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.

PAT SAYS

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.

87 thoughts on “We need to talk about God and sexuality,’ says priest

  1. I have a lot of respect for Fr Lynch. Even Aquinas would agree that a committed relationship is different to any other, not just in marriage. Grave sin in traditional teaching does not still mean mortal sin, necessarily. Augustine would argue that even in marriage, sex is at least a venial sin. So we see the importance of sexual maturity.

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  2. Fr Micahel Mullaney is an excellent advocate for LGBT rights among the Clergy.

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    1. Good

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    1. Is that the same accusation from 40 years ago when it was demonstrated in court that the case had been cooked up by the Church in order to discredit Bernard Lynch, who was “totally exonerated” by the judge. So it resurfaces now he is getting an award from Michael Higgins. Funny that.

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      1. No. This is another case presently before the New York courts after the statute of limitations has been suspended for a year to facilitate sexual abuse victims.

        But Bernard was certainly set up in the previous one.

        And it is strange that the accusation comes at the same time as the Irish award.

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    2. It’s just too convenient that this new accusation raises its head just as Fr Lynch is announced as a recipient of an honour from the Irish President and State. I imagine it will be discounted in due course, but in the meantime it is intended to do him harm.

      I like the forensic focus that Lynch is able to bring on to clerical sexual and sexuality dysfunction, and how he is able to call out the outrageous hypocrisy that exists in the lives of so many clergy, and in particular those who would lay burdens upon ordinary folk. I see and hear it all the time. And, in the process, not only do they do damage to others, but they are seriously damaging themselves in their denial, their anger, self-hatred n loathing, hypocrisy, double lives, transference, and so much more. For many of them this will lead them in to dangerous and unhealthy behaviours and grave dysfunction in their lives. For some, they will eventually see the light and realise what is happening in their lives and probably not end their lives in the Church as a priest as it is currently advocated in the Roman Catholic Church.For those who are able to arrive at that point of recognition, self-knowledge, honesty and integration, I would have some admiration. But for those who carry on in denial, well, they are to be pitied for the sadness of their lives, and surveilled for the damage they can do to the Church and the faithful.

      I do wish bishops and superiors would challenge this kind of behaviour, rather than allowed it to continue and do damage. Why does a bishop allow his young priests to wander around like they have moved back to the 19th century, preaching moralistic and hard line sermons, and generally acting like they are something very special. Surely they see what is going on under their noses. Yes, I know the young fogey priests in to the Tridentine Rite etc are able to flash chapter and verse taken randomly from Church and Papal statements, but a good leader should be able to challenge this and take some action, rather than just allowing it to happen. Grow some balls, dear bishops, please, and call in to line those who use their position and the Church as a way of hiding their own hypocrisy and damaging the faithful.

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      1. No smoke without fire.

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      2. 5:12
        That assertion has long been discounted. It’s called fake news. Anyone can allege anything today.
        So, there is often smoke without fire.
        That’s why there is such a thing as due process.

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  3. Pat I continue to support Mullaney and his regime.

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  4. Pat this is what really happened in Maynooth, the Gay Senior Priests and the active gay seminarians builled, harassed and abused the minority of the hetrosexual seminarians. Everything was directed by Mullaney not Hughie.

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    1. Pat, I don’t you publish this Mullaney rubbish, which is designed to make you and the blog look ridiculous.

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      1. 8.39. I couldn’t agree more. All this Mullaney stuff is making this blog look silly now. The folks posting it must be rubbing their hands knowing they are making you look like a gullible silly arse Pat.
        Sorry but true.

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    2. The selected few of his Kittens had no choice but to obey him and his fellow Priest inner network. He scared them into submission . There was no way out.

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    3. I think you need to give this Mullaney obsession a rest especially in the drink fuelled wee small hours.

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  5. Par, do you think it’s follows that those priests who are anti-gay in their attitude are probably gay themselves? Quite a few of the more recently ordained are very effeminate yet speak about homosexuality as if it were the biggest issue in the world. I have no doubt that some of them are having “fun” under the covers whenever they can get it.

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    1. That is undoubtedly the case, and I won’t weary fellow bloggers with a litany of examples. I would suggest that it is perverse to make such an issue of homosexuality not only because of the very high level of identification and active participation amongst those who shout the loudest but also because it is scandalous and undermines the credibility of the Church in public life. It makes priests in particular look like liars, crooks and deniers of their own and other people’s integrity. If that is what the Church wants then that is certainly how it is justifiably regarded.

