From the human point of view there is absolutely nothing wrong with two men committed to each other in a loving relationship.

In fact the people of Ireland recently put gay marriage on a par with heterosexual marriage.

The problem only arises because of RC teaching and canon law.

It is absolutely clear in RC teaching that ordained priests be celibate for life. While, technically, celibacy means not to marry, the spirit of the law and teaching requires that priests never engage in sexual intimacy with any other human being, or indeed with themselves.

As far as the church is concerned two priests cannot be regarded as a “couple”.

A priest is, and is seen to be, a representative of the RC church.

To preach and teach one thing, and to contradict that teaching in your own private life is to leave yourself open to the charge of hypocrisy.

The RC church says that all sexual activity outside the Sacrament of Marriage is sinful.

I dont believe that.

But priests within the system, especially if they occupy positions of upholding canon law and church teaching, are bound even more closely by that law and teaching.

You can’t have your cake and eat it.

I have referred all the information I have received to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. He was surprised at the information. He will now begin a formal enquiry, while presuming innocence until guilt is proven. We cannot disagree with that. That is justice.

Of course the phenomena of two priests being couples is becoming more and more common. There are priest couples in all Irish dioceses. There are many in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Even if the celibacy rule changes I cannot see the Vatican blessing and allowing priest couples.

So let us see what comes out of the current investigation in Dublin.

What do readers think?



Bishop Malone appeared in national interview on ABC’s Nightline

By: Eileen Buckley

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The leader of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, Bishop Richard Malone faced tough questions about the priest abuse scandal.

Malone appeared in an interview aired nationwide on ABC’s Nightline .
7 Eyewitness News senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke to the whistleblower who says she would testify against her former boss.
“For me – it just reminded me that things are such much the way the way they always were,” remarked Siobhan O’Connor.

O’Connor is Bishop Malone’s former secretary – turned whistleblower who worked exclusively with I-Team chief investigator Charlie Specht as he investigated decades of abuse allegations in the diocese. Her former boss faced a grilling about the scandal on Nightline by ABC news reporter David Wright.

“No. There’s no priest with a substantiated, what you called credible, allegation of abuse of a minor in ministry in this diocese. I can testify to that honestly and 100%,” Malone responded.
In the interview, O’Connor describes how she discovered a binder in a so-called ‘vacuum cleaner closet’ at the diocese office’s in downtown Buffalo. She told Nightline it contained documents of alleged priest sex abuse cases. But when she tried to bring her concerns to Malone, he didn’t react.
“He was always very eager to placate me – to tell me not to worry about – that’s not my job – don’t get involved,” O’Connor explained.
Then reporter Wright showed Bishop Malone an email provided by O’Connor on her concerns.
“I mean I have here an email that she sent to you outlining her disappointment and her concerns,” said Wrighgt.
“Yea- I think – yes – I, I recall this…but I’m willing to admit that I didn’t handle that properly…and believe me – I’ve learned from it,” answered Malone.
O’Connor was also asked if she thinks the bishop should go to jail by Nightline.
“That’s such a hard question for me – because he wasn’t alone,” O’Connor replied.

“Put it this way – would you be testifying against him?,” Wright questioned.
“I would – yes – so in that regard my testimony might result in him going to jail – and again – it’s hard because I do know him personally…sadly…I think he does need to go to jail – but I would visit him,” O’Connor remarked.
Malone appeared stunned to hear O’Connor’s response.
“Wow – that is a shocker to me and disappointing and very distressing – that’s all I can say,” Malone answered.
“Do you understand the depth of her anger and disappointment?” asked Wright.
“Not entirely – not entirely – to say she thinks I should go to jail – I find – I almost speechless to hear that,” said Malone.

Ironically O’Connor has been asked to be the speaker at a gathering of the survivors network of those abused by priests – known a snap in Washington, D.C.
We asked how she felt when Malone declared that he doesn’t “entirely” understand her anger.
“That’s really a testament to the fact that he would often see and hear what he wanted to hear and I don’t believe that he fully understood my frustrations when I did express them to him – I don’t know if he really understood the gravity of the emotionally stress I was in at times,” O’Connor responded.
Bishop Malone denied there was a cover up within the church when asked about the diocese originally releasing the names of 42-priests with substantiated claims of abuse against them, then later the list grew to more than 100

Late Friday afternoon the diocese issued a statement saying Bishop Malone has made determinations on three priests based an independent review board recommendations.
The board was unable to substantiate the allegations against Msgr. John Ryan. He has been returned to ministry.
An allegation of child sexual abuse against Rev. Pascal Ipolito and an allegation of child sexual abuse against Rev. Daniel Palys have been substantiated. Both priests will remain on administrative leave.
The following is the full statement issued by the diocese:
“Bishop Malone makes determinations on three priests following Independent Review Board recommendations. On July 24, 2019, the Independent Review Board met and carefully considered the reports of investigator Scott F. Riordan who was asked to investigate allegations of abuse against three priests of the Diocese of Buffalo.As a result of these reports and the advice and recommendations of the Independent Review Board, Bishop Richard J. Malone has made the following determinations:Based on the information available at this time and the refusal of the complainants to cooperate with the investigator, the Independent Review Board is unable to substantiate the allegations against Msgr. John M. Ryan. Msgr. Ryan has been returned to ministry.An allegation of child sexual abuse against Rev. Pascal D. Ipolito and an allegation of child sexual abuse against Rev. Daniel J. Palys have been substantiated, and both priests will remain on administrative leave until the results of the diocesan investigation are reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican in Rome, who will make the final determination.”



People like Siobhan O Connor are very brave and very important.

The clerical club will always protect it’s own.

It takes non clerical club people to shine the light into dark clerical corners.

