It contained a two and a half page statement from the 1969 – 1970 intake class.

It was that class’ review of their first year in Clonliffe – which was called a formation year.

They all attended the Mater Dei Institute next door, as we did. In my year, 1970 – 1971 – 18 of us joined 160 nuns and a few lay students for formation.

MEN FROM THE LAND OF BROKEN DREAMS? Back row from left: Michael Murphy PP Dubllin; Kevin Doran. bishop, Elphin; Vincent Kenny not ordained; Des Murtagh left after ordination Second row .David Doyle USA; “Madame Bovary” ???; Paul Churchill, canon lawyer, Dublin; Barry Murphy RIP; ????? Third row: Gerard Deegan? Peter Reilly; ??????; Paddy Kavanagh, left after ordination; Front; Alex Conlan, PP Dublin; John Ennis, Dublin; Paddy Monahan; retired, row with DM? Pat Buckley; Paul Tyrrell, Dublin.

I personally enjoyed the year, even though at 18, I was dogged with emotions and insecurities, quite related my secret sexual orientation. Strangely, the only reprimand I had that year was about spending too much time with a young novice nun. Obviously, she or I were no danger to each other.

I’ll let you read the statement here;

Do you not think that the above statement is moving in it’s innocence and desire for spirituality and pastoral training?

Nothing at all of the homosexualization and orgy like ambiance of modern day Maynooth, Wonersh, Allen Hall and the Irish College in Rome.

I was aware of rare homosexual encounters there. Later I became aware that some altar boys had been sexually abused during visits there.

But the order of the day was prayer, study, recreation and there was an unnecessary level of strictness in the air.

But the inherent goodness and sincerity of most of the seminarians was palpable.

Of course there were some horrific bad apples, identified later, people like Bill Carney, Noel Reynolds etc,

What did my correspondent mean by “the land of broken dreams”?

I think he meant a number of things:

  1. The sad destruction of all the innocence and goodness we all entered seminary with.
  2. The abandonment of the renewing spirit of Vatican 11 that filled us all in those days by John Paul and Benedict.
  3. The soul destroying tsunami of sexual abuse and corruption in the church which has destroyed the confidence of good priests and which leave them wondering if they have wasted their lives.


I ask myself this question today?

I have wanted to a priest since I was 4 years old.

My early dreams were, as is normal, peppered with infatuation and romance and were immature and needed to be tested by time and trial.

I had no idea whatsoever what the clerical world was like and the reality of that world shocked me more and more as I went forward. I met some very good priests in the last 49 years but I have been shocked by many who were / are atheistic, agnostic, sexual abusers, rapists, alcoholics, gamblers, cynics, materialistic, viciously ambitious, etc.

There are two kinds of priest in the RCC:

There are those with the heart of a loving pastor.

There are those who have the non existing hearts / hard hearts of functionary CLERICS.

These clerics are the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

My outlook on priesthood has changed and matured greatly.

I have ceased to be a cleric of the RCC. Alleluia!

I am now just a priest – with the two sided mission to love and serve God and love and serve people.

I am not the only one doing that. There are many others doing it too.

And I do it in my own imperfect way.

And, I find it hard to understand how anyone can do that from within an institution that has been so overwhelmingly overtaken by evil?

“How can a bad tree produce good fruit”?


Our primary dream is our dream of our journey with Jesus and our “dream time” with him in eternity.

I still have that dream, thank God.

The dreams I had in 1970 are, for better or worse, shattered.



By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated press


The Vatican office responsible for processing clergy sex abuse complaints has seen a record 1,000 cases reported from around the world this year, including from countries it had not heard from before — suggesting that the worst may be yet to come in a crisis that has plagued the Catholic Church.
Nearly two decades after the Vatican assumed responsibility for reviewing all cases of abuse, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is today overwhelmed, struggling with a skeleton staff that hasn’t grown at pace to meet the four-fold increase in the number of cases arriving in 2019 compared to a decade ago.

“I know cloning is against Catholic teaching, but if I could actually clone my officials and have them work three shifts a day or work seven days a week,” they might make the necessary headway, said Monsignor John Kennedy, the head of the congregation’s discipline section, which processes the cases.
“We’re effectively seeing a tsunami of cases at the moment, particularly from countries where we never heard from (before),” Kennedy said, referring to allegations of abuse that occurred for the most part years or decades ago. Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Italy and Poland have joined the U.S. among the countries with the most cases arriving at the congregation, known as the CDF.
Kennedy spoke to The Associated Press and allowed an AP photographer and video journalists into the CDF’s inner chambers — the first time in the tribunal’s history that visual news media have been given access. Even the Vatican’s most secretive institution now feels the need to show some transparency as the church hierarchy seeks to rebuild trust with rank-and-file Catholics who have grown disillusioned with decades of clergy abuse and cover-up.
Pope Francis took a step towards showing greater transparency with his decision this week to abolish the so-called “pontifical secret” that governs the processing of abuse cases to increase cooperation with civil law enforcement.
But the CDF’s struggles remain, and are emblematic of the overall dysfunction of the church’s in-house legal system, which relies on bishops and religious superiors, some with no legal experience or qualified canon lawyers on staff, to investigate allegations of sexual abuse that even the most seasoned criminal prosecutors have difficulty parsing. The system itself is built on an inherent conflict of interest, with a bishop asked to weigh the claim of an unknown alleged victim against the word of a priest who he considers a spiritual son.

