Things like:

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.360_soklepto_0214

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.

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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.










Fr. Peter Daly. National Catholic Reporter

We cannot bring about real reform of the Roman Catholic priesthood unless we do away with mandatory celibacy for diocesan priests in the Latin rite.
Why would that improve the priesthood?
It would make priests more honest about ourselves and sexuality.
With real parents in the priesthood, it would make us more aware of the vulnerability of children and more outraged at their abuse. (Does anybody really think that if bishops were also real fathers that they would have covered up so much child abuse?)
With husbands in the priesthood, it would make us more respectful of women and their opinions. Married priests would also break up the “old boys” clique that surrounds clerical culture in seminaries and chancery offices.
Optional celibacy would also substantially expand the pool of potential candidates for the priesthood. It would not only increase our numbers but improve our quality.
Priestly celibacy is not all bad. As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:32, unmarried men are free to be “anxious” about the things of the Lord. Celibate priests can, if they want, be more single-mindedly available for the service of the church, without the competing demands of a wife and family. However, this is not always the case. I have known many celibate clergy who were single-mindedly anxious only about themselves.
Celibacy will always have some place in the life of the Catholic Church. Men’s and women’s religious communities would not be possible without celibacy. And there will always be a place for those who wish to be voluntarily celibate in the diocesan priesthood.
But, having tipped my hat to the place of celibacy and the good things it can give to the church, I want to say in the strongest terms possible that I believe that celibacy harms the church and damages the lives of most priests.
How does it harm the church?
Celibacy restricts the pool of eligible candidates for priesthood and diminishes its quality. The requirement of celibacy eliminates many men who desire to have a wife and family and sexual intimacy as much as a religious vocation. Every priest who has ever suggested a priestly vocation to young men has heard the response, “I would become a priest, but I don’t want to give up falling in love or having sex or having children.” Makes sense.
Worldwide, the number of Catholic priests has “flatlined” at about 400,000 for the last 50 years. Numbers are way down in Europe and in the Americas, where priests are headed for extinction.
The Vatican recognized the challenge that celibacy poses to a eucharistic church in the recently released “working document” for the October 2019 synod on the Amazon, in which it opened the door to the idea of relaxing the clerical celibacy mandate in order to bring the Eucharist to that remote region of the world.
Celibacy is depriving the church of the Eucharist in many remote areas. The Amazon experience is replicated in dozens of places around the world
In the U.S., priestly vocations have fallen off a cliff, largely because of celibacy. When I was in high school (1968), there were 59,000 priests in the United States, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. Fifty years later, in 2018, there were 36,500 priests. That is a nearly 40% decline! The Catholic priesthood is like Sears & Roebuck, slowly going out of business.
Ordinations in the U.S. have been hovering around 500 per year for more than a decade. That is just over half of what we need to replace the roughly 900 priests we lose each year to death or resignation. More than 3,000 parishes in the U.S. have no resident priest. Parts of the U.S. are like the Amazon, without the Eucharist.
The Holy Spirit has been trying to tell us to abolish celibacy for the last 50 years, but we are not listening. There is no shortage of married men who want to serve the church. Witness the huge increase in the number of permanent deacons, from zero in 1968 to more than 18,000 permanent deacons in the U.S. today. Nearly all of them are married men. Why can’t they be priests?
Many men leave the seminary and the priesthood because of celibacy. My own seminary class is typical. We had 38 men in our class when we started in 1982. We ordained 23 four years later. Since ordination, eight more have left the priesthood. Nearly all of those who left before or after ordination eventually got married or found a partner. Clearly, celibacy (which is defined as abstaining from sexual intercourse and marriage) was a factor.
If the priesthood is to be reformed, it first must survive. The priesthood is being crucified on the cross of celibacy.
Even if we had enough priests, celibacy would still be damaging to the church as a whole and to priests in particular. Why?
Because celibacy is not normal.
Celibacy is not healthy for many people.
Celibacy fosters a culture of mendacity and secrecy, which contributes to sexual cover-ups.
Celibacy is not essential to holiness or to priesthood.
It is not mandated by the Gospels.
Celibacy contributes to a culture of clericalism.
The fact that celibacy is not normal is self-evident. The “norm” for human behaviour is sexual intimacy. Witness more than 7 billion people on the planet. Somebody must be doing “what comes naturally.” Every human being needs some physical intimacy in their lives. In adulthood, sexual intimacy is normal and a healthy sexual life is a sign of psychological and sexual maturity.
That celibacy is not healthy for most people is also self-evident. Sigmund Freud thought that many pathologies arose from sexual repression. Sexual intimacy is part of a healthy life. Healthline’s website reports that moderate sexual activity lowers blood pressure, increases heart health, strengthens muscles, reduces the risk of a stroke, helps with depression, builds up our immune system, improves sleep, and extends life span, just to name a few of the benefits. Even a cursory look at the literature on sexuality tells us that a healthy sex life contributes to a healthier person physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. It also promotes healthy, loving relationships as in marriage.
There are some people for whom celibacy is a healthy option at least for some period of their lives. Young people who are dating and widows who are finding their way in life after marriage can benefit from a chaste life. Sexual activity can distort your judgment. But I agree with Frank Bruni, who wrote in The New York Times in 2013, “Celibacy is a bad idea with painful consequences.”
Does anyone really think that we would have so many shocking clerical sexual scandals if we did not require celibacy? The clerical scandals of the last 30 years have revealed the hidden pathologies of priestly celibacy. When men are forced to give up sexual intimacy, all sorts of bad behaviours emerge.
The church would argue that priests are not “forced” into celibacy, that we choose it freely. But that is not how it is experienced. A gift must be freely given, not mandated. Celibacy in the Roman Catholic priesthood is a mandate. If you won’t promise lifelong celibacy, the church won’t ordain you. It is not experienced so much as a “gift,” but rather as a “price” for priesthood. For many people, the price is too high.
Most men have trouble remaining celibate. This is hardly a new discovery. The scandalous sexual u of priests has been chronicled in Western literature since The Canterbury Tales. I think most men fully intend to live celibate lives on the day of their ordination, but few of us really appreciated at ordination how hard it is to keep that promise.
[Fr. Peter Daly is a retired priest of the Washington Archdiocese and a lawyer. After 31 years of parish service, he now works with Catholic Charities.]



Father Daly is right. Priesthood and celibacy are two separate gifts from God and they should not be tied together by the church.

A man (we will talk about men for now) may have a vocation to priesthood but not to celibacy. 

