By CLAUDIA LAUER and MEGHAN HOYER AP.
Nearly 1,700 priests and other clergy members that the Roman Catholic Church considers credibly accused of child sexual abuse are living under the radar with little to no oversight from religious authorities or law enforcement, decades after the first wave of the church abuse scandal roiled U.S. dioceses, an Associated Press investigation has found.
These priests, deacons, monks and lay people now teach middle-school math. They counsel survivors of sexual assault. They work as nurses and volunteer at nonprofits aimed at helping at-risk kids. They live next to playgrounds and day care centers. They foster and care for children.
And in their time since leaving the church, dozens have committed crimes, including sexual assault and possessing child pornography, the AP’s analysis found.
A recent push by Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S. to publish the names of those it considers to be credibly accused has opened a window into the daunting problem of how to monitor and track priests who often were never criminally charged and, in many cases, were removed from or left the church to live as private citizens.
Each diocese determines its own standard to deem a priest credibly accused, with the allegations ranging from inappropriate conversations and unwanted hugging to forced sodomy and rape.
Dioceses and religious orders so far have shared the names of more than 5,100 clergy members, with more than three-quarters of the names released just in the last year. The AP researched the nearly 2,000 who remain alive to determine where they have lived and worked _ the largest-scale review to date of what happened to priests named as possible sexual abusers.
In addition to the almost 1,700 that the AP was able to identify as largely unsupervised, there were 76 people who could not be located. The remaining clergy members were found to be under some kind of supervision, with some in prison or overseen by church programs.
The review found hundreds of priests held positions of trust, many with access to children. More than 160 continued working or volunteering in churches, including dozens in Catholic dioceses overseas and some in other denominations. Roughly 190 obtained professional licenses to work in education, medicine, social work and counseling _ including 76 who, as of August, still had valid credentials in those fields.
The research also turned up cases where the priests were once again able to prey on victims.
This undated photo posted to Facebook in 2017 shows Jerome Bernard Robben. Three decades earlier, Robben, a St. Louis Catholic high school teacher; and James A. Funke, a priest, went to prison for sexually abusing male students together. In 2017, this social media account identified Robben _ wearing a crown and gold vestments _ as the leader of a Russian Byzantine order raising money to build a monastery in Nevada. (AP Photo)
After Roger Sinclair was removed by the Diocese of Greensburg in Pennsylvania in 2002 for allegedly abusing a teenage boy decades earlier, he ended up in Oregon. In 2017, he was arrested for repeatedly molesting a young developmentally disabled man and is now imprisoned for a crime that the lead investigator in the Oregon case says should have never been allowed to happen.
Like Sinclair, the majority of people listed as credibly accused were never criminally prosecuted for the abuse alleged when they were part of the church. That lack of criminal history has revealed a sizable gray area that state licensing boards and background check services are not designed to handle as former priests seek new employment, apply to be foster parents and live in communities unaware of their presence and their pasts.
It also has left dioceses struggling with how _ or if _ former employees should be tracked and monitored. Victims’ advocates have pushed for more oversight, but church officials say what’s being requested extends beyond what they legally can do. And civil authorities like police departments or prosecutors say their purview is limited to people convicted of crimes.
That means the heavy lift of tracking former priests has fallen to citizen watchdogs and victims, whose complaints have fueled suspensions, removals and firings. But even then, loopholes in state laws allow many former clergy to keep their new jobs even when the history of allegations becomes public.
“Defrocked or not, we’ve long argued that bishops can’t recruit, hire, ordain, supervise, shield, transfer and protect predator priests, then suddenly oust them and claim to be powerless over their whereabouts and activities,” said David Clohessy, the former executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who now heads the group’s St. Louis chapter.
