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.


Pat, when you choose to find poetry or articles which attempt to define the myriad of ways we can be awkward, trucculent, divisive and abusive while still letting some good and light get through our fragmented bones – that can be any of us. Human beings come in all kinds of crazy ways and are a mixture of good and bad, of light and darkness, of normalcy and madness, of the sublime and the ridiculous, of love and hatred. Sometimes I just have to ask God (in prayer) to keep me rooted in my humanity, in the good humanity given to me as gift and allow some of his Divinity shine through. We all know people who carry the potential for good and bad, people who walk on our fragile, broken humanity, peoole who’ll use boulders of hateful judgment to make our lives a misery, people who will be a boulder, a hard, sharp rock who delight in cutting us with sharp edges. Thank God for the good pelple in whicever shape they arrive into the vineyard of our lives and who made a difference by a humanity fused with a bright divinity. We stand tall because of them. The rest, of whom there are many, who stand like immovable bullies, well, we pray that they will receive some gentle, kind nodding, a tap on the shoulder, disapproving of their bullying, intemperate and unwelcome presence in our lives.


You are confusing gay priests with abusers. In fact it was the older generation who provided the bumper crop of abusers — these were often priests who had a crisis of identity when the Council took away the automatic priestly role and suddenly told them to be themselves and open up to the congregation, facing them at Mass, etc.


So, your answer to pedophilia is for the priest to say Mass with his back to the congregation.

Would you like to elaborate on how you arrived at such a novel suggestion!


No, I am a fan of the conciliar liturgy, but the Council did bring a crisis to many priests at the time and this is a factor in the abuse scandal.


Could you please give the complete text of the poem, properly laid out. Otherwise no one knows what the heck you are talking about.


And if every one of these ‘Father Matts’ had been ordered, under ‘holy obedience’, to conceal the rape of a child, he would have done so, robotically believing that, even by such an objectively perverse act, he was serving God.

How easy it must have been for these priests to so delude themselves when even the saints approved such a path. In her autobiography, St Therese of Lisieux counsels that when a more senior religious issues an order, even if unquestionably wrong, it should be obeyed.

Yes, these men might have done some good; perhaps even a lot. But it was always within the moral AND canonical strictures of ‘Holy Mother Church’.

There is no such thing as a truly good Roman Catholic priest, because he is not free to serve the God he believes he is serving even though, at his ordination, he vowed obedience to another, his bishop. His first and only loyalty is to the institutional Church through Canon Law and his bishop’s ordinances. Where these coincide with the will of God, this loyalty is not apparent; but when Canon Law and those ordinances conflict with the divine will, the whereabouts of his loyalty becomes strikingly obvious.


Obedience to a flawed, corrupt and abusive institutional Church is fast becoming a non-issue, because another more superior influence is now increasingly at play, and that is the secular State, which has seen that the Church and its priest and bishops are simply not able to regulate themselves in any lawful or moral way – indeed they have been seen to be corrupt and criminal – and so the State is beginning to oversee, regulate and call to account the institutional Church. We see this increasingly in the USA and also here in the UK with IICSA, and its Scottish equivalent which just this last week has been looking at horrendous abuse at the Benedictine Forth Worth Abbey school. No matter if priests and bishops think that they are bound by obedience to their Church, they are in for a nasty shock and will be called to account by the State. And if they think they can ignore the State, they may well find themselves in the clink. + Vincent has recently had a nasty shock in this regard, not ever for a moment thinking that he, the Cardinal, would be called, summonsed, to give evidence on oath before a secular body that has little regard for his much vaunted image of himself and his Church. The landscape is changing fast. And all priests and bishops need to smell the coffee and recognise that their ontological difference and sacramental character count for little in the real world.


11:56 am
The same is likely to happen in Ireland regarding the State investigating criminality in the Rcc.
It’s only a matter of time. There are shocking abuse cases yet to come into the public domain in Ireland.


You don’t expect to be taken seriously Nag na Cartax. Your intellectual bluff was called and exposed by two or three posters.


10.52: Magna, how often have you to be told: You promote a narrow, self serving, impoverished understanding of priesthood in your ad nauseam repeating of your (twisted) narrative. Borne out of your rejection as a seminarian and being denied a pathway to priesthood, you have perpetuated a cynical anti clerical rant, disabling your rational processes. I am grateful, that despite my vow of obedience etc…I have never been disallowed to be FAITHFUL TO CHRIST. To argue that “obedience” to a Bishop renders us compromised in our FIDELITY TO CHRIST is a bogus argument, one driven by a sense of anger, resentment and vindictiveness. I know in my conscience what CHRIST asks of me. Get over your petty, small jealousies. So, stop repeating your LIE.