We need more and more of that.





You could not meet a nicer person. He is also highly intelligent and has a great gift with creativity.

He experienced the tail end of The Troubles and his childhood home was regularly petrol bombed.

And in his past, like many of us, he experienced other traumatic events.

At 17 he started drinking. He discovered that alcohol was, albeit tempory, a painkiller.

Now he is drinking a litre bottle of spirits a day 😥


He got in touchy with me after reading my book A SEXUAL LIFE – A SPIRITUAL LIFE and I invited him to come and have a chat.

The next day I contacted a private GP in Belfast and we both went to see here about her prescribing the drugs he would need for his 7 day detox.

This detox was to take place at The Oratory – with me supervising it under the daily guidance of the prescribing doctor.

The plan then, after detox, was to have him interviewed in a Rehab centre for a 30 day intensive rehab followed by a two years follow up.

All was arranged.

And then my new friend pulled out. He felt he was not ready to detox and rehab and did not like the idea of total abstinence from alcohol for life.

Of course, I remain open to helping him if he decides to go ahead at some future time.

I am a great supporter of the AA – Alcoholics Anonymous. Some individuals seem to be able to do detox and rehab on their own. Some seem to be able to do it with the support of the AA.

But, in my experience, the best and most thorough of becoming permanently sober is to do a professionally supervised detox and rehab. 

I’d appreciate readers opinions and experiences.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.



Gwendolyn Wu San Francisco Chronicle

A pastor with the Diocese of Santa Rosa allegedly stole more than $95,000 from his parishes, church officials discovered following a June car accident. Bishop Robert F. Vasa, of the Diocese of Santa Rosa,

Bishop Robert F. Vasa, seen here in January, says a Santa Rosa priest allegedly stole at least $95,000 from five Northern California churches.

Bishop Robert F. Vasa knew something was amiss as the bags of cash started piling up.
First, it was the six security bags — used for collecting parish donations — found in a Santa Rosa priest’s car after the pastor was injured in an accident. Then it was the dozen sacks — both sealed and unsealed — in the same priest’s office, as well as a $10,000 stack of cash found in his desk drawer.

But a final trip to the Rev. Oscar Diaz’s home unveiled the extent of the money allegedly skimmed from five Northern California churches — at least $95,000 taken over the course of 15 years from well-intentioned parishioners, church officials said Monday.
Diaz, 56, was identified by church officials as the culprit. The suspended pastor of Resurrection Roman Catholic Parish in Santa Rosa first set off suspicions June 19, when he fractured his hip in a car crash, according to the Diocese of Santa Rosa.
Emergency responders arrived on the scene to treat Diaz and take him to a local hospital for surgery, but they also made a startling discovery: The half-dozen bags in the vehicle were stuffed with $18,305.86 in cash, which officials said came from parish donations.
“The chain of custody in the parish is that they’re not taken off-site, put in cars and not managed singly by the pastor,” Vasa told The Chronicle.

Diaz allegedly described the money bags to first responders as his salary, but a hospital employee contacted police after the stuffed sacks arrived at the emergency room with the injured priest. The church told parishioners of the alleged deception Sunday.
Investigators later found Diaz had taken an additional $77,000 from the parishes he previously led for much of his career, officials said.
The week after the crash, Vasa said, Diaz called his staff to report additional collection bags in his office that needed to be processed and deposited. They found a dozen more, along with $10,083 in a stack that consisted “mostly” of $100 bills, officials said.
Some checks written out to Resurrection Parish were allegedly deposited into Diaz’s personal bank account.
Vasa and Monsignor Daniel Whelton visited the pastor’s rectory and apparently found even more bags. Diocesan staff suspect the alleged thefts at the Resurrection Parish began in September 2018, just a month after Diaz began leading Sunday Mass at the church.
Diaz allegedly admitted to Vasa he was taking funds from the parish and is cooperating with the church’s internal investigation. However, no criminal charges are expected, Vasa said, because the protocols around “collection accounting” would make for a difficult investigation.
“Could he argue that he was using this as a collection for the poor and he was gonna keep it and distribute it to the poor?” the bishop said. “It’s unlikely and a violation of policy, but is it clear legal evidence of theft? It’s just not as easy to prove.”
Santa Rosa police did not respond to a request for comment.
Monday’s news comes as the Catholic Church grapples with numerous sex abuse scandals across the country, as well as the recent ban of a West Virginia bishop who was accused of harassment and misspending church money on personal luxuries, such as chartered jets and more than $180,000 in fresh flower deliveries.
It is unclear how Diaz allegedly embezzled parish funds for so long, but church finance experts said collection standards often vary.
The diocese’s chief financial officer should have controls in place to notice the missing donations, said Charles Zech, the executive director of Villanova University’s Center on Church Management.
“Every parish has to have a finance council, but some are just rubber stamps,” he said.
The Diocese of Santa Rosa did not respond to a request for comment about its parish reporting practices.
Vasa said that while it’s difficult to determine the “full extent” of the thefts, the diocese will pay restitution to the parishes affected.
The Diocese of Santa Rosa suspended Diaz, who underwent surgery after the crash, from the ministry during the embezzlement investigation. Church records show the pastor recently celebrated 25 years with the diocese. He previously led several parishes in Lake and Sonoma counties: St. Joseph Church of Cotati, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Clearlake, St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Ukiah and St. Mary Parish in Lakeport.
All 177 United States dioceses have different parish accounting policies, according to Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic lay organization calling for sex-abuse-policy reform.
The nonprofit publishes an annual report after auditing each diocese’s fiscal practices and examining how open it is to sharing information about donations.
Voice of the Faithful lauded the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 2018 for greatly improving its financial transparency webpage, but the organization also noted that the diocese was only above average when it came to explaining how parish collections were used.
Jason Berry, an author who investigates sexual and financial abuses in the Catholic Church, said embezzlement schemes, which are now “numbingly common,” and reports of sexual misconduct run “parallel.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recommends regular and frequent auditing in every diocese and its parishes, but each diocese has its own collection policies, much like varying child sex-abuse-reporting policies prior to the 2002 Boston Globe investigation that found widespread abuse in the church.
Policies on best practices, such as sealed security bags and having at least three parish staff members count collections, have been adopted by parishes nationwide, but they are not uniform for every church.
“If the priest had been found or accused of abusing children under their national guidelines, they would immediately report to the police and let the legal system follow through,” Berry said.
If the Diocese of Santa Rosa declines to press charges against Diaz, Zech said, it could show a double-standard for what is morally correct for laypeople versus clergy.
“If the bishop doesn’t prosecute,” Zech said, “he’s saying to the rest of the priests in the diocese, ‘It’s OK, you’re allowed to get away with this.’”
The Rev. Aaron DePeyster, a priest previously with the Archdiocese of Detroit, is leading the Resurrection Roman Catholic Parish in Santa Rosa in the interim.
Gwendolyn Wu is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.