Anyone can have a charism for celibacy but not necessarily for the priesthood.

I think the imposition of celibacy on every priest has been one of the things that has led to the homosexualisation of priesthood.

A man who wants to be a priest, but not a celibate, will either simply not enter, or live a double life when he does.

Priestly celibacy is a great place for gay seminarians and priests to hide. It mean people will not presume they are gay as people will think they are not married as they have promised celibacy.

Then as they hide behind that presumption they can have sex like rabbits. 

A married priesthood would return the priesthood to a greater heterosexual/homosexual balance. 




CATHY HAYES @IrishCentral


The Bishop of Clonfert Dr John Kirby has admitted he made out-of-court settlements in the 1990s to two victims of sexual abuseat the hands of a Catholic priest in his diocese.
Kirby spoke after the publication of seven reports by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) into child safeguarding practices in the Catholic Church.

He said, as he remembers, the payments were made in 1994 and 1998. Including legal fee they totaled “circa IR£130,000”.

At the time Kirby shocked with comments about his understand of what pedophilia was. He said he had thought this sexual abuse was just “friendship that crossed a boundary line”.
The out of court settlements which Kirby referred to were in relation to accusation set against the clergyman indentified as “Priest A” in the reports, according to the Irish Times.
The report states that there were “five separate complaints were made against priest ‘A’ between 1990 and 1997”.
The priest was convicted in court and served a jail sentence. The review revealed that when Kirby had been made aware of the abuse allegations against “Priest A” and another priest he “moved the priests against whom allegations were made to different parishes”.
In defense of his actions Kirby said “I literally thought, and you can put it down as gross innocence and naivety, that if I separated the priest and the youngster, that it was a friendship that crossed the boundary line. I literally thought if I separated them I would have solved the problem.


John Kirby retired as the RC Bishop of Clonfert in the past few days and the Irish hierarchy, clergy and Cathbots are praising his work and service.

Of course we wish any elderly man a happy retirement.

But John Kirby made a fool of himself and his colleagues by

  1. Moving abusing priests from parish to paris and letting them loose on new parishioners and their children.
  2. Kirby thought that child sexual abuse was a friendship between a priest and a child going too far and crossing boundaries. 

What adult in the 1900s thought that abuse was taking a friendship with a child too far?

How can Kirby even think that a priest, or any other adult, can have a friendship with a child that does involve parental permission and oversight.

I’m afraid that Kirby was just like the rest of them – putting the reputation and monies of the RC church before child safety.





St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC

BY: Ed Condon Catholic Catholic Agency

More than one year after the announcement of allegations of sexual abuse against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archdiocese of Washington has continued to refuse questions about McCarrick’s use of a personal charitable fund.


McCarrick funnelled hundreds of thousands of dollars through what was known as the Archbishop’s Fund, and reportedly made gifts to senior Vatican officials, even while the fund remained under the charitable auspices of the archdiocese.
Senior sources close to the Archdiocese of Washington have confirmed that archdiocesan records include the names of individuals, including senior Vatican figures, to whom McCarrick made payments from the fund.
But the Archdiocese of Washington has declined to disclose sources, sums, and uses of money, though it has acknowledged that the fund exists.
The archdiocese has also declined to comment on whether Archbishop Wilton Gregory will address accusations of financial misconduct by McCarrick, or publish the names of bishops who personally received gifts from the disgraced former archbishop.
The former cardinal’s reputation for gift-giving and participation in so-called “envelope culture” has come under renewed scrutiny following recent revelations concerning former Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Michael Bransfield.


Like Bransfield, McCarrick has faced a string of allegations of sexual misconduct, dating back years, and his ability to offer large financial gifts to other bishops has come under scrutiny as a possible reason he was able to operate unchecked for so long.
Several sources, among them cardinals, officials of the Roman curia, and McCarrick’s former staff members, have told CNA about McCarrick’s habit of visiting Rome and distributing cash or personal checks to senior officials.
In light of the Bransfield report, CNA asked the Archdiocese of Washington if it would publish the names of bishops and other Church figures who had personally received gifts or donations from McCarrick’s Archbishop’s Fund.
On July 10 the archdiocese declined to comment in response.
CNA also asked if the archdiocese could confirm whether information relating to the Archbishop’s Fund, including the names of beneficiaries, had been included in a report submitted to Rome as part of a Vatican investigation into McCarrick.

The archdiocese declined to comment.
CNA also asked if the archdiocese would be willing to comment, even in a general way, on the outstanding questions of financial propriety around McCarrick and Archbishop Gregory’s willingness or ability to offer a clear account of what has happened.
The archdiocese again declined to comment.
In August 2018 the Washington archdiocese told CNA that the fund was designated for McCarrick’s “personal works of charity and other miscellaneous expenses” and audited annually, along with all other archdiocesan accounts – although not included in any published financial reports or materials – and that “no irregularities were ever noticed.”
If personal payments to Church officials in Rome were offered with money from the Archbishop’s Fund, it is unclear what “charitable purpose” or “miscellaneous expenses” they would have been for, or how such expenditures would have been recorded.
Sources close to McCarrick and familiar with archdiocesan records have told CNA he made multiple “donations” to individuals with fund resources, and sources close to the archdiocesan chancery previously have told CNA that annual expenditures may have been examined only to ensure either a “broadly charitable” purpose or a “reasonable” miscellaneous expense.
The archdiocese declined to comment on the auditing process and standards used to evaluate McCarrick’s use of the Archbishop’s Fund over the years.
In February the archdiocese told CNA that although the account was held under the umbrella of the archdiocese, the funds were considered to be McCarrick’s own to use as he wished, but a former financial advisor to the archdiocese told CNA on July 11 that the fund was, for accounting purposes, archdiocesan money.
Kathy McKinless served as a financial consultant to the archdiocese between 2003 – 2018, throughout much of McCarrick’s tenure in Washington, and as acting chief financial officer from July 2015 to January 2016.
She told CNA that while McCarrick was responsible for raising and allocating the money in the Archbishop’s Fund, “it was on the general ledger of the archdiocese, so gifts that were made to the account were considered gifts to the archdiocese and the checks written out were considered checks of the archdiocese, because he still had standing as our archbishop emeritus.”
McKinless told CNA that while McCarrick had the freedom to give as he saw fit, there was some oversight by the archdiocese, while stressing that she did not herself have a direct role in scrutinizing the account.
“It was definitely treated as being under the umbrella of the archdiocese because I know that the reconciliations were done at the pastoral center.”
“It was only handled as an account that was reconciled [annually] at the pastoral center, it had inflows which were gifts to him and outflows which were checks from him but they were seen by somebody at the pastoral center,” she told CNA.
McKinless said it would have been possible for McCarrick to write checks to individuals, such as bishops or cardinals either in Rome or elsewhere, without raising suspicion, though she added that “I just was not in a position that I would have seen it.”
McKinless stressed to CNA that while there was potential for abuse, the rationale behind the fund’s existence should not be considered insidious: “I actually think that it is a worthy system, even if [McCarrick] abused it. There are lots of legitimate reasons you might want a retired bishop from your diocese to continue to do good works.”
McKinless told CNA that bishops from Asian or African dioceses and other parts of the world would often come through Washington and leave with financial support for different projects from McCarrick. Similar accounts of his legitimate generosity were given by former staff close to McCarrick, both in Washington and Newark.
A former priest-secretary who served under McCarrick told CNA that he would often make large donations to Church projects or institutions.

