Canon Denis Sweeney RIP

The emergence of the SPR, founded by Canon Denis Sweeney of Northampton Diocese, in Ireland poses the prospect of the dissolution of the poorly regarded Irish priest’s union The Association of Catholic Priests.

Canon Sweeney was a biker and a massive collector of antiques, old clocks, old radios and hurch plate.

The relaunch of the SPR in Ireland occurred on Wednesday November 26th in the seaside recreation resort of Newcastle, County Down.

The Newcastle event was organised by the SPR’s founding secretary, Father Raimondo Turri SPR, formerly of Westminster diocese and now with the Verona Fathers in Italy.

Father Turri is thought to be the illegitimate child of Prince Charles and Dame Greta Turri, the Italian mistress of Saint John Paul 11.

The motto of the SPR is:

Et exivit face bonus et fecit bene

Which means ” He went out to do good and he did well”.

In other words, he, the priest, started off with good intentions, and later abandoned them.

Members of the SPR only do work on a Sunday but recreate alone and with each other on the other six days of the week.

They wine and dine either in each others presbyteries or in various hotels and hostelries.

Their meetings involve serious drinking and serious eating.

Periodically, they elect one of their members to the position they call Father General. At their gatherings Father General wears the purple mozetta of a deceased or retired bishop.

The SPR held an inaugural meeting of SPR NORTHERN IRELAND last Wednesday evening in an Italian restaurant in County Down. The English Father General presided over the meeting and I was the guest speaker.

I gently challenged them about the morality and spirituality of having such an imbalance between work and recreation in their lives and the level of cynicism that could accompany and inform such an imbalance.

While they were very gracious and indeed generous with me, they totally rejected my challenge and said that their outlook was perfectly in line with RC cleticalism to which they are 100% dedicated.

They gave me a speaking fee, arranged hotel accommodation and paid my travelling expenses.

Like AA they only use first names when non members are at their meetings. I gathered that the meeting was attended by the English Father General, Father Turri, two Down and Connor priests, one Dromore priest and five Armagh priests.

Each Northern priest present vowed to bring another priest with them to their next meeting in Enniskillen on December 28th.


I managed to combine my meeting with the SPR with a wedding in the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle. It was a bit of a rough day, weatherwise, in the Mournes.


Today is the anniversary of the death of Brother Charles in the Sahara desert at Tamanrasset in 1916.

Brother Charles inspired the Little Brothers of Jesus, the Little Sisters of Jesus and the Jesus Caritas movement.

Google him. He is very interesting and inspiring.


Today we remember all the millions of our brothers and sisters who have perished in the AIDS disaster.

And we thank God for the new drugs the antiretrovirals that for all practical purposes are a cure and prevent hiv+ becoming AIDS.



Nuns wait for Pope Francis at Independence Hall Sept. 26, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)MORE

BY BOWEN XIAO The Epoch Times.

November 26, 2019 Updated: November 27, 2019

NEW YORK—As a growing number of Roman Catholic dioceses across the United States investigate child sex-abuse claims against clergy and are releasing the names of priests accused of such crimes, another hidden problem has begun to surface—nuns who sexually abuse children.

At least 20 local, state, or federal investigations, either criminal or civil, into church clergy have begun since a Pennsylvania grand jury report released in 2018 detailed abuse by priests. But while those investigations could potentially lead to the release of even more names and accusations, victims’ advocates told The Epoch Times that religious orders should start listing the names of abusive nuns as well—a far less-reported problem, with fewer concrete statistics., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit corporation that tracks cases of sexual abuse by clergy members, has identified over the years “a little over 100 known accused nuns,” Terry McKiernan, the founder of the website, told The Epoch Times.

Its database, meanwhile, has tracked more than 6,000 accused priests across the United States.

See today’s news highlights at a glance. Download the free Epoch Times app.

“The numbers are fairly small, but that’s the number that is known,” McKiernan said, referring to the number of publicly accused abusive nuns. “Its a matter of some debate how big the problem actually is.”

Some of the names of the nuns are incomplete because the alleged victims couldn’t recall, according to a list of the names published in August. More names have since been added to the database that don’t appear on the list. The alleged victims are from across the country and come from a wide array of different religious orders.

McKiernan said most of the nuns his organization identified were accused of abuse “between the 1960s and the 1990s.”

One group of accused nuns that stood out came from an orphanage in Louisville, Kentucky, where McKiernan said they saw the “highest concentration” of abusers in the database.

The Epoch Times reached out to Catholic League, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, for comment but didn’t receive a response by press time.