Despite promises of “zero tolerance” and accountability, the adoption of new laws and the creation of expert commissions, the Vatican finds itself still struggling to reckon with the problem of predator priests — a scourge that first erupted publicly in Ireland and Australia in the 1990s, the U.S. in 2002, parts of Europe beginning in 2010 and Latin America last year.
“I suppose if I weren’t a priest and if I had a child who were abused, I’d probably stop going to Mass,” said Kennedy, who saw first-hand how the church in his native Ireland lost its credibility over the abuse scandal.
“I’d probably stop having anything to do with the church because I’d say, ’Well, if you can’t look after children, well, why should I believe you?”
But he said the Vatican was committed to fighting abuse and just needed more time to process the cases. “We’re going to look at it forensically and guarantee that the just outcome will be given,” he said in an interview.
“It’s not about winning people back, because faith is something that is very personal,” he added. “But at least we give people the opportunity to say, ‘Well, maybe give the church a second chance to hear the message.’”
Located in a mustard-colored palazzo just inside the Vatican gates, the CDF serves as the central processing center for abuse cases as well as an appeals court for accused priests under the church’s canon law, a parallel legal system to civil law enforcement that dispenses ecclesial justice.
In the past, when the CDF was known as the Holy Office or the Sacred Roman and Universal Inquisition, such church punishments involved burnings at the stake for heretics and publishing lists of banned books that the faithful were forbidden to read.
Today, CDF justice tends more toward ordering errant priests to prayer, penance and prohibition from celebrating Mass in public. In fact the worst punishment handed down by the church’s canon law, even for serial child rapists, is essentially being fired, or dismissed from the clerical state.
While priests sometimes consider defrockings to be equivalent to a death sentence, such seemingly minor sanctions for such heinous crimes have long outraged victims, whose lives are forever scarred by their abuse. But recourse to church justice is sometimes all the victims have, given the statutes of limitations for pursuing criminal charges or civil litigation have often long since passed by the time a survivor comes to terms with the trauma and decides to report the abuse to authorities — usually to prevent further harm.
’’I wanted to make sure that this priest does not have access to any children,” said Paul Peloquin, a Catholic clinical psychologist and abuse survivor who reported his abuser to the archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1990.
By then, church authorities had known for decades that the Rev. Earl Bierman groped young boys, and they had sent him off for therapy. But his bishops kept putting him back in ministry, where he is believed to have abused upwards of 70 children. A Kentucky jury convicted him in 1993 and sentenced him to 20 years in prison, where he died in 2005.
Peloquin, however, never received a reply to his initial complaint to his bishop.
“It just made me angry,” said Peloquin, who now counsels victims from a faith-based perspective that emphasizes forgiveness in healing. “It seemed like they would have called me up right away and said, ‘Let’s hear about what you’ve got to say.’”
Because of cases like his, where the bishop ignored the victim, protected the pedophile and placed the church’s reputation above all else, the CDF under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2001 persuaded Pope John Paul II to centralize the process.
The aim was to crack down on abusers and provide bishops and religious superiors with needed guidance to punish the priests rather than move them around from parish to parish, where they could abuse again. At no time has the Vatican ever mandated superiors report abusers to police, though it has insisted they cooperate with civil reporting laws.
The 2001 revision calls for bishops and religious superiors who receive an allegation to conduct a preliminary investigation, which in the U.S. is often done with the help of a lay review board.
If the bishop finds the claim has a semblance of truth, he sends the documentation to the CDF which tells the bishop how to proceed: via a full-blown canonical trial, a more expedited “administrative” procedure, or something else, including having the CDF itself take over the investigation.
Over the ensuing months and years, the bishop continues the investigation in consultation with the CDF. Eventually the bishop reaches a verdict and a sanction, up to and including dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization.
If the priest accepts the penalty, the case ends there. If he appeals, the case comes to the CDF for a final decision.
From 2004 to 2014 — roughly the years of Benedict’s papacy with a year on each bookend — some 848 priests were defrocked around the world and another 2,572 were sanctioned to lesser penalties, according to Vatican statistics.
The Vatican hasn’t published updated statistics since then, but Benedict’s get-tough defrocking approach has seemingly gone unmatched by Francis. The Jesuit pope appears more swayed by arguments that the church and society are better served if abusers remain in the priesthood, albeit out of active ministry with young people, so they are at least under surveillance by their superiors and not able to have access to children in other jobs
The appeals are decided in an ivory damask-walled conference room on the first floor of the Palazzo Sant’Uffizio, the CDF headquarters a stones’ throw from St. Peter’s Square.
The room is dominated by a massive wooden crucifix on the wall that faces St. Peter’s Basilica, and, in each corner of the room, a closed-circuit TV camera peering down on CDF staff.
The cameras record the debates on DVDs for the CDF’s own archives and in case the pope ever wants to see what transpired.
It is wretched work, reading through case files filled with text messages of priests grooming their victims, psychological evaluations of pedophiles, and heart-numbing letters from men and women who were violated as children and are finally coming to terms with their traumas.
“There are times when I am pouring over cases that I want to get up and scream, that I want to pack up my things and leave the office and not come back,” Kennedy told Catholic journalists in the U.S. earlier this year.