“A bishop from India or Africa would come through town and cry over dinner that he couldn’t feed his seminarians and McCarrick would make sure he left with a $10,000 check; he was good like that, very open-handed.”
McKinless suggested that structures and oversight could be tightened in the light of possible abuses.
“Instead of an active checking account, it could be rearranged so that the retired bishop can make check requests, like one of our auxiliary bishops would have to do when they want to make a substantial donation.”
“In McCarrick’s case, I think allowing him to have direct access to the account rather than budget authority to make check requests would primarily have been about accounting convenience. But it’s easy enough to change it and make it about control, giving them a budget line item system to make donations instead of direct access to the account.”
“I guess the problem with McCarrick is he could [just] write a check.”
Despite archdiocesan refusal to comment, CNA has learned that McCarrick established the Archbishop’s Fund during his time in Newark, using money received through personal financial gifts he obtained in the course of his ministry, through private fundraising initiatives, and from grantmaking foundations for which he served as a board member.
According to former chancery officials in Newark and Washington, when McCarrick moved between the archdioceses in 2001, he arranged for the money to be transferred from his fund in Newark to a newly created Archbishop’s Fund in Washington.
Several sources familiar with the transaction told CNA that the transfer took the form of a check sent to Washington by the Archdiocese of Newark. Multiple sources told CNA that the check’s amount was well in excess of $100,000.
Later, as a cardinal, McCarrick used his position as a board member on various grant-making foundations to assign regular five-figure grants to his own foundation, with two such foundations alone registering donations to the Archbishop’s Fund totaling $500,000.
McCarrick reportedly cultivated a network of very wealthy individuals who would donate tens of thousands of dollars to his discretionary fund.
“People would give him money all the time, in parishes when he’d visit as archbishop, but also privately – he was a natural fundraiser,” one former priest-secretary told CNA.
Another former chancery official told CNA that even during his time in Newark, McCarrick attracted considerable personal support from friends and benefactors.
“We are easily talking about six-figure sums every year,” he said.


All these cases of bishops spending huge amounts of money on themselves, their homes, airfares and gifting other bishops make it all clear that the cocktail of wickedness affecting the RC Church hierarchy and clergy is a cocktail of money, power and sex.

It seems that American bishops have being allowed to spend massive amounts of money – millions in some cases.

Of course there have been similar cases in Ireland.

Bishop Noel Treanor spent up to £4,000,000 on his Belfast palace with door knobs costing £250 a pop and wallpaper at £100 + a roll.


Someone recently alleged that Diarmuid Martin spent £250,000 on airfares in a 10 year period?


In the old days Archbishop John Charles McQuaid had two resuidences – the palace in Drumcondra and an enormous turreted villa in leafy Killiney. He chauffeur drove him in two cars – a Citroen for private business and a very large limousine for public business.


He had a full staff in Drumcondra and was minded by three nuns in Killiney.


The late Bishop of Galway. Michael Browne drank champagne every afternoon and smoked hand made cigarettes made especially for him in Bond Street in London. They had “His Lordship The Bishop of Galway” printed on each cigarette in gold writing.

Sobranie_Black_Russian_cigarettes (2)



On the one occasion I visited the Papal Nuncio Alibrandi in Dublin he prayed the Rosary during our conversation in 18 karat Rosary beads.


He also liked to have his episcopal robes made of purple water silk – as you will see from the picture above.

Some bishops like seminarians in bed.

Some bishops like young priests in bed.

Some bishops like money.

Some bishops like door knobs and wallpaper.

Some bishops like champagne and hand made fags.

Some bishops like flying business and first class and even private jets.

Some bishops like 18 karat gold Rosary beads.

Some bishops like the feel of water silk against their skin.

I wonder if St. Peter was a door knob or water silk man?




I have never been in the military and have never engaged in armed combat.

But I suffer from some PTSD that goes back to 1978 – 1983 – the time I sent in St. Peter’s parish on the Belfast Fals Road.

Occasionally I wake up in the middle of the night shouting and shaking. Last Monday night was one of those nights.

People staying in the house have heard my nocturnal shouts.

In my scary dreams I am back in the presbytery and various things are happening.

I am back in my bedroom and two drunk priests are outside in the corridor, kicking my door and regaling me with songs that might come from Rugby changing rooms.

Or I am in the kitchen having a meal with the housekeeper and a priest is shouting “I thought I told you not to feed tramps here”.

Or I am the ground in the dining room and a priest is kicking me.

Or I am in a priests room discussing a possible pastoral project that he opposes. I ask him what Jesus would think. He replies “How dare you drag the fucking Word of God into this”.

Or I am praying in the cathedral and two priests are on the altar making masturbatory motions at me.

Or I am sweeping the street outside the presbytery and two priests are at the window laughing and giving me two finger salutes.

This PTSD does not affect my ordinary everyday life but it makes those occasional nights very deeply unpleasant.

There is domestic abuse in presbyteries too!

Why have I been affected like this?

First of all I was a young priest, believing in the essential goodness of priests and what was happening to me contradicted what I deeply believed.

Secondly, I was working hard with and for the parishioners and my ministry was so intensely resented.

Thirdly, being from Dublin I had no local family and friends and the experience was so isolating.

And what made things worse, no one believed me, not fellow priests, not parishioners and certainly not the bishop.

You only really get to know these guys when you live with them and observe how they operate closely.

And you really expose their vicious side when you challenge them in any way.

Wait to see the clerical response I will get to this piece today.

They will say it was I who was the abuser, not the others.

They will say I am lying.

They will say I’m not right in the head.

And God knows what else they will say.

