A DERRY PRIEST WHO HAS BEEN FORBIDDEN TO SAY PUBLIC MASS BY THE BISHOP OF DERRY, DONAL MC KEOWN HAS STARTED HAVING PUBLIC MASS IN HIS RETIREMENT HOME.
Father John Irwin got into a bit of bother in 2014 when he was accused of stealing £2,000 from parish accounts. The diocese reported him to the police and a judge gave him a conditional discharge.
After the court case banned Father Irwin from publicly celebrating Mass or the sacraments.
Father Irwin, who in his late 70s retired to Dungiven and he has opened his house for public Mass.
At first only two or three people went to the Masses but the numbers have now grown. His Masses are being attended by people between the ages of 16 to 80.
Local parishioners are supporting him against the bishop’s ban.
Of course it was wrong for Father Irwin to steal parish money.
But then again many priests help themselves to parish funds on a regular basis.
By giving him a conditional discharge the judge obviously regarded his crime as being on the lower end.
He has probably served more than 50 years as a priest and I think that McKeown should have given him a second chance.
He could even have offered him CHRISTIAN FORGIVENESS!
If anyone knows anything about independent Catholic ministry it is me. I have been doing it now for 33 years.
Cackle Daly told my successor as curtate of Larne that I would only last 6 weeks!
I told Cackle that I would be still in Larne when he was pushing up the daisies.
Of course its not as easy as having the support of a big wealthy institution.
On the other hand I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to serve people in the way they require.
I have been giving divorced and separated people a second chance in those 33 years.
I have also ministered to the gay community and provided blessings for them for their marriages. And now, that is legal in the Republic of Ireland, I am celebrating their marriages – including a Marriage Mass if they want one.
Everyday people come to me about their needs. Yesterday I was involved in getting a woman with spinal problems to see a consultant. I’m also working on getting a South African lady leave to remain in the UK. I represent people in the labour courts and at health tribunals.
As an independent priest you have to become a Jack of all trades.
I believe that God did me a very big favour in bringing me out of the RC institution.
I’d hate to think of how I might have been had I stayed.
In the meantime, the more priests give ishops the two finger salute the better
They only have control over us if we allow them to.
Let us say to them what nationalists said to the unionists – “We refuse to be governed by you”.