“IT WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE ABUSE HISTORY”
When the first big wave of the clergy abuse scandal hit Roman Catholic dioceses in the early 2000s, the U.S. bishops created the Dallas Charter, a baseline for sexual abuse reporting, training and other procedures to prevent child abuse. A handful of canon lawyers and experts at the time said every diocese should be transparent, name priests that had been accused of abuse and, in many cases, get rid of them.
Most dioceses decided against naming priests, however. And with the dioceses that did release lists in the next few years_ some by choice, others due to lawsuit settlements or bankruptcy proceedings _ abuse survivors complained about underreporting of priests, along with the omission of religious brothers they believed should be on those lists.
“The Dallas Charter was supposed to fix everything. It was supposed to make the abuse scandal history. But that didn’t happen,” said the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer who had tried to warn the bishops that abuse was widespread and that they should clean house.
After the charter was established in 2002, some critics say dioceses were more likely to simply defrock priests and return them to private citizenship.
Before 2018’s landmark Pennsylvania grand jury report, which named more than 300 predator priests accused of abusing more than 1,000 children in six dioceses, the official lists of credibly accused priests added up to fewer than 1,500 names nationwide. Now, within the span of a little more than a year, more than 100 dioceses and religious orders have come forward with thousands of names _ but often little other information that can be used to alert the public.
Some of the lists merely provide names, without details of the abuse allegations that led to their inclusion, the dates of the priests’ assignments or the parishes where they served. And many don’t disclose the priests’ status with the church, which can vary from being moved into full retirement to being banished from performing public sacraments while continuing to perform administrative work. Only a handful of the lists include the last-known cities the priests lived in.
Over nine months, AP reporters and researchers scoured public databases, court records, property records, social media and other sources to locate the ousted clergy members.
That effort unearthed hundreds of these priests who, largely unwatched by church and civil authorities, chose careers that put them in new positions of trust and authority, including jobs in which they dealt with children and survivors of sexual abuse.
At least two worked as juvenile detention officers, in Washington and Arizona, and several others migrated to government roles like victims’ advocate or public health planner. Others landed jobs at places like Disney World, community centers or family shelters for domestic abuse. And one former priest started a nonprofit that sends people to volunteer in orphanages and other places in developing nations.
The AP determined that a handful adopted or fostered children, sponsored teens and young adults coming to the U.S. for educational opportunities, or worked with organizations that are part of the foster care system, though that number could be much higher since no public database tracks adoptive or foster parents.
Until February, former priest Steven Gerard Stencil worked at a Phoenix company that places severely disabled children in foster homes and trains foster parents to care for them. Colleagues knew he was a former priest, but were unaware of past allegations against him, according to Lauree Copenhaver, the firm’s executive director.
Stencil, now 67, was suspended from ministry in 2001 after a trip to Mexico that violated a diocese policy forbidding clerics from being with minors overnight. Around that time, a 17-year-old boy also complained that Stencil, then pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande, Ariz., had grabbed his crotch in 1999 in a swimming pool. The diocese determined it was accidental touching, but turned the allegations over to police. No criminal charges were filed.
Since 2003, Stencil’s name has appeared on the Tucson diocese’s list of clerics credibly accused of sexually abusing children, and his request to be voluntarily defrocked was granted in 2011.
Copenhaver said Stencil passed a fingerprint test showing he did not have a criminal history when he was first hired part time by Human Services Consultants LLC 12 years ago.
“We did not have any knowledge of his indiscretions, and had we known his history we would not have hired him,” she said, emphasizing that he did not have direct access to children in his job.
Stencil was fired from the company for unrelated reasons earlier this year. He later said in a post on his Facebook page that he was working as a driver for a private Phoenix bus company that specializes in educational tours for school groups and scout troops.
“I have always been upfront with my employers about my past as a priest,” Stencil wrote in an email to the AP when asked for comment. He said he unsuccessfully asked years ago for his name to be removed from the diocese’s list, adding, “Since then, I have decided to simply live my life as best I can.”