Another serious case of clerical financial abuse.

There is a yet untold story of all the pilfering bishops and priests making their own of church monies.

Many a priest has built a retirement home out of parish funds.

Many a bishop and priest have travelled the world on first and business class flights with church money.

When I first visited Belfast in 1978 I stayed with a curate who later went to prison for child abuse. I was amazed at the number of people coming to the presbytery door pushing notes into his hands as gifts or for saying Mass.

The priest kept a steel waste paper bucket on the floor inside the door full of 5, 10 and 20 pound notes.

Every time we went out he would grab a handful of notes and push them into his trousers pocket for his food and drinks needs.

He also had a very serious drink problem and the bucket was used to fill the drinks cabinet.

I once was given a bottle of Russian vodka that was st strong I could not even tolerate one sip.

My priest friend drank the whole bottle in my sitting room and then drove home!!!

I think things are tightened up these days.

But I also think that a motivated cleric could cream off a lot of funds for his personal use.

“One for me and one for God” 😈



Polish abuse scandal: Victims take on the Catholic Church

By Adam Easton BBC

Image captionMonika, now 28, has spoken of years of abuse as a teenager at the hands of priests
Marek Mielewczyk was a 13-year-old altar boy when a priest asked him to come to his presbytery.
“This is where I was abused for the first time,” he says.
He is one of several victims, now adults, featured in a documentary about Polish priests who sexually abused children.
Tomasz and Marek Sekielski’s film, Don’t Tell Anyone , was watched 20 million times in the first week of its digital release – and prompted an unprecedented challenge to Poland’s Roman Catholic Church.
More than 90% of Poles identity themselves as Catholics. For many, the Church and its rituals do not just provide spiritual comfort: they are part of a national identity.
That might explain why Poles have been slow to question the behaviour of some of their own priests, despite sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church in Ireland, the USA and neighbouring Germany.
Monika, 28, did not appear in the film. But she told the BBC about years of abuse during supposed exorcisms by priests around Poland when she was a teenager.
Her parents saw the priests “as heroes, people who were fighting against the devil himself” – but she believes they were manipulated.
You may find some of the details in this story upsetting.
The Catholic Church defended Polish culure, language and identity as the country was ruled by three occupying empires in the 19th Century.
After World War Two, the Church – and Polish Pope John Paul II – gave strength to the democratic Solidarity movement, helping it overthrow communist rule.

Image captionPolish bishops last month held a special mass as they considered the repercussions of the scandal
But the documentary has sullied that reputation.
Shortly after the film’s release, an opinion poll suggested 67% of Poles regarded the Church’s response as inadequate and 87% said its authority had been diminished.

How Marek challenged the Church

Marek Mielewczyk was abused for five years.

“I didn’t know about things like masturbation and touching. I had no idea about homosexual relations. I didn’t know that an adult could abuse a child,” says Mr Mielewczyk.
“He told me not to tell anyone, not to talk about it at school, and that’s what happened.”

The abuse continued until one Christmas Eve when he was 18, and he tried to kill himself by taking pills. His parents only discovered what had happened to him after he told a doctor why he had been suicidal.
When the doctor informed the local bishop about the case, he wrote back saying he was aware of the abuse.
Marek, now 50, has identified his abuser as Fr Andrzej Srebrzynski, and the documentary says the priest was subsequently moved from parish to parish for the next 28 years.
He was only removed from the priesthood in 2015. Even then, he was filmed taking part in a religious procession wearing his priestly vestments.
Fr Srebrzynski denies abusing Marek, arguing that it was another priest who molested him. A judge in 2017 ordered him to apologise to his victim, and he is appealing against the ruling.

How damaging for Church?

“There are no words to express our shame,” Polish bishops said in a statement issued in the days following the documentary’s release – acknowledging they had not done enough to prevent abuse.

Adam Szostkiewicz, a columnist for Polityka weekly, believes there is now a readiness for people to make the bishops responsible for their silence.
“This process will take time, but for me, it’s a point of no return for the Church,” he said.
“But for some Poles, if they lose the Church, it’s like they lose a part of themselves. They prefer to close their eyes,” he added.
“They see the Church as their mother, and you cannot say bad things about your mother.”

‘Nobody tried to stop him’

As a teenager growing up in a small town outside Warsaw, Monika – not her real name – was fascinated with black clothes, heavy music and drawing vampires.
Now an art student, she says her years of abuse began when a priest convinced her parents that she was possessed by an evil spirit, and began performing exorcism rites on her.
Soon, she was being taken around the country for so-called treatments by other priests.

