They called him the priest of the people. And Father Desmond Wilson certainly was. In West Belfast it was an institution. Humble, reserved, always available. Father Des was a peacemaker and a community activist.

Father Des died at age 94 last Tuesday in his Belfast.

The funeral, Friday was the last embrace of the people for his “Father Des” who did so much for the Northern Irish peace process as for the communities of Springhill and Ballymurphy in the hardest years of the so-called “Troubles”.

Father Des was always on the front line, to mediate, to find solutions, to make sure that adults received schooling.

Father Des had grown up on Ormeau Road in South Belfast and had attended St Malachy’s College. In 1949 he had taken the vows.

For 16 years he was spiritual director of the school (located in Northern Belfast) before arriving at the parish of St John, in West Belfast in 1966.

In later years, Father Des inevitably entered into conflict with the Catholic church and later decided to resign from ecclesiastical office.

At the funeral, Friday, it was the former president of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, who first took the floor to pay tribute to Father Des. Adams said that “the community of West Belfast considers Father Des a friend and mentor”.

Adams added: “Father Des has dedicated his life to helping people. During the terrible years of the conflict, he was at the side of the Upper Springfield Road community against the aggression and violence of British forces. “

Adams also recalled that “Father Des, along with Father Alec Reid, was the author of a mediation process between the different republican groups. A mediation that certainly saved lives after the feuds of the 1970s. “

The two priests, Adams still recalled, “have gone further and gone to talk to unionist paramilitaries and have facilitated meetings between Republicans and loyalists. They met with representatives of the British and Irish governments and anyone who wanted to hear them in the hope that the dialogue would be a contribution to the peace building process in Northern Ireland. “

The President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, also sent a condolence statement. “As President of Ireland, I want to thank Father Des Wilson who dedicated his life to building a more inclusive, more welcoming and peaceful Ireland. Father Des – the president added – spoke and worked both in Irish and in English and was recognized by all as “a true champion of the people”.


I was very privileged to count myself as one of Des’ friends, not one of his closest friends, but still a friend.

In many ways it was him who showed me “the road less travelled” – the path of independent Catholic ministry.

Des broke away from the official RC church by way of early resignation.

He entered independent ministry in Ballymurphy, Belfast, living in a Housing Executive house, among the people.

While other priests spoke of having a vow of poverty, Des lived it – living in public housing in the very same conditions as those he served.

His house was an open door and was totally taken over by those he served.

I once went to have an important chat with him. Lunch was mashed potatoes and beans.

We retired to his sitting room for a chat and soon had to leave as the room was needed for an adult education class.

We went to his bedroom which was a small box room with a single bed and a little wardrobe and a tv and video player in the corner.

We had to leave there as an adult education class needed the tv and video player.

We had our “important” conversation sitting on a wall in an impoverished estate.

He had a run down holiday house in Donegal which he loved. When he went there a bus load of Ballymurphy residents went with him.

Des was a man “who had nowhere to lay his head”. And he loved it.

He put me to shame – with my nice house and nice car. Des was the priest I’d have liked to be except I needed to keep some personal space and privacy.

He was also strongly Republican.

I often think he stretched the boundaries between being a man of peace and an activist – but would have done so with a clear conscience.

He supported my ministry, concelebrated important Oratory occasions with me and inspired me.

His long term companion Noelle, a former nun, was my champion.

One one occasion we were at an Association of Catholic Priests conference, and the crowd on the platform were lamenting that no bishop was present.

Noelle stood up and left the room silent and embarrassed by saying: “Excuse me. We have a Catholic bishop here with us. Bishop Pat Buckley is sitting in front of me”.

The ACC great and good squirmed and after a pregnant silence the agenda continued.

Noelle was a practitioner of alternative medicine, particularly Back Flower Remedies. She was also a counsellor and introduced lots of gay people and others to my book A Sexual Life – A Spiritual Life.

Incidentally, the only cleric who greeted me warmly that day was the current bishop of Raphoe, Alan McGuckian SJ.

Des was a power of strength.
Noelle was Des’ rock.