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      1. On the basis that those who condemn the gay lifestyle are themselves practitioners of it, Corbyn is a secret capitalist and Greta is a secret polluter. Is that how it works?

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      2. What is the litany of examples?

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      3. Here’s an instance of a priest calling gay people intrinsically disordered in a sermon of all places. And before his mentor jumps in with talk of how lucrative the career he gave up was, let him remember that it’s the hypocritical denigration of gay people by clergy which is the issue here.
        https://www.thejournal.ie/catholic-church-sermon-gay-people-2245126-Jul2015/

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  6. Hi 7:10
    Yes I agree. I think it’s a bad case of ‘ I think he ( or is it she?) protesteth tooooooo much !!!’

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  7. 12:44 – 3:45 – 4:13
    I am guessing you are a drunk ex-seminarian. Making immature and untrue drunk statements, at all hours on this blog, is NOT the way to address your issues with him.
    It is regrettable that you hold so much hate in your heart. I would encourage you to take it up with Mullaney or supply evidence to Pat to prove your statements. Lastly, get some professional help too, you clearly need it.

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    1. The person who posts the Mullaney gibberish is not an ex-Maynooth seminarian. Previous posts revealed an ignorance of basic facts about the college layout, for example the location of the Armagh suite he’s referred to a few times.

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  8. Fly on Th Wall 22nd Nov 2019 — 9:08 am

    What thfek has the church been talking about for centuries. Sort it hi

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    1. Good night fly hi.
      Begorra fly you were out of the blocks early this morning. True fly…what the feck has the church been rabbitting on about since Adam was a lad. But hold it a mo fly. It took the powers that be 400 years to admit they were wrong by saying sorry to Galileo. So I think saying… sort it…is a bit optimistic..hi fly. It will take at least a few hundred years if not more to sort the current mess. Maybe Pope Nuala 1 will apologize in 2525.

      Bye bye hi fly.

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      1. MournemanMichael 23rd Nov 2019 — 1:32 am

        Magwa: There’s depths to this comment some will fail to appreciate. While in part “tongue in cheek” it nevertheless indicates realities. Thank you.
        MMM

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  9. Pat A source connected to Warrick street checked the property registers: Allen Hall is solely owned by diocese of Westminster. As mentioned yesterday, the nuns have no connection now with the building. So no windfall for them. Source in Warwick street says Bishop John Sherrington confirmed all this week and went to advise the seminary.
    Have you heard anything Pat?

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    1. What would Warwick Street know? I think you are trying to stir.

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    2. This is total bullshit about Allen Hall and you keep making things up daily as you go along. First it was moving to Twickenham then Vin was selling the site. Today someone has checked the property registers – catch yourself on. Your claims are as ridiculous as you sound.

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      1. Joseph Lollard 22nd Nov 2019 — 2:48 pm

        They could always do it gradually; shift the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation into it for a few years, then

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  10. Yes read my comments:
    The diocese is selling the building
    The seminary is moving to Twickenham
    I think that’s very clear. Of course when they sell, they will move somewhere else. Vin is not going to close his OWN seminary without having a place to move to. The new building will be larger to host students from wonersh who will attend lectures and then return to wonersh for their formation.

    The warrick connection was mentioned two days ago, one of their number is looking after the move.

    9.23 don’t be jealous your not in the NO!

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    1. You have no idea how very “Anglican” you sound – all that gossiping and petty intrigue among “those in the know” while the Church goes round in ever decreasing circles; a toxic and ridiculous culture once memorably described by the late Ken Leech as “gin, lace and back-biting”. Now we have imported it into the Catholic Church. Great! Thanks for that, queens.

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    2. I’m not even sure you’re in the know. You can’t spell Warwick. This blog is full of untruths but if people say them loud enough you think they are true. Talks of sackings, moving, and sellings are so untrue. So dream on.

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    3. Well if you were in the know (not no) it is actually Warwick Street (not Warrick).