Nearly 20 years after the CDF assumed responsibility for the cases, it has processed 6,000 abuse cases, and at one point Francis lamented that it had a backlog of 2,000. But the CDF now must cope with the globalization of the scandal that in 2001 seemed to be largely confined to the English-speaking world.
Today, the CDF counts just 17 officials, with occasional help from other CDF staff, plus the superiors. Kennedy said he was planning to bring in a Brazilian, Polish and bilingual American canonist to help offset the expected departures of current CDF staff and to process cases from countries that are only now having a reckoning with abuse.
But there are still countries the CDF has never heard from — a scenario that suggests “either that they’re all saints or we don’t know about them yet,” Kennedy told AP.
The implication is that victims are still cowed, and bishops are still covering up cases. A new Vatican law mandates all abuse and cover-up be reported to church officials, but there is no automatic penalty if anyone fails to do so.
Not even in the U.S., which has the most stringent reporting mechanisms in place, is there any way to ensure that bishops are forwarding allegations to the CDF as required.
“There has never been independent review of diocesan compliance with that law,” said the Rev. James Connell, a canon lawyer who represents abuse survivors.
Walk into the Pontifical Gregorian University library, climb up the spiral staircase to the legal stacks and you’ll find volume after volume of “Decisiones Seu Sententiae” — the Latin-language legal decisions from one of the Holy See’s main tribunals, the Roman Rota.
The tomes contain hundreds of decrees of petitions to nullify Catholic marriages from around the world — the Vatican-stamped paperwork Catholics need to remarry in the church after divorcing.
But there is no such jurisprudence published for the Vatican’s other main tribunal, the CDF. None of those rulings are ever published. And that is because until this past week, abuse cases were covered by the highest form of confidentiality in the church, the so-called “pontifical secret.”
St. John Paul II decreed that abuse cases would be kept under such tight secrecy in 2001, and defenders argued it was the best way to protect the privacy of the victim, the reputation of the accused and the integrity of the process.
Critics said the pontifical secret was used to keep the scandal hidden, prevent police from acquiring internal documentation and silence victims. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a scathing denunciation of the secrecy in 2014, and victims long complained how it retraumatized them:
Many were held to secrecy for decades by their abusers, only to have the church re-traumatize them by imposing secrecy on them when they finally found the courage to report the crime.
In announcing the abolition of the highest confidentiality in abuse cases, the Vatican said the reform would facilitate cooperation with civil law enforcement, since bishops would no longer be able to hide behind the pontifical secret to withhold documents.
The argument was striking, given that it amounted to an explicit admission that bishops had used the pontifical secret as an excuse to refuse cooperation when prosecutors, police or civil authorities demanded internal paperwork.
In more academic terms, the lack of published CDF jurisprudence means no bishop or religious superior has case law to refer to when he receives a new allegation that one of his priests has raped a child: He can’t read up on how the Vatican or his brother bishops have handled a similar set of facts in the past, since none of the cases are published.
No seminarian studying canon law can cite case studies in preparing his thesis about how the Catholic Church has responded to the abuse scandal. No academic, journalist, victim or ordinary Catholic has any real idea how the Catholic Church has adjudicated these cases in any systematic way.
The Rev. D.G. Astigueta, a Jesuit canonist at the Gregorian, has said such institutional secrecy surrounding abuse case harms the development and practice of the church’s own law.
“Canonical science doesn’t only grow and develop from a reflection by experts or the production of new laws, but also by jurisprudence, the way of interpreting the law by judges and lawyers,” he told a 2017 conference.
He called for greater transparency by the CDF so that today’s canon lawyers, especially those studying in Rome, could have easy access to case files and thus have “teaching based not just on theory but practice.”
He is not alone. For the past several years, Vatican-affiliated universities in Rome have hosted conferences on seeking a new equilibrium between the need to protect the integrity of the investigation while looking out in particular for the needs of the victims.
Three of the official speakers at Francis’ big sex abuse summit in February called for a reform of the pontifical secret, and the Vatican’s leading sex crimes investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, was the primary driver behind the reform.
In another change to church law this year, Francis decreed that victims cannot be silenced, and have the right to learn the outcomes of their cases. But they are still largely kept out of the process, after making an initial complaint.
“They are that person who has been harmed. And it would seem to be natural justice that they should know what is being done what is being said in their absence,” said Marie Collins, an Irish survivor who quit Francis’ child protection commission in frustration in part over what she said was the CDF’s intransigence and obsession with secrecy.
And the length of time the cases take benefits no one, she added.
The CDF is due to soon publish a step-by-step guidebook for bishops and religious superiors to refer to so they can process cases, and two researchers are currently hard at work in Kennedy’s office, entering case details into a database so the CDF can generate a statistical analysis of the cases it has processed over the past two decades.
Kennedy said he needs more funding to complete the project, and said more transparency could be possible down the line.
“I think eventually we will get to the point of publishing jurisprudence, like the way the Roman Rota does,” he said. The aim would be to redact names and revealing details, but show “the broad parameters of what it is that we do.”



