boy whose parents never showed him real affection, being sexually abused was a form of social contact. When Ryan showed any affection towards his abuser, the older boy would respond with yet more sexual violence. Ryan has never said a harsh word about his abuser.
Vince Ryan has been receiving counselling, on and off, from a forensic psychologist since 2010. Dr Gerard Webster has treated more than 50 paedophiles, many of them priests and Christian brothers who have spent time in prison. He says the domestic violence Vince Ryan experienced as a boy helped develop his paedophilic tendencies. “I think there is something incredibly damaging and generally disavowed by society when a child, a boy — because most offenders are boys — sees two people that they are emotionally dependent on and love, attacking one another … these young witnesses have been severely affected at the time when they are developing their roadmap for relationships. They’ve got a broken map. They’re taught that any might is right. Anything goes.”

Despite the violence he witnessed at home, Vince Ryan was very close to his alcoholic father. He perceived him as a wounded man. In a subconscious way, he identified with the perpetrator in his house, Webster explained.
“I think there was a culture of acceptance of things that were really unacceptable,” said Webster. “His mother was traumatised, but she accepted it as a good Catholic woman that she had to stay in a relationship with her husband.”
On his formative path towards adulthood, Ryan identified closely with two perpetrators: his father and his abuser. It would become a lethal mix.
* * *
Ryan found himself immersed in a world of young men studying to be priests, isolated from their families for long periods, discouraged from developing any friendships, and where celibacy was the norm. Before he entered the seminary at the age of 19, in 1958, he told a priest in confession that he had desires for young boys. The priest, however, assured him that “if he said his prayers, God would look after him”.

Ryan talked about this period of his life to one of his former altar boys and now journalist David Brearley. “He had a terrible time in the seminary in Springwood,” Brearley recounted, based on a rare interview. “One day a year they would get the mini bus and go to Echo Point in the Blue Mountains and get an ice cream and there would be high spirits and fun. Following one of these trips, Ryan did some night time grappling with a young man in the next bed. The other seminarian confessed the behaviour to a priest the next day and Ryan was asked to meet with the priest, who told him he was now forbidden to have any sort of relationship with the fellow seminarian. They were 19 or 20, and Ryan told Brearley that he wondered whether he could have had a happy relationship with this man, had it been allowed.
For an isolated child growing up in an abusive household, Catholicism provided Ryan with a haven. The church offered him a structure, a world that made sense, a place with a noble purpose.
Students in seminaries in the ‘60s were taught that becoming a priest takes your being through an “ontological change into the divine”. Some offenders interpreted this as giving them more power and entitlement — a “messiah complex,” as canon law expert Kieran Tapsell describes it in Potiphar’s Wife: the Vatican’s secret and child sexual abuse. Others believed it was part of God’s mission to make them better servants of the people.
The big problem with the so-called “ontological difference” between priests and laypersons, argues Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a senior Catholic bishop who has pushed for reform in the church, is that it enthusiastically embraces “the mystique of a superior priesthood”.
“Whenever I see young priests doing this,” he wrote, “I feel a sense of despair, and I wonder whether we have learned anything at all from the revelations of abuse.”
After four years at the Springwood seminary, then one term at the Manly seminary, Ryan travelled to Rome in 1962 to complete a theology degree. He remained there until 1966, studying alongside other prominent figures including Cardinal George Pell. Because the church considered Ryan to be an intellectual, he was enrolled in a doctorate of canon law.
Ryan was highly intelligent and loved Italian culture, art and music. He arrived in Rome as the Vatican was undergoing a reformation resulting from the adoption of Vatican 2 as a type of “glasnost” for the church. Vince Ryan was excited by this transformation. More importantly, he formed some good, wholesome bonds with friends outside the church. It must have been a relief to be free of his past.

In 1972, Ryan was recalled from Rome. After a short stint at a parish in Singleton in north-western NSW, he was sent back to Maitland to become an assistant parish priest. As soon as he got there his mood soured and he started molesting boys.
“He said he was suicidal as a child and now suicidal as an adult again,” said David Brearley. “The only relief was when he was actually together with a young student and it would disappear as soon as the child was gone.” He told Brearley he would go into a deep funk if the child didn’t turn up for the day. “He said he couldn’t relate to adults like he could to children.”
He had left the liberal excitement of Italy to arrive at what he saw as a moribund church, staffed by old men who just didn’t like him. Once again, he felt extremely lonely and, in his 30s, found himself transported back to the rigid world of his childhood, except now there were plenty of altar boys in his charge.
“I never had to threaten anyone not to talk, I never did that,” Ryan told Brearley. “I thought I was in a loving relationship, I know that’s stupid but that is where I was.”
But how could Ryan possibly characterise his interactions with boys as a “loving relationship”? “The word ‘love’ is not supposed to be used,” he told Brearley, “but … this connection between you and your victim is the thing that is stopping you from committing suicide, who is giving you some life, some humanity, some human touch and not just the sexual stuff …”. In his mind, he formed relationships with these boys; he felt he loved them and he viewed himself as their caregiver.
But he was also their predator. As one victim described in his police statement, Ryan had a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Before abusing the boys, Ryan would remove his glasses. The altar boys came to dread this simple action, a signal that another attack was imminent. For the victims, it marked the moment Ryan went from caregiver to monster.
Like all paedophile priests at that time, Ryan had papal protection. That’s because, in 1974, Pope Paul VI issued a document known as “The Pontifical Secret” or “The Secret of the Holy Office”, which meant any allegation or investigation of sexual abuse against a cleric was kept secret. Any bishop who defied this decree and reported the abuse to civil authorities or police could be ex-communicated.
As revealed in the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, a pervasive culture existed in the church that saw these crimes as moral failings, rather than criminal ones, supported by an assumption that priests could be treated and cured. This culture of secrecy, according to Dr Gerard Webster, created a “potent” setting for this maladjusted behaviour to flourish.
* * *
By 1975, the church knew Ryan had significant problems. He had cried as he informed his immediate superior, Monsignor Patrick Cotter, of his attraction to young boys, according to documents tendered to the royal commission. He was packed off to a retreat facility in Kew, in suburban Melbourne, known as the La Verna Retreat Centre. As Cotter wrote to the treating doctor, Dr Peter Evans, at the time:
“Father Ryan has been my assistant at St Joseph’s Merewether for the past two years. The problem which now brings him under your care became known to me about one year ago. The circumstances that were such that he knew that I was aware of what happened and thinking the embarrassment he suffered from knowing — so knowing would have been more eloquent than any possible advice of mine, I decided to say nothing. Unfortunately, this was a mistake on my part, because apparently such a condition does not come right without the help of treatment. The current incident is more serious, involving altar boys and more than one.”