Mary Dispenza, a director at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) as well as the contact person for those abused by nuns, told The Epoch Times she was approached by 85 alleged survivors of misconduct by nuns during the past two years in the role.

“That’s just a teeny, tiny figure of the number that we think is a possibility,” Dispenza said, adding that a support group has formed that meets with the survivors monthly on the internet.

Only one of the cases that Dispenza heard about filed suit and reached an agreement that was satisfactory. In other cases, some survivors who were nuns themselves told their religious communities about the abuse and the superior removed the nun to what Dispenza called a “motherhouse,” a section away from children. But Dispenza said the nuns weren’t asked to leave unless the case was escalated to the criminal level.

“To date, no religious orders have listed or released any names about nun abusers,” she said, adding that a list placed in a parish or school could encourage people who know the abusive nuns to come forward, which could help survivors affirm their stories.

Dispenza, an author and a former nun of 15 years herself, said she was abused by both a nun and a priest when she was a child.

She said in many of the cases of survivors who spoke to her, the other nuns knew what was happening but protected or tolerated the behavior of the accused, underscoring the church’s decades-long history of covering up crimes.

She recalled being abused by a nun when she was a young postulant—a girl studying to be a nun. She was 13 years old at the time and was leaving the main chapel in line with the other postulants, when the mother superior of the order suddenly called her off the line.

Postulants always stayed in line, so this was already strange to her.

She recalled the mother superior bringing her into her room, and that, in those days, people would kneel close whenever they wanted to discuss or ask anything with the head of the community.
“I did the proper thing and knelt down close to her almost touching her knees, I don’t remember what she said before or after but I just remember that she took my face between her two hands and kissed me all over, and I remember leaving and just feeling totally confused and bewildered.”

Earlier this year, a Minnesota-based law firm released a report about child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Chicago and other dioceses in Illinois that identified six nuns among the 390 alleged abusers.

“Above all else, they protected their institution above all costs,” Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro said last year, in describing the findings of his state’s grand jury report.

Dispenza said alleged victims who contacted her ranged from 7 to 18 years old when they were abused. She said more than half of the survivors who contacted her were girls. Most of the cases involved sexual abuse and inappropriate touching, but some involved physical or psychological abuse that included shaming and embarrassment.

The Epoch Times is declining to include more specific descriptions and accounts of the alleged cases of sexual abuse, due to the graphic nature of the alleged crimes and ages of the alleged victims.

Dispenza wants religious orders to start releasing the names of accused nuns and turn them over to the legal system, and is seeking the suspension or removal of the accused from contact with children. She said SNAP, through research, estimates there are a total of about 45,000 to 55,000 nuns across the United States, among about 200 religious orders.

The Pennsylvania grand jury report, two years in the making, accused more than 300 “predator priests” across the state of sexual abuse—and the Roman Catholic Church of a decades-long cover-up of the alleged activity. It detailed how church administrators often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement officials to terminate or avoid an investigation, or conducted their own deficient, biased investigations without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities.

The vast majority of nuns don’t commit any crimes, Dispenza stressed, saying her purpose isn’t to tell horrific stories. Instead, she said, it’s to bring truth to light.

“In truth, most nuns have and live their lives within their vows. But we can’t overlook the fact that some have stepped out of those vows and abused children,” she said. “For the sake of the victims, we need to address that and bring it out into the open. Nun abuse too is a part of our history.”


My hunch is, for whats it’s worth, is that far, far fewer nunscsexually abused than priests or bishops.

Perhaps thats true because the number of male paedophiles is far greater than the number of female paedophiles.

Is that something to do with the difference between the sexual behavioural differences of men and women?

I attended convent schools.

A small number of my nun teachers were absolute sadists and beat the shit out of us.

But I never came across sexually abusing nuns.

Even in the story above the Reverend Mother was into kissing and not penile or digital rape.

There seems to have been a lot of lesbianism in convents.

Remember Gay Byrne’s Late Late Show interviewing lesbian nuns?

What do readers think of sexually abusing nuns?

Is it just another, not yet fully explored, area of RCC sexual deviancy and corruption?



Don Eligio Piccoli, retired priest and confessed serial molester of deaf children ( screenshot)

NOVEMBER 26, 2019 ROD DREHER The American Conservative.

Finally some good news: an Argentine court does what the Argentine pope did not: hold sexually abusive priests accountable:

An Argentine court on Monday found two priests and a lay worker guilty of the sexual abuse of 10 former students of a Catholic school for the deaf, the first legal victory for a community of victims stretching from Italy to the Andes whose complaints about one of the clerics to church officials, including Pope Francis, went unheeded for years.