Chr18 December, 2019(Getty)

The change is significant, but we shouldn’t forget that it only downgrades the level of secrecy

By now, readers will have heard that Pope Francis has issued a rescript lifting the so-called “pontifical secret” under which the Church has until now conducted investigations and canonical trials

related to sexual abuse and cover-up, sexual violence, and other similarly grave crimes against minors and vulnerable adults.

The pontifical secret remains in force over other matters, but is no longer the default level of secrecy for sex crimes against minors and related offences.

It was one of three changes to Church law the Pope made on Tuesday. Another specifies the acquisition or possession of pornographic materials that exploit subjects under the age of 18 as a grave criminal offence for clerics of any rank. That change may have been longer in coming than observers and advocates for it would have liked, but it is the fulfilment of a promise. A third introduces the possibility for qualified lay persons to act as attorneys in canonical proceedings before the CDF tribunal, in which grave criminal charges are being tried.

Of the three changes, the removal of pontifical secret from sex crime cases involving minors is bound to generate the most discussion.

In an editorial for the Holy See’s official Vatican News outlet, editorial director Andrea Tornielli hailed the change as “a sign of openness, transparency, and the willingness to collaborate with the civil authorities.” Tornielli said, “It is not too much to define it as ‘historic’.”

It certainly was something survivors and victim-advocates felt was long overdue. Irish survivor and advocate Marie Collins hailed the development as “excellent news”. She noted that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors had called for the change during their first term, which began in 2014. “At last,” she said, “a real and positive change.”
Anne Barrett Doyle of agreed. “I think it’s an overdue and desperately needed action,” she said. “The pontifical secret has been an obstruction to civil justice,”

Barrett added. She said the move was a strategically wise one for Pope Francis to take in the current climate. “Prosecutors have begun not only to look at the priests who abuse, but the bishops who cover up their crimes,” she noted. “Civil societies will no longer tolerate it. It’s a move he’s being compelled to make by new forces of accountability in the secular realm.”

“The [pontifical] secret,” Doyle said, “has become a legal liability.”

On that point, it’s worth considering that the removal of the secret does not so much open the archives to all comers, as make it more difficult for leaders of local Churches to use Vatican information security policy as an excuse not to cooperate with civil authorities. The veteran attorney for plaintiffs in sex abuse and cover-up cases, Mitchell Garabedian, noted that, given the subpoena power of which attorneys can avail themselves in many jurisdictions, “[T]he Pope was giving law enforcement what it could probably already obtain.”
In the same statement Garabedian also said, “The abolition of the secret rule by Pope Francis is a small step in the direction of transparency, and may help clergy sexual abuse victims try to heal.” Garabedian is an attorney who represents plaintiffs in civil cases, who ought also be able to use the change to obtain necessary documentation more easily.

The change should, at any rate, make it less likely for victims to face trouble in getting a straight answer from Church officials regarding the status of their complaints, (or even learn whether their alleged abusers had been convicted). The new law also makes it clear that Church officials cannot put gag orders on complainants, victims and witnesses.

“The person who files the report, the person who alleges to have been harmed and the witnesses,” the rescript says at Point 5, “shall not be bound by any obligation of silence with regard to matters involving the case.”

The Church’s leading sex crimes investigator, and the principal architect of Benedict XVI’s major reforms to criminal and procedural law, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, told Vatican News: “The question of transparency now is being implemented at the highest level.”

If people who heard the news that Pope Francis has abolished the pontifical secret in cases of child sexual abuse, sexual violence, and underage pornography expect the great veil of silence instantly to be lifted, however, and a perfect age of transparency to enter upon ecclesiastical affairs, they are in for a rude awakening. The removal of the pontifical secret neither creates nor heralds conditions for an information free-for-all, or anything like it.

“The fact that the knowledge of these criminal actions is no longer tied to the ‘pontifical secret’,” said the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Archbishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, “does not mean that unfettered publication by those who are in possession of it is now free and clear.” He said that state of affairs would be “immoral,” and “would damage the right to good reputation of the persons protected by canon 220,” which states: “No one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy.”

