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TULLAMORE PARISH UNDER FIRE FOR CHRISTMAS IVF MESSAGE

Facebook page of Tullamore’s Catholic parish in Offaly was taken down amid criticism

The Tullamore parish Facebook post drew numerous comments, the great majority from women, strongly criticising the message and calling for the author to be identified. File image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Patsy McGarry

A Catholic parish in the midlands was at the centre of controversy over the weekend after circulating a message to parishioners critical of IVF treatment.

The Facebook page of Tullamore’s Catholic parish in Offaly was taken down following a virulent social media reaction to the Christmas Eve posting.

Published at 3.51pm on Tuesday by “Tullamore Parish, Offaly”, the message was accompanied by an image of a foetal Jesus with a halo over his head and the words “He’s on His way” and “Christmas starts with Christ”.

The message called for prayers “for couples struggling to naturally conceive life and who are avoiding IVF treatment”.

It continued: “The process of IVF damages embryonic stem cells and thus life and is therefore completely, clearly and totally incompatible with our Catholic faith. For all believers in God, all life is sacred at all times.”

The post drew numerous Facebook comments, the great majority from women, strongly criticising the posting and calling for the author to be identified.

One woman wrote “I actually had no words in response to it, I was so shocked, maddened and really upset by it all especially after being through the process. They are so far removed from the realities of people’s everyday lives in their ivory tower.”

Attempts by The Irish Times to speak to priests in Tullamore parish on the matter were unsuccessful. One priest who was contacted simply said “bye” and hung up when this reporter identified himself. A second attempt to speak to the priest elicited the response “no comment” before he hung up again.

There was no response from the diocese of Meath communication office or from spokespeople for the bishop’s conference.

PAT SAYS

The silly clerical ejits of Tullamore parish have put their big ignorant feet in by criticising IVF over Christmas.

They are also showing their absolute ignorance of the science of IVF.

Quite rightly, many people have protested and now the clerics have taken down their post.

They are now running away from The Irish Times and Patry McGarry, even hanging up the phone after saying a haughty “bye”.

Very courageous! High principles!

These ejits belong to a totally disgraced priesthood and institution.

What makes them think that they still have the right to lecture Irish men, women and couples about their bodies, their sexuality and family life.

It’s like asking Dr Crippen to give a lecture on the right to life.

TULLAMORE PRESBYTERY

Tullamore is where I was born and baptised.

A few years ago I attended a family function in the GAA club in Tullamore.

The then PP was touring the tables and was shocked to find me at one. Embarrassed, he sputtered out the line: “You must join us for lunch some day”.

I replied: “How about tomorrow”. He had no option but to agree.

The next day I bought two bottles of half decent wine and headed for the presbytery at lunch time – to the shock of the clergy.

The two bottles of wine were taken from me and put in a cupboard, the PP saying: “We will keep these for a feast day”.

Lunch proceeded with the clergy talking about football and golf – totally ignoring my presence

I was neither surprised or disappointed. Why didn’t one of them challenge me on my theology or my opposition to their “church”?

I’ll tell you why. Most priests do not halls the balls of a mouse.

They prefer to sit anonymously at a computer condemning those good couples who only chance of having a baby is IVF.

There will come a time when there are no priests in Tullamore.

123 replies on “TULLAMORE PARISH UNDER FIRE FOR CHRISTMAS IVF MESSAGE”

Anon@ 12:46: Who has stated; where, and when: before the ‘outcry’, or in response to it; any additional information?
Thank you?
MMM

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saw on Facebook it was a lady who runs the parish facebook page. She wasn’t saying anything we as catholics don’t already know.

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after due consideration and being inundated with messages and bottles of Hennessy rare cognac, I have decided to postpone retirement to December 2020.

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MMM are sisters of our Congregation, the Medical Missionaries of Mary, founded in Drogheda, by the wonderful and venerable Mother Mary Martin, MMM
.