The verdict was another stain on the church’s handling of sex abuse cases in Francis’s native Argentina. Prosecutors last week requested an arrest warrant for Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, a longtime associate of the pope accused of abusing two seminarians.

A Washington Post investigation this year found years of church inaction in the case of at least one of the priests convicted Monday in the abuse of male and female students at the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in the western Argentine city of

Luján de Cuyo between 2004 and 2016.
The three-judge panel in the northwestern Argentine province of Mendoza ruled against the three defendants in 25 instances of abuse.

If you can stand it — these testimonies are strong stuff — here is a video report about the abuses of the deaf and mute children, both in Verona and in the sister school in Argentina.

It features adults telling specifically what was done to them as children by their abusers (trigger warning).

If you want to see the true face of evil, go to just before the 2:00 mark and watch the bedside hidden camera interview of a priest called Don Eligio Piccoli, identified by the abuse survivors as one of their attackers. He is bedridden and living in a church home — a church investigation found him guilty of the abuse, and sentenced him to prayer and penance — but apparently in his right mind.

He admits that the stories of sodomy and sexual abuse are true, but he laughs about them and downplays them. Some life of prayer and penance that dirty old man is living! There is a second section continuing the interview later in the clip below:

As the Washington Post investigation showed, Francis was told about all this, but as usual, it took the state to do what the Church would not.

And to think that there are people in the year 2019 who actually still believe the Pope who brought Uncle Ted in from the cold really is serious about cleaning up sex abuse in the Church.

Meanwhile, pervy Bishop Zanchetta, who was a Bergoglio project from the beginning, is expected to fly this week to Argentina from Rome to show up in court on Thursday on sex abuse charges. It is hard to find an innocent explanation for why Francis brought this hot mess to the Vatican, trailing abuse allegations in Argentina, and gave him a special, just-for-him job in the Vatican Bank.

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.


Many things are emerging slowly but surely, about abuse and cover up in the RCC.

And it is emerging that greasy Frankie is as bad as any of them, if not worse.

He refused to meet with victims in his diocese.

He covered up for abusers.

AND, he sheltered this seminarian abusing bishop in the Vatican right up until now.

Folks, the stink is getting worse and worse and will continue…………….



By ALMUDENA CALATRAVANovember 25, 2019

MENDOZA, Argentina (AP) — Two priests were found guilty on Monday of sexually abusing deaf children at a Catholic-run school in Argentina and sentenced to more than 40 years in prison, in a case that has shaken the church in Pope Francis’s homeland.

A three-judge panel in the city of Mendoza sentenced the Rev. Nicola Corradi to 42 years and the Rev. Horacio Corbacho to 45 years for abusing children at the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in northwestern Argentina.

Corradi, an 83-year-old Italian, and Corbacho, a 59-year-old Argentine, were arrested in 2016. The court also sentenced gardener Armando Gómez to 18 years in prison.

It’s expected that Corradi will remain under house arrest because of his age, while Corbacho and Gómez will be held in a prison in the city of Mendoza.

The verdicts can be appealed.

The judges found the men guilty of 20 counts of abuse, including rape, that occurred between 2005 and 2016 at the school, which has since shut down. The 10 victims were former students and all minors at the time of the abuse. The verdict can be appealed.

Pope Francis has not commented publicly on the case, although in 2017, the Vatican sent two Argentine priests to investigate what happened in Mendoza.

“Thank God there has been justice and peace for the victims,” one of the priests, Dante Simon, told The Associated Press on Monday.

After the sentence was delivered, several victims expressed their joy in the courthouse hallway by jumping and raising their arms in the air, as if they were clapping. They embraced the prosecutors who had investigated their cases.

“I am happy, thank you so much for the battle, because everyone has supported us. … This has changed my life, which is evolving,” said Vanina Garay, 26, speaking with the help of an interpreter.

The case has shocked Argentines — as did the revelation that Corradi had been previously accused of similar offenses at a sister agency, the Antonio Provolo Institute in Verona, Italy, but was never charged.

The Vatican had known about Corradi since at least 2009, when the Italian Provolo students went public with tales of abuse and named names. The Vatican ordered an investigation and sanctioned four accused priests, but Corradi apparently never was sanctioned in Italy.

The defendants, who had pleaded innocence, declined to make statements ahead of the judges’ ruling. They appeared somber as they arrived in the courtroom, with Corradi in a wheelchair, his gaze fixed on the ground.

In a statement, the Archbishopric of Mendoza expressed “solidarity and closeness with the victims and their families, who have reported suffering the most aberrant mistreatment” and vowed to “keep working to ensure that these situations are not repeated.”