They are now reunited in the only perfect kingdom – the Kingdom of God.

I watched his funeral on the webcam.

I can’t understand how he or his allowed the three Pharisees in purple, Treanor, Walsh and Farquhar preside at his funeral.

I have left instructions that no such Romanist despot should be allowed at my funeral.

If it happens I will burst from my coffin and demand their departure.

There were two colonist forces imposing subjection upon the people of places like Ballymurphy – the Brits and the Roman’s.

Ballymurphy no longer welcome the Brit colonists.

But they still welcome their Roman colonists.

Is this not Ballymurphy turkeys voting for Christmas?

And I can’t understand how the celebrant Fr Patrick McCafferty tolerated the presence of the hunch back bishop, Patrick Walsh, a man McCafferty despises at the funeral.

Of course it all boils down to the fact that even McCafferty is an RC bishop worshipper 😥



From the Divis Rock Festival I organised after the Divis Clean Up in the early 1980s.

81 replies on “FATHER DES WILSON RIP.”

I hear what you say about Fr McCafferty and the ice queen Walsh. But I suppose the Corpus Christi PP felt it was Des funeral and didn’t want to do anything to detract from the dignity of the occasion. The very sight of Lou, Curly and Mo spoke volumes. No words or actions needed.


Pat, you ruined your tribute to the great Des Wilson by sniping at so many others and by promoting yourself, yet again, as the only one of integrity. The Bishops were present to pay their respects. That you have such a violent hatred against so many Catholic clergy is deeply sinful. It actually devalues any book you may write about your journey to inner peace. If you were truly at peace within you would not be forever condemning, judging and belittling all whom you despise. To be truly at peace spiritually and in a faith/prayer context suggests we are close to God and have a profound sense of his presence. This awareness should express itself in our gentleness, kindness, tolerance and understanding towards those among us who are very flawed. My on-going journey to inner peace has made me very aware of my deficiencies and of the truth that God ultimately is our just judge. The need to constantly denigrate others is a perversion of the human spirit. Yet again Pat, another person’s death becomes your entre into sniping at and sneering others…I think, sadly, you are full of contradictions. Incidentally, I think Brian Darcy’s new book is superb! And I am no fan of his….


Yeah, yeah. God help poor Father he was weak. Father has a problem.
Your comment is a diatribe of excuses and a failure to see and condemn the corrupt institution.
The RC institution needs Christ’s Temple Whip at the moment.


8.26: No Pat, my comment is not a diatribe. It is rather well expressed and is resonant with what I believe Jesus wants from those who act in his name. Acting in his name means of course naming the darkness, sinfulness, criminality, abuse and deliberate hurts hurled upon people. That’s an imperative for all who follow Christ. I try my best in integrity of conscience. But this is very different to the cruel jibes, name calling, demeaning of others and tearing them apart because in ‘your’ judgment they are useless and unworthy. Your spin response or mantra that I am a coverupper, simply because I articulate the essence of gospel charity and justice, is a diversionary tactic, enabling you to delude yourself into believing that you could never be wrong!! That’s smug arrogance. I have never failed to condemn the corrupt I situation of any.kind. Fr. Few Wilson deserves his place in the history of Northern Island politics. He stands alone as a truly remarkable man and I’m sure, being the many of peace and charity he was, he would not approve of you using his death to score points against your ‘Perceived’ enemies. As with Gay Byrne’s death, you are using Des’s death in a most selfishly self serving way to promote only one person, You, Mr. Buckley. Yesterday, despite the criticsl challenges we face, in the parish where I work, over 700 people attended an almost 2 hour Taize mass in the evening and we raised over 2000 euro for Br. Kevin’s Day Care Centre…..Pat, many.parishes are very vibrant with Living Christianity: open your eyes…