“The purpose of the new Instruction,” wrote Archbishop Arrieta, “is to remove in these cases the subjection to what is called the ‘pontifical secret’, bringing the cases back instead, under the ‘level’ of confidentiality duly required to protect the good reputation of the people involved — to the normal ‘official secret’ established by canon 471.2 (244§2, 2nd CCEO), which each pastor or public officeholder is obliged to observe in distinct ways, depending on whether they are subjects who have the right to know about such things, or whether they are rather persons not in possession of any title to have the information.” Why all the faithful and indeed the broad public do not have a right to know, at least, who has been convicted of what specific crimes, and on the basis of what evidence, is not a subject treated in Arrieta’s careful technical explainer.

Archbishop Arrieta was, however, at some pains to stress and articulate the reasons for which this new development has nothing to do with the confessional seal.

“The Instruction,” Archbishop Arrieta wrote, “has no collision whatsoever with the absolute duty to observe the sacramental seal, which is an obligation imposed on the priest by reason of the position he occupies in the administration of the sacrament of confession, and from which not even the penitent himself could free.” The secretary went on to specify: “Nor does Instruction touch the duty of strict reserve — which may be acquired even outside confession, within the whole ‘extra-sacramental’ forum.”

There, Arrieta was discussing primarily the “privileged” space of spiritual direction. He referred to the 29 June 2019 Note of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the Importance of the Internal Forum and the Inviolability of the Sacramental Seal, which states, “Thus, this particular area also demands a certain secrecy ad extra, inherent to the content of spiritual colloquies and deriving from each person’s right to the respect of his or her own privacy (cf. can. 220). Although in a merely ‘analogous’ way to what happens in the Sacrament of Confession, the spiritual director becomes aware of the individual believer’s conscience by virtue of his ‘special’ relationship with Christ, which derives from holiness of life and — if a cleric — from the received sacred order itself.”

Since the pretext of “spiritual direction” is often one used by abusive priests to groom and trap their victims, it will be interesting to see how those observations of Archbishop Arrieta are received. They could be treated as obiter dicta — learned opinion offered in passing — and more or less ignored. On the other hand, the attempt to broaden the scope of special reserve to space beyond the confessional proper could make it more difficult to defend the seal when — not if — it comes under attack.

Basically, the change to the law downgrades the level of secrecy under which Church investigations and trials are conducted from the very highest level of secrecy to the normal level of reserve under which all curial business is conducted. “The documents in a penal trial are not public domain, but they are available for authorities, or people who are interested parties, and authorities who have a statutory jurisdiction over the matter,” Archbishop Scicluna explained to Vatican News.

When it comes to requests from civil authorities to the Holy See for case files or other information, there are rules and procedures to follow. “There has to be a specific request,” Archbishop Scicluna said, “all the formalities of international law are to be followed.” He went on to say that he thinks the change should facilitate communication, information-sharing, and the sharing of documentation among ecclesiastical and secular authorities.

Archbishop Scicluna clarified one important point for the Catholic Herald. In response to follow-up queries, he explained that the change in the secrecy law is not only forward-looking, but will also apply to older cases. “The law applies immediately to all new requests for information concerning all cases,” he said.

It’s worth mentioning that a pope could still put anything he wishes under pontifical secret, too. The difference is that, for a good long while, everything related to criminal investigations and trials has been under pontifical secret (unless it wasn’t), and now things related to investigations and trials on sex crimes charges will not be under pontifical secret (unless they’re put under it).

The changes in the law are indeed significant, but the Vatican’s own official interpreters carefully admit that the change does less than it appears to do, and much less than the Vatican’s message managers claim. What real, practical difference the change will make at this point, remains to be seen.


If Jesus teaches that “The truth shall set you free” why would any of his “followers” want to have millions of secrets and prevent the whole world from knowing all about them?

It’s because everyone with a smidgen of power in the RCC is involved in dark dealings that must not see the light of day.

The RCC has evolved into one of the most evil institutions the world has ever seen and the Darkness always fears the light.

The RCC should be seen as part of the global axis of evil.

But the world will not designate it as evil because it is part of the evil world.

The RCC belongs to the world and not to Christ.

It only pays lip service to Christ.

As Jesus said: “Would that you were not or cold. But you are lukewarm. And I will spit you from my mouth”.



Archbishop moves to put company set up to run Pope’s Dublin visit into voluntary liquidation after loss of €4.5m recorded last year

Gordon Deegan

Pope Francis wishing Archbishop Diarmuid Martin farewell at Dublin Airport as he departs after his visit. Photo: Maxwells

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and others have moved to put into voluntary liquidation the company set up to run the World Meeting of Families (WMF) event last year.

The event included Pope Francis’s visit here and the World Meeting of Families 2018 Ltd recorded a loss of €4.56m last year as fundraising for the various events failed to meet costs.