The AP’s analysis also found that more than 160 of the priests remained in the comfortable position of continuing to work or volunteer in a church, with three-quarters of those continuing to serve in some capacity in the Roman Catholic Church. Others moved on as ministers and priests in different denominations, with new roles such as organist or even as priests in Catholic churches not affiliated with the Vatican, sometimes despite known or published credible accusations against them.
In more than 30 cases, priests accused of sexual abuse in the U.S. simply moved overseas, where they worked as Roman Catholic priests in good standing in countries including Peru, Mexico, the Philippines, Ireland and Colombia. The AP found that in all, roughly 110 clergy members moved or were suspected of moving out of the U.S. after allegations were made.
At least five priests were excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church because of their refusal to stop participating in other religious activity.
More than three decades ago, James A. Funke and a fellow teacher at a St. Louis Catholic high school, Jerome Robben, went to prison for sexually abusing male students together. Funke, released in 1995, was eventually bounced from the priesthood. But years later, the two men joined together again, promoting Robben as the leader of a church of his own making.
Since 2004, Missouri records show that Robben has listed his St. Louis home as the base for a religious organization operating under at least three different names. Beginning in 2014, those papers have identified Funke as the order’s secretary and one of its three directors.
Mary Kruger, whose son committed suicide when he was 21 after being abused by the men in high school, said she raised fresh concerns about Robben in 2007 when she heard he was presenting himself as a cleric.
At the time, he was being considered for promotion to bishop in a conservative Christian order based in Ontario, Canada. Kruger said members of the order told her that Robben had dismissed questions about his abuse conviction, claiming he had merely rented an apartment to Funke and that police blamed him for not knowing what went on inside.
Robben eventually was defrocked from the Christian order, and apparently then started his own. Until last year, when its paperwork expired, the group was registered with Missouri officials as the Syrian Orthodox Exarchate. However, a Facebook post from 2017 identified Robben _ photographed wearing a crown and gold vestments _ as the leader of a Russian Byzantine order raising money to build a monastery in Nevada.
Funke refused comment when approached by an AP reporter, and Robben did not respond to requests for comment.
“If they could wind up in jail next week, I’d be ecstatic,” Kruger said. “I think as long as they’re alive, they’re dangerous.”
LEFT THE CHURCH, COMMITTED CRIMINAL OFFENSES
As early as 1981, church officials knew of allegations that Roger Sinclair had acted inappropriately with adolescent boys. Two mothers at St. Mary’s Parish in Kittanning, Penn., wrote a letter to the then-bishop saying that Sinclair had molested their sons, both about 14 at the time.
Sinclair played a game where he would shake hands and then try to shove his hand at their genitals, the mothers said in their letter, parts of which were made public last year as part of the landmark report in Pennsylvania. They said he also tried to put his hands down one of the boy’s pants.
In this Jan. 27, 2001 photo, Father Steven Gerard Stencil poses for a portrait at his church St. Mark the Evangelist in Oro Valley, Ariz. (Ben Kirkby/Arizona Daily Star via AP)
Other accusations emerged about Sinclair showing dirty movies to boys in the rectory, exposing himself and possibly molesting a teen he had taken on a trip to Florida a few years earlier. After a group of mothers called the police for advice, the police chief told them he had heard the rumors but took no action, according to documents reviewed by the Pennsylvania grand jury.
The church sent Sinclair for treatment, returned him to ministry and provided him with a letter that listed him as a priest in good standing so he could be a chaplain in the Archdiocese of Military Services, according to the grand jury. That assignment took him to at least four different states, including Kansas, where in the early ’90s he was a chaplain at the Topeka State Hospital, a now-closed state mental hospital that had a wing for teenagers.
He was fired from that assignment in 1991 after trying multiple times to check out male teenage patients to go see a movie. Administrators said he had managed “to gain access to a locked unit deceitfully.”