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My sister had IVF and gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. They are now almost twelve years old, and I adore them.
Another result of the treatment was additional, but unwanted embryos. These, apparently, were destroyed, with the express permission of my sister and her husband.
I never commented on this to them, but they both eventually will have to face up to what they did: that they gave permission (presumably in writing) for the killing of their other children. And the expeience will involve their ‘meeting’ those children, the ones they did not want. They each will suffer terribly over it.
It was an act of moral cowardice that the Tullamore website page was taken down on foot of protests.
Where IVF involves the deliberate destruction of embryonic life, it is, in moral terms, absolutely, always, and gravely wrong.

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Magna: for lack of a reply tag, may I respond to Pat Boyd via your comment’s reply facility.
Pat, if N. Ireland were a normal democracy where an individual’s religious belief or lack thereof were viewed as an unremarkable private matter, I’d be quite willing to debate matters openly under my own name. Quite patently, N. IRE. is a statelet riven with bigotry and the vicious behaviour sometimes seen and described in this blog. I have no inclination to become a physical target for such from the narrow minded regulars who display such tendencies in +Pat’s blog.
MMM

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Slightly hyperbolic, MMM. Plenty of people have given their real names here eg Tom Wood, Sean Page, me, all without being assaulted. Yet, MMM, you want the Tullamore Facebook author named in shamed, at whatever cost to them? 🤔

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This time Pat, kindly read my query @9:29 more slowly, carefully, and perceptively. You might,…… just might, note that I did NOT ask that the Tullamore Facebook author be named. I asked where it had been stated, when, and by whom, that the author was a lay person. There is a difference here from what your 12:54 comment states, …..if you can see it. Mind you I typed this slowly to help you cope.
Best wishes for the New Year, to you, and all +Pat’s readers.
MMM
PS. If you really think my description of N. Ire. as a place riven with bigotry is, in your words, “hyperbolic”, perhaps you’d be good enough to provide some objective evidence which quantifies an alternative perspective.
Thank you.

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12.42: Despite your articulation MMM – you are essentially a moral coward, like the many clerics you describe with the same words! Easy to be a keyboard warrior. Now, off to your New Year bar stool. Incidentally, it is my honest opinion and observation of recent time that the majority of contributors to Pat’s blog are non-clerics. Interesting.

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12.42
Why not relocate from the land where the education you received was in your own word, mediocre, to the place where your real education took place?

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The correct next step is for the writer of the offending piece to identify himself in order to clear the others of any suspicion.
Secondly, he should apologise for raising this subject at Christmas and in such absolutist and insensitive terms, as if the consciences of anyone involved did not matter or were not paramount.
Thirdly, he needs to engage in further study in the area of special moral theology.
Thirdly,

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You musn’t have begun theological studies, dear MC, or you would have been aware that moral theology is usually divided into fundamental moral and special moral.
So you left during philosophy or arts or science. That figures and explains much.

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11.13
I note that my question wasn’t answered. And this is because the other poster knows absolutely nothing about moral theology in this area.
Nor do you.

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What a waste of good wine Pat. Happy new year to you and all those lovely couples needing to avail of medical sciences.

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Pat, you are easily pushed into outrage. I agree that the article was totally misguided but your diatribe is infantile. As for your being ignored at the dinner table – did you initiate intelligent conversation or are you simply seeking again to be a victim. It’s your game, big time. You have a way of knowing your kind hosts in the back, not for the first time. Indeed the Church is constantly changing as will it will continue to do. The Oratory is as useful as the devil’s shit in making things any better – a housefull of rejects and disgruntled clerics who no one knows nothing about. Tell us about the progress of The Little Brothers.

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Who are you Fr Anon? What do we know about you? You apply the oft-quoted and erroneous line of “rejects” indiscriminately and pejoratively to all of Pat’s contributors, some of whom have revealed their identities. As far as I can see they are not “rejects” but are men of principle and integrity who have put a lot on the line to speak out against corruption in the Church. These guys are heroes in my estimation.

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Is shit a word you need to use to get your point across.
Not in my opinion.
Don’t think much of your diatribe either.