"I was someone who liked art and was a little bit over sensitive and they turned me into a psychological wreck. They destroyed me", Source: Monika, Source description: Aged 28, Image: Inka

On one occasion, she said she was taken to a tiny basement room where there was a bed with leather straps.
“This priest strapped me to the bed and literally tortured me. He had lay people helping him, and this priest would shove a crucifix down my throat until I started to bleed,” she told the BBC.
“He started drowning me on this bed. He would pinch my nose closed and pour water down my throat. Nobody reacted or tried to stop him.”
Another priest she describes as a sadist. “He would strangle me and pin me down by lying on top of me. I could feel he was sexually aroused.”
She says he would tie her to a church pew or a radiator for so long that she wet herself.
While staying with one of the priests she would sleep in his bed. “He would drink alcohol. He also did things; he was a man with a teenage girl in his bed,” she said.
Monika only managed to escape with the help of her friends after they learned of her suffering.
She has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative identity disorder. She has sought support through the Nie Lekajcie Sie (Have No Fear) foundation which helps abuse victims.
She started legal action but prosecutors dropped her case after a court-appointed psychologist, whom the foundation says has close links to the Catholic Church, suspected she was lying.
The foundation sought another psychologist’s opinion, who found her story credible, and Monika is appealing against the prosecutor’s decision.

How is Poland responding?

The Have No Fear foundation is drafting a citizens’ bill to enable victims to file historical claims against priests and to allow for the creation of an independent truth and compensation commission, modelled on those set up in Ireland, Germany and Australia.
Poland’s conservative Law and Justice government is creating a commission, but with members appointed by politicians rather than experts. The party enjoys the support of many priests for its backing of Catholic values.

Image captionEarlier this year, a statue was pulled down in Gdansk of a priest who was defrocked in 2005
The government commission will investigate professions such as child-care and teaching as well as the Church.
Marek Mielewczyk, who is now a grandfather, realises the fight for justice will take time, but he’s happy it has at least begun.
After watching the documentary, his eldest daughter texted him “Daddy, I love you”.
“It was very moving for me. All those years of hard work had been worth it,” he said.


Here we read of the intense sufferings of Polish children and their families.

Another part of the empire where abuse, corruption were all covered up.

And just as Catholic Ireland is in the process of making the RC junta here an evil irrelevance so will the Polish do in the near future.

I have no regrets about giving my life to faith and God but if I had to do it again it would not be in the context of the Roman Strumpet.

What has represented itself as being of God has in reality being of Satan.





Beside the chapel three boys were playing football.

At the forge door an old man was leaning Viewing a hunter-hoe.

A man could hear If he listened to the breeze the fall of wings –

How wistfully the sin-birds come home!

It was Confession Saturday, the first Saturday in May;

the May Devotions Were spread like leaves to quieten

The excited armies of conscience.

The knife of penance fell so like a blade

Of grass that no one was afraid.

Father Mat came slowly walking,

stopping to Stare through gaps at

ancient Ireland sweeping In again with all its unbaptized beauty: The calm evening, The whitethorn blossoms, The smell from ditches that were not Christian. The dancer that dances in the hearts of men cried: Look! I have shown this to you before – The rags of living surprised, The joy in things you cannot forget. His heavy hat was square upon his head, Like a Christian Brother’s;



There were more Father Matt’s in the past than there are today.

Today the priesthood is replete with young, clericalist, ambitious, and promiscuous men.

I knew several Father Matt’s in my time

Father John Hyde SJ Milltown Park, Dublin.

Monsignor John Shine, President St John’s Waterford and PP Tramore.

Canon John Pierce PP Ballygall and Rathmines, Dublin.

Father Joe Collins CC Ballygall Dublin.

But then of course we must remember  that some of the older generation of priests were abusers too.




Questions Persist About Vatican Finances, Real Estate
Many of the issues identified as problematic are still in play, according to informed sources who spoke with the Register.
Edward Pentin National Catholic Register / Catholic Herald
VATICAN CITY — By October 2016, two years into his term as prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell had become aware of a Vatican dicastery handling large amounts of unregistered cash in offshore accounts.
But nearly three years later the questions raised by Cardinal Pell about the management of Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), the dicastery which handles the Vatican’s real estate and financial assets, have seemingly gone unanswered. Pell had identified money laundering and fraud risks related to the APSA’s use of foreign bank accounts and had questioned particular asset and real estate transactions.
Keen to move swiftly ahead with Pope Francis’ mandate to root out mismanagement and possible corruption in Vatican financial operations, the cardinal prefect contacted Australian banking friends in London in 2016 to find out more. They estimated that possibly as much as €100 million could be held in these accounts, primarily in the branches of two private banks located in Lugano, Switzerland.
Cardinal Pell responded by saying he would ask a Swiss law firm to first collect bank statements going back 10 years of one of these accounts, and to have the Vatican’s auditor general, Libero Milone, a former partner with Deloitte, a multinational financial auditing and consultancy firm, inspect them. To do this, Pell had to ask in writing for Pope Francis’ permission, which the Holy Father duly gave him with a simple signature.
Yet the bank statements never made it to Cardinal Pell or Milone — both of whom subsequently departed from their Vatican positions. An alleged sexual abuse scandal overshadowed the cardinal, and a barrage of accusations besieged Milone, but a year later Vatican officials exonerated the auditor following an internal investigation that failed to produce evidence to support the accusations.
Sources say the initiative to obtain the bank statements was most likely sabotaged after certain individuals became aware of the inquiry. Officials at APSA often used the excuse that they were having difficulty obtaining the data when asked for information pertaining to these accounts.
“They were delaying it, having ‘problems,’” said one of two informed sources in comments to the Register. “Effectively they were shielding the accounts.”
A major part of the resistance, the Register has learned, is that much of the money was kept in “ciphered accounts” which the Promontory Financial Group — one of several outside contractors brought in to help clean up Vatican finances — warned in 2014 were a money laundering and fraud risk that needed to be addressed.
While many of the accounts are now thought to be closed, it remains unclear exactly how many there were or if any are still operating. (Promontory believed there were at least six accounts generating potentially problematic activity).
Although Cardinal Pell’s former dicastery, now headed by former APSA deputy Msgr. Luigi Mistò, is in charge of vigilance and control over APSA, sources say it appears unlikely that the dicastery will ever know the precise amounts that were held in these accounts, or to whom they belonged.