Parishioners were told he was going to Melbourne for a “pastoral” course of study, and that’s exactly what he did. But according to testimony by the consulting psychiatrist before the royal commission, Dr Peter Evans, a Franciscan priest, Ryan only had an initial assessment and did not receive any treatment. During the assessment, Ryan disclosed to Evans that he had had “sexual contact with adolescent boys and that this was known to Cotter [and] Sister Woodward”.
After this consultation, Evans told Ryan that treatment would be more successful if it were done in Ryan’s own home environment. This doctor soon left the facility and Ryan fell through the cracks. He spent a year enjoying the delights of Melbourne, going to the races, satisfying his urbane tastes and enjoying his classes.

The church’s sense was that he was a sinner who had a weakness,” said Webster, “who had to pray and he would somehow be redeemed and therefore he could come back into the ministry without sexually abusing children … magic!”
At the time he was sent to Melbourne, Ryan was under the supervision of Sister Evelyn Woodward, a nun and a psychologist who assessed priests for their suitability for ministry. Woodward confirmed in testimony to the royal commission that she eventually knew Ryan hadn’t received any treatment, apart from one initial assessment.
Evans told the royal commission: “I told Evelyn Woodward I would do an assessment diagnosis as I would be leaving [the centre], not treatment … I repeat [I told her] La Verna was not a treatment centre.”
Looking nervous and agitated, she was cross-examined as to why she hadn’t reported Ryan to the police. She blamed her lack of authority as a woman in the church.
Senior Counsel: “Just coming back to the question that his Honour was asking you about involving the police, you suggested in your statement that you simply didn’t think of going to the police at all back in 1975; is that right?”
Sister Evelyn Woodward: “Never.”
SC: “Was that just because you saw your role as being to report the matter up the chain and once that had occurred, you were leaving it to others to deal with?”
EW: “Yes and no. I think another factor was the position of women in the church at the time. We were pretty low in the pecking order and there was a hierarchical system which I think led me to say ‘I’ve got to hand it over to whoever’s in charge of the Diocese’ if that makes sense.”
Following and obeying canon law “served to rationalise and deepen the culture of secrecy,” said Kieran Tapsell. “When you have bishops who have taken an oath to follow canon law, being threatened with excommunication if they go to the civil authorities, it is pretty obvious what they are going to do.”
* * *
Vince Ryan returned to the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in 1976. His superior, Cotter, immediately put him in charge of training the altar boys at Hamilton, in the suburbs of Newcastle. Over the next two decades he sexually assaulted another 27 children with impunity.
At Hamilton, in the presbytery where he and Cotter lived, Ryan would take young boys up to his bedroom and abuse them. Cotter would tell the housekeeper to go upstairs and knock on Ryan’s bedroom door and tell the boys it was time to go home.
Ryan himself believed he needed treatment for his paedophilia. He told Webster, years later during counselling, that while he still loves his church, he is angry that he was moved from parish to parish and didn’t get the treatment he needed after disclosing his problem.

