WASHINGTON — The Catholic Church has reached a crossroads. Its leaders can either change, become open and accountable, or maintain the status quo: an institution lacking transparency, wrapped in secrecy and beholden to a clerical culture that is at the heart of the institution’s problems.

That bleak assessment was made by Marie Collins, the Irish clerical sexual abuse survivor who was an original member of a papal commission dealing with the sex abuse crisis, and who said she is “hanging on by my fingernails.”

The scandal, she said in remarks Sept. 8 opening a five-city U.S. tour, is both systemic and global, and clericalism remains at its core.

“The church is at a crossroads. It can either continue to behave as it has for centuries, protecting itself, or open up and become the church we all want it to be, the church that it should be.”

Collins, in a separate interview with NCR following the news conference, expanded on her understanding of clericalism and how it played into her decision to resign, after serving for three years, from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

During the past 20 years, she said, the church “has been reactive” and “has not changed one single thing unless forced to by survivors and those in the media. … I don’t believe the church has made any changes of its own volition.” She made her remarks at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill at the outset of her tour, titled, “A Crisis of Culture: Seeking Justice to Reclaim the Church.”

Comparing the task facing the church to the Herculean labor of cleaning the Augean stables, Collins said she believes significant change can occur only with continuous pressure “by lay people who love the church.”

Her time of service on the newly formed papal commission from 2014 to 2017 provided a rare look for a lay woman at the workings of the Roman Curia, the Vatican congregations and offices comprising the highest levels of governance in the church. She came away from that experience, she told NCR, convinced that “it’s like a giant boys’ boarding school.”

She described her time on the commission as a series of frustrations and realizations that some in the Curia were intent on stifling the group’s work from the outset.

She said the first meeting at the Vatican turned out to be a harbinger of what was to come. The room where it was held contained a bare table and chairs. “No pens, no pads, not even water,” she said. When she asked who was going to take minutes of the meeting, she said the cleric secretary answered there was “no one in the Vatican available to take minutes.”

She said the commission was not provided a budget, was told there was no money to hire experts to aid their work, and that no funds were available for working group meetings between the main gatherings. “You know, you have some cardinals paying millions to renovate their apartments and things, you have hundreds of millions paid out in compensation to survivors. We’re trying to keep children safe to prevent survivors in the future and we weren’t given a budget.”

In August 2018, she met with Pope Francis during his trip to Ireland. It was the year after she had resigned from the papal commission. At the time, she gave the pope credit for a frank exchange with a group of survivors, but said she was disappointed that important initiatives suggested by the commission were not moving ahead.

“I got to meet the pope and say what I wanted to say. I may not have got the answers I wanted — all you can do is ask the question, and I did,” she wrote in the Irish Times.

In the interview here, she said during their exchange that Francis told her that “the commission was not honest with me” and that he could now trust it because it had been incorporated into the Curia.
She said she asked him “In what way were we not honest with you?” According to Collins, he replied, “I won’t speak about the past.”

“I couldn’t get an answer,” she said. “Who had told him that? Who had been saying things to him about those members and the honesty of the commission? I never got to the bottom of it.”

When she asked who was going to take minutes of the meeting, she said the cleric secretary answered there was “no one in the Vatican available to take minutes.”

In one instance, she said, she asked during a meeting about the status of a proposal for an accountability tribunal that had been advanced months before and handed on to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for implementation. Her question had been posed to Claudio Papale, a professor who also worked for the CDF. She said that Msgr. Robert Oliver, secretary of the commission, intervened and attempted to prevent Papale from answering, saying the question placed the professor in a difficult position.

Collins said that Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, president of the commission, eventually intervened and allowed Papale to respond. Collins said Papale told the group that the proposal had been blocked by the CDF and would never be implemented.

Some months later, after an inquiry from NCR, the Vatican acknowledged that Papale had resigned from the commission for personal reasons.

As an indication of curial meddling, she recounted her attempt to nominate Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor from Chile, to membership on the commission. She has posted on her website a number of emails demonstrating efforts by a Chilean cardinal and the nuncio to Chile to block both his appointment to the commission and his invitation to speak at a conference in Rome.