That will be further clerical abuse. But then they are experts at abuse, are they not.

No priest every sexually abused me.

But a number of them abused me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

They say I am anticlerical.

I wonder why?



The Irish Times 16.7.19 B Hoban.

The recent Dáil exchange in which Taoiseach Leo Varadkar compared Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to “one of those parish priests who preaches from the altar telling us to avoid sin while secretly going behind the altar and engaging in any amount of sin himself” came as something of a shock.

The immediate reaction was one of surprise and confusion. What was this about? Was Varadkar just tired after a hectic schedule in Brussels? Was he just being smart-assed and playing to the gallery? Or was it that in the heat of the moment the truth came out?

Did we glimpse the real Varadkar, instead of the carefully-constructed media image of a leader happy and privileged to lead the very disparate communities that make up the new Ireland? Was this indicative of what he really thought of the Catholic Church and of priests?


The widespread condemnatory response to his comments was immediate and strong. The reason, I think, was that what he seemed to be saying was not just that the church had a lot to answer for (as we do); or that we should apologise for our failings (which we have) but that behind the facade of condemnation priests were living lives that contradicted what they were preaching.

We know that’s the worst possible accusation against a priest. And we know that tarring every priest with the brush of child abuse is unfair and unconscionable, but this is what the Taoiseach speaking in the Dáil chamber seemed to be implying. Whatever he said, whatever he meant, whatever the provenance of his words, I think this was why the response was so instinctive.

In fairness, the Taoiseach apologised and it was important and necessary that he did so. But it raises other issues. Does he mean it? And can we believe him?

When Pope Francis was here, even though some doubted Varadkar’s sincerity when he praised the contribution of the church in different areas of Irish life, more now wonder whether it was all just PR spin, scooping up Catholic votes before the next election.

So the question remains: is this what Varadkar actually thinks of us?

What Varadkar doesn’t seem to understand is that very few people in Ireland now have no difficulty with lambasting the church for its real or perceived sins and failings (and bishops are included in that) but attacking the local priest is for many a step too far.

Not that priests are not criticised. We are, constantly. And sometimes by our own parishioners. But for others, it’s a no-no.

While the church has lost much or most of its authority in Ireland, and while criticism is devastating and ongoing, at local parish level there is still huge respect for, appreciation of and solidarity with the local priest.

And that’s why Varadkar’s flippant comment has been so devastating.

Over the last few decades, as priests watched television documentaries forensically dissecting the child abuse scandals and as we read the terrible detail of the Dublin report, the Ferns report, the Cloyne report and others, the nightmare question for priests was that as we walked to the altar to say Mass that weekend was: “After what they’ve read in the papers or seen on television, are my parishioners wondering whether I too am an abuser?”

What the Taoiseach seemed to be implying in the Dáil was that this might well be true.

Inevitably Fianna Fáil will make hay on this. The gap between the two main parties is so narrow that even a slight shift will ease Fianna Fáil into the lead and leave Fine Gaelin the confidence-and-supply role after the next election.

What the Taoiseach’s remarks have achieved is that they will awaken and give a focus to the “sleeping giant” of traditional Catholicism.

Catholic votes

The reality is that the marriage equality referendum and the abortion referendum were carried only because Catholics in their thousands voted for them.

But the reality too is that most of the roughly one-third who voted against them were Catholics – and they, along with many Catholics who voted for it, weren’t at all impressed, for example, by the cheering in Dublin Castle for an abortion regime in Ireland.

The difficult truth for Varadkar is that while the new, inclusive Ireland where the marginalised are being brought into the centre has the support of many Catholics, many see the current demonisation of Catholicism as an unfair price to pay for it. And they have votes too.

As Ivan Yates commented on his radio programme (and he knows a thing or two about elections) those Catholics unhappy with the Taoiseach’s loose talk about their priests will be waiting for him in the long grass at the next general election.

While many people admire Varadkar for his ability and, not least, for the new Ireland that is being created on his watch, as I do, it was disappointing that in the Dáil chamber he descended to the mocking and stereotyping of Catholic priests, who have more than most borne the heat of the day.

We deserved better.

Fr Brendan Hoban is a priest of Killala diocese and is co-founder of the Association of Catholic Priests


Hoban is basically a priest’s union man in Ireland.

He is always whining on about the bad treatment priests get.

He is a bore!

He obviously wants to preserve the Clerical Club.

Leo Varadaker was quite right to hold up priests as one of the glowing examples of hypocrisy in modern Ireland.

Preaching chastity, virginity, celibacy, anti contraceptionism etc, and having sex with children, men and women, covering up for clerical colleagues etc.

And as for the “Sleeping Giant of Traditional Catholicism”.

Where was that giant when Francis was here and very few turned out to see him?

Where was that giant when the Irish people voted in the most liberal abortion regime in Europe?

Where was that giant when the Irish people voted in same sex marriage?

Where is the giant when your pews are emptying every Sunday?

Hoban & Co are harking back to the priest ridden Ireland.

They are pishing in the wind.

They will be made a thing of the past by the real giant – the giant of the modern, European, pluralistic, open Irish people.

And just as St. Patrick drove the snakes of his time out of Ireland, the new Patrician People will drive out their moral tyrants of yesteryear.

Hoban & Co, your la has tiochied!

And that’s what you deserve.



Tony Diver 15.7.19 The Telegraph.

A man who sold chemsex drugs to serial killer Stephen Port has been found guilty of killing a former Bond actor with an overdose.
Gerald Matovu, 26, a drug dealer, met Eric Michels, 54, via Grindr in August last year.
He plied him with a fatal dose of GHB at Mr Michels’ home in Chessington, south-east London, then made off with his bank card details and other belongings.
Mr Michels, who had an uncredited role as a cocktail party guest in Skyfall, was one of 12 men targeted by Matovu and his lover Brandon Dunbar, 24, over a 19-month period, jurors heard.
Following an Old Bailey trial, Matovu was found guilty of businessman Mr Michels’ murder and a string of other offences.

Stephen Port was convicted of raping and killing four young men, and jailed for life. CREDIT: METROPOLITAN POLICE

Jurors were not told about Matovu’s past connection with former chef Port, 44, from Barking, who had also targeted victims through Grindr and killed them with GHB overdoses.
Port was handed a whole life term for raping and murdering four young men and dumping their bodies near his home in Barking, east London, between 2014 and 2015.
Following Port’s 2016 trial, Matovu pleaded guilty to supplying mephedrone and GHB and offering to supply GHB, but denied knowing what Port planned to do with it.