Sinclair was removed from ministry in 2002 while the diocese investigated claims from a victim who said the priest sexually abused him in the rectory and on field trips beginning at Sinclair’s first assignment as a priest. He resigned a few years later, before the church concluded proceedings to defrock him.
When he started serving on the board of directors of an Oregon senior center and working as a volunteer there, he was required to pass a background check because the center received federal dollars for the Meals on Wheels program. But no flags were raised because he was never charged in Pennsylvania.
According to accounts from both former center staffers and law enforcement officials, Sinclair’s downfall began when the center’s then-director looked outside and saw him with his hand down the young man’s pants. He immediately barred Sinclair from the center, but left it up to the man’s family to decide whether to press charges. Three months later, after learning why Sinclair had been absent, an employee went to the police out of fear the former priest would target someone else.
Now-Sgt. Steven Binstock, the lead investigator in Oregon, said Sinclair immediately confessed to committing multiple sexual acts with the developmentally disabled man. He also confessed to sexual contact with minors in Pennsylvania 30 years earlier.
“He was very vague, but he did tell us that it was some of the same type of behaviors, the same type of incidents, that had occurred with the victim that happened here,” Binstock told the AP.
The Pennsylvania diocese had never warned Oregon authorities about Sinclair because it stopped tracking him after he left the church. The diocese, which did not tell the public Sinclair had been accused of abuse until it released its list in August 2018, declined to comment on his case.
The AP’s analysis of the credibly accused church employees who remain alive found that more than 310 of the 2,000 have been charged with crimes for actions that took place when they were priests. Beyond that, the AP confirmed that Sinclair and 64 others have been charged with crimes committed after leaving the church, with most of them convicted for those crimes.
Some of the crimes involved drunken driving, theft or drug offenses. But 42 of the men were accused of crimes that were sexual in nature or violent, including a dozen charged with sexually assaulting minors. Thirteen were charged with distributing, making or possessing child pornography, and several others were caught masturbating in public or exposing themselves to people on planes or in shopping malls.
Five failed to register in their new communities as sex offenders as required due to their sex crime convictions.
Priests and other church employees being listed on sex offender registries at all is a rarity _ the AP analysis found that only 85 of the 2,000 are. That’s because church officials often successfully lobbied civil authorities to downgrade charges in exchange for guilty pleas ahead of trials. Convictions were sometimes expunged if offenders completed probationary programs or the charges were reduced below the level required by states for registration.
Since sex offender registries in their current searchable form didn’t begin until the 1990s, dozens also were not tracked or monitored, because their original sentences already had been served before the registries were established.
The AP also found that more than 500 of the credibly accused former priests live within 2,000 feet of schools, playgrounds, childcare centers or other facilities that serve children, with many living much closer. In the states that restrict how close registered sex offenders can live to those facilities, limits range from 500 to 2,000 feet.
Decades after Louis Ladenburger was temporarily removed from the priesthood to be treated for “inappropriate professional behavior and relationships,” he was hired as a counselor at a school for troubled boys in Idaho.
Ladenburger was arrested in 2007 and accused of sexual battery; in a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He served about five months in prison.
This undated photo provided by the Bonner County, Idaho Sheriff’s office in September 2019 shows Louis Ladenburger. Decades after Ladenburger was temporarily removed from the priesthood to be treated for “inappropriate professional behavior and relationships,” he was hired as a counselor at a school for troubled boys in Idaho. He was arrested in 2007 and accused of sexual battery; in a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He served about five months in prison. (Bonner County Sheriff’s office via AP)
According to Bonner County, Idaho, sheriff’s reports, students said Ladenburger told them he was a sex addict. During counseling sessions, they said, the former Franciscan priest rubbed their upper thighs and stomachs, held their hands and gave them shoulder and neck massages. If students expressed confusion about their sexual identities, the sheriff’s reports say he fondled them and performed oral sex on them.
The RCC is not really interested in protecting children and punishing / disabling clerical abusers.