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      1. Spelling mistake read the previous entries

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      2. This is not a spelling or grammar blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. MournemanMichael 22nd Nov 2019 — 10:50 am

    I question the title of this particular blog.
    Can we only talk about God and sex as if the two were interdependent and inextricably linked?
    If I were to assume that a God exists, and is as usually described, a caring compassionate supremely powerful entity, then I simply cannot understand why such a God should be so preoccupied with sexuality.
    If such a God exists, then I think that His/Her/It’s concerns for human creation would most probably relegate sexuality per se as very low down in the moral priorities. I think such a God’s focus is likely to be more forcefully directed on the inter-personal coercive abuses often involved in sexuality both on an individual level, and also on the institutional level by organisations like the RCC.
    MMM

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    1. I believe that there is a pivotal connection between one’s sexuality and spirituality.

      And I do not reduce spirituality to simply Deist or religious spirituality.

      I tried to deal with this when I wrote A Sexual Life – A Spiritual Life.

      Maybe the spiritual is the creative and the sexual the pro-creative?

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      1. Biddy McGonagle 22nd Nov 2019 — 2:06 pm

        ‘….the sexual the pro-creative’

        I knew you’d agree with me Pat. Sex is procreation not recreation

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      2. Sex is pro creative indeed but also re – creative

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      3. what does sex re-create, Pat?

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      4. The people enjoying it 😈

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      5. sex re-creates the people enjoying it? that makes very little sense. can you expand on what you mean please.

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    2. Have you not heard of the Ten Commandments, including the sixth and ninth?

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  12. Pat any chance of a blog about the old maynooth days. Where are they now? I loved jock gate and of course the gorgeous files.

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    1. Derwin’s dangling
      Marshall’s bed hopping
      Hickeys Hickey
      Horny Andrews
      Ronan’s rentals
      McGonagle’s spy stories
      Gannon’s Cannons
      Dysky’s report
      Kevin Connolly’s Hairy Harney

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      1. Pat who is protecting Fr Kevin Connolly . Kevin Connolly had two main boyfriends in Seminary, John Harney and Stephen Wilson, however questionable behaviour was also discovered with a Senior Priest who called Michael Byrne his Pet.

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      2. Pat , Kevin Connolly and John Harney reminded me of the Bruno gay sex parts, for example Kevin is the man, Harney is the bitch and extreme femine traits. John Harney and Stephen Wilson fought over who could be Kevin’s bitch and will in bed. Just look what happened in Stamullen, Bishop Smyth, Kevin Heery and Robert McCabe are all disgusted with this active gay sex addict.

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  13. Are things gone quiet in wonersh and oscott? There has been no mention since

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    1. Business as usual no doubt – just wait and see.

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  14. Yawn…it’s becoming a tad boring reading the usual ‘thou protest too much’ comments here re homosexuality. Ultimately, sin is sin: To have idols before God, disrespect the Sabbath, dishonor parents, tell lies, murder, steal, impure acts, etc., are all sins. I’m talking sin as revealed by God Himself, not according to flawed human reasoning without the light of Faith. If a priest condemns murder, does that make him a secret serial killer? No! TBH, I have never heard homosexuality mentioned by any priest, young or old, at any mass, ever. It appears that the only ones obsessed with homosexuality are its practitioners who wish to change God and Church to suit themselves. The bitter priests (?)here with axes to grind should go and preach the Gospel and talk about the kingdom of God as they were ordained to do. Every one has a cross to bear.

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    1. Excellent comment. I have never, in all my long life, heard a sermon in any Church (and I’ve been around a fair few) condemning homosexuals or denouncing anyone for their sexuality.

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      1. You obviously missed the one about sodomy in – of all places – the London Oratory!

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      2. 7:31
        You never heard a sermon in any church denouncing anyone for their sexuality?
        Scroll up to 11:45 pm. The case of Fr Terence Crotty OP in Dublin of three or four years ago is in the public domain. His superiors engaged in an exercise in damage limitation.

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  15. 3.08: Excellent comment. It’s understandable though why Pat focuses so much on the sexuality of others, especially those within the Church, many whom he dislikes intensely, as many of the Church’s scandals are in the when area of sexuality – abuse, which is a horrendous crime, gender identity, hypocrisy, double standards of clerics, elitism, clericalism (which to me breeds sexual dysfunctionality. However, there is a perverse obsession by Pat and others in chasing after anyone with human flaws of any kind. Sexual abuse must be condemned and all kinds of abuses but the obsession about the sexual exploits of others is weird. It astinishes me that Pat, who struggled with his sexuality, should be so condemnatory of other clerics who do not “imitate” him. We all find our own way through our sexual identity challenges. It is not a matter for ridicule or scorn. It should not be a matter for Pat’s judgment only, if ever it should be!