In April 2017, Matovu was sentenced to 12 months’ community service, 150 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of drug rehabilitation.
At Matovu’s murder trial, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told how the defendants took advantage of meeting men on Grindr to steal property and bank details.

Watch: Murderer Matovu filmed meeting and shopping with Eric Michels

On the evening of August 16 last year, divorced father-of-three Mr Michels made contact with Matovu on Grindr after a night out in Soho gay bars.
Mr Michels invited him to his home for sex, the court heard.
He picked Matovu up from a homeless hostel and stopped off at a Sainsbury’s, where CCTV images show the pair together.
Back at Mr Michels’ home, the defendant drugged him and took photographs of his bank cards and driver’s licence.
Matovu made off with a MacBook, a mobile phone, an initialled black case, US driving licence and various cards as well as a suitcase full of bottles of alcohol.
Mr Michels’ body was discovered by his concerned family the following day in bed under a duvet.

Eric Michels, 52, appeared in films in his spare time.

An empty 3ml syringe without a needle attached was found on the floor beside the bed.
DNA from the victim and defendant was identified on it, as well as traces of GHB, the court heard.

Matovu denied murder but accepted going home with Mr Michels’ to have consensual sex.
He denied administering GHB to Mr Michels, claiming he took it of his own free will.
A jury deliberated for 26 hours to reach guilty verdicts on all the charges against both defendants.
Members of the victim’s family in court shouted out “yes – the rest of your life in prison” as Matovu looked on impassive.
Speaking to BBC News, Mr Michels’ son Sam Michels said: “I’ll never meet anyone like him ever again in my life. Losing him has been like losing a limb.”
His other son Josh said: “The devastation it causes is unbelievable. Especially when he had so much to live for. He was only 54.”
Matovu and Dunbar were convicted of a string of charges including administering a noxious substance, assault by penetration and theft.


I learned recently of a priest on Grindr who was enticed to meet a man in Belfast for sado masochism sex in a house in Belfast was badly beaten by the stranger and dumped in an alleyway.

Fortunately someone found him and got an ambulance.

He says that Grindr is rampant with fakes and dangerous people.

I also know of a married Protestant minister who was blackmailed by a twink he met in Grindr.



One of Rome’s most enduring mysteries – the 1983 disappearance of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, a Vatican employee’s daughter – took a new twist on Saturday when papal authorities announced that they had discovered two sets of bones under a stone manhole.

On Thursday the Vatican had pried open the tombsof two 19th-century German princesses in the cemetery of the Pontifical Teutonic College after Emanuela’s family had received a tip that her remains might be buried there. But the tombs turned out to be completely empty, creating yet another mystery over the whereabouts of the dead princesses.

The Vatican pledged further investigation and on Saturday a spokesman said they had “identified two ossuaries, located under the pavement of an area inside the Pontifical Teutonic College, covered by a manhole”.

He said the area had been sealed off and would be opened for forensic experts to investigate this week.

The last recorded structural work at the college and its cemetery was in the 1960s and 70s. Orlandi disappeared in 1983 after leaving her family’s Vatican City apartment to go to a music lesson in Rome.

Her father was a lay employee of the Holy See. Over the years her disappearance has been linked to everything from the plot to kill Pope John Paul II to the financial scandal of the Vatican bank and Rome’s criminal underworld.

The last major twist in the case came in 2012, when forensic police exhumed the body of a reputed mobster from the crypt of a Roman basilica in hopes of finding Orlandi’s remains as well. The search turned up no link.

Last year bones were found underneath the Vatican’s embassy to Italy in Rome. Italian media immediately speculated the remains could belong to Orlandi or another girl who went missing around the same time. But forensic tests showed the bones long pre-dated their disappearances.


The primary tragedy in this case is foe Emanuela Orlandi and her family. I’m sure that 36 years later the family still feels the pain.

But for those of us not in the family and circle of friends we are left wondering and scratching our heads that at a place that claims to be Christ’s representative on earth may be harbouring the remains of an innocent, possibly murdered teenager.

From history we know that the Church of Rome has slaughtered countless numbers of thousands in the Crusades, The Counter Reformation and the Inquisition.

But what we really don’t know is how many individuals, families and groups have been murdered and secretly buried in the Vatican over 2,000 years.

We know where 600 babies that died under the care of the Tuam nuns were buried – in a disused sewerage tank.

How many more of these mass burials have there been, globally, in RC property? We do not know.

How many people have been murdered by the Mafia working with RC church people in Italy?

We know Hitler killed 6,000,000 in his torture camps from 1939 – 1945 – a period of 6 years.

How many RC related murders have there been in the last 1600 years?

Could the number be greater that the horrible Holocaust?


The Vatican 1600 year project has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus of Nazareth!Vatican war strategy



Michael J. Bransfield, then-bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., in 2015. (Scott McCloskey/Intelligencer/AP)

By Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg Washington Post.

Senior Catholic leaders in the United States and the Vatican began receiving warnings about West Virginia Bishop Michael J. Bransfield as far back as 2012. In letters and emails, parishioners claimed that Bransfield was abusing his power and misspending church money on luxuries such as a personal chef, a chauffeur, first-class travel abroad and more than $1 million in renovations to his residence.

“I beg of you to please look into this situation,” Linda Abrahamian, a parishioner from Martinsburg, W.Va., wrote in 2013 to the pope’s ambassador to the United States.

But Bransfield’s conduct went unchecked for five more years. He resigned in September 2018 after one of his closest aides came forward with an incendiary inside account of years of sexual and financial misconduct, including the claim that Bransfield sought to “purchase influence” by giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash gifts to senior Catholic leaders.

“It is my own opinion that His Excellency makes use of monetary gifts, such as those noted above, to higher ranking ecclesiastics and gifts to subordinates to purchase influence from the former and compliance or loyalty from the latter,” Monsignor Kevin Quirk wrote to William Lori, the archbishop of Baltimore, in a letter obtained by The Washington Post.
At least four senior clerics outside West Virginia who received parishioner complaints about Bransfield also accepted cash gifts from him, more than $32,000 in all, according to an analysis of letters and other documents obtained by The Post.

The previously unreported Quirk letter and the complaints from parishioners raise questions about when Catholic leaders first knew of Bransfield’s conduct and why they took no action for years. They also reveal the roots of a church financial scandal that exploded into public view in June with a Washington Post account of the findings of a Vatican-ordered investigation of Bransfield.