The Provolo victims have said they did not feel that the local church or the Vatican were protecting them.

“The Argentine court has given the traumatized children of Provolo a measure of justice that the Catholic Church failed to give them,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of the online research database

“We hope the prosecutors now will launch a criminal investigation of the archbishops and other church leaders who knew or should have known that the school was being run by a child molester,” she said.

Doyle also said “the pope too must accept responsibility for the unimaginable suffering of these children. He ignored repeated warnings that Corradi was in Argentina.”

Prosecutor Gustavo Stroppiana was tearful as he said: “None of this can generate joy, but it does bring satisfaction because we were able to judge acts that had been silenced for so many years.”

Simon, the investigator sent by the Vatican, had previously told The Associated Press that the pontiff expressed his sadness about the case and told him that “he was very worried about this situation.”

In a report submitted earlier to the Vatican, Simon requested the maximum canonical penalty for Corradi and Corbacho, that they be made to “resign directly by the Holy Father.” His report must be reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Former male and female students testified that the priests touched and sometimes raped them in their dormitories and school bathrooms. They also said they were forced to look at pornographic images. They said they were warned to keep quiet.

Investigators found records of complaints made by parents that weren’t followed up, photographs of a naked girl on Corbacho’s computer and chains he allegedly used to subdue one girl.

Many in Argentina have asked why Francis did not remove Corradi as the authority at the Mendoza school once he learned of the allegations in Verona.

Corradi’s name appeared publicly in 2009, when 67 people said they were abused at the Verona institute by 24 priests, lay people and religious brothers, and specifically said Corradi was in Argentina.

In 2012, the diocese of Verona asked for forgiveness from the victims and sanctioned 24 of the accused, although Corradi was not among them. None of the cases ever went to trial.

Corradi’s name appeared again in 2014 in a letter written to the Pope by deaf students in Verona that reiterated the potential danger he posed in Mendoza.

Corradi is also being investigated in the province of Buenos Aires, where alleged abuses occurred in the Provolo Institute of the city of La Plata. The priest ended up there after Verona, but before he went to Mendoza. Victims’ families believe Corradi’s movements reflect the practice of the Catholic church to transfer from one place to another priests accused of abuse.

In another case that raised questions for the pontiff, a bishop once close to the pope has announced he would arrive back in the country Tuesday to respond to prosecutor’s allegations of sex abuse.

Zanchetta with Francis

Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta’s canon law attorney, Javier Belda Iniesta, said the bishop would fully cooperate with authorities.

A prosecutor accuses Zanchetta of “aggravated continuous sexual abuse” of two seminarians, charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He has denied the charges, which don’t involve minors.

The Vatican insists the first accusation of actual sex abuse was only lodged against Zanchetta in late 2018. But AP and the Argentine newspaper El Tribuno have reported that documents and testimony from diocesan officials raised credible allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct well before then.


The abuse of children is always an unmitigated evil.

The abuse of children, already carrying the extra burden of a disability, is to pile on further evil.

The abuse of children by a priest, who is present in a community as a representative of Jesus is not only evil but a blasphemy.

The cover up of abuse by bishops and religious superiors compounds the abuse, introduces a second level of abuse, is deeply immoral and should be treated as a grave criminal offence attracting serious sentences.

In the case of Argentina, the home country of the pope, is a stain upon the diocese and bishop of Rome.

One is led to wonder if abuse and the cover up of abuse, is the reason Francis has not returned to Argentina since being elected Pope?

Is Francis afraid that his immoral and criminal past would be highlighted by such a visit?

Is Francis therefore, a fugitive from Argentina?




By James A. Haught Daylight Atheism


Surprisingly, an important theologian and Catholic scholar says all religions do more harm than good.

Writing in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin (spring-summer 2019), Dr. Robert Orsi of Northwestern University delivers a blistering indictment titled “The Study of Religion on the Other Side of Disgust.”

Robert Orsi

He says that, “on balance, in the long perspective of human history, religions have done more harm than good.” He repeats that all scholars of faith should “pause to stare into the depths of the truth that religions have, over time, done more harm than good.”

Dr. Orsi describes how he grew up in a devout Italian-American Catholic family, went to mass several times weekly, and devoted his life to faith as chairman of Catholic studies in the Religion Department at Northwestern. He has written several religious books.