One of the emails mentioned O’Malley, proof, Collins said, that he knew that members of the hierarchy were attempting to interfere with the work of the commission. She said when she asked O’Malley during a meeting why he had not informed the group of that attempt: “He didn’t answer. He just shrugged his shoulders.”

In response to a question, O’Malley’s spokesperson Terrence Donilon responded that he was in “no position to comment on Marie’s recollections. The cardinal’s position and actions with respect to the situation in Chile is both public and well known. This includes his support of Chilean victims.” He added that O’Malley “has great respect for Marie and her ongoing commitment to safeguarding.

Indeed, Collins, in turn, expresses her respect for O’Malley, but says that the incident is indicative of the pervasive nature of the clerical culture.

In addition to her regard for O’Malley, she gives high marks to Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s chief abuse investigator, for his work on behalf of victims and in rooting out the truth in places like Chile, and to Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

“I have a lot of time for Scicluna,” she said. “I have met with him. I think he, in the old phrase that we don’t use much now, he gets it, he really does. He gets things done. He is not intimidated by anyone with a greater title than he has. He will go in, as he did in Chile, and ask the questions that need to be asked.”

As for Martin, she thinks if it weren’t for the clerical culture “he’d have a red hat by now.” That he has not been named a cardinal she believes is due to the animosity of other Irish bishops toward him for his role in helping to expose the extent of clergy sexual abuse of minors in Ireland. Martin, who worked in the Vatican most of his career, was appointed archbishop in 2004 and shortly thereafter began reading through the voluminous documentation on sex abuse in the records of the archdiocese. He handed over some 70,000 documents to a government commission studying the scandal.

“He’s totally different and I think his skill and experience should have been used at the Vatican level. Instead, he’s been isolated and ignored,” Collins said. “In my view, he should have been on the papal commission for the protection of minors because his experience in Dublin was excellent.” She said his child protection office in Dublin could be used as “a blueprint and put in every diocese.”
He is not popular with other bishops and many priests, she said, because he reversed the strategy of his predecessor, who worked to keep the files secret, and consequently “is looked on as a betrayer” by the clergy. But, she contends, he is deeply respected by lay Catholics and non-Catholics in Dublin.

He is, she said, an example of what happens when someone bucks the clerical culture.

While claiming she has no ready answer for the clerical culture — they have to ask themselves the question of how the crisis came to be, she says — she did have a suggestion for dealing with the Curia.
She described the Vatican as “a bubble” teeming with ambitious clerics. “There’s this climbing the slippery pole and the whole thing is getting to the top. And it’s a hothouse of gossip and all this other stuff.” She said if she had her way, she would put everyone who works in the Vatican “on a five-year term, and I would send them back to their parish or whatever for a length of time, and then they can come back. I wouldn’t keep them there for eternity.”

Her tour, with scheduled stops in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans and Los Angeles, was organized and sponsored by 13 church reform groups.

[Tom Roberts is NCR executive editor. His email address is Follow him on Twitter at @NCRTROB.]
*The caption for this photo has been updated with the correct location.


I think that Marie Collins insight into the goings on in the Vatican, the hierarchy and the curia show us exactly what they are like.

They are a clerical dictatorship and all they want from the laity is their money and blind obedience.

These guys are not interested in truth, faith, hope or charity.

They are not interested in Jesus, except to have hijacked his mission so that they can have endless power, money, control and sex.

They are as evil as the authorities in Iran and Syria.

We must continue to expose them at every possible turn until the people of the world recognise them as the evil ones they are.

I don’t know why Almighty God does not unleash total destruction upon them.



Catholic News Agency 13 September, 2019

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield (CNS photo/Colleen Rowan, The Catholic Spirit)

A Washington Post investigation traced Bishop Michael Bransfield. Bransfield spent nearly one million dollars on private jets and over $660,000 on airfare and hotels during his 13 years as bishop of his former diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

A new investigation by the Washington Post, published on September 12, reported that during his last year in active ministry, Bransfield took at least 19 trips in what was described as a chartered luxury jet.