‘Highly Irregular Transactions’
The accounts in question had irregular international banking numbers, making them difficult to track.
The money that was thought to have been in these accounts, in the Lugano branches of two private banks, Banca della Svizzera Italiana and Julius Bär, could have been be as much as €7 billion, according to some estimates. Both banks refused to confirm or deny the existence of the accounts: a Julius Bär spokeswoman told the Register July 11 that as a “matter of policy” they “do not comment on alleged or existing client relationship.”
The existence of the offshore accounts and the difficulty in accounting for them was confirmed to the Register by a second source familiar with the situation.
“It became clear as the months went by that there was a hub of corruption within APSA, and related to this were these two banks in Lugano,” said the source on condition of anonymity. “Highly irregular transactions were transiting through these banks.”
Neither Claudia Ciocca, a director in the Secretariat for the Economy charged with investigating these accounts, nor Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, the current APSA president, responded to the Register’s request for comment.
Tommaso Di Ruzza, the director of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority which monitored APSA until 2016, told the Register that as far as he was concerned, it was “not correct” to describe these as “illicit accounts.” He said he “cannot disclose if we found anomaly indicators.”
Di Ruzza said that “as a general rule,” if the Authority does find anomalies, it “spontaneously provides” and requests information from “its foreign counterparts” including Italian ones if “the interested subject is an Italian citizen or the transaction is connected with the Italian territory.” He declined to answer whether it made this verification when the Authority had oversight for APSA.

APSA’s Real Estate Holdings
Another challenge Cardinal Pell faced in trying to bring transparency, control and vigilance to Vatican finances was the inadequate management of foreign real estate holdings.
Sources say only few officials within APSA know the true extent of the Vatican’s foreign real estate portfolio, which is held largely “off the books” and handled confidentially.
Much of the foreign real estate APSA administers derives from funds the Italian government provided to the Vatican after the Lateran Pacts of 1929. This was paid in compensation for Church property that had been confiscation by the Italian state during the Risorgimento, the period in the 19th century during which the modern state of Italy was consolidated.
By 2016, the value of APSA’s real estate holdings was estimated to be worth at least €800 million with a portfolio including property in London’s prestigious Mayfair, as well as in Paris and Switzerland. The management of the UK portfolio is apparently carried out by APSA through a managing company called British Grolux Investments Ltd, which does not identify the Vatican’s ownership in its records although its board of directors contains various members linked directly to APSA.
In 2015, for reasons unknown, APSA spent €100 million to purchase a prestigious London property containing 108 apartments and 57,000 square feet of shops. Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, who served as APSA’s president from July 2011 until June of 2018, reportedly asked Cardinal Pell to effectively rubber-stamp the transaction only at the eleventh hour, but the cardinal advised against it due to serious questions he felt were unanswered.
The deal nevertheless went ahead after the Pope overruled Cardinal Pell’s concerns because Cardinal Calcagno had told Francis that APSA would lose its down payment of £3.5 million ($4.9 million) if the deal did not go ahead right away.
Cardinal Pell had also firmly opposed a proposal to use the Vatican’s pension fund for half the purchase, and specifically asked to know how this investment figured into the pension fund’s strategy.
But the fund’s president was also Cardinal Calcagno who wrote a letter to himself, from APSA to the fund, to approve the transaction. At the time the cardinal was also being investigated for embezzlement allegations relating to his time as bishop of Savona (that investigation has not resulted in any criminal proceedings against the cardinal, who had reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops at the time his resignation as president of APSA was accepted last year by Pope Francis).
The purchase of the London property in 2015, located at 176-206 High Street Kensington, is now viewed by officials as a mistake, having been made at the top of the London property market which experts were referring to as a “speculative bubble,” and with a relatively strong pound that lost significant value after the Brexit referendum a year later.
“What needs to be stressed is that the real estate APSA manages is not its own to manage, but belongs to the Church,” said the second Register source. “Instead, they deal with it like it’s theirs only, and if anyone tries to look in and see how they’re managing it, the person is seen as an intruder, even if that person happens to be from the Secretariat of State or from the Secretariat for the Economy.”