RIP Father Des -an inspirational model of priesthood. Meanwhile in London on Saturday Nichols presided at a Mass to celebrate 10 years of the Ordinariate. You can read up on this fandango should you be so inclined in the Catholic Herald where the triumph is described by “Auntie” Joanna Bogle. Note the altar set up including very prominently the seventh candle. You never saw this affectation until a few years ago when it was revived by a certain type of priest very far removed from Des Wilson. However according to the Roman Missal this bugia ( which like the cappa magna is cat-nip to Latin Mass queens ) only applies when the diocesan bishop is celebrating. Perhaps Elsie, with other things on her mind, had not noticed she had crossed the river into Southwark – it is said that CMOC once turned up at a parish in Brentwood thinking he was the bishop – but despite Elsie’s resounding homily, it’s going to take a lot more than an extra candle to bring on the second spring the Ordinariate seem to think Providence has lined them up to accomplish. Anglican delusions, yet London particularly is swarming with them. Apologies if this English crap is a turn off!


There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.



Liturgical growth and progress, but no rupture? Absolute nonsense.

You talk of generational sacredness: again, absolute nonsense.

Liturgical history is written by Romanists, not by Joe and Jane Bloggs in the pews.

Who defined what was sacred? The Romanists.

Don’t talk as though each generation ‘owned’ its liturgy. You cannot own what is imposed.😕


Summorum pontificum was permitted by Benedict to assist ageing and invalided people. It was never intended to be widely used, much less to become mainstream. Sacramental history’s norm is that a reformed rite replaces what went before. That what happened after the Second Vatican Council.


The Cardinal was only the preacher. The celebrant was the Ordinary of the Ordinariate. As the parish is under the care of the Ordinariate the candle was for him, not the Cardinal.


Exactly: the seventh candle is for the diocesan Bishop. That is not Keith Newton , who is not a Roman Catholic Bishop let alone a diocesan no matter how much he loves dressing up as one at every opportunity. My point was not to argue over liturgical niceties, but to comment on posturing and play-acting as a substitute for real religion as exemplified by Des Wilson.


Eminent among the Popes who showed such proper concern was Saint Gregory the Great, who sought to hand on to the new peoples of Europe both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture amassed by the Romans in preceding centuries. He ordered that the form of the sacred liturgy, both of the sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office, as celebrated in Rome, should be defined and preserved. He greatly encouraged those monks and nuns who, following the Rule of Saint Benedict, everywhere proclaimed the Gospel and illustrated by their lives the salutary provision of the Rule that “nothing is to be preferred to the work of God.”
In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman usage, enriched the faith and piety, as well as the culture, of numerous peoples. It is well known that in every century of the Christian era the Church’s Latin liturgy in its various forms has inspired countless saints in their spiritual life, confirmed many peoples in the virtue of religion and enriched their devotion.


@10:55am – have you ever tried this with the 7th candle?

Lie on your side with both legs drawn up towards your tummy. Put some vaseline or other lubricant on one end of the candle and, with the help of a friend holding your bum cheeks apart, shove the 7th candle high up into your arse as far as it will go.



Yeah, yeah. Use Taize and Brother Kevin to cover up all your corruption and abuse.
The problem is we see through that spin now and in spite of your fine words and widow dressing we all know exactly what you are!


Thank you for the tip at 3:04 pm. I haven’t, but I’d bet plenty of others have, including those po-faced sanctuary queens who try to look as if their thoughts are on higher, rather than bigger, things. There used to be a phenomenon known as the Anglo-Catholic “look” of bored indifference in the sanctuary.


The rift between Fr Des and Down and Connor was substantially healed in latter years. Noel Treanor was very attentive to Des and Fr Joe McVeigh thanked Noel for his friendship to Des in his homily.
In recent years, Fr Des also spoke warmly of Paddy Walsh. In fact, it was PW, to be fair to him, who brought Fr Des ‘in from the cold’.


It was Cahal Daly who brought Des back in, not Walsh.

Paddy Walsh has always been a vicious creature.

That’s the revolting truth.


That is your opinion and you are entitled to challenge me
If all the people Walsh was unkind to over the years turned up together they would fill Croke Park!


What stadium would you fill Pat if the same happened with people you have been unkind to?