Those trips cost the diocese more than $142,000.

In accord with canon law, Bransfield submitted his resignation as bishop of Wheeling-Charleston was to Pope Francis last September following his 75th birthday. It was accepted immediately.

Following his resignation, Pope Francis ordered Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore to conduct an investigation into allegations that Bransfield had sexually harassed adult males and misused diocesan finances during his time in West Viginia.

Following that investigation, Lori banned Bransfield from public ministry within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and Archdiocese of Baltimore in March, and the Vatican announced a series of sanctions in July.

In addition to restrictions on publicly celebrating Mass within the diocese, Bransfield was also prohibited from living in his former diocese ordered to “make personal amends for some of the harm he caused.” These “personal amends” are to be determined by Bransfield’s successor, Bishop Mark Brennan, who took office on September 3, 2019.

Other examples of financially irresponsible conduct highlighted by the report included a diocesean pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, which is just under a five-hour drive from St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Wheeling. Pilgrims who opted to spend the night in DC paid $190 each for bus, hotel, and breakfast, while others paid $30 for a day-trip ticket.

Bransfield did not take the bus with the other pilgrims. Instead, he chartered a private plane for the 33-minute trip between Wheeling and Dulles International Airport, taking a limousine to and from the airport. Bransfield’s travel costs of nearly $7,000 were paid by the diocese.

The Post also found that Bransfield had a pattern of travelling first-class when flying on commercial airlines and stays in luxury hotel suites – including a weeklong stay in The Colony Hotel’s “Presidential Penthouse” in January 2018 that cost the diocese $9,336.

Bishop Bransfield told the Post that he was not the one who made the reservations at luxury hotels, and instead placed the blame on his staff. He declined to say who was responsible for making reservations.

On trips to Europe, both for work and personal vacation, Bransfield stayed in luxury accommodation, and often travelling with young priests in their 20s. Bransfield was accused of sexual harassment by at least one of his travel companions.

Some of the bishop’s travel was connected to his work with the Papal Foundation, the board of which he led until his retirement last year.

Bransfield also spent thousands of dollars on jewelry and other clothing, including spending more than $60,000 of diocesean money at a boutique jeweler in Washington, DC during his time in office.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Bransfield said that West Virginia was unable to provide “the lifestyle [he] lived in Washington.”

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston met the costs for Bransfield’s travels to visit his family, and much of his month-long stays on the Jersey Shore. The diocese paid for a $276 purchase at a liquor store, as well as a month-long car rental for $2,975.

He also chartered a jet to and from the Jersey Shore to Washington, DC, for a meeting following the announcement that he was being investigated for financial improprieties.

During Bransfield’s time as bishop, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston either shut down or ceased funding more than 20 parishes and parochial schools.


What a permissive and anti Christian lifestyle this man has been living.

Penthouse suits, private jets etc.

But he is not alone.

Many RC prelates live millionaire lifestyles.

And they regard it as their entitlement.

Our Noel Treanor in Belfast spent £4 million on his palace.

Cardinals in Rome spend 50,000 on their kitchens.

What has all this to do with Jesus of Nazareth?



FATHER J J MURRAY (78) was in court in recent days to face charges on the historic abuse of three girls.
Father Murray was ordained in 1965 and served in a number of parishes in D&C.

His first trial will start on November 18th.

I have been supporting one of the victims for several years now.

It is my intention to accompany her on November 18th.

Of course the matter is now sub judice and it would be improper to comment on the facts of the case. That will now be the job of the juedge and jury.

Father Murray had fled to Spain but returned to meet the police.

I am aware of many aspects of this cases and wll comment more freely after the jury reaches a verdict.


As a child and young man I always loved attending what we Catholics call benediction – the blessing of the congregation with the sacred host.

I never really lost my fondness for it but as time went on I did not celebrate it.

A couple of months ago at a congregation meeting we decided to reinstate it at The Oratory.

It also coincided with the death of our of our priests who had Tridentine leanings and he left several monstrances behind him.