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Anonymous at 1;09pm. Bit feisty this morning aren’t we? The church is constantly changing? What a load of tosh. The Church of Rome is dying on its feet

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Despite his apparent tendency sometimes to shift position in argument to the annoyance of his opponent, Magna has solidly held to the sanctity of life. Not like the church which holds unborn life sacred, has until recently been officially for the death penalty and has an unwritten policy of allowing and in fact facilitating child abuse, with subsequent loss of life to the victims. Of course this shows the real origin of Catholic ethics, which is not divine revelation but the mediaeval feudal society it thinks it still lives in: you must reproduce to provide servants, but if you offend by your behaviour the monarch will put you to death and just shut up about it if one of the monarchs functionaries fiddles with your children. Far from being divine revelation it is more the divine right of Kings and this divine right is something every one of the entitled clerical jesters who comment acidly here, both share in and seek to defend.

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7.10
Your judgement is poor and your grasp of the difference between truth and falsehood tenuous.
1. Your comment about MCs’ estimation of the value of human life fails to take into account their continuous and vulgar verbal abuse of people who hold opinions with whom they disagree.
2. Your disgraceful allegation that the church has an unwritten policy of facilitating the sexual abuse of children is a rant. Are you a cultural warrior?
3. Morality is based on the fact that we are human beings, not on whether or not we belong to a religious tradition.

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12.33
You are right: the Romanist Church did not have a universally official unwritten policy of facilitating the sexual abuse of childen, at least not until 1866. In this year, the Holy Office (now the CDF) issued a decree that all cases involving soliciting sex in the confessional were to be subject to absolute secrecy. This policy was expanded in 1922, with Pope Pius XI’s decree, ‘Crimen Solicitationis’. The policy was tightened in 1974, with Pope Paul VI’s decree, ‘Secreta Continere’ and expanded again, in 2010, by Pope Benedict XVI, to include the sexual abuse of those ‘who habitually lack the use of reason’ and to Romanist priest-pimps who possess child pornography.
And what has your first point to do with my upholding the sanctity of human life? The point isn’t even remotely relevant to it. You have let personal disdain for me affect your judgement here; in other words, ‘you have been utter infantile and stupid’.

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12:33
When you can show me how the repeated action of ignoring complainants and shuffling round abusers on a worldwide basis does not amount to having an unwritten policy I may deign to reply to your ridiculous comments.
Magna of course is right that they also have a written policy on how to cause as much damage as possible but it is inconceivable that adults in the same organisation in different parts of the world would all behave as grossly irresponsibly as the bishops of the RC church have.
Are you an idiot?

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Pat, why do you always find fault with every priest you encounter? Why your disparaging comments about practically every priest, comments designed to make everyone look stupid, out of touch, all unpriestly except yourself? I cannot fathom your constant need to judge, condemn and excoriate every cleric. Somehow you are just a nasty cleric, full of self righteous arrogance. I hope and pray that the new year might bring a little more inner insight into your own heart.

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Perhaps + Pat is right, have you ever thought about that ? The vast majority of priests I meet are idiots, full of themselves, live a series of parallel lives, are duplicitous and deceitful. The way they like to portray themselves in public is not how they live their lives in private. That’s my experience, and it’s the presumption I make every time I meet a priest, thinking to myself, ‘what is he really up to’. + Pat is right to be sceptical and critical of the clerical caste. I suspect Jesus would have been, just as he was of the ‘whited sepulchres’ of his time. We need people like + Pat to call them out.

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I agree too – look at the moaners who comment here, nobody would want to be like them. And they wonder why there are no vocations lol.

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Meath diocese is full of theologically conservative priests……many of them ordained in the last fifteen years. Most of these younger clergy are very clearly in the closet, fawning over each other, admiring their lace and tassels and preening themselves. They criticise ordinary catholics for not adhering to the rules, yet they themselves are “at it” with one another. It’ not just the Kerry priest who’s into sweaty jockstraps. Meath diocese is a gay man’s paradise…….a bit like a child in a toy shop.

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Whatever about their theological leanings, you make a lot of assumptions there. It’s just so easy to hurl wild allegations around on the Internet…

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For the benefit of the 99% of Irish Catholics who have not read the Catechism, heard of it, or believe the doctrine therein, here is what it says about IVF:

2374 Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. “What will you give me,” asks Abraham of God, “for I continue childless?” And Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”

2375 Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged, on condition that it is placed “at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God.”