The stadium I would fill might be the Colosseum with the likes of McCarrick, O’Brien, CMOC, Elsie etc eing devoured by the Lions of Justice.

I am unkind to the to all the RC despots.

Walsh was unkind to little boys, good teachers, parents, seminarians, priests etc.


You’ve not been so kind to Priests and seminarians either. You’ve peddled gossip and innuendo and dressed it up as truth. (Which it wasn’t).


No one has ever proven to me that anything I have said about priests and seminarians, especially the Gaynooth ones, was untrue.

When that happens I will withdraw what I said and apologise.

Over to………


9:49 Some priests and seminarians caused serious scandal at a time when the church is in ‘crisis’ worldwide. Numerous priests have been, unkind, to those abused, to say the least, not to mention the cruelty of bishops to survivors who come forward. Aren’t you people very touchy when ‘the shoe is on your own foot.’


Usually when both sides of an argument say that the other can’t see the point or what is important, it means they are both right and both wrong…
That said in 2019 we are in a particular point in time where a powerful institution has been shown up to be deficient in both faith and morals. Frankly I am surprised that Pat can be as reasoned as he is, and do not understand people who tell him to open his eyes to the good the church does.
I also think that the church needs to stop defending itself and face up to the fact that it has been outed as an instrument of cronyism and corruption, where the rare examples of holiness are despite the church not because of it. The church also needs to swallow the fact that it is not on a level playing field and the advantage is always to the church because of power, influence and resources.
Am I seeing what I would consider a Christian response to this situation from the clerics who post here that Pat needs to open his eyes? No.


Poor Pat has had 40 years of eye opening as he has ministered to all the people that RC clerics have thrown under the bus in so many way – not to mention all we read on the media.

Pat does not need to open his eyes. They have been stretched to snapping point and as a result has no time for clerical denial and distracting tactics like waffle about Taize – much as Pat lives Taize.

Get the essential right first boys and then we might accept some of you might be trying.


10.40: Pat, the sad truth is that your own waffle for over 30 years or more has had little effect on the landscape of the nation, even in your own wee Oratory. You huff and puff about so many things, ignoring the daily good work being done by many clerics. Your bias, prejudice and hatred jnow no bounds. Little that you care but I think your whole self absorbed philosophy stinks. It focuses totally in yourself. Jesus gets lost.


The clerics are refusing to challenge their bosses out of moral cowardice. Jesus didn’t matter in the covering up.


We all know what Walsh was like when he was in his prime and you are probably right about filling Croke Park. But to see him now at the end of his days – a pathetic, frail and ill man – is there any need to beat him up? Call him a “hunchback”? I have observed Fr McCafferty be very kind to Paddy Walsh. I don’t believe it is in Fr McCafferty’s nature to “despise” B.Walsh even though Walsh behaved abominably in the James Donaghy scandal. And there was also Walsh’s close friend, the Judge Gemma Loughran dimension, to the whole sorry tale.

Aren’t we supposed to show mercy and forgive? Maybe you should try some of it, Bishop Buckley. Your “tribute” to Fr Des is marred by your meanness of spirit. Very ugly is your self righteousness. Your own conceit and narcissism emanates day and daily from your “Pat says”.


We might, I say might, try to forgive Walsh, if HE acknowledged his sadism and apologised.

But I think hell will freeze over before Walsh does that.

It is he, who broke peoples backs and spirits.

Maybe Lord Karma has arrived?


That’s simply not true. He was hurt in the past and was very angry at PW. Who could blame him? But that has not been the case for a number of years now. People change, perspectives change, healing occurs. People forgive and move on. Anger dissipates. Compassion for the other enters the pain and hurt and alleviates offence and distress caused. It is clear that has happened between Paddy and PW. Also Fr Des Wilson left this world in peace. You should try it yourself, Pat.