As many of our congregation travel up to 40 miles we dicifed to have it on Sundays as an end to our 12 noon Mass. I think this is not strictly liturgically correct but it suits us and I dont think God is too much into canon law and rubrics.

I particularly like the two Latin hymn O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo.

I also like the Divine Praises as a devotion.
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints. Amen.lessed be God.



Victims say priests passed them around “like pieces of meat”

By Sylvia Pownall The Mirror

Gardai probing a hostel for boys which operated in the 1960s and 1970s believe they’ve uncovered a paedophile ring run by clerics.

The half-way house – which opened under the name “The Boys Club” – is the subject of an investigation by officers attached to the Sexual Crime Management

One former resident, who has come forward to give a detailed statement, outlined how “hundreds” of priests visited the hostel on Eccles Street in Dublin’s north inner city.

They included evil predator Brendan Smyth, who is suspected of abusing more than 140 children over a 40-year period.

The man, now in his 60s, says he was raped at the age of 15 by a senior cleric who frequented the hostel and later took him on a “retreat”.

While there he was subjected to horrific abuse for four days and he attempted suicide in a desperate bid to end the torment.

He told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “During the three years I was at the hostel I estimate a couple of hundred priests and seminarians passed through Eccles Street to visit the boys, including senior clergy.”

The man was born in a mother and baby home and was sent to the hostel from an industrial school where he was raped from a young age.

He said: “The abuse that took place in the hostel was an extension of the abuse I suffered in the industrial school but it was far more intense and pressurised.

He added priests used the home as a “hunting ground” and “passed boys around like pieces of meat” bribing them with cigarettes and money to keep quiet.

The man claims he was also warned on several occasions to “keep his mouth shut” or he would “end up in the lunatic asylum in Dundrum”.

A typical ploy used by senior clerics was to send their car and chauffeur to the hostel to collect a particular boy who would then be driven to a nearby location and abused.

The victim, who is now 65, said: “A priest or seminarian tended to come with somebody who knew the hostel… they might depart with a boy.

“The seminarians would chat me up. If there was a disco going on I would dance with them and I would be groped. This happened even in the toilet.

“In hindsight there was a selection process. There were a lot of B&Bs in the area, it was close to Gardiner Street and nobody would dare stop a priest.

“There seemed to be a constant stream of priests and student priests coming in, this was normal to me.

“I get it now – it’s beginning to hit me. I denied it for years.”

Detectives are taking the claims seriously. Several of the priests who are implicated are still alive and are expected to be interviewed by gardai.

More than 700 vulnerable teenage boys passed through the hostel over the space of a decade and it’s feared most were preyed on by clerics.

Abusers included seminarians and their foreign visitors from Clonliffe, All Hallows and Maynooth as well as visiting priests and their “guests”.

The hostel opened in the early 1960s and was run by nuns on behalf of the Archdiocese.

It typically housed up to 30 teenage boys, aged 15 to 18, in dormitories.

There was a games room downstairs and a disco where priests would dance with the young boys.

There was also a private flat upstairs where abusers took their victims.

From 1972 it was known simply as “Our Lady’s Hostel”.

It closed in the late 1970s and the building now forms part of the Mater Private Hospital.

A second man, who was sent to the Boys Club in 1967 when he was 16, stated he was taken on a pub crawl by an elderly priest who got him drunk and raped him.

He said: “He had done this before, some of the boys said later.

“They all wanted to be our friends, to buy us stuff like ciggies, drink, food, movies or take us out on drives in the country for sex in their cars.

“[Abuse happened] maybe twice a week. I was drunk most of the time, it deadened the memories so that I didn’t care. They just wouldn’t leave us alone.”

Something ‘systematically wrong’ in the Catholic Church for failing to accept abuse of children, says priest

A third former resident said he was thrown out of the hostel two days after he punched a senior cleric who made unwanted sexual advances towards him.
Decades later he was in hospital after suffering a severe mental breakdown because he could not verbalise what had happened to him.

Fr Brendan Smyth – regarded as the most depraved paedophile in Irish history – used to stay at the girls’ secondary school nearby and visit the hostel on foot.