than three occasions, Ryan told various church officials, including his immediate superior, that he was a paedophile. He confessed it to his priest in Maitland before entering the seminary. He admitted it to his superior, Cotter, in 1975 before being sent to Melbourne. And he told the psychologist, and priest, Dr Peter Evans at the La Verna Retreat Centre in Melbourne.
Does Ryan ever think about what he did to those boys? The Australian journalist, David Brearly, who is writing a book about Ryan, says he sensed from his interview that the priest doesn’t dwell much on his interactions with the boys. “I think his contrition is real but maybe not as intense as it might be,” said Brearley. “He was talkative, but it wasn’t until I transcribed the interview did I realise how much he could control an agenda. So there is about nine pages of transcript, probably one fifth is complaining about the Newcastle Herald — how can you complain about the Newcastle Herald? — and another fifth is complaining about jail and its failure to rehabilitate people.”
But one of Ryan’s answers stunned David Brearley. Asked about the royal commission, the priest told him: “As far as I am concerned this is a conspiracy between newspapers and politicians, they need each other. The royal commission, I think it should have been about why in our country there was such a disaster of child sex abuse … to go straight to institutions, I don’t get the reason, I don’t get it … the vast number of child sex victims are in the home.”
Ryan also blamed the parents of his victims for not going to the police back in 1975. “It’s a hard concept to swallow,” said Brearley. “He thinks he was one of the boys. I think Ryan has achieved a mighty effort of self-deception, when you think he was a 30 to 35-year-old and he was abusing 10-year-old boys and he can’t see the difference.”
Ryan’s rapacious appetite for young altar boys was only curtailed when Gerard McDonald and Scott Hallett walked into the Newcastle Police station in 1995. They spilled the beans to constable Troy Grant, a junior police officer who was until recently the NSW police minister and for a time NSW deputy premier. He was the first police officer to investigate a priest in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, and the first with a successful prosecution. Since 1995, he has kept in touch with all of the victims who came to him about Ryan. After Gerard McDonald and Scott Hallett came forward, many more followed.
RYAN LEAVES NEWCASTLE COURT 1995. (IMAGE: NEWCASTLE HERALD)
One case, in particular, has caused Troy Grant great trauma and sadness. In October 1995, a man contacted Grant at the Newcastle police station to report abuse that lasted five years while Ryan was the parish priest in an outlying parish. Ryan had committed more than 200 acts of abuse against the boy while he was between the ages of 12 and 17. The boy had no father, but Ryan saw himself as his caregiver, his de-facto dad.
In 1992, the boy was in a terrible accident and ended up in hospital, fighting for his life. When Ryan heard the news he raced to the hospital. Distraught at what he saw, Ryan climbed into the boy’s hospital bed and hugged him while crying uncontrollably. When the nursing staff called the diocese to have the priest removed, a Catholic chaplain was despatched to remove him. But no one informed child protection authorities; after all, Ryan was a priest.
The boy was hospitalised for four months, but recovered. Ryan was later convicted for the crimes he perpetrated against the boy. This victim died in 2018. The coroner has yet to release the findings on the cause of death.
* * *
It was only after 13 years behind bars that Vince Ryan was given his first intensive treatment for paedophilia inside the jail. Finally, he told his psychologist he understood the suffering he had caused to his victims.
Ryan participated in a program known as Custody Based Intensive Treatment (CUBIT), an evidence-based treatment program for moderate to high-risk sex offenders, which takes 12 months to complete. Inmates are encouraged to identify and reflect on their unique risk factors (the things that make them more likely to reoffend) and to develop skills to reduce those risks where possible. The intensive therapy also helps inmates to initiate behaviour when they enter settings where they might offend, known in psychology jargon as “protective factors”.
The offenders also develop what’s called a “relapse prevention plan” that helps them maintain “a commitment to a non-offending lifestyle”. A recent research study found the programs have halved the rates of re-offending.
Ryan wishes he had been given access to this therapy many years earlier, according to Webster. “These programs are very effective,” said Webster. “The group work with other prisoners has been
t staff called the diocese to have the priest removed, a Catholic chaplain was despatched to remove him. But no one informed child protection authorities; after all, Ryan was a priest.
The boy was hospitalised for four months, but recovered. Ryan was later convicted for the crimes he perpetrated against the boy. This victim died in 2018. The coroner has yet to release the findings on the cause of death.
* * *
It was only after 13 years behind bars that Vince Ryan was given his first intensive treatment for paedophilia inside the jail. Finally, he told his psychologist he understood the suffering he had caused to his victims.
Ryan participated in a program known as Custody Based Intensive Treatment (CUBIT), an evidence-based treatment program for moderate to high-risk sex offenders, which takes 12 months to complete. Inmates are encouraged to identify and reflect on their unique risk factors (the things that make them more likely to reoffend) and to develop skills to reduce those risks where possible. The intensive therapy also helps inmates to initiate behaviour when they enter settings where they might offend, known in psychology jargon as “protective factors”.
The offenders also develop what’s called a “relapse prevention plan” that helps them maintain “a commitment to a non-offending lifestyle”. A recent research study found the programs have halved the rates of re-offending.
Ryan wishes he had been given access to this therapy many years earlier, according to Webster. “These programs are very effective,” said Webster.

PAT SAYS

I will not say much today.

I published the above to give people an insight into the mins of an abuser.

Any views?

94 thoughts on “INSIDE THE MIND OF A PAEDOPHILE PRIEST

  1. A follow up to todays blog is the Polish documentary, ‘Tell No One’ about child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Poland. It was uploaded on YouTube a month ago and has been watched by 22.5 million to date. It alleges that the Polish Church moved known paedophile priests from parish to parish, as happened in other countries.
    It includes conversations with priests who sexually abused children.
    ‘Tell No One’ (2019) full documentary movie by Tomasz Sekielski has English subtitles.
    It’s powerful.

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  2. The story above is a useful one to demonstrate the psychological and psychopathic profile of a manipulative abuser. The analysis of this Priest applies to any recidivist abuser. It is frightening to realise that an abuser can be so devious, clever and psychologically needy and able to justify their behaviour. Many red flags were flown in relation to Fr. Ryan, yet he seemed unstoppable in his abusive behaviour. These traits of manipulative behaviour are replicated in many an abuser. The safe haven of belonging to the church through priesthood and the many opportunities given for interacting with children and young people was the ideal world for Ryan. Abusers tend to find opportunistic places and carry out their destructive, abusive behaviour on others. Today, we are more deeply aware of the nature of sexual abuse and the profile of perpetrators. This is a thought provoking, challenging analysis of an abuser and it frightens me that so many men in priesthood could carry out such horrendous acts of depravity. I have read many such articles but this one I am reading for the 3rd time. It disturbs me greatly.

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    1. Good post. I agree.
      What’s equally disturbing is the many red flags were ignored by his superiors.

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  3. Pat. What about the former curate in larne who was “ fond” of the young good looking boys. There were plenty of red flags about him yet his “ friends” in that parish sneered at the idea and in some cases smeared the complainants.
    The cleric concerned was before your time there Pat.

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    1. I know. I replaced him here. I recently discovered he raped an altar boy here and sent him home bleeding 😭

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      1. 10.14: Pat, you didn’t replace any Diicesan priest in Larne. You may have obtained the right to live in the presbytery. Don’t have such delusions about yourself….

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      2. Daly aointed me curate of Larne Summer 1984 to replace Danny Curran. Get your facts right.

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  4. 10:14 am
    According to the Polish documentary, mentioned earlier, altar boys were particularly targeted by child sex abusers in the priesthood. N

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    1. An untreatable condition according to a friend of mine who is a psychiatric nurse and has had extensive dealings with many of them, the only condition he has come across that does not respond to treatment. They all relapse sooner or later. Solitary confinement for life or execution is all they deserve. Suffer little children to come unto me. I’m tired of listening to all the excuses, oooh Johnny had a rough childhood so its okay that he took to abusing small children, BULLSHIT !!! Another friend of mine was training to be a social worker up to the point that she was told when she encountered a child abuser she should seek to find out what had happened to the poor dear in his childhood to cause him to act like that. She quit. A few 20 year sentences in solitary or the long drop would soon cause these perverts to curb their appetites.