He focuses most of his disgust on the Catholic pedophile scandal and on bishops who tried to hide the sordid abuse of thousands of children. In fact, he says he’s writing a new book “about the role of Catholic sexuality and sexual abuse in the formation of boys at a Jesuit high school in New York City in 1967-71.”
But he also lashes Protestants. “I say on this day that I am disgusted with Catholicism and, by extension, with all religion.” Addressing fellow religion scholars, he wrote:

“Perhaps some of you are disgusted, for instance, by how cravenly evangelicals have embraced political corruption in the United States today in order to advance the allegedly Christian agenda of ostracizing and harassing young LGBTQ people, curtailing women’s reproductive rights and basic health care, and reviving a toxic white Christian nationalism.”

He quotes psychologist Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine priest, who estimates that half of Catholic clergy violate their vows of celibacy. Dr. Orsi gives a long account of repulsive sexual aggression forced onto Catholic youths.

“Church authorities are generally without concern for the children, sometimes very young children, for the teenagers, or for the men and women of whatever ages with whom priests are having sex. Their primary concern has been the protection of the church’s prerogatives, above all its political influence, property and finances.”

He adds:

“Please make no mistake about this: It is impossible to separate ‘religion’ here from the rape of children, young people, women, seminarians and novices…. Disgust teaches me that the history of religion is always also a history of perversions…. Disgust reminds me of the sexual abuse of indigenous people at the hands of Catholic missionaries… and of the sexual abuse of orphans, of children with disabilities, of drug-addicted teenagers.”

Dr. Orsi wrote that it’s difficult for him to voice contempt for the church that has engulfed his entire life. “Do you think this is easy for me? I needed to tell you what has brought me to this horrible place.

He concludes:

“Disgust is the final step in the explication of the idea of lived religion. On the other side of disgust is a clearer vision of how religion is actually lived in everyday life, with its intimate cruelties, its petty as well as profound humiliations, its sadism and its masochism, its abuses of power and its impulses to destroy and dominate.”

America has many university religion departments, scholarly religious foundations, and other religion research centers. I wonder how many of the experts quietly share Dr. Orsi’s view that religion is harmful?

The Northwestern scholar didn’t mention religion’s worst flaw: that it’s based upon lies, supernatural fairy tales that affront the intelligence of educated modern people.


Religion is a cancer of spirituality.

The psychologist Erich Fromm has a wonderful essay on the difference between priests and prophets.

The prophets announce God’s message.

The priests hijack the message, lock it away, and give people an access to God in return for obedience to the priests and of course, money for the priests.

Religion is evil.

Spirituality is good.

Down with religion.

Up with spirituality.



Salford church leader voluntarily steps down after concerns raised about what he knew about ‘sexual abuse’ of a teenager by a priest

Second priest steps down from duties at Servite church on Bury New Road


Our Lady of Dolours RC Church, Bury Old Road, Kersal, Salford(Image: Google)

A prominent member of a Catholic religious order in Salford has voluntarily stepped down from his duties after concerns about what he knew about a colleague’s ‘grooming and sexual abuse’ of a young woman.

Father Vincent Coyne

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was told that Father Vincent Coyne, who is prominent figure in the Servite Order was present, but not involved, when Father Peter Conniffe began grooming a 15 year-old girl.

Father Coyne has now stepped aside voluntarily while the Catholic Servite Order investigates.

Earlier this year the Manchester Evening News revealed that Father Conniffe had pleaded for forgiveness from the woman who he had ‘sexual activity’ with when she was a teenager.

Father Conniffe, formerly priest at Our Lady of Dolours in Kersal, Salford, apologised to the woman in a letter seen by the M.E.N.

He was investigated by police after the woman – who met him after going to confession as a schoolgirl – made a complaint of historic sexual abuse.

The case was not pursued to criminal action, and Father Conniffe denies ‘any accusation of sexual assault’.

However, the woman has been compensated by the religious order he belongs to, the Servite Order.


A deceased priest friend of mine, Father Michael Keane, always said that the RC crowd never act when you challenge them but when the dust settles they will slyly slither sideways like the snakes they are.

The IICSA is pouring vitally needed light into the very dark corners of sexual abuse and corruption and cover up in the RCC in England.

Priests are resigning.

Cardinals are in disgrace.

Religious orders are being forced to vomit up their long protected child abusing members.

All of this is further proof, not that any more proof is needed, that the RCC CANNOT and must not be allowed to police themselves any longer.

The UK and Ireland must legislate to take safeguarding totally out of the hands of the RCC.

We need professional secular safeguarding commissioners to police RCC safeguarding and chase down and punish RCC abusers and Episcopal and religious cover up merchants.

Bishops and religious superiors who cover up need to go to prison!




This means that you will get to see all the letters, reports, emails minutes, and notes that were and are on file about you.