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori at a Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Martinsburg, W.Va., on June 16. (Lexi Browning for The Washington Post)

[W.Va. bishop gave powerful cardinals and other priests $350,000 in cash gifts before his ouster, church records show]
Five lay investigators concluded early this year that Bransfield abused his authority by sexually harassing young priests and spending church money on personal luxuries, according to their final report and other documents obtained by The Post. Bransfield spent $2.4 million on travel, often flying in private jets, as well as $4.6 million in all to renovate his church residence, church records show. His cash gifts to fellow clergymen totaled $350,000, the records show.

Bransfield drew on a little-known source of money for the diocese — millions of dollars in annual revenue from oil wells in West Texas, on land that was donated to the diocese a century ago. The wells have yielded an average of about $15 million annually in recent years.

Bransfield wrote more than 500 checks to other clerics during his 13 years in West Virginia, gifts for which he was reimbursed by the diocese. Recipients who also received parishioner complaints were Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, then the nuncio, the pope’s ambassador to the United States; Cardinal Raymond Burke, then the leader of the church’s judicial authority in Rome; Archbishop Peter Wells, then a senior administrator in the pope’s Secretariat of State at the Vatican; and Lori, who as Baltimore archbishop has some nominal responsibilities for overseeing the West Virginia diocese and who later supervised the Vatican investigation launched after Quirk’s account.

Bransfield’s generosity with church money extended beyond the cash gifts. In 2013, Viganò accepted a half-hour ride on a jet chartered by Bransfield at a cost to the West Virginia diocese of about $200 a minute, documents and interviews show.

The diocesan property in Wheeling, W.Va., where Bishop Michael Bransfield lived is pictured on June 4. His West Virginia diocese paid $4.6 million to renovate the residence, church records show. (Michelle Boorstein/The Washington Post)

In statements, Wells, Burke and Lori said the gifts did not influence how they responded to parishioners’ complaints.

Viganò said he did not recall receiving complaints and did not give Bransfield favorable treatment. He said he gave the monetary gifts to charity shortly after receiving them. He said he did not know the private jet provided by Bransfield to an event in West Virginia was paid for by the diocese.

In a phone interview, Bransfield defended his spending as bishop, saying it was justified and approved by financial managers at the diocese. He said many of his accomplishments in West Virginia, including expanding a church-owned hospital and renovating schools, had been overshadowed by the scandal.

Bransfield denied that the monetary gifts were an effort to buy influence. He said he was already successful and did not need favors or special treatment.
“They could do nothing for me,” he said. “I was at the top of my game.”
Quirk did not respond to requests seeking comment.

Raising concerns for years

Parishioners provided their emails and letters about Bransfield following The Post’s report in early June. In interviews, some said they had long wondered why no one had acted on their complaints.

“We felt like there was something up,” said Kellee Abner, an anesthesiologist from Charleston, W.Va. “It is difficult to understand how all the attempts to expose conduct in the diocese could have been ignored by so many for so long.”

Since the Post report was published, at least a dozen Catholic clerics, including Lori, have pledged to return money to the West Virginia diocese. Many said they had not been aware that the money came from church coffers.
[Vatican cardinal, other priests to return cash gifts from ousted West Virginia bishop Michael Bransfield]
In 2005, soon after Bransfield arrived in Wheeling, W.Va., concerns about his spending became public. The Charleston Gazette-Mail wrote articles in 2006 and 2013 that drew attention to some of his extravagances, noting that Bransfield had a driver, a personal chef and a fondness for architectural refinements, such as cherry-wood paneling.

The 2013 article said parishioners accused Bransfield of “living too profligate a lifestyle” and failing to follow Pope Francis’s prescription of a modest life for clerics. The next year, the New York Times cited that account in a broader story about financial excesses in the church.

At the time, Bransfield spokesman Bryan Minor described the bishop’s spending as reasonable. He said Bransfield’s chef saved the diocese money because he also catered church events.

In the interview with The Post, Bransfield defended the spending on his residence, saying water damage related to a fire in a bathroom was greater than what is reflected in the lay investigators’ report. “I did a restoration,” he said, adding that from his prior position in Washington he was accustomed to living in a finely appointed home.

Through it all, Bransfield maintained a prominent, sometimes controversial public profile.

He regularly traveled to the Vatican while serving as treasurer of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and president of the board of trustees for the Papal Foundation, a group that channels money from wealthy Catholic contributors into charitable projects favored by the pope.

In 2012, news accounts reported that Bransfield was mentioned by a witness in a Philadelphia sexual abuse trial involving a local priest. The witness testified that the priest on trial once told him that Bransfield had sex with a teenage boy. Bransfield issued a statement vehemently denying the claim. That same year, Bransfield was the subject of news reports when authorities in Philadelphia reopened an investigation into a separate allegation that he had fondled a teenage boy decades earlier while working as a teacher at a Catholic high school. Bransfield denied ever sexually abusing anyone. No charges were brought.

Bransfield told The Post that a diocese investigation into the allegations cleared him of wrongdoing.
Some West Virginia parishioners grumbled about Bransfield from the start. But their anger boiled over in 2012, when Bransfield ordered that a pastor, the Rev. Jim Sobus, be relocated from Our Lady of Fatima Church in Huntington to a remote parish.
Sobus had criticized Bransfield’s management of the diocese, and a handful of parishioners had complained to the diocese about the way Sobus managed a Catholic school and meted out discipline.

But scores of parishioners wrote to Bransfield or signed petitions praising Sobus in unsuccessful appeals to keep him at his home parish, documents show. Sobus was later suspended for failing to report to his new assignment.

Complaints to the Vatican

Parishioners also reached out to Lori, Viganò and clerics at the Vatican, in letters that sometimes contrasted Bransfield’s spending with the modest lifestyle of “Father Jim.”

On Nov. 5, 2012, a Catholic activist named Christine Pennington wrote to Lori to complain that Bransfield had a rectory “renovated in high style — granite kitchen, stainless steel appliances, tile floor, all new high end (Thomasville style) furniture,” the letter shows.

“At the very least, he has not been a good steward & these are perfect examples,” Pennington wrote.
Six days later, Abner, the anesthesiologist, sent an email to Lori with the subject line: “Confidential and Urgent for Archbishop William Lori.” The note said she had a matter of “utmost and urgent” need.

Abner said she received a call back from a Lori spokesman, Sean Caine, and the two discussed her concerns about relocating Sobus. Abner said they also spoke about Bransfield’s spending on personal luxuries, such as the renovation of his residence and offices.
“It was, ‘This guy is corrupt,’ ” Abner recalled.