What has 700 people at a Taize mass, or a collection for Fr. Kevin, got to do with CSA and covering up by clergy and hierarchy, and it’s exposure, ? Are you sure you are not deluding yourself, at least to some extent. Many parishes are vibrant, despite corruption and criminality within the Institutional church. What Jesus’s would want from those who act in his name seems to be selectively applied, depending on who it’s applied to , when and why. Surely, acting in Jesus name means more than simply, naming the darkness,sinfulness, criminality, abuse and hurts hurled upon people.
I note you excluded covering up! What happened to Jesus gospel imperative not to harm children? There can be no forgiveness without justice , according to Pope Benedict XVI.


11.57: Read the full comment and you might see more clearly. Do I detect a sour grapes mentality? The point being made is that, despite all the cynicism and negative publicity about the Church there are many who still are attracted by its various liturgies and masses. These are moments of God’s grace. I do not ignore them. We try to inculcate a gospel love for the excluded, the abused, thenhurt and marginslised at these wonderful prayer moments. Surely that’s commendable?


Its waffle! Its words! Its talk! Its spin! I’m sick of it. Utterly, sick of it.
People hunger for God, not necessarily rituals and liturgies. The Church does not own God.
I’ve dealt with Bishops and priests. I know what I’m talking about from experience.
Most people don’t know just how bad matters are in the Church.
When power is threatened, and all associated with it, the wagons circle.
The bottom line is, they don’t care. It’s that simple. You can waffle on all you like.
When I see genuine words plus genuine actions, I’ll be convinced. Not until then.
A ‘sorry’ from successive Popes doesn’t cut the mustard. There’s no forgiveness without justice.


Fr Des Wilson’s funeral was a beautiful and prayerful occasion as befitting this great man.
All was resolved at the end of Fr Des’s long life and Bishop Noel Treanor was mentioned by Joe McVeigh with gratitude for his friendship and attentiveness to Fr Des. The presence of the three bishops at Des’s funeral is in itself testament to the resolution and reconciliation that was effected. Fr Des was immensely fond of Fr Paddy and Fr Paddy of Fr Des. My prayer for you, Pat, is that some resolution will come for you too before the end of your days. Because rest assured, in the unlikely event should the Pope of Rome himself preside at your obsequies, you won’t be rising up out of any coffin.


That’s right, blame the one who’s been hurt 👏
I would guess that at this point Pat would not want his situation ‘regularised’ with the church, knowing that they will make excessive demands and make out it is a success for the church, but would be open to personal reconciliation.
Of course you will feel free to say any different Pat 😃


Pat, you did a great service to truth and basic morality when you exposed the strange goings on during Maynooth’s summer of love. You hastened the departure of Prior and of desperately unsuitable sems who were sailing towards ordination and a lifetime of being a mortgage on the Church.
Too little too late for the seminary, as its last remaining buildings are being sold off.


Mullaney and the others speak about their forward looking approach to seminary training – essentially, in service training in parishes. All well and fine. However, there is something systemically dysfunctional with the whole concept of priesthood as understood by the Catholic Church. There is still that sense of being set apart – no matter how much the smell of the sheep they may have about them – and superior, ontologically, to the rest of us. That is ingrained in the clerical mindset and DNA. So, no matter how much service they give, they do it out of a sense of superiority and aloofness. Which sets up all sorts of odd notions in their heads which comes out in behaviour. In addition, the psycho-emotional-sexual reality of the lives of clergy is predicated on a requirement that is enforced and goes against nature, namely celibacy. Yes, there are a few, and I mean a few, who may be called genuinely to celibacy, but the vast majority of priests are not, and this sets up a strain and dysfunction in the rest of their lives. They cannot get away from it. So, again, no matter how ‘grounded’ in service may be their formation, seminarians are being set up for a life which is essentially sick and a recipe for unhappiness. And, these are the people who are supposed to minister to us when we are in difficulty, when in reality they are in difficulty and conflicted themselves. Priesthood needs a complete rethink, not just a bit of tweaking. Which is what they think we will be satisfied with, so that they can carry on with this discredited clerical world, which does so much damage to them and to us.


You say the same thing over and over. You sound like a disgruntled rejected seminarian or an old nun.


Mullaney is spinning it by saying “there are no empty rooms in this college”. That’s because 570 former bedrooms used by seminarians in the past have been turned into offices for the secular university and the episcopal conference and for the bed and breakfast business.