It’s only interested in protecting its ow reputation – which is a waste of time as the RCC is now regarded as as corrupt as the mafia – world wide.
It is also wanting to protect its vast wealth.
As I said yesterday, it should be treated as a global moral ISIS.
The time may very well come when democracies may ban Roman Catholicism like it now bans international terrorists.
What other world organisation practices and protects global paedophilia?
And they do it in the name of God!
41 replies on “100s OF ACCUSED PRIESTS LIVING UNDER THE RADAR WITH NO OVERSIGHT”
Saint John Chrysostom
Belarusian Byzantine Catholic Monastery
1970 N. Leslie Street, Box 553
Pahrump, Nevada 89060 U.S.A.
(Mailing address only. Fund raising now to build new facilities)
Archimandrite Jerome Bernard (Ret.)
As usual your Pat Says comments are shallow and a cheap shot at the chyrch. You are a moral terrorist with the horrendous abuse you dish out against your critics, frequently encouraging hatred of and violence towards Roman Catholic clergy. On the one hand you’re complaining about the Church holding on to abusive clerics instead of flinging them out of the Church and letting them rot in prison. The civil law of course ahould exact justice on perpetrators. If after a non conviction or release from prison these men become private citizens, who should monitor them? The state authorities or the Church? I believe the state authorities should but that the Church has a moral obligation to try to redeem them from any further abuse potential, if that’s possible. Of course the Church’s first moral duty is to victims/survivors and families. Absolutely, first and foremost. When rapists and abusers have completed their prison sentence and are allowed back into society, what should be our response? Who should monitor them? This issue raises questions about the way we protect children and vulnerable women and people. It is very understandable why people feel angry when perpetrators are released from prison.
Oh dear, you only seem able to think in extremes, and lack power of synthesis and subtlety.
It is perfectly possible *both* to refrain from protecting paedophiles *and also* to take action to ensure that the public are protected from them.
Such action would certainly include all dioceses publishing names of credibly accused priests, even if they haven’t had a criminal conviction. A national or international database, which makes names available to concerned parties would solve many of the problems in this article.
In the absence of statutory action that would help and the church would be seen to be taking action.
But that’s not your agenda is it? Your agenda is having a pop at Pat Buckley.
Is that right @ 12: 56? The Church has a moral duty to support victims, suvivors and their families?
Is that why the Church is financially suppirting convicted paedophile George Pell?
Is that why dioceses are filing for bankruptcy?
You need a lesson in common sense.
1.22pm: Old Testicle Tommy, I think you need to remove your testuiles from your eyes! If you read my comment properly at 12.56 you would clearly understand my clarity about what I believe the Church should and must do re: victims/survivors, which is a very different thing from saying what they don’t but morally should do. Do you not have a logical, rational, intelligence? You need a dose of common sense!! Very definitely.
The Pontious Pilate approach of the Catholic Church in the United States to its priests, and to its lay employees, credibly accused of sexual assualt, or of inappropriate behaviour, with minors and/or with young adults has become even more alarming. Typically (and depressingly), the Church’s response seems to be this: first, these behaviours have nothing whatever to do with us, and second therefore, we are not responsible for the perpetrators when they are dismissed from ministry or employment, or when they leave either of their own accord. This, simply, is nowhere near good enough.
This is the point at which the families of those criminally or inappropriately treated by priests and others need to step up to the plate: they need, together, to campaign for a US federal data base which will record the names, and the credibly alleged behaviours of priests and of lay Catholic ex-employees, even if no criminal prosecutions followed any of the allegations against them.
Employment agencies in the US which find work placements with children and with young adults should be required, by federal law, to acess this data base before any application is processed, in order to discover the personal history of each applicant.The data base should include such details as legally obtained personal name-changes, and the reasons given for these.
The problem for the US with this proposition is, ironically, the lack of unity among the states in terms of employment legislation. Shockingly, some allow applications for work placements with children or with young adults from those who, knowingly to the authorities, have against them credible allegations of criminal or inappropriate behaviour.