Information is power.

That information and that power is now available to you through this European legislation that is binding in all European countries.

I spoke recently to a former Maynooth seminarian who had been treated very badly there – to the point that it had seriously affected his health.

He needed to find out what was being said about him and what daya was being held on his diocesan file.

He submitted a request to his diocesan data official and within a month he received a copy of everything the diocese had about him – including a copy of the initial psychological report the diocese submitted him to.

Any of the information that mentioned other individuals had the individuals names redacted.

So, in the last few days I requested all my data from the Archdiocese of Dublin, where I grew up and where I was a seminarian at Clonliffe from 1970 to 1973.

I also requested my date from Down and Connor with which I have been associated with since the summer of 1978 – 41 years now.

I’m looking forward to the outcome.

I will follow up with a request to Waterford where I was a seminarian from 1973 to 1976.

And of course I will apply to Cardiff archdiocese with which I was also associated with.

It’s good to be able to access data held on oneself.

Go ahead – and access yours.



SOUTH BEND, IND. — U.S. Catholics “have to be prepared for another wave of traumatic narrative” regarding the clergy sex abuse crisis, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said Nov. 13 at the University of Notre Dame.

Scicluna of Malta is adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Vatican’s chief investigator on clergy sexual abuse. He spoke at the University of Notre Dame as part of the school’s 2019-2020 forum titled “‘Rebuild My Church’: Crisis and Response.”

The archbishop’s remarks were made in a conversational format, in which he first answered questions from moderator John Allen, longtime Vatican reporter and editor of Crux, an online Catholic news outlet. He then fielded questions from the mostly student audience.

Scicluna made his comment about “another wave of traumatic narrative” in response to a question from Allen, who alluded to the 2018 abuse revelations surrounding now-disgraced former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Dismissed from the clerical state by the Vatican in February, he has been accused of abusing seminarians as a bishop and abusing children early on in his career of more than 60 years as a cleric.

At the forum, Allen acknowledged Scicluna could not comment on the McCarrick case, but he noted that many Catholics wonder if anything really has changed since the U.S. bishops issued their “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in 2002.
Scicluna responded that “it is not the case that the church in the United States has not done what it should do,” he said, but “the deficit” of the 2002 charter was that the bishops did not include themselves as possible perpetrators.

He added that the church in United States has done a good job since 2002, “and was a prophetic church in doing so,” but, as happened in Pennsylvania, specific reports of past abuse will continue to be revealed.

In that state, after a months-long investigation, a grand jury in Pennsylvania released a report in August 2018 alleging abuse by church workers and claims of a church cover-up in six Catholic dioceses over a 70-year period starting in 1947.

In his job at the doctrinal congregation, Scicluna reviews incoming cases that include the testimonies of the victim survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
“Nothing prepares you for the hurt and the shame you feel, being a priest, when you read the narrative,” he said, and this trauma will be shared by the faithful as more information is released about the abuse.

“I tell you from experience, it is not easy reading,” Scicluna continued, “and we have to help each other manage the anger, the frustration, the shame one feels on two levels: when we realize how innocent people have been hurt and the effect on the families and communities; but also, at times, the dysfunctional way in which we, the leaders of the church, have reacted to cases.”

These stories also will help people understand why there is so much anger on the part of victim survivors, the archbishop said, after describing earlier the “egregious” spiritual as well as physical and psychological harm done to victims by priest abusers. The stories also will help people realize we are all in this together, he said, for when one member of our community suffers, we all suffer.
While it is acceptable to feel anger and frustration about this situation, Scicluna continued, that anger should be transformed into “a determination to get it right; and that each and every one of us needs to give witness to the Gospel wherever we are, because at the end of the day, that will be the way for rebuilding of the church.”

He went on to praise steps the church in the U.S. has taken to engage victims and set up independent review boards, audits on child protection and criminal background checks for those working with minors.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, speaks with John Allen, editor-in-chief of Crux, Nov. 13, 2019, at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. The Vatican official addressed the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church during a Notre Dame forum. (CNS/University of Notre Dame/Matt Cashore)

Since we are a global church, he continued, the U.S. experience will help the church in other parts of the world. And he noted several times during the evening that the papal nuncios to the various countries should be vigilant in monitoring how well local churches put into place the new directives issued by Pope Francis to combat clergy sexual abuse.

A priest in the audience asked how to handle the feeling of “bereavement,” “spiritual emptiness” and “orphanhood” when a cherished spiritual father figure falls.