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    1. Oh, please ! Do we have to jump attendance on every grievance and hurt of the victims ? Yes, the bishop in question may not have been up to speed in today’s terms with abuse cases, although what he did was probably well within the bounds for those times, but we surely do not need to be digging up the floor in order to get rid of any mention of the guy. Just because the victims are hurt and feel that they haven’t been listened to sufficiently. I mean, where does it stop ? Next they will be digging up his body and dumping it in the river, so that they can feel better. Come on ! I’ve no time for this retrospective nonsense. And, I am sure the victims have already been sufficiently heard, and probably nicely financially recompensed for what happened to them. But, still, it is not enough. The culture of victimhood is never satisfied and will always come back for more. Who will tell them where to get off ? Anybody with the balls ?

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      1. 6:21pm
        You make huge assumptions.
        Ever hear of the parable of the good Samaritan?
        Outrageous stereotyping of ‘ victims’.

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      2. If the floor is being dug up purely to replace the memorial – which was a vanity project in the first place – I entirely agree with you.

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      3. 6.21: Excellent comments. People want to sue for every mishap or hurt in their lives. We live in a compensation culture. It is very easy to become a victim. Victimhood has become a very lucrative lifestyle for some Dare I mention names or charity bossess on fat cat salaries!!

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    2. Now in fairness that could just be the fault of lazy contractors. We all know that a contractor will string a job out to get their few extra quid…

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  16. Pat, why not look into the North American College in Rome? A guy called Austin Steffen was ordained to the diaconate in 2018. Just a few weeks later it was reported he was taking time out to deal with mental health issues. Now he has resurfaced as Annabelle Steffen (AKA Annie). You can look up his profile on Facebook. How did he get through formation and onto diaconate? I would say the North American College, like most seminaries, has such a prevalence of gin and lace queens that no one noticed! Anyway, best of luck to Annabelle.

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  17. If it was any priest other than Bernard Lynch accused of sucking off a 16 year old boy and sticking his finger up the lad’s bum, this blog would have 100+ comments by now from gleeful keyboard warriors. The man would be guilty as charged.
    But because it is Lynch it’s “strange” and “too convenient”? 🧐🤔

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    1. victims must be believed. we must acknowledge the hurt and pain this victim has felt, and thank them for coming forward to expose an injustice and a CRIME. we can never allow people to get away with this

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      1. Yes victims must be believed. But is ever allegation to be considered true?

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    2. hopefully justice will be served and others come forward

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    3. Biddy McGonagle 22nd Nov 2019 — 6:34 pm

      something about Lynch I don’t like

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      1. I think Biddy if Lynch read some of your statements he wouldn’t like you either. But he would still probably love you for who you are rather than the silly oul narrow minded twat that you are.

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    4. when he is convicted, will the LGBT community condemn him?

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      1. When he is convicted? Surely, if.

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  18. 2:31pm a very informative and interesting list you post. I don’t understand “Kevin Connolly’s Hairy Harney” label? Are you referring to Hairy Heery in Meath diocese? Apparently the new bishop of that diocese has taken him ‘under his wing’!!!! Kevin Connolly is licking his wounds in Clogher.

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  19. bit random, I know!, but is it true cahal daly lived in a big house on the malone road

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    1. Ravenhill Robert 22nd Nov 2019 — 7:33 pm

      Nope. After retirement he lived in family home in Rosetta area of Belfast. Might have been Galwally Park.

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  20. Ignatius of 42nd St. 22nd Nov 2019 — 6:56 pm

    Pat,
    This is the text of the NYDaily News or Wednesday last.
    An outspoken, internationally-known gay Catholic priest renowned for his work among New York’s AIDS patients in the 1980s was accused in a Wednesday lawsuit of sexually assaulting a teen student at a Bronx school four decades ago.
    The anonymous plaintiff, then a 16-year-old at Mount St. Michael Academy, alleged the sexual abuse occurred in 1978-79 when Father Bernard Lynch served as the school’s campus chaplain. Lynch was tried and acquitted of abusing a different student from the same school after a 1989 Bronx trial.
    In this case, Lynch “performed oral intercourse on plaintiff and digitally penetrated plaintiff after Christian Club meetings at Mount St. Michael Academy,” the 23-page Manhattan court filing charged. “Defendants allowed Fr. Bernard Lynch unsupervised and unlimited access to young children.”
    The suit was filed one day before Lynch was due to receive the Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad in recognition of his charitable works, with Irish President Michael Higgins making the presentation.
    The accuser “hopes that children and their parents will not be intoxicated by Father Lynch’s big personality and public recognition and instead protect themselves from sexual abuse,” said the accuser’s attorney, Patrick Noaker. “This man is very brave to take this action so that others can be spared.”
    This is a good priest?????????