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      1. 11:14 An irrational reactionary position. There are some countries which deal with gay people today in the way you describe pedophiles should be treated.
        You are not a Catholic obviously, since you advocate the death penalty.

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  5. The abusive pathology does not only apply to the abuser. It also applies to the facilitators, those who excused, or covered up the abuse. There will have been lots of self-serving justification for what they were doing and why they were doing it, moving priests on, protecting the reputation of the Church etc. We have seen this exposed, here in the UK in the IICSA report on Birmingham Archdiocese.

    I note that + Nichols has a statement on his archdiocesan website about the report in which he was criticised for his actions, or lack of actions, when he was Archbishop of Birmingham. It is very revealing.

    https://rcdow.org.uk/cardinal/news/cardinals-statement-following-iicsa-report-into-archdiocese-of-birmingham/

    A careful reading of it shows that the self-justifying pathology of the facilitator is still alive and kicking. Yes, he says he is sorry. But that is it. It then proceeds to give a litany of self-justifying excuses about how they implemented the Nolan Report, how they have now come to understand the impact of abuse on victims, how they have engaged with victims to feel their pain etc. In other words, “look at all we are doing and have done.” And yet, they got it so wrong, and even engaged in obfuscation, avoidance, denial, legal machinations while all this “learning” and “appreciation” was supposedly going on. It is indicative of a pathology of mind that cannot believe or accept that what they have done, how they think about things, how they act, can be wrong, and even vicariously abusive. They don’t seem to have learned anything, + Nichols in particular. I bet in his heart he still believes that what he was doing was the right and best thing to do – for him, and for the reputation of the Church. This sick pathology is still alive and kicking, in spite of his saying sorry.

    Just as abusers have a pathology that is deeply embedded in them, and can never be trusted so deep is their malaise, so it is with the facilitators like + Nichols; they cannot be trusted, so deeply embedded is their warped sense of what is right and what is wrong, and their undying misguided devotion to a Church that has so egregiously failed.

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    1. 10:55am

      The hierarchy worldwide were directed by the instructions in Crimen sollicitationis, a 1962 document,issued by the Holy Office, codifying procedures to be followed in cases of priests or bishops of the Rcc accused of having used the sacrament of penance to make sexual advances to penitents. It also included any perpetrated or attempted externally obscene act with pre-adolescent children. The 1962 document repeated, with additions, the contents of an identically named instruction issued in 1922 by the Holy Office. It remained in effect until May 2001, when it was replaced by new norms.

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  6. MournemanMichael 26th Jun 2019 — 10:58 am

    The pathology exhibited in Ryan was uncovered as a regular modus operandi of sexual abusers, initially in the UK by probation officer Ray Wyre ( b.1951, d 2008.) Prior to Wyre’s research, there was little understanding of the recidivist nature and inherent deviousness of child abusers.
    Wyre’s intensive therapy approach concentrated greatly on assessing whether or not an abuser was realistically able to acknowledge full and total responsibility for his/her abusive behaviour: any indication of projecting or maintaining blame onto the victim was seen as a red flag and an indication of the liklihood of further abuse. He founded the Gracewell clinic in 1988.
    Wyre’s assessment and protection strategies insisted that there was a high risk of further abuse unless an abuser recognised fully the total responsibility for the abuse; the liklihood of further abuse in similar situations (ie being alone with potential victims); and demonstrated (emphasis on demonstration) both willingness and an ability to purposefully avoid such potential abusive situations.
    Regrettably, as is so often the case, Ray Wyre’s pioneering work only slowly became more mainstream in the care professions understanding of the nature of sexual abuse. I do not include the clerical profession in that. They still have their “heads”, ie the hierarchy, well and truly buried in the sands of their own self preservation and superior knowledge from ‘ontological’ superiority!
    It is helpful to set that background of understanding the recidivist devious nature of abusers, against the paramountcy accorded to a self sustaining clerical cabal and the inherent weaknesses of both its structural organisation and the calibre of its ministers.
    MMM

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    1. Anonymous Angelicus 26th Jun 2019 — 11:30 am

      MMM, the hierarchy knew of the recidivist nature of abusers since the early 1950s.
      Google, The New York Times article, ‘ Early Alarm for Abusers in the Clergy’ by Laurie Goodstein.

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      1. MournemanMichael 26th Jun 2019 — 11:38 pm

        Thank you Angelicus. My knowledge base and experience has been largely UK based so I have been unaware of USA research.
        What follows came as follow up afterthoughts to my comment this morning.
        Bishops and clerical managers/administrators, whoever and wherever you are: we know that many of you read +Pat’s blog, even if you won’t admit it. Print this out. Use it as your guideline in dealing with a cleric who has been found to be an abuser, or one suspected of such. Consider its implications whenever there is even a hint of abusive behaviour by a cleric.
        The Ray Wyre approach referred to above continues to be the standard professional approach to safeguarding children from abusers. Take note of essential underlying principles:
        1) Sexual abuse, when uncovered, is rarely a single lapse. What is ‘uncovered’ is usually but the ‘tip of an iceberg.’
        2) Sexual abusers are always extremely devious, plausible, and minimise their abusive behaviour in its frequency, content, and its effects on the victim. Projection of some element of blame on the victim is a very regular feature, eg enticement.
        3) There is a very high risk of further abuse elsewhere by a perpetrator.
        4) As the role of a cleric, by its very nature places that cleric in a position of trust, power, and proximity to potential child victims, where clerical abuse is uncovered, or even suspected, that individual must be suspended immediately from clerical duties.
        5) The threshold for any resumption of clerical duties, however minimal, must be set very high. It must involve due legal processes for alleged behaviours, and subsequent comprehensive evaluation of the abuser’s willingness and capacity to cooperate in avoiding potential future likely occasions/opportunities for abuse. This evaluation must be by competent experienced professionals in this field. It is a highly specialised area requiring complete dispassionate objectivity free from any ecclesiastical influence.
        6) The primacy and protection of victims, previous and potential, must be paramount.
        Bear in mind that a diocese/organisation is liable for substantial damages and compensation for failures to take appropriate protective measures to safeguard vulnerable persons. I am conscious that my focus here is on the abuser, and does not address the important issues relating to abused victims of clerical abuse.
        On a personal basis I have no belief that “Safeguarding Officers” appointed by dioceses are sufficiently objective, experienced, or competent to advise and take protective action in this area. I see their competence best served in promoting and organising general safeguarding protocols, not in dealing with the ‘sharp end’ of clerical sexual abuse.
        MMM