He won’t answer you, because he can’t explain away the gross anomaly that a so-called ‘priest of Christ’ vowed obedience to, er, another mortal rather than to what one would logically expect, Christ himself.


Obedience is an evangelical counsel, in simple terms, a gospel value, whose root meaning is listening and an openness to the other.

Some posters here, one in particular, have adopted an ahistorical understanding of this virtue whereby they retroject a contemporary military meaning on to it. That reveals their anti-intellectual approach and therein lies their difficulty.
Openness to another is a virtue and is one of many strands necessary for the action of conscience, which is the highest value.


11.44 Same reason as an oath of allegiance to the Queen. But common sense goes a long way hi


Anonymous at 11:44am
Excellent post, you scored points of this extremely tedious poster who spouts the same old anti-Catholic.anti-Clerical rhetoric ad infinitum. God Bless you Father.
Evivva Maria!



I didn’t expect an answer, MC.
Most of the priests posting on this blog are shy when it comes to answering questions that lie at the heart of the corruption in the institution.


I’ve debated you before, haven’t I? And refuted you before? (Questions are rhetorical.)
Irenaeus, and so many other self-important Roman Catholic hierarchs (far too many to name, but here’s one: Cahal Daly), believed that when the bishop spoke, God spoke.
Your interpretation of episcopal obedience as listening with optional deference would not have cut ice with any of them; historically, it has virtually always been so.
Of course, you already know this, don’t you?
Behave today in such way as you, er, ‘ahistorically’ suggested will probably find you dismissed from ministry, deprived of income, and effectively declared persona non grata.
Why, ask Bishop Buckley!


Well said, Magna. If your detractors here wish to understand, all they have to do is consider what happens when a priest in conscience believes that what his superior is asking of him is wrong. Then watch how many other people in authority also close their doors.


Yes, 5:43 tries to ignore the true history of Christian obedience. He’s even tried to avoid the narrative of Christ being obedient for us to death on a cross.
One of the comments here today is actually on the right track, after Vatican 2 a lot of priests and religious were faced with renewal, ideas of poverty and obedience were creatively recast à la 5:43, and these people were expected to find themselves in the spirit of the time. One of the causes of abuses in clergy has been exactly that generation who had entered young, never really had adult responsibility and fell apart when they did.
There is also the modern generation who think that obedience doesn’t mean obedience and I shudder to think how they would interpret marriage vows. ‘Vowing to be faithful to one person doesn’t mean I can’t have a mistress’ for example?
The priest who keeps posting here that his obedience is to Jesus not the bishop needs to think long and hard about how seriously he takes his vow.


M. Carta
I’ll be putting your pseudonym forward as a candidate for next year’s Anglo-Hellenic League’s Runciman Award in recognition of your contribution to Greek language and literature.


Sorry, but I must decline your generous offer. And its no whimsy on my part; believe me.

I shouldn’t want to deprive the others of a sporting chance of success.😆


Magna at 1.23: Your last paragraph sums you uo. There can be no doubting the trauma you continue to experience since your eviction, departure, expelling from the seminary. The jealous rage of your prose is a psychological insight into someone who has never outgrown an inflicted wound, in your case, being forbidden to continue to priesthood, but who now is in retribution mode and expresses this by an irrational hatred for priesthood. It is patent nonsense to try to “analyse” away the reality of priesthood. It is there. Many have embraced its ideals heroically, others have damaged its sacredness. However, your attempt to discredit all priests is a theme which you have outplayed. Magna, you’re an anonymous non entity with a baggaged past. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Then, you may find contentment.


12.46: Don’t bother – Magna is still attached to Mumsy’s umbilical cord. And she’d have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that she didn’t do a PhD in Wikipedia, such is the frequency of its usage….by Magna!



And your attached to the bishops soutane, no doubt! He’ll mind you if you get up to no good.



YOU call me a liar, priest? You of all people?

Despite my repeatedly having corrected, on this blog, the lie that I was not expelled from seminary, nor denied a ‘pathway to priesthood’, you chose to repeat it in your post, in order to present me in the worst-possible light. You are the one who is lying, priest; you are the one who is deliberately, and with malice, misrepresenting another. Is this what Christ is asking of you in your conscience? You did, after all, claim to know. What a strange ‘Christ’ you serve.