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    1. Saw Lynch years ago on the Late Late and thought he was creepy. Something didn’t add up about him. Not one bit surprised to hear of this further allegation against him.

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    2. And why now? He didn’t come forward when Lynch was accused of assaulting a boy at the same school at the same time.

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  21. Ignatius of 42nd Street.
    This whole thing STINKS OF THE RCC DIRTY TRICKS DEPARTMENT. And make no mistake about it. They are their camp followers have a well known track record for this nonsense throughout the world

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  22. Any sign this weather of Glasgow’s famous Rev Gobbler. What was his real name. That was a funny story. Does Big Jim know?

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  23. I’m surprised Fr. Lynch used the term ‘ completely schizophrenic ‘ in the Tablet article. It’s a totally inappropriate term to use, particularly by a trained psychotherapist. Fr. Lynch must be very aware of the gross discrimination, violation, and infringement of fundamental human rights, of people with serious mental health difficulties, plus the fact that many citizens with serious mental health issues are shunned by society.They are modern day lepers. The LGBTQI….community don’t have a monopoly on discrimination. Far from it. Fr. Lynch seems to be unwittingly perpetuating discrimination towards those with serious mental health problems while furthering the rights of LGBTQI. Language used in public discourse is very important. Fr. Lynch is peddling an archic debunked stereotypical notion of schizophrenia. There was no need for him to use such terminology.
    Hypocrisy in the Rcc, definitely.!

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  24. in response to 6;21 ” oh please! do we have to dance attendance on every hurt and grievance of the victims?” bishop brooks only fault was that he ” wasn’t up to speed” on child protection issues?
    bishop brooks was my headmaster he then appointed fr Finnegan as his replacement who then went on to rape me and others.
    The bishop and Finnegan lived and worked together , shared every meal etc for years in that school’; as bishop he lived literally next door.
    Brooks, a timid man, knew more or less what was going on and like most was intimidated by Finnegan especially when Finnegan was drunk. the bishop was certainly aware of the physical abuse because it wasn’t ever hidden.
    I don’t want anyone to “dance attendance” on my “every hurt and grievance”; neither do I need money as s/he insinuates but it would be nice if I didn’t have to walk past a mosaic glorifying him in the cathedral in which I served as altar boy. We “victims” always demanding things!

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    1. I’m sure you don’t walk past that mosaic very often.

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      1. 11:25 pm
        And what difference would it make whether or which?
        How many priests who abused often walked past it?
        Give me a break! Live on in delusional denial.

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  25. Attitudes like that of 6:21 is indicative of why this crisis is the never ending f****** story.
    Bottom line many of these privileged clerics don’t give a damn not to mention many of those in the hierarchy.
    It’s that simple.

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  26. 6.21 says the victims were doubtless “nicely financially compensated”
    I was raped first at the age of 11. I had no idea what sex was. what would be a “nice” “compensation” for that?
    I don’t need money but am so shocked that 6 21’s post drips with animosity and disdain towards victims he says “the culture of victimhood is never satisfied and will always come back for more”
    My own humble suggestion that if priests were to desist from raping pre pubescent boys in their care this might go a long way to satisfying ” the culture of victimhood”
    Just a thought.

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  27. Nicky I’m with you. The ones preoccupied with money regarding compensation are the hierarchy.
    They’ll never be able to financially compensate many survivors particularly those prematurely in their graves. Hierarchs seem drunk on their power thinking they don’t need to be accountable. Lives have literally been destroyed. Bring in the civil authorities is what I say if these boyos think they can treat people like dirt and not be accountable to anyone. Some of these fellows like the Cardinal Sarahs of the church seem to think they can tell God what to do!

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  28. It seems to me that the “culture of victimhood” is mandated by the ever-increasing number of victimisers. Those who attack that culture have contributed the most to that increase.

    Like

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