WITH SO MUCH IN THE NEWS ABOUT CLERICAL SEXUAL ABUSE PEOPLE FORGET THAT ABUSE BY THE CLERGY GOES FAR DEEPER THAT JUST SEXUAL ABUSE.
THERE IS WIDESPREAD NON SEXUAL CLERICAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS AND BISHOPS.
Bishops and priests using large sums of diocesan and parish money for their own needs and desires.
An example would be the circa £4 million spent by Noel Treanor on his Belfast palace.
Bishops and priests abusing their authority over other clerics and lay people.
An example would be the sacking of the two very loyal elderly lady sacristans in the Pro Cathedral in Dublin.
Priests visiting the homes of elderly devout Catholics and coveting antiques and other property.
There was a famous case of this in Down and Connor with the now deceased Father Michael Coppinger. He used to covet antique clocks and furniture belonging to elderly ladies. And when the old lady tried to say “Ill leave it to you in my will” he would answer “There is no guarantee that you children will honour that” and nearly always left with the coveted item.
Priests visiting elderly ladies regularly and getting them to leave the priest their house and/or money in their will and in some cases copper-fastening this by providing the lady with sexual favours.
This has happened and is still happening all over Ireland. Mourne Man Michael told us of how one of his aunts did something similar.
A priest visiting elderly widows and getting them to take their money out of the post office or bank and giving it to them as an interest free loan – and never returning the money to the old lady or the family.
Father Vincent McKinley of St. Peter’s in Belfast, who had a serious gambling addiction was at this in my time there.
Priests verbally abusing parishioners on the telephone, at the presbytery door or in schools or churches.
We heard on this blog that the PP of Magherafelt, John Gates, was capable of sending old ladies home in tears.
Priests physically assaulting parishioners and others. I have heard many cases of this and indeed as I said recently I was beaten up in St Peter’s presbytery.
Priests making jokes about peoples troubles and even disabilities
Priests bullying school principals and teachers.
Priests giving jobs to family and friends in schools and overlooking the best qualified candidates.
Priests being persistently absence from their parishes – the work one day a week syndrome.
Priests living their whole lives in a spirit of cynicism.
Priests having out of control drinking, drug taking and gambling addictions.
Priests embedded in clericalism and regarding themselves as superior to all others.
Priests using parishioners for money, holidays, expensive meals out – and never returning the compliment.
Maybe readers will come up with other examples.
These are the ones I have experienced and that come to mind at the time of writing.