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    2. 10.58: MMM: A good, rational and worthwhile comment. Your background is invaluable in analysing these issues. As a priest I cannot comprehend the reality of a colleague or any one else, ever abusing a child or vulnerable young person or adult. My parents instilled a steely belief in us that we should never, ever hurt, harm or destroy anyone. When, as children we hurt others, we were forced to immediately apologise and “own up” and were grounded for a week for the slightest misdemeanour. Our parents advised us against ever being in the company of, or near certain suspicious characters. They protected us. They cared. They lived their moral and Christian responsibilities. They inculcated in us an awareness of “abusive” persons who, if given the opportunity would seriously harm or abuse us. That insight and wisdom has been a guiding principle of my life. On a few occasions in the past I acted on my suspicions and real concerns about particular individuals and ensured their removal from responsibilities and opportunities. I also made my concerns known to relevant authorities. We can never be vigilant enough with abusers and their propensity for reoffending. I also accept that church leaders (and others in other professions) acted out of self protection and for the preservation of the reputation of the Church. All totally misguided approaches. In light of my parents’ wisdom, their constant sense of protection of us and their care for our well being at all times (with only their instinctive sense of parental responsibilities and a deep moral sense of right and wrong), I can never comprehend the dereliction of duty by the “learned” and “knowledgeable” pastors of our church in relation to child abuse. Their negligence is (almost) unforgiveable. The suggestion that our bishops have a defecit of psychological insights about the reality and effects of abuse and a non-existent proper moral instinct to protect children is a theory I support. Yes, we are all learning every day, but you either have a moral sense of the egregious and horrendous nature of sexual abuse or you just ignore, deny, obfuscate or hope it all goes away. Sadly, the potential for abusers finding their way into priesthood or other opportunistic places will always be a reality requiring constant vigilance.

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      1. 12:44

        You actually believe that ‘bishops have a deficit of psychological insights about the reality and effects of abuse…’.?What planet are you on, you bloody apologist for these filthy, Christ-betraying bastards! These men didn’t give a f*** about such ‘psychological insights’. Who the hell do you think you are kidding?

        How much freakin’ insight is required to know the physical damage alone caused through buggery of a small boy by a grown man?

        How much insight is needed to understand the effects this might have on a child’s mind ffs?! We’ve known for long enough the physical and psychological effects of rape on women. How great a stretch of intellect and imagination is required to at least suspect these for a child?

        So you support, too, the ‘theory’ that the episcopal retards you are keen to defend ‘had a non-existent proper moral instinct to protect children’? Are you taking the piss, you stilted ass?!

        And you lament the fact that abusers will always find their way into the priesthood??!! Why wouldn’t they, you utter fool?! If they are so intellectually and morally retarded that they couldn’t possibly understand the physical, psychological and spiritual debilitation of raping children, not to mention that it was, in any way shape or form, actually immoral.😲

        Resign from the priesthood today, you moron.

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      2. LOL Fr Stupider than Thou has exposed what I have said all along – he’s just another enabler in denial.
        For further details see Magna’s comprehensive and thoughtful reply below.
        🤔

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      3. MournemanMichael 27th Jun 2019 — 12:08 am

        Thank you Anon @ 12:44 for the compliment.
        I’ve now read the comments by others taking issue with you for your perception that the bishops ‘had a deficit of psychological insight into the reality and effects of abuse etc etc’. I have to say that I have much sympathy with the criticisms.
        You speak of a moral probity instilled in you by your upbringing. Excellent. But might it be said that your own upbringing causes you to have what psychologists call a ‘rule of optimism’ in thinking the best of others, and naively believing they have a similar moral probity to your own? Certainly your critics place no credence to any view that the bishops lacked understanding. They, and others, take the view that yes, the episcopate knew very well the nature and extent of abuse, but for all those often repeated reasons, have failed abysmally both in preventing further abuse by removing abusive clerics, and in addressing the needs and rights of abused victims.
        MMM

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  7. Pat. I think the curate you replaced faced the courts on a number of occasions for his behaviours.
    The priest I think Victoria refers to was there in the late 60/early 70 period. He evaded exposure unless it was of himself!!

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    1. I see. I hd not heard that? Is his name known?

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    2. 12:44pm. 3:38pm

      Indeed, MC. We’ve had enough apologists peddling all sorts of excuses for the hierarchy.
      If clergy had families of their own or children of their own, they might have a very different perspective on child rape. The hierarchy knew child rape is/ was morally wrong, as well as, legally a crime, for very strong reasons.
      They were not in the past, and are not now, completely thick!
      Please, no more excuses. Bishops were under instructions from Rome and followed orders.
      The priority was to protect the church’s reputation, status, authority, finances and the offending priest.
      They didn’t give a f**k about the child, then, or now, regardless of weaselly worded public relations apologies.
      Stop bullshitting @ 12:44pm, please!.