Lack of Transparency
APSA is not the only Vatican body with an apparent aversion to scrutiny. In 2017, the first ever external audit of the Vatican by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) was abruptly cancelled by the Secretariat of State just months after it had started, and having been agreed upon by the Council of the Economy – a group of cardinals that oversees the Secretariat for the Economy.
Cardinal Pell’s dicastery had already uncovered vast amounts of money that had not been recorded in financial statements (94 million euros in the Secretariat for State, later followed by nearly 1 billion euros in various other dicasteries).
In comments to the Register, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was sostituto (second in charge) at the Secretariat of State at the time and is now prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said he was unaware of the bank accounts or foreign real estate handled by APSA. He said APSA had its own “autonomy” and that not all of its operations were known to the Secretariat of State.
The Sardinian-born cardinal also said the Secretariat of State “never opposed, in principle, the audit by the PwC” but wanted to establish “temporal and thematic” limits to their “intervention.”
“They showed up and said they had to see everything,” he said, adding: “It is perfectly clear that this could not have been followed, also because of the very high costs of the operation, which had been agreed by the Secretariat for the Economy without consulting anyone.” The cardinal also maintained that because termination of the PwC contract was “consensual” and without any financial penalties, it showed that PwC auditors also “realized the operation had been poorly planned and that, for the good of all, had to be stopped.”
However, we understand from reliable sources that PwC was given alternative work to make up for the loss in fees.
Those same sources have told the Register that the events discussed in this article comprise just a “small sample” of the misconduct in play, but that Archbishop Galantino, and the new sostituto, Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, are making some progress in addressing financial mismanagement and possible corruption in the Vatican and abroad.
What many evaluators, inspectors, and consultants would prefer to see is a radical change of personnel.
“It would be so simple to eliminate the corruption: change the people and obey the rules,” said the second Register source. “Changing the structures helps as that creates control and vigilance, checks and balances, but it’s senseless to do that if people who control the assets, human resources, employee contracts and so on, are the same corrupt people as before, the so-called ‘old guard.’”
In addition to Archbishop Galantino and Claudia Ciocca, the Register contacted Archbishop Peña Parra and the Holy See Press office asking if they could confirm the existence of the Swiss accounts, APSA’s foreign real estate portfolio, and the full reasons for the PwC audit cancellation. None of these parties replied to the Register’s queries for clarification regarding these matters.


Rev Vincent Darragh, PE, AP, Ardboe has retired

V Rev Thomas Daly, PP, Togher, to be PE, AP, Togher

V Rev Sean Larkin, PP, Lower Killeavy, to be PE, AP, Lower Killeavy

V Rev Brian Mac Raois, PP, VF, Carlingford & Omeath, to be PE, AP, Kilkerley

Rt Rev Mgr James Carroll, PE, Adm, EV, Monasterboice, to be PP, EV, Togher

V Rev Aidan Murphy, PE, AP, VF, Coalisland (Ballyclog and Donaghenry), to be PP, VF, Mullaghbawn (Forkhill)

V Rev John Heagney, PP, VF, Mullaghbawn (Forkhill), to be PE, AP, Eglish

V Rev John Connolly, PP, Clonfeacle, to continue as Adm, Eglish

Rev Aidan Dunne, CC, Lower Killeavy, to be PP, Lower Killeavy

Rev Patrick Rushe, CC, Kilkerley, to be PP, Monasterboice

Rev Uduak Abara, MSP, CC, Middle Killeavy, to return to the Missionary Society of St Paul for a new assignment

Rev Brian White, CC, Haggardstown & Blackrock, to be PP, Carlingford & Omeath

Rev Paul Murphy, while continuing as CC, St Peter’s, Drogheda, to pursue part-time a licentiate in Canon Law in Louvain, Belgium

Rev Aidan McCann, CC, Dungannon, to be CC, Haggardstown & Blackrock

Rev Milan Tomaga, on loan from Diocese of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, to be CC, Dungannon



Damian Thomson The Spectator.

In today’s Holy Smoke podcast, Harry Mount and I discuss the mysterious religious beliefs of the man who will be the first baptised Catholic to enter Number 10.
Boris Johnson’s Catholic baptism – as a baby he was given the faith of his mother, Charlotte Fawcett – has received little publicity. Understandably, perhaps, because he was confirmed an Anglican at Eton, which makes him someone who chose to become an ex-Catholic (and, according to strict interpretations of the Magisterium, thereby placed an obstacle in the path of his salvation).

My guest is Boris expert Harry Mount, who tells me that our new PM’s godmother is Lady Rachel Billington – daughter of the ardently Catholic Lord Longford.

What a curious situation, incidentally. Britain has never had a Catholic Prime Minister. But, as of today, Downing Street will have been occupied by a former Catholic, Boris Johnson, and a future Catholic, Tony Blair.
The latter was virtually a Catholic while he was in office, attending Mass weekly and illicitly receiving Communion until Cardinal Hume stopped him. Not that he’s ever paid the slightest attention to Catholic teaching on such crucial matters as the right to life. And don’t expect Boris to, either. He’s a firm supporter of ‘a woman’s right to choose’ – which, as I say in the podcast, is really no surprise (you may have to google that one).

But orthodox Christians should’t write off Johnson completely. He’s theologically literate: I can’t think of another senior politician who peppers his pronouncements with so many biblical quotations and analogies.
He enrages not only the secular left but also its heavily politicised Christian allies – take a look at this comic spluttering by the Rev George Pitcher in the Guardian. He, in turn, finds them preposterous and can’t resist goading them.
Boris’s disdain for preachy internationalists is potentially good news, because these are the people who control the ghastly Department for International Development, which is militantly uninterested in the persecution of Christians.
Could our new prime minister force DfID to pay attention to their plight, rather than tipping money into the bank accounts and vanity projects of their persecutors?


It’s time for Christians to speak out against Boris Johnson

George Pitcher The Guardian

The amoral man most likely to be Britain’s future prime minister has no sense of humility or public duty. Churches should say so
• The Rev George Pitcher is a vicar in the Church of England

Tue 18 Jun 2019 06.00 BSTLast modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 10.36 BST

It’s a long time since vicars like me presided over a Church of England that could be described as the Conservative party at prayer. I don’t know if that’s such a bad thing for the church, which surely ought to be apolitical. But it might be deemed to have been a bad thing for Conservatives, who by most accounts appear to have idolatrously wandered so far from gospel truth that they’re about to elect a golden calf as their next leader and, by default, their prime minister.