Archbishop Martin was a member of the board of the company and is one of a number of directors to sign a document lodged with the Companies Office to declare that the company was solvent when being put into liquidation.

The total assets at the time of voluntary wind-up was €71,387 and Jim Hamilton of accountancy company, BDO has been appointed as liquidator.

Pope Francis at the Festival of Families in Croke Park. Photo: Tony Gavin
The voluntary wind-up of the company had been flagged in the company’s annual accounts for 2018 that were lodged with the Companies Office last month.

The directors referred to the voluntary wind-up “in light of the key objectives of the company having been achieved in August 2018” when the WMF event and the Pope’s visit took place.

The directors state that the €4.56m deficit for last year “was in line with cash projections and fully covered by bank borrowings. Fundraising will continue to address this deficit”.

The total spend last year by the company amounted to €18.56m while the total amount raised was €13.99m.

The directors state that the spending remained within the planned budgets throughout the period and that they are satisfied with the work undertaken and completed during the period.

The company, granted charitable status by Revenue, confirm that the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference provided a total of €10.07m in income and €294,062 in services last year.

Pope Francis in Phoenix Park (Brian Lawless/PA)

An additional €1.1m was received in donations from the general public.
The company also generated €107,938 in merchandise income and €338,962 in exhibition income.

A note attached to the accounts states that the ICBC has agreed to meet the company’s liabilities.

The accounts show that event costs, included a concert at Croke Park and a mass by Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park, last year totalled €12.5m.

The events were assisted by 11,000 volunteers and volunteer costs last year totalled €311,635 with a further €819,960 spent on marketing and promotional costs.

An additional €485,804 was spent on liturgy costs and €469,049 on insurance along with €1.4m on staff costs.

The company employed 33 and the highest paid employee earned between €90,000 and €100,000.

The directors state that they are very grateful to the unpaid volunteers who helped with the events and fundraising for the events.


Can anyone please explain to me the logic in this day and age,if spending 19 million euros on the visit of just one man . Such an awful amount Of money could feed a thousand of family in a year . Shame on the CATHOLIC CHURCH



Pope Francis meets with the bishops of the USCCB’s Region VI, from Ohio and Michigan, at the Vatican, Dec. 10, 2019. Credit: Vatican Media.

By Courtney Mares

Vatican City, Dec 13, 2019 / 09:56 am (CNA).- American bishops from the Midwest met with Pope Francis this week with questions about the outcome of the Vatican’s investigation of Theodore McCarrick.

“I did ask about the McCarrick situation. That was something that all of us were very interested in knowing where this was going. And very glad to hear that a report is coming, and not sure when it will be, probably after the beginning of the new year,” Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing told EWTN Dec. 13.

The seventeen bishops from Ohio and Michigan (Region VI of the US bishops) met with the pope for two hours Dec. 10 as a part of their ad limina visit to Rome, and had the opportunity to ask the pope questions.

Bishop Boyea said he asked Pope Francis about the promised McCarrick report, and that the pope described it for them. He said that the bishops also discussed the report with the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Parolin is “a little more nervous about the reception of this in the public,” Boyea added.

The Vatican announced that it would conduct a review of files on McCarrick in October 2018.

At the U.S. bishops’ conference fall meeting in Baltimore Nov. 11-13, Boyea asked that an update on the Vatican’s McCarrick investigation be added to the agenda. Cardinal Sean O’Malley responded that the Holy See intended to publish the results of the investigation in the new year, “if not before Christmas.”
O’Malley said that the bishops of New England also discussed the McCarrick report during their ad limina meeting with Francis in early November before the U.S bishops meeting.

The cardinal said he was shown a “hefty document” by the Vatican, which is being translated into Italian for a presentation to Pope Francis, with an intended publication by early 2020.

Reports of McCarrick’s history of sexual abuse were initially made public in June 2018, when the Archdiocese of New York announced that a sexual abuse allegation against then-retired Cardinal McCarrick was “credible and substantiated.”

Subsequent reports of sexual abuse or harassment of children and seminarians by McCarrick surfaced, and Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals and assigned him to a life of prayer and penance in July 2018.

In August 2018, former apostolic nuncio to the U.S. Carlo Maria Vigano claimed that Pope Francis had known about existing sanctions on McCarrick but chose to repeal them.

At their November 2018 meeting, just months after settlements of the Archdioceses of New York and Newark of abuse cases involving McCarrick were made public, the bishops were set to vote on a number of measures to deal with the clergy sex abuse crisis including a call for the Vatican to release all documents about McCarrick in accord with canon and civil law.