Unless there is coordinated and federal standardisation of employment practice in the US, backed by statutory obligation, these dangerous loopholes will continue to be exploited by sexual predators, whose behaviour is often recidivistic.
Sound thinking Magna. And I’d add too, that as well as there being a high degree of recidivism. there is a very significant proportion of wilful deviousness and subterfuge among the cohort of serial abusers. This underlines the need for any monitoring system such as you suggest, to be absolutely watertightly agreed between the different enforcement bodies.
9.56: MMM, you and Magna gave made good arguments. What do we do to offenders of serious sexual crimes, clerical and non clerical, when they are freed back into the community? Who is responsible for monitoring to ensure that no one is in endangerment of repeat offences? I worked in a Parish where a serious sex offender (a rapist) was discovered to be living in the community. A llynch mob threatened to harm him. It became a very frightening and hostile situation. It went on for some time before he was moved far away but then it became a problem for another community. I believe the relevant civil and church authorities in transparent co-operation with one another should be mandated to compile a data base of offenders and their addresses. I think there is a complete lack of co-ordination between all relevant agencies. If an offender is back in any community, what are we to do? There seemed to be a mind set which says that once offenders have served their sentence, they are no one’s responsibility. The Church has behaved irresponsibly in its attitude to ex offending clerics and towards survivors: the state likewise does not have a good record. I do not believe in vengeful, lynch mob attacks on anyone but we have serious moral questions to ask about how we deal with released offenders in our communities. It should not be the responsibility of communities, although I know of a Canadian project where ex offenders were supervised by a community based restorative project where released offenders worked with the community, always under professional supervision. The prigramnecwas aired sometime back on a television network. The end results were amazing.
How are things in limerick
11.2o: What has this inane comment to do with anything relevant for today’s blog? Go back to bed and stay there.
Word has it he worked in education
All good kiiiiiid! Lol
Yes, I watched that Canadian documentary, too. Inspired by it, I have suggested here, from time to time, a system of chaperoning released sex offenders judged to be at high risk of reoffending. I don’t doubt the system would be successful, but there is no willingness by statutory authorities in the UK (and presumably by their counterparts in the Republic) to take on this responsibility, not to mention the financial cost of it.
Father Buckley, the comment at 4:06 is apparently by a frequent commenter here, who always comments that another comment is ‘inane’ and tells the person to go back to bed or go away in some other way.
Since this person has nothing to add to the debate and no respect for other commenters, (and I can’t find a comment timed at 11:20 anyway) may I suggest that this person is a troll pure and simple and allowing these comments through moderation does not add to the debate?
Father Barry Farmer would single out a candidate in formation in the community house in Wonersh , and take them out for special meals , and give them presents , and invite them for drinks in his room ,and then eventually make a pass at them , or offer to anoint their private parts if they were struggling with celibacy in order to help them as he put it . This happened to at least three people who were in the Novitiate , and once to a visitor to the community .
Barry always liked to plough his own furrow!
Pat says sums the situation up perfectly.
Thank God the former seminarian @6.46 has explained something which throws light on a matter that has troubled me for years.
A neighbour of ours in Glengormley has had a priest visitor twice a week for a number of years. They are not related. My husband knew the priest from his days in West Belfast although he is now stationed in Co Down.
My husband insists that our neighbour is very fond of ‘bed fun’ and has suggested that the priest is putting her ‘through her paces’
It will be a great relief to my other half when I tell him that the priest is probably only calling to anoint her genital regions to help her subdue and overcome the seemingly insatiable demands of her libido.
Next to exorcism this spiritual exercise must be one of the most emotionally draining challenges this priest has to perform.
May the good Lord give him strength.
I think we know that priest.
Further information to email@example.com
Cathy, there used to be a PP in the Andytown area who suggested to a friend of mine who confessed playing with himself that he should come to the parochial house so that the priest could examine him to make sure he hadn’t damaged himself.