The charge sheet against Boris Johnson is well rehearsed. He is a serial liar, philanderer and shirker. He was fired from the Times for making up quotes as a reporter, and as an opposition spokesman for lying to his leader about an affair; a spendthrift mayor of London, who relied on his deputies while he played to the gallery with vanity projects; incompetent beyond belief as foreign secretary; said to have deliberately misled the people on the post-Brexit economy; and a provocateur of racism and hate crime through his casual insults of our ethnic minorities. That’s before we get to the vacuous promises of what he’d do next with the British economy.

The political party that has always claimed to stand for ‘decency’ is about to sweep this exciting popinjay to power

And yet the political party that has always claimed to stand for British “values” and “decency” is about to sweep this exciting popinjay to power. Over the past couple of weeks I have spoken to former colleagues of his from politics and journalism, some of whom are even Johnson’s friends, and all of whom are Conservatives – and they are, without exception, astonished that this is about to happen. One of them encouraged me at the weekend to write this article because he feels that the Church of England, as the established church with the monarch at its head, has been all too silent on the awful prospect of a Johnson premiership.

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said nothing (full disclosure: I worked for his predecessor, Rowan Williams, at Lambeth Palace for a year), confining himself solely to comments about how we shouldn’t be divisive, along with an encomium to Theresa May. The estimable bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes (full disclosure two: I was at university with him and count him as a friend), has publicly called President Trump’s politics “toxic and dangerous”. But on Johnson, not a word.
So why has the Church of England nothing to say about the impending triumph of the Trump-lite Johnson? Possibly because we resile instinctively from lecturing even our oldest chums in the Tory party about morality. One huge reason for that will be the moral turpitude of the church in recent decades, with the grotesque revelations about the sexual abuse of minors, overseen by uninterested or acquiescent bishops, which has finally ended any presumption in respectable society that we should be the go-to source for moral direction.

More positively, we have the admirable quality of accepting human fallibility. It’s a central tenet of our Christian faith to welcome people exactly as they are, as sinners. That goes for priests and congregation. I know that I, for one, have the capacity to be a complete git. But then I’m not running to be prime minister.

So it remains an aberration that, at this moment in British politics, at least some of us in the Church of England aren’t standing up to be counted among those who might think Johnson isn’t an ideal candidate to be foisted on the nation by the tiny minority of the population that is the question.

What we look in vain for is a Christian case to be made against Johnson’s candidacy for Tory leadership and prime minister. It is as morally indolent and cowardly as Johnson himself not to make it. So, given the silence of the church, allow me to oblige in an individual capacity.

Central to our Christian creed is forgiveness. I have not a shadow of a doubt that Johnson is a forgiven human being, as all of us are forgiven. But forgiveness does invite repentance. The Christian faith is not transactional – we’re not forgiven because we say we’re sorry. But in saying we’re sorry, we make ourselves sufficiently vulnerable to recognise what forgiveness is.

One example: to say sorry for keeping Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British citizen with a five-year-old daughter, locked up in an Iranian jail, because he couldn’t be bothered to read his brief as foreign secretary, would be one thing. Merely to tell the BBC’s Mark Mardell on Friday that his heart goes out to her and her family is breathtakingly quite another. There is bad faith here that our church would do well to call out.

Another Christian quality to scrutinise here would be humility. Clearly the white-hot heat of modern politics requires a certain arrogance. May – a churchgoer, as it happens – showed some considerable arrogance in calling a needless general election, and an intransigent will to push through a hopeless Brexit deal. But even her critics wouldn’t deny that she had a sense of public duty. Is that in any sense apparent in Johnson’s agenda?

Above all, the Christian faith is about servant ministry, taking as its example and inspiration the figure of the Christ who not only humbles himself before worldly authorities but who gives himself entirely and sacrificially to those who follow him. As one sign of that, he washes his disciples’ feet on the night before he dies.



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I only watched a small part of it – but it was as cringe worthy as watching poor Daniel O’Donnell trying to make natural movements.

His voice and delivery was as camp as camp.

And his loud singing was like watching Shirley Temple sing On The Good Ship Lollipop.

He is absolutely full of pious diaherria going on about an auxiliary being there to serve “A SENIOR PRELATE” (himself) and about bishops having “THE FULNESS OF THE PRIESTHOOD” (himsef) and receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders “THREE TIMES” (HIMSELF).

Is a bishop like triple cooked chips and a priest only like oven cooked chips?

He just loves being all dressed up and performing his mega gig in front of his fellow clerics and the Cathbots gathered in Armagh to kiss all their rings.

It really is a medieval and outdated mutual admiration society.

When God was making Amy he certainly had no testosterone to put inside him that day.

Mind you, I think their is a nasty queen inside Amy – well able to bluster and bully when any of his underlings in Armagh displease him. I have heard the stories.

In any event he is a very weak leader for the Irish RC church at a time when it’s on its needs.

Even a strong leader would find the challenge extremely daunting.

But a girly archbishop going around with a lisp sprinkling holy water at us and telling us to say the Rosary will simply not cut it.