Institutional survivors’ advocate Fintan Dunne has set up a Boys Club Justice group on Facebook in a bid to uncover the truth and support victims.

He said: “Most victims of the Boys Club are all still deeply affected and largely abandoned to their ongoing psychological distress.

“What’s contributed to this is that somehow Ireland had remained oblivious to even the existence of the Boys Club or the depth of harm inflicted there.

“As a result, most of these men lack appropriate care and many are troubled by the unfinished business of justice.”


I think it is correct to say that this hostel was founded by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid? If not I’m sure someone will correct me.

McQuaid certainly visited there in the evenings.

I have never heard anyone claim that McQuaid abused boys there himself.

There have been stories told of McQuaid’s driver calling to that hostel and Artane Reformatory and bringing boys to visit McQuaid.

It seems that the boys in this hostel were inded a source of “fresh meat” for priests and seminarians.

I was in Clonliffe Seminary and there was an under current there of altar and other boys being brought around Clonliffe and abused as parr of their visit by priests and seminarians.

One man told me he had been abused in a room with ceiling to floor mirrors that Bishop Joseph Carroll used as his “robing room”.

This happened after Carroll had left Clonliffe.




If there’s a cardinal sin to be made, count on the Catholic church

Kevin McKenna The Guardian.

Its errors run from toting a saint’s relics around Scotland to an invitation to a reactionary priest

Sun 8 Sep 2019

A grim little vaudeville act is currently touring some of Scotland’s Catholic parishes, featuring the remains of Thérèse of Lisieux, a long-dead French nun.

Thérèse died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in 1897 and was canonised in 1925, becoming Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. By all accounts, this young woman developed an exemplary devotion to her faith and was the author of some beautiful (if slightly ripe) spiritual tracts.

I’m not sure she deserved the fate of having some of her remains bumped in and out of cars and through the hills of South Lanarkshire and Paisley for the devoted titillation of the faithful.

These relics of Saint Thérèse are considered to be “first class”, this being the ultimate seal of Vatican authentication. To be accorded this distinction, they must be parts of the bodies of the saints, such as fragments of bone, skin, blood, hair or ash.

Apparently, poor dead Thérèse (or parts thereof) has been getting ferried like this throughout the Catholic world since 1994. Is there no one to call a halt to this unedifying distortion of faith? Can we not let this blameless lassie rest in peace?

The church, still reeling from the global crisis of clerical sex abuse, is keen to encourage devotion like this.

In secular society, we similarly raise up those who have performed feats of heroism that inspire us to make more of ourselves or to come to the aid of those in need. Behold the Scotland national football team. Our squad hasn’t qualified for a proper international tournament for 21 years and has long been tormented by the feats of better generations.

The ghosts of great Scottish managers and players still haunt Hampden Park and our modern performers seem mesmerised by their shadows as they struggle to master the basics of the game.

Thus, there were more people interested in attending Scotland’s rugby international against Georgia than our footballers’ encounter with Russia on Friday night. Perhaps we could seek permission from the families of Bill Shankly, Jim Baxter and Jimmy Johnstone to exhume their bodies in the national interest.

A lock of Shankly’s hair or Baxter’s left metatarsal or a bone fragment from Jinky’s hips, which he used to swivel and pirouette away from defenders, could be secured and placed in a casket. These could then be borne aloft through the neighbourhoods that reared these great footballers for the purposes of rekindling interest among these communities for our national sport. Perhaps, too, something of the sorcery interred in their bones might escape into the feet of a passing urchin and transport him to greatness in a dark blue jersey.

When the church’s spinmeisters urge its followers to bow down in medieval veneration to the bleached fragments of dead heroes you know that political machinations lie beneath.

Our secular aristocracy relies on the fecundity of the royal family or the sacrifice of its soldiers in contrived theatres of war to avert our gaze from problems nearer to home. And the Roman Catholic church, still reeling from the global crisis of clerical sex abuse, is keen to encourage supernatural devotion like this for the purposes of redirecting scrutiny of its own grievous failings.

The success of the Reformation lay in freeing people from the spiritual slavery of Rome, where the bones of saints and counterfeit fragments of the Holy Cross had become an industry. The profits from this paid for the ruinous and brutal Crusades (and the beginning of Islamophobia).