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  8. Bishop Len and The Craggy Crew with The Hierarchs and Clergy Choirboys 26th Jun 2019 — 12:20 pm

    Whatever You Say Say Nothing.
    By Colum Sands : popularised by Makem and Clancy.
    (THE CLERICAL ANTHEM.)
    Whatever you say, say nothing when you talk about you-know-what.
    For if you-know-who should hear ya, you know what you’d get
    They take you all to you-know-where for you-wouldn’t-know-how-long,
    So for you-know-whose sake don’t let anyone hear you singing this song. x2
    You all know what I’m speaking of when I mention you-know-what,
    And I fear it’s very dangerous to even mention that.
    For the other ones are always near, although you may not see,
    And if anyone asks who told you that, please don’t mention me.
    Whatever you say, say nothing when you talk about you-know-what.
    For if you-know-who should hear ya, you know what you’d get
    They take you all to you-know-where for you-wouldn’t-know-how-long,
    So for you-know-whose sake don’t let anyone hear you singing this song.
    You all know who I’m speaking of, when I mention you-know-who,
    For if you-know-who should hear you, you know what he’d do.
    So if you don’t see me again, you’ll know why I’m away,
    And if anyone asks you where I’ve gone, here’s what you must say:
    Whatever you say, say nothing when you talk about you-know-what.
    For if you-know-who should hear ya, you know what you’d get
    They take you all to you-know-where for you-wouldn’t-know-how-long,
    So for you-know-whose sake don’t let anyone hear you singing this song.
    Well that’s enough about so-and-so, not to mention such-and-such,
    And I better end my song now. I’ve already said too much.
    Well, the less you say, the less you hear, and the less you’ll go astray,
    And the less you think, the less you do, and the more you’ll hear them say:
    Whatever you say, say nothing when you talk about you-know-what.
    For if you-know-who should hear ya, you know what you’d get
    They take you all to you-know-where for you-wouldn’t-know-how-long,
    So for you-know-whose sake don’t let anyone hear you singing this song. x3
    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    “if my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, then I will listen from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their country.”
    2 Chronicles, 7:14- Bíblia Católica

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  9. There is no cure for such sexual tendencies, and it is essentially pointless delving into psychological profiles of offenders.

    The most effective way of helping paedophiles is through strict, round-the-clock chaperoning. The offender must accept the arrangement, or face indefinite detention. There is, I’m afraid, no realistic alternative to this.

    Like

    1. Right, MC. There’s no cure.
      However, much can be learned about the aeitology of paedophilia, through detailed case histories, background, psychological factors, profile analysis etc. We also learn, what not to do, in terms of dealing with such individuals.

      Like

      1. The Fr Ryan story is interesting and enlightening, until it’s interrupted with boilerplate cliches of this sort: “Students in seminaries in the ‘60s were taught that becoming a priest takes your being through an “ontological change into the divine”. Some offenders interpreted this as giving them more power and entitlement — a “messiah complex,” … The big problem with the so-called “ontological difference” between priests and laypersons… is that it enthusiastically embraces “the mystique of a superior priesthood”.
        Why cannot we be allowed to read the man’s story and draw our own conclusions without being browbeaten all the time by pc cliches?

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      2. 1:55

        You have a point, but prioritising the safety of children must come first; this could virtually be guarenteed through chaperoning.

        The study of paedophilia through individual case histories could then proceed in this safe environment.

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      3. The chaperoning by a court apointed person and the offender not allowed out without them under pain of return to prison.

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    2. 12.39: Magna, who chaperones you round the clock…to curb your abusive behaviour towards others???

      Like

      1. Troll

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      2. MC, of course!
        Safety of children must always be the first and main priority.
        Chaperoning of priests who abused does occur.
        I’m talking about ‘treatment’ contexts. Much is/ can be learned in such settings, then shared with the wider community.

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    3. A life of prayer and contemplation during their 20 year stint in solitary.

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      1. Prayer and contemplation was not happening in seminary. That’s for sure.

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    4. 3:23
      Yes, treatment contexts. And the safest is one in which strict chaperoning occurs, the violation of which would automatically result in a return to prison.
      As for the chaperoning of priests, by whom? Other clergy?😅

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      1. Definitely not. The court should have a panel of vetted and trusted chaperones. For priests I thnk no one remotely connected with the church and someone who sees him as a criminal and not a priest.

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      2. 3.50: Magna and Pat, it seems you sing from the same hymn sheet, though in different troughs!! You both have a sadomasichistic streak in you. Now you want abusers – from all backgrounds presumably – to be publicly crucified and thrown over the cliff edge. I knew you both had no Christ in you: you are both CHRIST BETRAYERS with such hatred. As for chaperoning priests: it makes sense to me but I also have no difficulty with a fellow priest acting as a moral/spiritual support to any abuser. That to me is the correct response: being CHRIST ….It’s easy if you try and possible when you desire to do so.

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      3. Bishops or priests could not be trusted to chaperone a paedophile priest.

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    5. 4:52
      Sadomasochistic streak? HUH?😕 Whatever you paid for your dictionary, throw it away. What an utterly misplaced, inaccurate, and totally irrelevant comment. An unequivocal non-sequitur.
      No; no one is seeking to throw abusers off cliffs. Again, HUH?😲 (I shouldn’t pay tuppence for your power of comprehension.)
      What was suggested (chaperoning, not hurling abusers off cliffs) is as much in the interests of the abusers themselves as it is their victims, and potential victims.

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      1. 5.16: Magna, your hatred makes you more and more irrelevant and a unlikable, nasty person. Your ignorant, unrestrained hate inciting words portray you as an abusive thug. Your constant need to abuse, bully and demean others displays a psychological dysfunctionality in your psyche. It seems you derive a sense of relevance and meaning only by abusing others. (This is an illness). You are the eternal non sequitur – the one who makes no sense, the one without logic, the meaningless one, the one whose primary vice is hatred. You are a sham, a pitiable human being. You diminish and kill your humanity by your abusive language. I am surprised that Pat is facilitating your constant, repetitive abuse, hatred and poison by printing your words. I hope to God you’re not married or near children or vulnerable people. Your unreliability and evident inability to have meaningful, nourishing relationships render you a huge endangerment, more so when you’re drunk….