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”

2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.”168 “Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.

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Thank you for giving these passages, if only because they shew the unreality which dominates church teaching on sex, to the extent that they do give the impression of being written by someone who has never had a sexual relationship.
In reality procreation is divorced from the sexual act, and the sexual act mainly serves several purposes in a relationship, including building trust between the couple and – yes, folk, RECREATION.

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And still so many people slam Peter Boykin when he voices concerns about Catholic Church involvement in the new National Maternity Hospital at St Vincent’s!

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There is a fundamental problem of methodology in the construction of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. As currently constituted, it fails to differentiate between and among the levels of authoritative teaching enjoyed by the various statements therein.

It’s a compendium without differentiation.

Inclusion in the CCC does not confer any extra authority on a point of theology which it did not have beforehand.

For example, 2377 above ‘Techniques……..remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative.”
So does artificial contraception, accepted by the vast majority of church members.

The reception of the official ban on artificial contraception by the People of God is the strongest argument for the elimination of that ban.

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I hate the expression “People of God”. It’s a typically arrogant Catholic thing to say. Are Catholics the People of God? Who decided that and who invented that phrase? What about the Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, athiests, everybody else. Are they the “Not People of God”?

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That good product of a Jesuit education Peter Boylan will probably sip champagne tonight to celebrate his unceasing campaign to put unborn babies to the scalpel, some 10,000 a year in the south, with the slaughter of the innocents coming to the north soon, thanks to our lords and masters in Westminster.

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12.47

Your post is excellent, well reasoned.

I agree particularly with its last sentence.

The issue of the Romanist Church’s traditional moral support of capital punishment was dealt a mortal blow (pun of course intended) by a growing sensus fidei, that the death penalty was morally and biblically indefensible and unsustainable.

It took Romanist so-called ‘hierarchs’ a long time to heed this, but eventually the arrogant Romanist knee was obliged to bend in submission.

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At 1.15 pm
The expression ‘the People of God’ in scripture refers to Israel, and in the NT to Christians. More recently, its use at Vatican II has contributed to its contemporary popularity.
Of course, you are right, the human race is the People of God. The context in which the expression is used ought to make it clear which meaning(s) is/are intended.

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Anon@10:23: On reading this I just had to laugh at it’s complete dissociation from any semblance of sense, sensibility or reality.
Anon@12:18 nicely expresses real life rather than the parallel world of RC clerical mindset.
MMM

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Peter Boylan must have missed the lecture in med school where they discussed the obligation on doctors to “first, do no harm”.

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It’s grotesque that Dr Death (Simon Harris, abortionist-in-chief) weighs in on this. I thought he believed in separation of Church and State? If he does he should stay out of Church affairs and not attack doctrine addressed to faithful Church members.

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I think IVF in its various guises is more complicated and nuanced than the instant wisdom clerics of Tullamore seem to believe. So, if I were they, I would tread very carefully and leave it to people who know what they are taking about, rather than shooting from the hip.

I am no expert myself, but I do sense that some aspects of the IVF process, in some cases, are problematic for those who believe that life begins at conception, either within the womb or in a test tube. I’d like to see a rational, sensible, calm setting out of the facts and issues, rather than people just sounding off and pushing one interpretation rather than seeing the whole picture. That would be nice.

My own view of pro-life issues is to give prominence and weight to the presumption of life and the need for it to be protected. In general, I think the Roman Catholic Church has got it right about abortion. However, living where I live, I recognise that many people do not share my view or that of the RC Church. I have to accept that, and accept that the law of the land allows for abortion in certain circumstances (which I believe to be too wide and would like to see narrowed), and therefore navigate as best I can within the rather complicated society within which I find myself. I am honest about my views and will express them in the right quarters, but I also have to respect the views and actions of others who approach this with good conscience, even if they believe and act differently from me. I’m not sure I would want to live in a society where, say, the teachings of the RC Church were applied totally. That would be a theocracy. I want to live in a democracy. And the consequence of that is that I have to collaborate, cooperate, be flexible, be accepting and be respectful of others who think and act differently, within the law, from me. They too, have to respect my views. The law does that, in that it does not coerce me to accept abortion. I am free to live my life as I wish.