However, after the Vatican requested shortly before the meeting that the bishops not take action on the abuse crisis until an international summit of bishops in Rome in early 2019, the bishops did not end up voting on the McCarrick measure because of fears they could be viewed at odds with Rome.
Pope Francis dismissed McCarrick from the clerical state in February 2019, shortly before convening a summit of bishops from around the world on clergy sexual abuse. The Vatican’s accelerated investigation into McCarrick’s case was an “administrative penal process,” not a full juridical process, but one used when the evidence in the case is overwhelming.
Bishops Boyea said that he expects that the anticipated McCarrick report will “be like peeling a scab off” for the Church in the U.S. “It is going to be tough, we know that, but it is better to get that out and get that done with,” he said.

“This is ultimately for the good of the Church. The truth cannot hurt the Church,” Boyea told EWTN.


Pat has had a hand surgery and cannot write a lot and wants his readers to make up for his words




by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

A key group of German bishops attended an experts’ consultation on how to discuss human sexuality in both scientific and theological terms in Berlin from 3-4 December. Organised by the bishops’ conference’s commission for marriage and the family, as a prelude to the synodal procedure involving clergy and laity that begins in January 2020, the bishops agreed according to their post-consultation statement “that people’s sexual preference developed during adolescence and took on a hetero- or homosexual form. Both belonged to the normal forms of a sexual predisposition which is unalterable and should not be changed by specific socialisation.”

The Berlin consultation was organised together with the Institute for Christian Ethics and Politics (IPEC) and attended by Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, who is in charge of family affairs in the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz and Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz, as well as several auxiliary bishops together with medical experts and theologians. It is part of the two-year German “synodal procedure” on church reform that was launched on the first Sunday of Advent.

An explanatory text plus a summary of the consultation was immediately published on the bishops’ conference’s website. The commission for marriage and the family had wanted – “already in the preparatory phase” of the synodal procedure – to contribute to the discussions on sexual morality and to “discuss the subject from the medical, anthropological and moral-theological point of view as also to go into church teaching on sexual morality, its history and background”, the bishops’ conference’s text explained.

It continued: “The chairman of the commission for marriage and the family, Archbishop Heiner Koch, emphasised that it was imperative for the synodal procedure to begin impartially and without fixed positions but not without knowledge of the present state of science… the bishops agreed that people’s sexual preference was formed during puberty when it took on a hetero- or homosexual form which is unalterable … This means that all forms of discrimination against homosexuals must be rejected, as church teaching demands and as Pope Francis expressly emphasised in Amoris Laetitia.”

However, the statement went on to delineate areas of disagreement over the implications of this position: “The bishops did not agree, however, on whether present church teaching, which forbids the practice of homosexuality, was still up-to-date. They also differed on the question of whether or not the use of artificial birth control was permitted in marriage or in co-habitation. Archbishop Koch and Bishop Bode underlined the importance of a sound discussion supported by theology and the human sciences and highlighted the developments that could already be found in Amoris Laetitia. Thus a sexual relationship after divorce and remarriage was no longer always a grave sin, neither did it always mean that the person concerned could no longer receive the Eucharist, they recalled.”

The results of the Berlin consultation will flow into the synodal procedure’s forum on “Life in succeeding relationships – Living love in sexuality and partnership.”


I think it is very commendable that the German bishops are discussing these topics openly and with input from experts in the fields of medicine, psychology and genetics.

A modern authentic theology must develop in dialogue with all branches of knowledge.

We cannot have a 21st century theology based on the lack of knowledge and information from biblical and other sources from the time before Christ lived.

Of course we must have an authentic theology of sexual morality and sin. And it would be false, morally simply to make all sexual morality and sin purely subjective.

And at the same time we cannot have a theology that is based on ignoring the achievements of science and new knowledge.

As Christian’s we believe that alll knowledge comes from God and God speaks to us in everything, including scientific and knowledge developments.

Any relationship that is founded on love is good, because God is love.




TOKYO (AP) — During Pope Francis’ recent visit to Japan, Harumi Suzuki stood where his motorcade passed by holding a sign that read: “I am a survivor.”

Katsumi Takenaka stood at another spot, on another day, holding up his banner that read, “Catholic child sexual abuse in Japan, too.”

The two are among a handful of people who have gone public as survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse in Japan, where values of conformity and harmony have resulted in a strong code of silence.
But as in other parts of the world, from Pennsylvania to Chile, Takenaka and Suzuki are starting to feel less alone as other victims have come forward despite the ostracism they and their family members often face for speaking out.

Their public denunciation is all the more remarkable, given Catholics make up less than 0.5% of Japan’s population. To date, the global abuse scandal has concentrated on heavily Catholic countries, such as Ireland, the U.S. and now, many countries in Latin America.

All of which could explain why the Catholic hierarchy in Japan has been slow to respond to the scandal, which involves not only children being sexually abused but adults in spiritual direction — an increasingly common phenomenon being denounced in the #MeToo era.

In a recent case, police were investigating allegations by a woman in Nagasaki, the region with the greatest concentration of Catholics in Japan, that a priest touched her inappropriately last year.

Japanese media reports said the woman had been hospitalized for PTSD. Police confirmed an investigation was underway but the church declined to provide details, citing privacy concerns.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan launched a nationwide investigation into sexual abuse of women and children this year, responding to the Vatican’s demand for an urgent response to the global crisis.