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    6. MC at 12:39
      The only alternative for these Beasts is EXTERMINATION.

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      1. 5:29
        Calm down.
        Splinters and logs, comes to mind reading your post.
        If you cannot defend the Church with clear, cogent points, or honest explanations,
        it might be more appropriate not to post at all, rather then resorting to vicious, nasty, abusive remarks.
        It’s not Christlike or of the Lord.
        Deal with any anger issues you may have other than on this blog.
        It sounds to me like you might have such issues.
        Let nothing disturb you!

        Like

  10. 12:16pm
    There’s an excellent job been done of NOT handing on the faith! What’s the Archbishop doing to address it?

    Like

    1. 4:52
      Are you, alright?
      It seems to me, being Christ, depends on who the person is or is not, from your post.
      Christians are called to be Christ to everyone, no matter who they are, or whether they agree or disagree with us, including, if they sing from different hymn sheets or in ‘different troughs!!’. Abusers found guilty by a court, a public judicial forum, have put themselves, and particularly, their victims, on the cross!

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      1. 5.36: It’s apparent that anyone who disagrees with Magna and Pat are not “alright”. May I respectfully suggest that you learn to discern the real motivation behind Magna’s viciousness, envy and bullying. A brief study of his life would make for an interesting case study. Thise of us who remember him from seminary are not surprised at his bullying tactics. I thought this blog had outlawed the hate language of Magna!

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  11. A paedos mind is a strange sad and hurting place. That being said priest or no priest is neither here or there. It is what it is. A Christian should add a prayer to the mix hi

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    1. Afternoon hi fly.
      True fly.
      But prayer was the only ingredient in the mix in the church for too long.
      Now they are in a muddle.
      The church powers that be knew it was morally and legally wrong
      otherwise why put the frighteners and fear of the devil on children abused.
      T’was not up to the bishops to determine mental harm done or not done.
      A big red herring.The
      Say one for me fly.
      Bye bye hi fly.

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    2. 12:41PM
      Where is that FLY-SWAT.

      Like

    3. 5:45
      So, you know Magna Carta?

      Like

  12. +Pat. The former curate in Larne I was referring to was not Danny Curran. He did however come from near enough the same part of the country. In fairness to him he preferred his prey a bit older. Late teens and early twenties were boys I knew of. I never heard of children being involved. Reports also suggest he liked the cane.

    Like

    1. Right. Im 35 yrars in Larne and never heard this.

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      1. Pat what does the P stand for in LGBTQP ?

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    2. Sylvester?

      Like

      1. I not heard that about SM.

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      2. 1.42: Good question….Pat should know…

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  13. 1;40. The very man
    I’m really surprised you didn’t know about him Pat. The half of Larne knew what that big mincer was up to.

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    1. Apparently.

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    2. I’m surprised because a lot of Larne Catholics spoke well of Sylvester McGrady over the years. It just shows you.

      Was he related to the Downatrick McGradys?

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      1. Yes, he was.

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      2. Things must run in families?

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  14. A new big scandal brewing in the American Archdiocese of Chicago, involving the late, Cardinal Bernadin, former Cardinal, McCarrick, and cover up. The allegations are of the sexual abuse of boys and sexual violation of seminarians, involving satanic rituals. Apparently, documentary evidence indicate the Vatican were aware of the matters.

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  15. 2:26 @ 3:16pm
    Nowadays contemplation consists of googling and ogling websites such as grindr
    and preying on seminarians ‘down the house’. Nothing new in preying on junior seminarians.

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  16. 3.38: Magna: yiu are the ZOMBIE MORON. You deliberately misread comments. You are an asshole, deserving of contempt. Your vile hatred weaves through your every word. As for my academic and intellectual abilities: I surpass you any day in my rational, intelligent, normal and clear thinkingand behaviour. You are a hate inciter: I’m not: you are an abuser of others: I’m not: you are a rejected seminarian: I excelled: you are a bully: a tyrant: I’m not. You have a worrying deficit of emotional decency or empathy. You are dangerous. You insult, demean and abuse all before you. You espouse poisonous narratives that suit your twisted, vengeful and venomous agenda. You debase, diminish and devalue any humanity you may possess with your tyranny of ignorant and racist abuse. Obviously you get a sexual “high” from this and a fleeting sense of importance. Grow beyond your hatred and read comments with a little more clarity, preferably when sober!

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    1. Goodness, Magna, well that’s you told by Fr Better than Thou! As always his comments are revealing of his attitude towards others and view of himself, which of course lacks insight or charity, and he is smugly certain that he will always be better than anyone else!

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      1. 5.17: You’re wring again, Mr. Smart Ass. That you support that vile human, Magna, says it all about you. You too are obviously a hate inciting, abusive bully. I have every right to defend my integrity and conscience. I have every right to correct the lies and myths spewing out of Mag’s mouth. Incidentally, thank you for the compliment, referring to me as Fr. Better than Thou! Your cynicism is good and in my case, your description of me is true……I would never, of course, in all humility, have attributed such words to myself!

        Like

      2. Carta and his critic @ 5:12pm are both prize prats. A plague on them both.

        Like

      3. There’s a theme developing here – Fr Better than Thou says anyone who calls him out on his bullshit a bully.
        What you’re actually about is power, which is why you feel bullied by those who don’t say yes, Fr to you. And your perception of how you excelled at seminary is laughable – I would lay money on you having a small penis and/or having been bullied at school.
        It doesn’t surprise me you went to Maynooth – you have zero self awareness and betray your inadequacy with every sentence you say, before projecting it on to MC or me.
        As always Pat, I know you will edit any bit of this comment you don’t want to publish and that’s fine by me 👍

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    2. 5:12

      Do you want some egg with that ham?