Nothing that you, and any of your kind, does anymore shocks me. As an elderly friend (and lifelong, faithful Catholic) recently admitted: I’m no longer surprised about the moral depths priests sink to.

Think about her words. She has absolutely no high moral expectations of any of you; in fact, she expects the worst from you all. And (before you denigrate and dismiss her, too) she is a good person, one of those Catholics who has always been financially very generous to the Church, especially to her priests. So she is grinding no axe.

I don’t promote a ‘narrow, self-serving, impoverished’ vision of priesthood; there is no need for this, really, since priesthood is already these things. I simply expose what is there: the priestly deceit that has, for centuries, been imposed on hapless Catholics. Ironically, it is Roman Catholic priests themselves who, through their un-Christlike conduct, promote this vision.

It is not a bogus argument that vowing obedience to a bishop compromises a priests fidelity to Christ; if anything, it is stating (to use a vernacular) ‘the bleedin’ obvious’. And it becomes shockingly so when it is known that priests, including Sean Brady, covered up serious sexual crimes against children on the orders of bishops. God knows what else they covered up. Did these ordinances come from Christ, or from bishops? (The question is rhetorical.)

The highly uncomfortable truth is that you have wasted your life, and probably many others, serving a moral strumpet, Rome. This is a sad fact. I know you dont like it hearing it, and come over all defensive when it is aired, but it remains depressingly true, however much a hissy-fit you throw in protest.


1.23: Magna, proof yet again that you cannot accept just, logical and necessary critucisms. You do perpetuate the lie that all priests are unable and cannot give fidelity to Christ because of their vow of obedience. Utter rubbish and a bogus argument, designed to validate and justify your hatred of us by constantly denigration. Your analysis as I said is borne out of angst and a bitterness of the unfulfilled of your hopes to beca priest one day. Maggie dear, I have not wasted my life. I work diligently. I have much to show for my service in the Presbyterate (denied to you) andcI can praise God for working through me…. If It’s a comfort for you – I’ll say a wee prayer for your inner peace…ANGER, JEALOUSY, BITTERNESS yield only the same within….Grow up and get out and about more…..


Again, priest, you repeat the lies that I was expelled from seminary, that I was denied priesthood. Can you prove this? You have accused me of these things; so the burden of proof rests with you.
To make such accusations against another without proof is sinful; you ought to know this. Continuing to do so (as you have done) just compounds the sin.
Your post convinces me that truth is not important to you, but that retaliation is. Therefore your prayers (such as they are) are completely meaningless. If you cannot understand such a simple reality as this, then I should not like to behold the state of your soul (not to mention your intellect).There is such a thing as spiritual intelligence, and it comes only through union with God. Your repeated lying about me proves that you are not in union with God. A conscientious priest would grow concerned at this, would resolve to make restitution. Isn’t this what you tell penitents? That they must make restitution if they steal from another (including his good name).
Jesus called Satan ‘the Father of Lies’ for a reason. The presence of lies is clear indication that the Holy Spirit is absent. You would do well to take stock, priest.
Oh! Here’s an opportunity to redeem yourself. Provide proof that I was expelled from seminary, that I was denied priesthood by seminary authorities for misconduct, and I promise you, here and now, that I shall disclose my name on this blog and apologise to you.
Can’t say fairer than that.


Magna at 1.23: Your last paragraph sums you uo. There can be no doubting the trauma you continue to experience since your eviction, departure, expelling from the seminary. The jealous rage of your prose is a psychological insight into someone who has never outgrown an inflicted wound, in your case, being forbidden to continue to priesthood, but who now is in retribution mode and expresses this by an irrational hatred for priesthood. It is patent nonsense to try to “analyse” away the reality of priesthood. It is there. Many have embraced its ideals heroically, others have damaged its sacredness. However, your attempt to discredit all priests is a theme which you have outplayed. Magna, you’re an anonymous non entity with a baggaged past. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Then, you may find contentment.



Can you prove that I was forbidden to continue to priesthood?

Please do so… and I’ll identify myself tonight, by baptismal name, on this blog.

This goes for the poster at 2.40, and for any others who think they know me and know my history.

Here’s your opportunity to prove that you are not good Roman Catholic LIARS. And this is what I accuse all of you of… lying about me. This sin should be of particular concern to all the ‘good’ Roman Catholic priests I am repeatedly assured actually exist. Come on! Prove me wrong : that you aren’t just Strumpet mongers for Rome.

What are you waiting for? 😨

Here’s your chance to out Magna Carta. 😈 To humiliate him publicly.