The reformers offered a purer and less unequal route to heaven and the mercy of God, unencumbered by profiteering, exploitation and superstition.

It wasn’t just a theological revolution, but a temporal one, which seemed to say that you didn’t need to wait until you entered paradise to experience equality and fairness.

While Saint Thérèse’s relics continue on their ghostly tour up and down the hills and glens, the visit to Scotland takes place of the American cardinal Raymond Burke, perhaps the most powerful Catholic churchman after Pope Francis.

Burke, who has long viewed the current pope’s relaxed and compassionate views on human sexuality and the environment with deep suspicion, has become his greatest critic. He has thus become a totem for rightwing Catholic conservatives, a powerful and influential lobby, which is currently being wooed by Donald Trump and his chosen acolyte in this field, Steve Bannon.

Perhaps it’s merely a coincidence that Thérèse’s posthumous visit to Scotland is occurring at the same time as Burke’s live one, but I hae ma doots.


I do agree that the hierarchy and clergy cynically manipulate the simple faith of many of the laity in order to shove their criminal behaviour into the shadows.

Many of these men are in reality atheists and agnostics who pretend to be spiritual.

They are the lukewarm types that Jesus said he would spit out of his mouth.

The problem too is the confusion of spirituality and superstition.

True spirituality involves facing life’s challenges head on and navigating your way through them.

Superstition promotes escapism from reality into the realms of white magic.

You see it in Confession – the Sacrament of Reconciliation with priests giving Hail Marys and Our Fathers as penances.

First prayer should not be a penance. It should be a pleasure and joy.

Secondly such penances should be linked to the sin. The penance for theft is restitution. The penance for lies should be to be given the obligation to correct the lie.

The hierarchy and clergy want to keep the laity in the dark caves of superstition and to obedience to God through obedience to them.

As for St. Therese, there is no doubt that she desired to know God and to do His will.

Interestingly, there have been reports that she was ordained a priest on her deathbed.

As for Old Mother Burke? Well what can one say.



Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin reveals paedophile priests cannot identify

He said some serial offenders could not recall the names of all their victims which in some instances numbered more than 100

Lynne Kelleher Daily Mirror

The Archbishop of Dublin has told of his shock at finding serial paedophile priests are unable to conclusively identify new cases – because they had so many victims.

Dr Diarmuid Martin said some serial offenders could not recall the names of all their victims which in some instances numbered over 100.

He makes the disturbing revelation in an RTE documentary detailing how the Vatican came to exert control over almost every aspect of Irish life since the foundation of the state.

Former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell looks at how the Catholic Church wielded so much power over the State for more than a century.

Dr Martin talks frankly about the scale of abuse expressing his deep concern that paedophile priests can often be unsure if they abused a victim or not when a new case comes to light.

He said: “Any organisation has to ask how is it that at a particular time there was large number of serial paedophiles.

Paedophile teacher John Gibson was quizzed by gardai 25 years ago – but was only jailed this recently.

“I’m talking serious paedophiles, we’re talking about hundreds.

“There are cases coming forward and my people will ask, for example, a priest, if a new case comes up, from one of these historical cases, does this name mean anything to you?

“Sometimes they say, ‘Yes, I abused that person’.

“Sometimes, and this is the more worrying one, they (say) ‘the name means nothing, but I can’t say, it could have happened…

“They don’t even, they didn’t even know how many people they abused.”
Amnesty International chief Colm O’Gorman said he came back to Ireland in 1995 “to report the fact that I’d been raped by a Roman Catholic priest from the age of 14 until 17”.

Fr Sean Fortune

Campaigner Colm O’Gorman slams church bosses after claims sex abuse victim’s reports were ignored

He added: “Fr Sean Fortune was the priest [who abused me]. When I came back I initially believed that I was reporting what one very bad man had done to me.

“But within I think about six weeks another five men had come forward and made complaints.”

Fortune was accused of the rape and sexual abuse of 29 boys. He committed suicide before any of the cases came to trial.