Scicluna responded: “I think that we leaders, we ministers, you and me, Father, need to be humble enough to tell our people: ‘It is not about me; it is about Jesus Christ. Don’t believe in me; believe in Jesus Christ. Don’t follow me; follow Jesus Christ.'”

The church leadership needs to bring people to this maturity in the faith, he continued, or else there will be cult figures who will abuse and hurt the community.

“People who walk away from the church because they are scandalized … have invested all their emotional loyalty, almost faith, in a human being,” but “Jesus has to be the center of faith,” Scicluna advised.

When a Notre Dame student asked if there was a connection between clergy sexual abuse and celibacy, the archbishop responded that he could not blame celibacy for the crisis, for if priests followed chastity and celibacy, there would be no misconduct.

“What we are facing here is not only a deficit in the understanding of celibacy, but it is also a betrayal of the commitment done before the people of God,” he said.

After reading hundreds of cases of priests failing in celibacy, the archbishop said he realized that most often, the failure was because the man was not in love with Jesus or the people of God; the “soul of celibacy” was not there.

“In order to be chaste in celibacy, you need to be in love: in love with Jesus and with the people of God,” Scicluna said.
In going forward, he stressed that in addition to papal and local church regulations, local communities need to be empowered to protect the young and vulnerable, so all Catholics should ask themselves what they can do to be part of the solution to sexual abuse.


A second wave of abuse stories, worse than the first?

More bishops and cardinals abusing?

A pope who abused?

What are we looking at?

Children murdered by bishops and priests as part of ritual abuse?

Minors buried under the Vatican?

It’s hard to work out how much worse it will get?

I suppose we will just have to wait.

For how long, I wonder?



Greg Daly October 24, 2019 The Irish Catholic

Shake-up may see students leave historic home

Radical plans that would see Maynooth seminary leaving the college’s neogothic buildings in favour of a new purpose-built home on the same campus are being considered by the hierarchy, Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin has told The Irish Catholic.

The proposal is part of a radical shake-up that would seek to empower Ireland’s laity and see the future of seminary formation transformed to help future priests be better trained for life in contemporary Ireland.

It comes amidst questions about Maynooth’s fitness for the task of forming men for the priesthood with Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin recently questioning the college’s suitability as a Catholic university given that it currently has effectively only one fully active faculty.

However, Archbishop Eamon – Chancellor of the Pontifical University at Maynooth – insisted that there are ambitious plans to ensure that Maynooth continues to play a valuable role in the life of the Church in Ireland.

“Over the last two years anyway, we have been reflecting and discerning really about the future of seminary formation for Ireland, and also more widely than that about the future of first-class provision of philosophical, theological and pastoral formation for the whole Irish Church,” Archbishop Eamon said.


Noting how in Maynooth there are three institutions “cheek by jowl” – the pontifical university, the secular university, and the seminary – Archbishop Eamon pointed out that the seminary is currently quite small, and that “for the future the trustees are aware that we need to be planning for something smaller from the point of view of seminary education”.

“In our recent reflection we also believed that we need to be looking at the possibility of perhaps even a new building in Maynooth, which would be more in tune with the demands for the future,” he says. “In terms of seminary education we’re talking about a smaller number of Irish seminarians”.

He also said that Rome “is calling on us to provide a centre for the ongoing formation of clergy. In other words could we have a place to bring our clergy to give them a year sabbatical, to avail of top-class philosophical theological and pastoral formation”.

Maintaining that Maynooth is a going concern because of its location, its built heritage, and potential property development with Maynooth University, Archbishop Eamon told The Irish Catholic that significant discussions are ongoing around this.


“We’re currently in very high-level discussions with Maynooth University about the possibilities that we have to exploit the resources we have there in order to generate sufficient income to be able to do the exciting plans that I’ve been speaking to you about,” he said, adding that he is not sure that the future of the seminary lies in the existing buildings.

“I’m not so certain whether the current old buildings in Maynooth are what we’re dreaming of in terms of the future housing of, say, seminary formation, but they’re part of our tradition and we are very blessed that Maynooth University is our anchor tenant for a lot of the older buildings that we’re no longer using,” he said.

The challenge, according to Archbishop Eamon, is how Ireland can maintain a first-class centre for theological, philosophical and pastoral formation.

“Because if you look at what Pope Francis was saying and his dream of a missionary impulse to transform the Church at this time in the West, and to channel everything for evangelisation, then what we need to be doing in the Church in Ireland is looking to have a very top class internationally-renowned centre of theological, philosophical and pastoral education,” he said.