      You should be on the stage. Victorian melodrama would be right up your street.😅

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      1. 5:37
        Your humility doesn’t seem to extend to the keyboard.

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      2. 9.01: Hi Maggie, you could be my makeup artist for the Victorian drama. I can imagine you in your frillies and rouge and your pink knickers…enjoying handling and fondling…. You send out creepy signals….

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    3. 5:12
      Another Christ!! Could you imagine Christ saying what you posted?

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      1. 11:15pm
        How creepy can you get, with that post!

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  17. Years ago my late mother told me that her close friend told her that Fr McGrady tried it on with her son. My late mums friend was a devout woman and certainly not one to lie or invent a story about such a serious matter especially concerning a priest.

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    1. 8:47pm
      LoL 😆

      Like

  18. 5.41: I am in agreement with you. Over and over again, Magna elicits the usual onslaught of abuse from other commentators and gives in equal, horrible, nasty measure. Magna and his many critics have destroyed any respectful and measured debate about important issues raised on this blog. There is a very unhealthy, nasty and virulent gene of hatred embedded in their words, each trying to outsmart the other. I believe Pat should limit the comments of Magna and his vicious critics who seem interested only in tearing each other apart. They add nothing to dialoguing about relevant topics. And, the sheer abusiveness of some comments warrant Garda/PSNI investigation for their incutement to racism and hatred. Pat, why are you entertaining and tolerating the nastiness of Magna and his vicious critics so frequently?

    Like

    1. I’ve added nothing to relevant topics?! What of my earlier comment today on chaperoning paedophiles, both for their benefit and for that of their victims, and potential victims? And that comment is just one of many, spread over different blogs here.
      Are you illiterate? Stupid? Or just a bloody liar?😕

      Like

  19. Big day for Clogher this Sunday….never seen such publicity. First priest ordained there in 20 years.

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    1. And what a priest 😊

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  20. 7.36: Pat, what do you meany by your cryptic comment? Is a newly ordained not allowed to have a lovely celebration? Remember your ordination day? Did anyone try to undermine it or make judgments about you? I trust you will pray for this soon to be newly ordained priest!

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  21. 7:19pm
    Silly stuff.
    The Garda/PSNI investigation for incutement to racism and hatred. More bullying tactics!

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    1. 9.11: Nit at all silly stuff! Magna andvhus vicious critics and followers would not dare to say in front of any person or group the sentiments of hatred or racism expressed on this blog. They are cowards and bully people through social media blogs. Unless you are part of this cohort, you cannot but agree that Magna and a few trolls overstep many boundaries.

      Like

      1. 11:10pm
        More silliness.
        Some of the worse trolls and most abusive, vicious, and nasty comments on this blog,
        come from a number of ontologically altered clerics. Boundary violations by a few clerics on
        this blog, is a regular occurance, particularly when someone says something they don’t like to read or
        don’t agree with the comment, or are unable to defend, and therefore resort to attacking the poster.

        Like

      2. What racism on my part?😕
        Evidence?😅

        Like

  22. 8.47: You prove my point. You ARE the utterly idiotic one. You’re silly, infantile and unintelligent. Sorry kid, but you need to go back to school or enrol in a psychology class. I never went to Maynooth. I attended seminary in Ireland and France ( for 2 years by choice) and studied at UCD. Have never ever been inside Maynooth Seminary or College. Ever. As for your pubescent humour, well, it proves your immaturity and silliness butvI won’t deprive you of a sexual thrill in your fantasies!! I’m beginning to enjoy the “Fr. Better than Thou” acolade. Could be true but my humility forbids me accepting such glorious titles. What matters is that God sees my conscience, heart, soul and mind, thankfully. Now, back to your cave…

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    1. And aren’t you soooo proud that God is allegedly taken in by your arrogance?
      Yes, there are significant problems in priestly formation in all sorts of areas. In fact if I had to guess what seminary you were to I would have said Allen Hall, you bear so faithfully the Hallmark of priests formed there.
      I cannot wait for your book on humility to come out… An expert like yourself would be able to teach us mere ontologically unchanged mortals so much.
      Now, back to your Grindr, father Smaller than Thou.

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      1. 10.52: Give me your address and I’ll gladly send you my book on humility!! Seems like you would appreciate my thesis. You are so wrong about Allen Hall. But keep guessing. The only grinder I know is the one I used to chop turnips to pieces for the pigs on our farm……long, long ago!! Enlighten me about your ‘grindr’. Please.

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    2. Pat thank you for posting my comment without cuts. Fr Smaller than Thou couldn’t resist biting!
      He really doesn’t like hearing no does he.

      Like

    3. You see everything in terms of ‘sexual thrills’, don’t you?

      Like

      1. 11:54 pm
        Exactly,MC.👍
        It seems to be a preoccupation for some of these more, juvenile clercis.

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  23. @8:47pm, “Magna Carta” and “Fr Better than thou”, guess what? You all sound like total w**kers. You are welcome to each other. ✊💦💦💦

    Like

    1. 10.31: You are right. I encourage Pat to censor commentators like these two lunatics who ruin any efforts at genuine debate. Magna brings out the worst in people. I sometimes think that Magna responds to some of his own rants and comments. It’s weird. What’s most objectionable is the level of vitriol and abuse traded back and forth. Pat – please – only give such people limited space for their nauseating and sickening nonsense.

      Like

  24. I did a word search for Elsie, Amy, and Annie, but not a peep.

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  25. Pat, if you’re continuing with the topic of yesterday, please spare us the twisted nonsense and bullying abuse of Magna and some of his critics, some of whom I believe to be Magna responding back to himself. Witnessing the whacky responses is a little tiresome, juvenile and annoying. They have been given too much space, primarily to abuse.

    Like

    1. 9:38
      And will you spare us your attempts to control this blog.

      Like

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