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In the UK we live in a theocracy. The Head of State makes a Coronation oath to “uphold the Protestant religion, by law established, Parliament votes on” Church of England” matters, the Government appoints “CofE” “bishops” and they sit in Parliament passing laws on everyone.

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Thank you, this makes the Church’s position very clear and probably hasn’t been widely publicised.
Link to original post: https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.thejournal.ie/simon-harris-ivf-hurtful-insenstivite-4950014-Dec2019/%3famp=1
The Simon Harris reaction is a red herring.
I have mass-going family members and close friends going through IVF at great emotional and financial cost and am shocked that the writer didn’t run this past the PP at the very least!
Are they completely devoid of empathy and sensitivity, understand how hurtful and offensive this could be to those in the congregation affected by infertility?
Even more convinced that there will be a schism in my lifetime between those who follow Church teachings to the letter and those who don’t.

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Like Bishop Pat, I’ve lived in a number of presbyteries, in Ireland, England, France and Italy. When the front door is locked and there are no lay people it’s not a pretty sight – bitchiness, poor personal and domestic hygiene, poor diet, gossip about the parishoners, laziness, phone calls ignored, insomnia, excessive tv watching, daytime sleeping, alcohol, porn, slipping out at night to destinations unknown, and no prayer.

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I had been expecting to be asked an obvious question from my earlier post, given my opposition to IVF when it involves the deliberate destruction of human embryonic life.
But the day is still relatively young.

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Yes! That was the question I had in mind. 😀
And, of course, a gentleman never refuses a lady. 😆

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Magna! Two timing me already when you agreed to marry me only the other day 🤨
Admittedly I didn’t let you in to the important fact that I am a man, which may have stopped you agreeing, but still…

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6.36

Oh, sh*t!😲

Sweetest, wasn’t that, er, you at 4.45? It had your seductively dulcit tone.

I swear, sweetest, it was an honest mistake. 😆

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Pat, it really is wrong to allow someone to post here that it was mentioned ‘somewhere’ that it was a lay person without backing it up.

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Dear Anon @1.33

While your point is correct it is niave. Please educate yourself on the ways of ‘cloak and dagger’ politics.

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Dear @4:05
You might understand the cloak and dagger behind ‘blaming’ an unnamed lay person, but what about everyone else? Or ordinary decent readers :). What about ordinary people reading the story and then viewing the first comment which appears as a statement of fact, ie. that some lay person is at fault? It is interesting that (i) nobody has been named (ii) the bishop hasn’t released a statement (iii) Minister Harris is more Christlike in his handling of the problem than any ordained minister (iv) yes, I’m a bit shocked at (iii) too, (v) there appears to be a pattern appearing in Meath with conservative outbursts

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Dear Anon @5.26,
You mean there is a pattern that indicates the new leadership style.
Do not expect a response from the Ordinary. Like the man who taught him he will say nothing except irrelevant comments; such as asking if you say the recent hurling match?

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In my limited experience priests do not know their church’s teachings. They have tgeology degrees; they know the codology whispered in Maynooth; they know the popular (and often incorrect) stances on big issues; but has anybody ever seen a priest deliver a homily that links the gospel to the Catechism? Could they even do such a thing and teach the laity the churches teachings? I think not.
I hope they enjoyed the wine. If they were genuine priests they’d have invited you over for the Devine Office and a meal.

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Pat I am sooo offended by these comments I had many ancestors who fought and died who were in the IVF in the easter rising.
-prior

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Have a nice New Year blog for us tomorrow, Bp Pat, not like Christmas when you closed down the blog for the day and shut yourself away. It was an act of laziness.