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Here’s Amy’s drivel
Dear brothers and sisters, I remember six years ago sitting where Father Michael is right now, awaiting the central moment of my episcopal ordination – the laying on of hands by all the bishops present. Cardinal Brady was the principal consecrator that day, and also present was Bishop Edward Daly who had ordained me as a priest in Derry, back in 1987 – may God rest his soul. A bishop receives the sacrament of Holy Orders three times in his life: firstly, when he is ordained as a deacon; then, at his priestly ordination; and, finally, when he receives ‘the fullness of orders’ as a bishop.
In a few moments the bishops here present, by the laying on of hands and by praying together the prayer of consecration, will continue to pass on the line of episcopal succession that is unbroken since the time of the apostles. In that way, Bishop Michael will not only become a close co-worker with me here in the Archdiocese of Armagh, but he will also become a brother within the “college of bishops” and under the authority the successor of Peter. He will share with all the bishops here, and around the world, the task of aintaining the deposit of faith, and “witnessing to the truth of the Gospel”.
I’m fondly remembering today the late Bishop Gerry Clifford, the last auxiliary bishop of Armagh, who died two and half years ago. I know that, like Bishop Clifford, Michael has great personal and pastoral gifts to bring to our diocesan projects and initiatives. For this I am grateful to God; to Pope Francis; to you, his parents and family, and to his brother priests, religious and people from the diocese of Kilmore – thank you for nurturing and sustaining Michael’s vocation. Fr Michael I want to assure you of my own personal closeness and support. I am confident that you will receive a warm welcome and prayerful good wishes throughout Archdiocese of Armagh, and also when you visit the Diocese of Dromore in support of my assignment as Apostolic Administrator there.
Fr Michael you will find life as a bishop to be fulfilling and interesting – although not without its challenges! The role and ministry of a Bishop has changed immensely since the appointment of the first auxiliary bishop to Armagh, Bishop William Conway, who came to us from Down and Connor more than sixty years ago.
The burden of administration has grown much heavier since then, and the needs of our people, priests and society have become more complex. The Church’s teaching on many important social and moral issues, including marriage and the sacredness of all human life, has become increasingly countercultural. With the decline in religious practice and fewer vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, we are have once again entered “mission mode” here in Ireland, and sometimes it’s difficult to discern precisely where the Holy Spirit is leading us. However, despite all this change, the fundamental calling of the bishop remains as it has been handed on to us since the earliest days of the Church:
You are called to be a devoted father and a brother who loves all those whom God places in your care – especially the priests and deacons who share with you the ministry of Christ. You are asked to be a good shepherd, praying and caring for the whole flock, loving especially the poor and infirm, the stranger, and those who are isolated, lost or going astray,
Believe me, you will never have a dull moment! I have to admit, Fr Michael, that when I listen to today’s Gospel story about Martha and Mary, my sympathies often lie with poor Martha – who ended up rushing around, fussing and fretting to make sure everything possible was being done for her guest, while her sister Mary sat quietly at the feet of Jesus, enraptured as he spoke to her. You will find, as a bishop, that it is very easy to get pulled this way and that, with so many demands, duties, meetings and administrative responsibilities, that it is not always easy to find time to be still in the presence of the Lord, and to listen to Him in prayer.
Forty years ago, when Pope St John Paul II came to Ireland, he spoke of the danger of becoming so immersed in the work of the Lord that we forget the Lord of the work – “Your first duty”, he advised us, “is to be with Christ” (Maynooth 1.10.1979).
Last August, when Pope Francis spoke to the bishops of Ireland at the end of the World Meeting of Families, he said something similar: “What is the first uty of the bishop?”, he asked. “I say it to everyone: it is prayer”.
Of course there is no contradiction between spending time in pastoral activity and giving time in prayer before the Lord. Indeed the opposite is the case. Listening prayerfully to God’s Word gives meaning and purpose to all our daily actions and helps us avoid becoming overburdened, as Martha was, with “too much serving”. The grace of the Holy Spirit found in prayer, strengthens us with hope to face the anxieties and struggles of daily living.
Pope Francis said shortly after his election: “Prayer and action should never be separated, but lived in profound unity – They are essential – together” (Angelus 21.07.2013).
Spending time with God’s Word in prayer offers inspiration for each day. Take, for example, today’s First Reading: When young Jeremiah heard God calling him to be a prophet to the nations, he protested, “Ah Lord; look, I do not know how to speak: I am only a child!’
Michael, there will be times as a bishop when you, like Jeremiah, may feel overwhelmed by your own limitations and by what God is asking of you. On those occasions, take some time to be alone with God, and find comfort in God’s reply to Jeremiah:
“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to protect you – it is the Lord who speaks!’ I am putting my words into your mouth”.
In a few moments, as you kneel in silence to receive the laying on of hands by all the bishops here present, I encourage you to be at peace with God’s new call and plans for you. You will never be on your own.
“Attend to the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit appoints you an overseer of the Church of God — in the name of the Father, whose image you personify in the Church — and in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, whose role of Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd you undertake — and in the name of the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the Church of Christ and supports our weakness with his strength”.




Last week I met what I call a Christ like ATHEIST, although he himself and many other atheists might not be comfortable with the term Christ like atheist.

I’m sure MMM will have something to say about that?

This good atheist is a barman in a local hostelry I occasionally visit for Sunday lunch.

His name is Peter.

He has always made his atheism clear to me – but always in a very friendly manner. In fact we joke with each other as atheist and bishop.

But he did something really good and honourable recently.

His pride and joy is his long hair and pony tail.

When I met him last week I was shocked – he had a very, very tight hair cut.

I asked him what happened his hair.

He told me that he had donated it to a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients. The minimum hair length they accept is 17 inches.

What a wonderful and generous action – to sacrifice something you love so dearly – to help another human being going through probably the worst time of their lives.

Its a perfect example of how religious people do not have a monopoly on goodness and generosity.

In fact many church goers have little or no goodness about them at all.


It also shows that atheists are just as capable as religious people of having a strong moral and ethic as religious people – and are just as capable of doing great good in the world.

Peter did his good deed for another human being – and not for God.

Of course I believe in God – and in the end atheists will be just as welcome, if not more welcome, in “heaven” as religious people.

There is a massive difference between SPIRITUALITY and RELIGION.