Magna darling, of course mummy knows why you left seminary, and it is a cause of sorrow to me since. But would you really want people to know that your name is Evelyn?


A@5:14. If I may be blunt: what a load of unsupported sh!te!
Your comment is simply another “personal opinion ” ( which you’re entitled to, without regarding it as universally applicable), wrapped up in pseudo garbage speak ad hominem negativity.


1.23: Sadly Magna, YOU have portrayed yourself in the worst possible light. You and you alone. Your repetitive narrative of vindictive, petty, offensive and hate inciting language reveals you as someone in need of professional help. (We have heard all your rants befire). You have given almost everyone ( apart from about 2 supporters) all the ammunition to throw at you. You have enraged many, not with your arguments, which are persuasive at times, but with your vitriol, name calling, vicious anti clericalism, anti priest rhetoric. You have used words, which, if used outside the anonymity of this blog would have you in a court of law. When corrected or criticised, you always go on a nasty defensive and engafe in a crazy, mentally unsound rant. If criticised, be a man and take it. Since you are not a priest (to your utter disappointment), since you are not in day to day ministry and since you have an abhorrence for priests, your analysis is skewed, sinister, untrue and only serves to uphold your lie about the ministry of priesthood as narrowly envisaged by you. Magna, I can rest happily each night in the knowledge that I try my utmost to be for others what Christ’s priesthood expects of me. Whether I have a vow of obedience is somewhat irrelevant because from my ordination day, I knew who it is I am called to serve, to honour and “obey” and it’s not my Bishop. So, don’t get all tongue tied in contrary argument simply because you despise priests and feel you have to hurt, denigrate and defame them on the basis of personal prejudice, begrudgery, angst and because you were flipped out of seminary. When you sneer at, mock and undermine others for a feeling of importance, it suggests the sad ramblings of a bitter, lonely, unfulfilled man. Thank God I do not belong to this genre of humanity. My ministry (in Christ) is my fulfilment in life.



How can a liar rest happily at night, priest? Especially if he is a ‘good’ Roman Catholic priest? (Did you pick up on the contradiction back there?) Maybe you didn’t, because liars tend to have still consciences. And yours is positively statuesque.

You’re a liar, priest. There now. What are you going to do about that? Prove that I was ‘flipped out of seminary’? Your words. And you must surely have evidence for such an assured statement about me. So bring it on; I have called you a liar, you, and your brother priests who have posted here today equally defamatory remarks about me.

Unless you do so, you will have proved to everyone else that you are indeed liars

Oh! And have made a little more persuasive my point that there is no such thing as a truly good Roman Catholic priest.

(Talk about an own goal.😕)


There’s one way to silence your opponents M. Carta. Go public like our host and we’ll do the rest of the research for ourselves. Or maybe that would be too easy to plot the dates of your sojourn in seminary.


As a daily mass going, rosary praying lay person, I have to salute you Magna for standing your ground. Your point of view is one we can all reflect on profitably.



So you haven’t, after all, ANYthing to prove those statements against me.

Still waiting for those ‘good’ Roman Catholic priests to deliver on their accusations and prove themselves not to have been lying about me.

C’mon, guys! Your reputations are at stake? Don’t you care about preserving your good names?

Stand up and be counted.

What was it Fr McGinnity misleadingly called you lot?



8.37: Magna , the normal people are out enjoying life and here are you, strangilating yourself with hatred, misery, loneliness…always trying to prove yourself. Stop trying. Be yourself…enjoy life.



I agree.
For men who claim to be ‘another Christ’, and are literally professional Christians, the comments from some of these priests, particularly comments directed to MC, are shameful, appalling, and the antithesis of Christian.
MC, obviously threatens many of them.


A sojourn in a seminary or ordination to priesthood is NOTHING to boast about in contemporary society.
The clerical collar has become a symbol of shame, ridicule and disgrace.
Clerics and the hierarchy have created endless scandal due to moral corruption, cover up and criminality.
Too many in the priesthood have been living it up, rather than living the gospel, while moralizing to the laity.
It’s disgusting.


Pat, Rev. Paul Taylor has been appointed PP Rathgar. What’s that old saying about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer! He knows where the skeletons lie!