Caine told her that Lori had no authority to investigate or discipline Bransfield, she said. “He told me, ‘Take it to Rome,’ ” she said.

Caine told The Post he did not recall the details of that conversation.

In an interview, he acknowledged that Lori received a long, detailed letter from a parishioner about Bransfield’s spending on home renovations. Lori considered the complaints “speculative in nature” and beyond his authority to investigate, Caine said.

Even so, Caine said, Lori called Bransfield and raised the concerns with him. “Nothing in that conversation led [Lori] to believe there was anything like the extent of spending, or the potential misuse of church funds, that would be revealed” by the later investigation, Caine said.

[Lori’s letter to ‘the Priests and the Faithful of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’]

Lori began receiving checks from Bransfield in May 2012, the same month he became archbishop, and accepted them annually through 2017. He received a total of $10,500, church records show. After The Post raised questions about the gifts, Lori said he would return $7,500. He said the other $3,000 was paid as stipends and travel reimbursements for celebrating two Masses in the West Virginia diocese.
Abner did take her complaints to Rome, sending Cardinal Burke a 10-page fax about an alleged campaign by Bransfield’s team against Sobus, according to receipts she provided to The Post.

“I beg for help from you Father,” she wrote in February 2013. “We need to stand up for the Truth as Jesus would want us, but we also need those who will stand with us.”

Burke did not respond to her appeals, she said.

“I’m sure that people within the church knew about Bransfield,” she told The Post. “There was a whole year of pressure and communication.”
Burke received 15 checks from 2008 to 2017 worth a total of $9,700, church records show.

Burke said in a statement that he did not know Bransfield well but that Bransfield regularly asked him to meet with priests who accompanied Bransfield to Rome. Burke said some of the checks were honorariums for these talks about his work at the Vatican. Others were gifts Bransfield sent on holidays or to mark Burke’s ordination as a cardinal, he said.

He said he donated the money to charity. “A Cardinal makes an oath not to accept any gift from someone seeking a favor pertaining to his office and work,” Burke said in the statement. “In the case of the gifts of Bishop Bransfield, I never had any reason to suspect that anything was awry.”

Alerts to pope’s ambassador

Viganò, the pope’s representative in Washington, received multiple letters in 2013 that raised questions about Bransfield’s lavish life amid the poverty of West Virginia, documents show.
In March 2013, Pennington, who had earlier written to Lori, sent Viganò a short letter about “the life of luxury, self-centeredness, & abuse of power by Bishop Michael Bransfield, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.”
“To verify my facts, below is a news article from the Charleston, Gazette (WV) outlining the beginning of a ‘spending spree,’ ” she wrote.

The article’s headline reads: “Renovations to Bishop’s House Top $1 Million.”

“West Virginia’s Catholic diocese has spent well over $1 million this year on renovations to houses for Bishop Michael Bransfield, including the addition of a 13-foot-long sunken bar and a 100-square-foot wine cellar,” says the article’s first sentence.
In May, Viganò received a blunt but less detailed letter from Joanna Brown, a parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima Church.

“Bishop Bransfield has been enjoying a self-indulgent lifestyle,” Brown wrote in a letter that was copied to two other clerics in Rome. “I want to know why this is being allowed when Pope Francis is preaching the opposite.”

In a letter that same month sent to Viganò and copied to cardinals in Rome, parishioners Robert and Virginia Hickman echoed Brown’s complaint.
“There are so many ‘stories’ about the lifestyle of the hierarchy of our Diocese that one should investigate for themselves to verify facts,” the Hickmans wrote. “Your inquiry and review of all matters in the DIOCESE OF WHEELING/CHARLESTON would be a blessing for all parishioners.”

In July 2013, during the flurry of letters, Viganò joined Bransfield in Mount Hope, W.Va., to celebrate Mass at a jamboree attended by 10,000 Boy Scouts. Viganò told The Post that he had been stranded at an airport in Charlotte on his way to the event and called Bransfield to let him know. Bransfield sent a chartered jet to pick him up.

Church documents and flight records show a seven-seat Learjet was dispatched to pick up Viganò in North Carolina, flying him 35 minutes to Charleston, W.Va. The flight cost the diocese $7,687, church financial records show.

Viganò said in a statement to The Post that he had no reason to suspect the private jet travel was improper. He said he assumed “a generous benefactor” had paid for the jet, citing Bransfield’s role as president of a nonprofit group that raises millions of dollars from prominent laypeople, the Papal Foundation.

“Given these facts, there was no reason for me to investigate or report anything to the Vatican,” Viganò said.
[Catholic bishops adopt long-promised abuse plan — for bishops to police bishops]

Viganò received two checks worth $1,000 each that year, one in March and the other in December, and $6,000 in all from Bransfield from 2011 to 2015, church records show.

Viganò said he did not recall receiving letters about Bransfield’s conduct during his time as nuncio.

“That said, the Nunciature receives many complaints about all sorts of matters every day,” he said, adding that it was possible letters about Bransfield were not brought to his attention.
The Nunciature in Washington did not return several messages and emails requesting comment.

Viganò’s predecessor, Pietro Sambi, received $20,500 in cash gifts from Bransfield before his death in 2011.
Viganò added that he had heard “rumors” that Bransfield was harassing young priests and misusing diocese money on personal expenses but that those rumors were “never substantiated.”

Without elaborating, he said Bransfield once called directly to preempt a rumor of sexual misconduct. “On one occasion,” Viganò said, “he called me to alert me that I might hear about possible accusations against him. He denied any wrongdoing.”

Caine, Lori’s spokesman, offered a different account, citing internal documents he would not release. He said “that as early as May 2013 that the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, was aware of concerns about spending by Bishop Bransfield.”
In August 2015, Sobus wrote a three-page letter to Pope Francis to complain about Bransfield’s “unjust administration of our diocese.” Sobus raised concerns about a custom-made fireplace in the bishop’s office, personal companions who traveled first-class with Bransfield abroad at church expense and other luxuries.

“You spoke about the lavish lifestyles of clergy and the poor witness they give,” Sobus wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post. “Bishop Bransfield has remodeled and renovated several properties owned by this diocese to use as his mansions. He has spent millions of dollars doing so.”
“Newspaper reporters have spoken out against his lavish lifestyle,” Sobus wrote. “Please note, this diocese is located in the poorest state in the US!”
[‘He hurt people’: West Virginia’s long-faithful Catholics grapple with allegations against their bishop]
A few weeks later, Sobus received a brief note from Wells, the chief of staff at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. “I assure you that a copy of your letter has been forwarded to the Congregation for the Clergy, which has competence over such matters,” Wells wrote.