How many vocations have been lost because of the inaccurate shite peddled by this blog and it’s writer?

You have a lot to answer for Bucko!


No. I want vocations to be handled by the people who are entrusted with making those decisions. I don’t want vocations decided by YOU and a blog full gossip and filth.


Lol 2:06 has given me the best laugh. You are funny.
Yes, Pat, s/he would rather vocations were lost to the cesspit morals and cover up merchants.


Silly comment.
How many children and vulnerable adults have been abused by clergy. How many are in their graves prematurely due to same abuse and its cover-up by the hierarchy. How many abused by clergy permanently damaged for life. How many people have walked away from Catholicism, Christianity and Religion due to hypocrisy of clergy. Vocations lost? How many seminarians had their lives ruined ‘trying their vocation’ through abuse and harassment in seminary. I could go on. Its all based on facts.


Who left the seminary because of “abuse and harassment”?
Name someone……….i’ll wait


That would be telling. I’ll keep you in suspense.
For now, check old posts on this blog over the last number of years. Happy reading.


2.10: Are you blissfully happy now that you’ve let rip? I find that it’s usually people like you who shout loudest who do very little. You don’t know me, so you’re not in a position to judge my quality of work, my commitment or my integrity. People do appreciate good liturgies. It’s part of my ministry to touch the hearts of people and to try in some meaningful way to nourish their inner hunger. I feel I do my utmost in this respect. Much inner healing happens when people are drawn into good, deep prayer and through reflective liturgies. I won’t stop doing this.


Are you alright? I don’t know who you are from Adam.
I would encourage you to continue doing your utmost to produce good liturgies and encourage prayer.etc.
I’m talking in general terms about Church and hierarchical response to people who have had their hearts irreparably broken through abuse by clerics. Do you understand? Lives ruined, destroyed, some prematurely in their graves, through abuse by priests. Members of your profession. Your Brother priests. Members of your fraternity. Cover up by Bishops, our supposedly moral superiors. Vatican policy for years.
I won’t stop talking about the matter regardless of what you or your colleagues think of people like me.
I couldn’t careless. I’m doing it in good conscience. I’m fact, it would be morally wrong for me not to speak out.


6.44: If you truly believe in what you are saying and believe it would be morally wrong for you not to speak out, go public instead of hiding behind anonymous! Now that would require moral courage….


As you can see from todays blog RC priests and bishops still done GET IT!
They are as entitled, full of themselves, special and a step above the rest of us in spite of the exposure of decades of:

Sexual abuse of children.
Sexual abuse of adults.
Seminaries as gay saunas.
Lack of faith.
Cover up.

So, stop expecting anything from them except excuses and the pretence of being good and holy and caring.

They need to be sorted out by:
Stringent supervision by governments. Police, social services, public inquiries, secular safeguarding authorities etc.

They are INCAPABLE of reform.

We need a new reformation – and not one led by Protestants – but one imposed upon them the secular authorities.

Australia is showing the way!


Oh, I truly believe it. I’m only biding my time. I’ve bigger fish to fry than an anonymous priest on this blog.


7.07: Have heard similar words like this before from screeching protesters…Don’t keep us in suspense for too long. We look forward to new stories on Pat’s blog.


I think you have hit the nail on the head, Pat: we have reached a point in Christian history when the secular power is required to step in to reform the Church itself. This conclusion is rooted in Biblical precedents. The liberal democracy which enables us to express diversity, and honours individual rights is the product of two thousand years of Christianity, which takes its origin and character from a revolutionary. As the Church grew, it took on the role of the oppressor she was called to oppose; hence the tension over her true identity which we see daily, including on this blog. Vatican II was a rediscovery of that servant character, and inevitably, no sooner had the Council concluded, we saw the counter-reaction against the reformers with Humanae Vitae in 1968 right up to today with the moral failure of the bishops in the face of the scandal which goes so deep that it calls into question the Church’s ability to manage its own affairs. Priests such as Pat and Des Wilson RIP do not need the power of the seventh candle to validate their ministry, just as ordinary joes like me do not need to enable bull-shit and abuse of power. Great if you have a decent pp and still functioning parish community – nothing wrong with that per se. But, as is so often the reality, you find yourself stuck with a bad tempered old git or a queen with the seventh candle shoved up his own arse – as an earlier poster so eloquently put it – you’d be better off walking away without a backward glance. That’s what hundreds of thousands are doing every year right across the former Christian heartlands such as Ireland, and feeling a hell of a sight better for it.