Many years later I heard of another boy who had a similar experience with the same priest. The priests first name began with C.
The Financial Times says that the Pope has hired an anti mafia prosecutor to go into the Vatican.
Pat where is Galway priest Alan Burke? Any info
Hospital Mission Leader in the Bon Secours in Dublin. He lives with his boyfriend there too. Has he been laicised? Does he work as a priest? Does his bishop know he is living in a gay relationship?
Big scandal pat
Alan and Fr. Conor Cunningham can be seen in The George most weekends.
Any update on wonersh / Westminster
Not Elsie again? Has she had… well, let’s just say, a little accident.
Nothing Tena Lady can’t fix.
Father Bill Jackson sex offender Priest with Rosminian- Wonersh had pictures of little chior boys on his bedroom wall , and they did nothing , and sent him to work in a Parish . In those days the house had its own pink corridor .
Many a former religious can tell these stories. This is why it cannot be believed when priests and religious throw up their hands in horror and deny all knowledge when another is convicted of abuse.
To remain in priesthood or religious life you have to turn a blind eye to all sorts of illegality and/or damaging sexual behaviour, and anyone who says they don’t is blind, has convinced themselves otherwise or is LYING.
4.25pm: Buckkey, you’ll say mass tonight and tomorrow, no doubt, pretending to keep SACRED the memory of Christ (which was once your noble idea), yet your engagement with gossip, speculation, innuendo, half truths and denigrating of others is absolutely totally against CHRIST’S way of living as a priest. You mock the very Christ you supposedly honour. Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite.
I celebrated a wedding Mass in Portugal today.
Tomorrow I will concelebrate Sunday Mass here.
Where did you concelebrate Mass in Portugal?
No hypocrite to expose the truth however much it hurts the institution -” You shall know the truth , and the truth shall set you free .” It is that the Roman Catholic Church wants to stop , and silence .
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Heavens! You get around.
I don’t think the Omnipresent One is in more places.
6.41: Pat sure does get around! Freebies are one of the benefits of being a free Church. All and sundry want you to marry them in all kinds of situations – even up trees!!Pat loves the unusual. God can’t even keep up with Pat’s journeys.
One of Clogher diocese’s convicted ex-priests lives in a Housing Executive bungalow next to and overlooking the playground of Holy Trinity primary school in Enniskillen.
Saturday night in the big chair. Tele on, fire blazing and a nice glass of Bush to hand. Living the dream!
Pat is doing us all a service exposing the hypocrisy of an outfit that is only interested in bringing in the cash and then hoarding it and protecting it at all costs. It is a massive commercial machine which ‘sells God’ but in saying that isn’t that not what most religions are about. Where there’s God there’s dosh and corruption. Look at all these evangelical outfits and how wealthy they are. Even the dippers in the north Antrim Bible Belt. There aren’t too many commercially successful Protestant families in these parts that don’t go church or the hall on the sabbath. As my old mother used to say ‘Good living for a living’
Some of them can’t throw enough money at religion thinking it will help spread the good news……whatever that is or wherever it can be found. They should just keep it simple. Do unto others as they would wish done unto themselves. That way they could use their money for better things, medical research for example. It would also cut off the lifeblood of religions. Money.
Anyway, enough caustic observation from me for one night. Time to feel redeemed by the precious water of life.
7.21: How are things in Limerick…was your question earlier and I referred to it as inane. It is utterly inane as it has nothing whatsoever to do with the blog today. Let’s call comments for what they are. Please tell us what your question is referring to? Are you embarrassed now at your inanity? Yes, stay in bed…
“A massive commercial machine that sells God”.
An excellent comment DD, going to the heart of the matter.
Whatever the impressionable altruistic aspirations of those entering “religious training” , the reality seems to be that power, control and financial rewards become paramount considerations.