A Vatican spokesman told The Post that Wells’s involvement ended there.
Wells accepted $6,500 from Bransfield in 13 checks from 2009 to 2015, records show.

“Archbishop Wells, then Monsignor Wells, never knew, nor suspected, that the gifts in question — usually received around Christmas and Easter by personal check — were derived from diocesan funds. Archbishop Wells had absolutely no knowledge that Church patrimony was being harmed by receipt of these gifts,” spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said. “Importantly, Bishop Bransfield neither requested nor received favored treatment of any kind from Archbishop Wells.”
In a February 2016 letter, an archbishop from the Congregation of the Clergy urged Sobus to show obedience to the church and, as a solution to his problem, to reach out to Bransfield for “the good of your soul.”

“The bishop of Wheeling-Charleston appears quite ready to make some provisions for you,” Archbishop Joël Mercier wrote.

The inside account

In August 2018, the claims against Bransfield took on a new significance when Monsignor Quirk, a vicar and one of Bransfield’s closest aides, became a whistleblower. Quirk wrote a scathing eight-page letter to Lori, the Baltimore archbishop, that drew on years of close observations of Bransfield’s conduct.

“I present the following as reason for this request, which I realize to be extraordinary in nature but which I judge to be in keeping with the demands for justice, as a means to repair scandal already caused and to prevent its further spread, and to protect the faithful of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston from further harm,” Quirk wrote on Aug. 8, in a letter that was ultimately distributed to multiple people.

Quirk, 52, is a canon lawyer who served as Bransfield’s judicial adviser and played a prominent role in church operations and Bransfield’s personal affairs.

In his letter to Lori, Quirk justified his decision to turn on Bransfield, citing his firsthand accounts of drug and alcohol abuse and sexual harassment, along with Bransfield’s excessive personal spending.

“The effects of alcohol abuse appear to be increasing, impairing his Excellency’s ability to function, such that it can be said that he is impaired from dinner time each evening until lunch time the next day,” Quirk wrote, adding that “he is intentionally using Vicodin so that he is at least medicated if not high while exercising the Pontificals.”

Quirk said he witnessed Bransfield inappropriately hugging young priests and caressing their faces, and he alleged that Bransfield takes a prurient interest in certain men, even coaxing shirtless photographs of them, which he retains on his cellphone.”

Quirk provided inside financial documents to support his claims that Bransfield spent excessively on personal luxuries, the letter said. That included almost $134,000 over five years on flowers for friends and $55,000 in other gifts such as hams and fruit baskets, according to the letter. Quirk also wrote that Bransfield installed a $161,000 custom-made floor for two rooms in a townhouse that was being renovated for his use in his retirement — and later decided to live elsewhere because the townhouse was too small.

Bransfield told The Post that he did not abuse alcohol or prescription medicine, adding that “no one has seen me inebriated.” He said any photographs of shirtless men on his cellphone had been sent to him and were innocuous. He acknowledged ordering the custom floors and sending flowers, hams and other gifts but said he did not know the costs involved.

In describing the cash gifts Bransfield gave to other clergy members, Quirk used the term “simony” — the buying or selling of church offices or positions. Quirk wrote that Bransfield’s gifts to Catholic leaders and young priests

“were corrupting these relationships into utilitarian bonds of dependence.”
He asked Lori to help arrange for Bransfield to be removed and replaced by someone from outside the state.
The lay investigative team was appointed by Lori one month later. Their report, delivered to Lori in February, faulted Quirk and two other vicars with enabling Bransfield’s conduct and called for their dismissal.
Before sending it to the Vatican in March, Lori ordered that the names of recipients of cash gifts, in

cluding his own name, be removed.
Lori told The Post that including the names of senior clerics who received money from Bransfield might have suggested that “there were expectations for reciprocity,” adding that “no evidence was found to suggest this.”
Several days after the Post report about the Bransfield investigation, the diocese announced that Quirk and two other vicars had resigned.
[Three priests accused of enabling W.Va. bishop’s ‘predatory and harassing conduct’ resign]
In a recent video statement, Lori acknowledged that “Bishop Bransfield engaged in a pattern of excessive and inappropriate spending.”
Lori said he could not explain how it happened.
“Friends, there is no excuse nor adequate explanation that will satisfy the troubling question of how Bishop Bransfield’s behavior was allowed to continue for as long as it did without the accountability that we must require for those who have been entrusted with so much, both spiritual and material,” Lori said.
Michelle Boorstein, Andrew Ba Tran, Alice Crites and Chico Harlan contributed to this report.


What disgraceful behaviour by this bishop.

But we know from the Bisho of Bling and our own Noel Treanor, that many of these guys live like kings.

And still the Cathbots keep giving them lolly!



(Fun photo from The Sunday News, Belfast c 1994)

Yesterday the County Antrim Orangemen held their annual March in my home town of Larne.

Several times recently people have talked to me about turning THE TWELFTH into a cultural and family friendly event.

But for people like myself there are a number of problems about that. And I am by no means a traditional Republican or Nationalist. Nor indeed am I a Unionist.

First of all I dont like the overuse of the Union Jack. It is certainly the national flag of the UK and Northern Ireland is, politically part of the UK.

But even tourists from the rest of the UK are shocked by its overuse here. There is no need to have it on every lamppost. And many Unionists take pleasure in placing that flag outside Catholic churches, schools and homes. They do this to rub Catholics noses in red, white and blue. This is blatant intimidation.

Secondly, as far as I know the Orange Order rule book has not changed when it comes to going into Catholic churches or attending Mass.

When I first came to Larne I celebrated the funeral of the Deputy Mayor, a Catholic who had served Larne for decades. The Unionist mayor, councillors and council staff stood across the road during the funeral ceremony.

We also have regular incidents of March followers urinating against Catholuc churches or draining paint on them or causing damage.

In retaliation for this a small number of “Republicans” damage Orange halls. This is equally as wrong as what the Orange men do.

The only way to turn THE TWELFTH into a cultural and family event is for the orange Order to use flags differently and to rid itself of its anti Catholic beliefs, practices and rhetoric.

Can I see that happening any time soon?


I can see some readers rushing to call me anti Catholic 😊

I am a catholic. I’m not anti myself and my own beliefs.

But I am anti the corrupt Roman Catholis institution

And, in fact, that institution itself has given, and still gives, Orangemen and others, plenty of ammunition to use against it.