Pat, The Open is over and things are getting back to normal up here on the north coast. I’m well settled into my new big chair with my crystal glass filled with ice and a copious amount of Bushmills finest.
However, following on from yesterday’s blog it seems that the old business of money and the churches, God and religion has raised its head again in the most unexpected of ways and in the least expected of situations.
In yesterday’s blog we learned lots about the RC church financial shenanigans but it has been brought to my attention today of strange financial goings on much closer to home.
I’m sure many of your readers Pat will be aware of the alarming news that a major Ballymena employer Wrightbus has signalled a possible cash flow and liquidity problem.
Such is the concern that our local MP, Ian Paisley asked the new PM Boris ,on his first day at the Dispatch Box , if he could intervene in some way to safeguard the jobs of this company, now strapped for cash. A call for investors has also gone out.
What Mr Paisley didn’t divulge to the House or possibly didn’t know is that this family business , Cornerstone (the Wrights) , the year before last, on the back of healthy trading, donated over £4 million pounds to the Green Pastures Church in Ballymena.
So there we have it again. God and money !!!
Now wouldn’t it be the Christian and altruistic thing to do if this church were to give back all or some of this cash to help maintain the employment and security of many local families. Keeping bread on tables and clothes on backs.
And maybe, perhaps, should Wrightbus recover their position and decide in the future to make such big donations they might find a greater sense of public approval if their largesse was pointed in the direction of say, cancer research or the British Heart Foundation or some other life enhancing clinical enterprise.
They should just reflect for a moment just how much difference such a vast donation would make to these very worthy causes on a national level.
I truly believe the saving of lives on a national level has greater worth in the eyes of god ( if there is one) than the saving of a wheen of souls in the environs of the Town of the Seven Towers.


Oh DD! I’ve always valued your comments but you’ve let me down here!
Ice in your Bushmills whiskey! And please don’t admit it was Black B. which I know you enjoy. That would be sacrilegious.
Now I must go and lie down to recover.


6.25: DD, isn’t it quite possible that the miney guven us being used to help families in so many ways in this Christian community? But you wouldn’t want to think of such a possibility, not when you’re downing expensive whiskeys!!!!! Whiskey and good works don’t match. Never.


To Dalriada Dick

I live in a large prosperous town in CoDown and we also have one of these evangelical “ new style happy clappy” churches. Very American. Young couples, all teeth and tan and believers that Jesus provides everything.
It is reputed that a local businessman has pumped over £2 million into this church.
What are these people thinking about. It’s as bad as catholics leaving lotsa money and property or farms to the church. Madness.
As DD said they’d do humanity a greater service donating elsewhere for medical research


Did a quick word search for Amy, Elsie, or Annie Walker, and moved on, Bp Pat. Hopefully, there will be further comments about the mincers soon.


Rhode Island Atttorney General’s office, in the USA, is currently investigating nearly seven decades of sexual abuse to children by Roman Catholic priests in the diocese of Providence.
But surely, that wouldn’t happen on this side of the pond, would it?


9.98: And the comments of Mr. Magna are the complete personification of the gospel of mercy, compassion and tolerance?? Really. Magna deserves all the opprobrium dished out to him. He cannot expect to be such a smart asshole and not receive the corresponding filth he vomits all over people!! Get real.


Magna comments are worth discussing as to how valid they are. So many here just trade insults and refuse to engage.


Your judgement is poor. The posts of M. Cartax are bluff and bluster, a fake and a sham. He claimed to be able to handle Greek texts in the original language (Aramaic too), yet he didn’t know that Hellenistic Greek was the language he claimed proficiency in. Wikipedia plagiarism.



(Very loud sigh 😩) I pity anyone around you; they must have their patience taxed daily, to an heroic degree, by your stupidity, compounded by total obduracy.

I referred in an earlier post to Koine Greek, which I know to some extent; I never claimed proficiency in it.

You denied that Koine Greek is a dialect of ancient Greek; you are wrong. (Unsurprisingly, given that you are wrong about much else).

Moreover, in your post at 10:15, you imply a distinction between ‘Hellenistic Greek’ and Koine Greek.

(Another very loud sigh 😩) THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME.

You utter fool. 😕


In fact it was you who made the disconnect between the two in the first place. But I’m glad to see you are learning from what you read here and now understand that they are connected.
However, as always, it’s the small details which reveal your real academic deficiencies. Scientifically and technically, though closely related, they are NOT one and the same thing, and may be distinguished thus:
Hellenistic Greek may be said to refer to the language from the last quarter of the fourth century BCE until the last quarter of the first century BCE. Koine is the epithet accorded the Greek of the next phase, i.e. that in which the NT was written.
All of your difficulties boil down to a single one: an on-going inability to evaluate your sources (scilicet Wikipedia).



As usual, wrong about Koine Greek.

And showing yourself up as an uneducated fool to boot.

As usual.


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