Michael McDowell reveals how the State effectively let the church off the hook when it came to paying compensation to victims.

He blasted then Minister Michael Woods’ decision to meet representatives of religious orders and do a deal to cap their liability to victims without any consultation.


Imagine, priests abusing so many children that forget how many they abused.

Its as if children are unrecorded victims. They are not important enough to remeber or record.

It means that children abused by priests are not important – just statistics not worth recording.

Its ontological changed that are important. Not children.

Prists are are entitled to regard children are fair game.



Sep 11, 2019 by NCR Editorial

An immigrant is sexually assaulted by a work supervisor. He goes to a higher authority to complain, but is told to shut up or he can expect to be deported.

A tale from a sleazy slaughterhouse? The underbelly of existence for undocumented restaurant workers in any big American city?

No, it happened in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York, if Fr. Ryszard Biernat’s story is to be believed.

The abused.

Considering the cascade of tales that are bewildering and disgusting Catholics from the Niagara Falls region, Biernat’s story retains at least some credibility, considering the woeful succession of reports of coverups, including incomplete lists of clerical wrongdoers issued by Bishop Richard Malone.

In the ugliness coming out of Buffalo, Biernat’s story calls for a special dose of outrage, unless Catholics have become so numb that this will be just another story in an ugly catalogue.

“If you don’t stop talking about this, you will not become a priest,” Biernat said he was told by Buffalo Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz in 2004, after he told the bishop he was assaulted by Fr. Arthur Smith in a parish rectory.

The abuser

The quote is from the Buffalo News, part of a local media that has been all over this story. Grosz has denied any blackmail threat. Biernat said the threat of forbidding ordination was also a threat to deport him.

Questions remain: Much of the anger has focused on Malone, but Biernat’s account points to a deeper rot in the diocese that precedes Malone, the current bishop who was appointed to Buffalo in 2012.

Church law mandates that such blatant corruption should be investigated by the metropolitan of the region, in this case Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. At their last national meeting, bishops agreed that that they should be the ones ultimately placed in charge of disciplining their fellow church leaders who go astray.

We lack confidence in the model. First, the right questions need to be asked. Can they be asked by investigators beholden to church authority (that would include priests and lay employees)? Is Biernat’s charge evidence of a criminal matter? Is there something corrupt in the current system of bringing seminarians from overseas, spiking enrollment numbers for institutions in desperate need of students? Is Buffalo part of a wider pattern, or is there something peculiar about it that brings forth this sordid tale?

Questions need to be raised about the circumstances of seminarians from overseas. The Buffalo case suggests the worst — vulnerable new arrivals subjected to threats and intimidation. But it also raises concerns about numbers: How many are there? Where do they come from? Why are they planning to minister here instead of in their home countries? Do they expect to be incardinated into a diocese or are their stays temporary? What do bishops in their home countries have to say?

Biernat’s case argues that at least some bishops have abdicated their authority by looking the other way and engaging in aggressive coverups. This Buffalo case cries out for an independent authority to investigate alleged crimes of sexual assault against adults, particularly the vulnerable. Seminarians, so dependent upon the good will of their bishop leaders, are particularly endangered by clerical corruption, even more so if their very existence in the country is dependent on maintaining their vocation status.

Biernat, who served as priest secretary to Malone, said he felt finally free to talk about his ordeal after becoming a U.S. citizen in July. “I feel so liberated. Now I can speak,” he told the Buffalo News. American Catholics are not so encumbered. May their outrage be heard, as we watch if the processes the bishops have embraced are up to the realities of dealing with this continuing crisis.


When you read stories like this you realise that all Pope Francis’ and catholic bishops about welcoming and caring for immigrants is all hot air!

This young seminarian and priest went to his bishop and told him he had been sexually abused by a priest.

The priest responds by threatening the abused seminarian with deportation!

The priest who abused him had already abused his own nephew below.

The abused nephew

The young priest could only talk publicly about his abuse after he achieved US citizenship.

This young man has been done a grave injustice by the bishop and clerical club in his diocese.

That’s right! Deport a young seminarian for telling the truth about his abuse!