When Cahal Daly – The Old Nun – threatened to “remove my faculties” I smiled at him and said: Cahal I tak my faculties from a far greater source”.
He was speechless 😊


Go join the Anglicans if you’re that unhappy, though you probably don’t have the courage to do so. Being a bitter and lapsed Catholic is the easier, softer way.


Listen up Lottie at 8:57pm ! Don’t give me that “go and join the Anglicans if you’re so unhappy and bitter” get out clause. For one I am perfectly happy to “join the Anglicans” wherever they support open and engaged parish communities – and do so. What do you find is wrong with that? Let me guess, the one true Church line. Is that only a formal distinction, or, as the Lord himself, said, you shall know them by their fruits? Furthermore, to be “unhappy and bitter” I would be stuck in a rut partly of my own making, frustrated and possibly compromised by my sexuality with no means of escape which would not involve giving up my comfortable though dysfunctional life-style in an all expenses paid house with car. Maybe I would get occasional moments of clarity when I would know that I am a shit and a charlatan, but I would bolster my own failed integrity by signing an open letter supporting the Church’s timeless teaching on matters which do not impact upon me personally, as I do not marry, therefore am unlikely to need to get divorced, and, though I may use condoms, I do not practise contraception so regard Humanae Vitae as prophetic. So Father, who’s unhappy and bitter? Me or you?


Hey, Lollipop, share a few stories of your own. Tell us what the girls got up to over the weekend. 😉


The State needs to investigate all dioceses in Ireland. I think you are right Pat.
They are incapable of reform. They are also incapable of self-policing.
This so called crisis is going on for years. It’s a culture, not a crisis.
The State needs to create an independent safe guarding authority.
The sooner the better. But first, all dioceses need investigating.


I agree Magna – a very incisive comment at 6:57 pm. We might all go back and re-read it several times as a worthwhile meditation, as it runs counter to what the bishops keep trying to tell us, that all the bad stuff has just been a blip and they are on top of things now. It’s taking the secular authorities to show this is yet another lie fed to the faithful.


I remember visiting Fr Des in the late 1970s as a seminarian working in Belfast at a Social Services project in the late 1970’s, after being encouraged to by many people I had met. Certinly an encouragement to a form of ministry much-needed today-Fr Graham Bull New Zealand


As an ex St Malachy’s pupil, I can say that Walsh (Paddy Sniff) was a complete tyrant and wicked man. He was a snob who favoured kids from wealthy backgrounds. I remember as a young kid, having witnessed his violence towards a pupil, thinking that I couldn’t see him as an example of Christ. He was an out and out cleric: thought he was set apart, a superior human being entitled to dish out his violence whenever he so chose. Sure, he has served his church and been rewarded handsomely for doing so, still living in opulence, a firms man. He should have been ashamed to even stand in the presence of Fr Des’s remains; a man of the people and for the people. He couldn’t lick Fr Des’s boots. Indeed he shouldn’t even merit being mentioned in the same sentence as Fr Des. Fr Des was an example of the gospel lived. Paddy Walsh is nothing more than an example of the gospel preached. That having been said it is still sad to witness any human being become afflicted in the way in which he now finds himself. Des Wilson will be looked upon fondly by those who came across him. Paddy Walsh will be remembered, when his day comes, as nothing more than an evil bastard


Very well said! An important distinction indeed: the Gospel preached rather than the Gospel lived. Jesus expresses it as they asked you for bread and you gave them stones, and he certainly did not mince his words against the old hypocrites of his own day.


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