There has been tension for some time at the level of the hierarchy around Maynooth. It came to the fore in 2016 when the Dublin diocese announced it would no longer send seminarians to the college. At the time, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin complained of “strange goings-on” at the seminary.


This statement / movement is not a genuine attempt to build something for the future.

It is the Irish bishops response to the Gay Maynooth Sumner of 2016.

It’s just they leave it three years in case anyone thinks they are responding to pressure!!

They know that Maynooth and all modern RCC seminaries are now live in gay saunas.

So they want to build a new sauna for the future generations of Gorgeouses, King Pucks, Horny Andy’s etc.

I wonder if the new communal showers will have machines containing condoms and poppers?

However, I imagine it will be a Mullaney and Collins free zone.

This whole new expensive building will be paid for by the, wait for it, baaaaaaahs!


We need to talk about God and sexuality,’ says priest

by Sarah Mac Donald The Tablet

Fr Lynch says harsh teaching on LGBTI relationships has worked against ‘sexual and psychological health’

'We need to talk about God and sexuality,' says priest

A rally in Dublin last month to celebrate the eminent decriminalisation of abortion and gay marriage in Northern Ireland.

An Irish priest who is to be honoured by President Michael D. Higgins later this month for his work with HIV/AIDS sufferers has said many priests in the church are “completely schizophrenic” when it comes to homosexuality.

London-based Fr Bernárd Lynch told The Tablet that he was shocked by the number of priests who were having “disembodied sex” with gay escorts and prostitutes in Rome. Yet these same clerics strongly voice the church’s teaching on homosexuality.

The 72-year-old was speaking after his address, titled Vatican Hypocrisy and Hopes for our Church, at the Loyola Institute in Trinity College Dublin this week, which was hosted by the lay reform group, We Are Church Ireland.

“In the church, as a gay man or woman, you can have sex with as many people as you like and go to confession and get forgiven. Yet if you live in a stable committed faithful loving gay relationship you are living in sin,” he said.

The psychotherapist said the church’s harsh teaching on LGBTI relationships worked against “sexual and psychological health” and he argued that the Church needs to promote an integrated sexuality.

“Either our sexuality takes us closer to God or it alienates us from God. I don’t mean to be simple or simplistic when I say we must talk about God and sexuality.”

Fr Lynch, who was suspended from his order, the Society of African Missions when he was 65 after he admitted he was in a long-term partnership, married his husband Billy Desmond in 2017. He remains a Catholic priest. “My priesthood is as much a part of me as my gayness,” he stated.

But he hit out at those priests who try to be straight when they are gay, describing their attitude as “pure blasphemy”.

“What we are doing in such situations is basically saying to God that what you created me to be in my essence is not good enough. Take it back.”

He said: “This kind of pathological behaviour is encouraged and endorsed by the official line of the Vatican. It has destroyed the life and the souls of so many good people.”

He said the revelations in the book ‘In the Closet of the Vatican’ by Frédéric Martel contained “nothing that surprises me” and warned that the more homophobic priests are, “the likelier it is that they are homosexual and they are practising”.

Elsewhere in his address, Fr Lynch said: “Misogyny and homophobia are intrinsically linked”. He told the audience that he did not want his freedom as a gay man “until you free my sisters to be equal”.

He said: “The teaching that women are unequal, and that gay people are disordered in their nature and evil in their love, which is still the official catechism line, is pure pathology. It is women, I believe, that will free the church and that is what the men are so scared of.”

The Ennis native is to receive the prestigious Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from President Michael D. Higgins on November 21 in recognition of his AIDS/HIV ministry with Dignity New York.

Fr Lynch organised the first ministry to people with AIDS in New York city and was involved in Mayor Koch’s task force on AIDS.

Of his ministry he recalled: “When AIDS hit us like a nuclear holocaust in the early 80s, I witnessed first-hand the decimation of an entire generation of young men in their 20s and 30s.”

By the end of 1982, three of his closest priest friends had died of the disease. “Priests had the worst deaths of all because of the guilt, shame and total ostracisation by our church.”

As a priest and theological consultant to Dignity New York he saw person after person fall prey “to this unknown and ignominious disease”. He said 600 of their membership died in less than 10 years.


As far as I am aware that award is due to Father Lynch today.

I’ve known Bernard for a long time and regard him as a very decent, compassionate human being and priest.

I got to know him when I was Crohns Disease patient in St George’s Hospital, Tooting, London in the 1989s and he came to visit me. I knew no one on London at the time.

Father Lynch has done trojan work on behalf of the LGBT and HIV communities.

And in the beginning he did it in the face of evil and extreme action by the RCC in New York.

And Bernard has had very good advice for priests and the church.