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Bishop
happy new year to you and your partner
just wanted to say thank you for all your valuable work here over the year.
I was shocked to read of the abuse directed at you and I hope you can rise above it.
I will be interested to know if anything is even done about the appalling abuse in Dromore ( that’s the only one I know about)
As I said earlier in the year I went to the Inquiry to watch the Cardinal and was shocked at the clearly coached glibness of it all and at the fawning priest acolytes in attendance on him.
goodness where it will all on
Please keep shining a light onto the darkness
Nicky

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Why the silence, Pat?
You recently stated that Romanist priests had balls no bigger than the balls of a mouse.
Are yours any bigger?😕

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do not speak to Bishop Pat in that tone.in my day you’d have got a slap and an early trip to bed for speaking to a bishop like that. Pat may be busy and he is recovering from surgery. show a little respect please

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Pipe down for once you over sensetive Mags Carta hag. You really do need your ego stroked on an ongoing basis. Total paranoid beyond compare because you think PB overlooked just one of your solitary pathetic comments. Keep drinking the gargle.

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Pat, I believe that the Tullamore Parish made a very unwise and regrettable decision to print that comment on their Facebook, whoever is responsible. However, your over zealous propensity for drawing wild assertions about clergy in so sweeping a statement is unjust, unfair and utterly distasteful. Your embellished judgments are offensive. Yes, there are some who are unsuited to priesthood and who are “ungodly” but I think you also know that many guys genuinely try their utmost in their daily lives and work. A little bit of recognition goes a long way.

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Bp Pat. Happy New Year to you and all you hold dearest to you. Just ignore the negativity on here, send it far into the abyss like 2019. I hope you have plans for 2020 and a renewed start all over again. Love life, live life. God bless you.

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Ah, Jeez!

Am orf t’beddy-byes now.

Rat-arsed. (Well, it is the eve of 2017, isn’t it?)

So a Merry Chtistmas t’one an all.

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Fr Pat, thank you and your Little Brothers for all your help over this past year. You will never realise how thankful we are for your help and generosity. Keep up your good work. God bless you Fr Pat

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Two Roman priests get pulled over by the Garda who says: “We’re looking for two child molesters”. priest one asks him to excuse them for a moment and whispers something to priest two. After a few seconds, he turns back to the Garda and says: “Okay, we’ll do it”
Happy New Year to you all 🥳 x

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May all the nasty, slanderous, gossip , hate filled people who read and comment on this blog repent in the New Year.
God Bless.

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Bollix The ones who are responsible for putting the crap on line are responsible to manage and justify what goes out. Saying bye is like being a guilty child. No bawles these boyos.
Happy New Year hi

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Bishop Pat. The news is Archbishop Roche ex Leeds is being vastly promoted by Francis to Westminster. Roche did destroy Leeds but he made up for it on the new translation on the Mass. Arthur is one to watch. He plays tennis often with Marini who is the Papal MC among others. Hated by Elsie but has more influence in Rome than Elsie – nicknamed Roche the quiet assassin.

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I also heard this to my dismay! The Holy See wants rid of the Yorkshire Ice Queen after he changed the Mass to the most obscure wording of the new translation of the Mass. I blame David Konstant ex of Leeds total liberal but responsible for Roche, Moger, etc. The rot started with Konstant and Worlock. Join the dots. Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Westminster, join the dots

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Elsie will undoubtedly have to go after she was shown up by ICCSA. And it sounds as though her departure is a priority (isn’t she a Liverpool girl? Crosby).
I wonder what will happen to Bishop Bernard Longley of Westminster over the Spanish/Liverpool safeguarding disaster? What a terrible mess, even more so for the poor victim.
Longley is trustee for the college and will undoubtedly have to take the wrap.

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+Pat: can I ask you please ro investigative why some comments do not have a direct reply facility tag?
When I previously asked, you simply said you had no control of this issue.
I, for one , see no coherent sense that some comments simply have a ‘like’ tag, while other contentious debatable comment has no direct reply facility. It completely degrades potential responses.
MMM

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Poster at 2.30 a.m.!!!!!

That’s because they are themselves replies to an earlier post. Scroll up to the nearest post with a ‘reply’ option, click reply and away you go.

There’s no conspiracy afoot.

‘It completely degrades potential responses.’
You are in the habit of using longer words (degrades) without the necessary fluency. Try using the Queen’s English with your native Louth cadences and forget all attempts to impress.

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“Lunch proceeded with the clergy talking about football and golf… “
Had you not been there, Bp Pat, the conversation would have been the same except about ‘footballers,’ their big hairy thighs, for example, or who they saw naked in the golf club changing room.

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