The results haven’t been disclosed, and it’s unclear when they might be ready. Similar studies have been carried out by the U.S., German and Dutch churches, with the findings made public, and government-mandated inquiries have devastated the church’s credibility in countries like Australia and Ireland.

The Japanese bishops’ conference has said it carried out various investigations since 2002, but the names of the accused, the nature of the allegations or any other details have never been released.

Broadcaster Japan News Network said 21 cases were found in the latest investigation. The conference declined to confirm that number. It’s unclear whether that includes decades-old cases like Takenaka’s and Suzuki’s.

In a rare case of the church taking action, Takenaka received a public apology earlier this year from Nagasaki Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami for the sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the Salesian Boys’ Home in Tokyo, where he was placed after his parents’ divorce.

“I think his apology was sincere in his own way. But the response has lacked a sense of urgency, and there is no sign they will take any real action,” Takenaka told The Associated Press.

Takenaka’s alleged perpetrator was a German priest, who he said initially took off the boy’s clothes to examine bruises from beatings he suffered from other boys at the home. The priest’s examinations escalated to fondling and other sexual acts, which went on for months until the priest was transferred, he said. He reported that the priest told him he would go straight to hell if he told anyone, and gave him candy and foreign stamps.

Takenaka identified his abuser as the late Rev. Thomas Manhard. The Salesians in Munich confirmed Manhard had worked in Japan from 1934-1985, when he returned to Germany. He died a year later. Spokeswoman Katharina Hennecke said the order had no information in its records about allegations against him.
Takenaka’s account was confirmed by the Rev. Hiroshi Tamura, who runs the Salesian Boys’ Home and said he was conferring with the Japanese bishops’ conference to work out a response to his claim.

Takenaka, a civil servant in his 60s, said the church needs to be proactive in disclosing details about the abuse it has uncovered, identifying offending clergy and how they were penalized. He said an outside investigation is needed and a forum for victims to come together.
“The victims are isolated,” Takenaka said. “No one knows for sure if the abuse is still going on.”

Pope Francis has emphasized the global nature of the abuse problem, summoning bishops conference leaders from around the world to the Vatican this past February and passing a new law requiring all cases be reported to church authorities.

But he didn’t refer to the issue during his trip to Japan, focusing instead on messages on nuclear weapons and nuclear disasters.

Both Takenaka and Suzuki said they had relayed requests to meet with Francis but got no answers.

“I am filled with sadness and I am filled with outrage,” said Suzuki, who wept as she told her story of being sexually assaulted by a Japanese priest in northeastern Japan in 1977.

Suzuki represents the Japan section of the American organization SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which supports victims of religious authorities.

“I want my dignity back, and I felt I had to act,” she said.

She said a few other victims in Japan have contacted her. Takenaka and Suzuki talked by phone for the first time recently, although they have yet to meet.
Suzuki, a nurse, says she was assaulted when she went to a priest for help about the domestic violence she was suffering at the hands of her husband, and other personal problems.

She says she had no expectation the priest would try to have sex with her, and wasn’t sure she even had a choice. She remembered he whispered into her ear, “You won’t regret this?” and then lifted her up in his arms and carried her upstairs to a bed.

“I could not run away or scream,” she said, adding that the naked priest was on top of her before she really knew what was happening.

“I did not ask for sex,” she said, adding that she has suffered flashbacks, depression, as well as blackouts about how even she got home that day.
Documents seen by The Associated Press show the Sendai diocese carried out an investigation by a third party of lawyers into her case in 2016.

The investigation determined the sexual act likely did happen but decided no criminal or civil responsibility could be pursued, given the passage of time and that the priest may have thought the act was consensual.

Suzuki denies she consented, and said she remains so terrified she can’t go into a church anymore.

“My whole world was turned upside down,” she said.

Sendai Bishop Martin Testuo Hiraga, who has frequently met with Suzuki, said a solution was not easy. He said the priest denied there was any sex between them at all.

“I am at a loss as to what to do,” he said.
The Catholic hierarchy around the world has largely ignored the problem of adults — seminarians, nuns and laypeople — who are sexually abused by clergy. Yet there is a large body of research that shows that adults can be sexually victimized by clergy because of the power imbalance in the relationship.

A priest can easily take advantage of a parishioner during spiritual direction or in times of personal crisis, such as when a woman has come for help because she is being abused by her husband, since she is in a vulnerable state, these experts say.

The late Diana Garland of Baylor University has argued that women often come to realize they were victims of abusive clergy only when they are asked if the sex would have happened if the pastor was her neighbor.

“Overwhelmingly the answer is ‘no,’” Garland wrote in 2006. “As she says no, she begins to face the truth that he had power and authority that made meaningful consent impossible for her.”
In addition to Takenaka and Suzuki, several victims have spoken out against the religious brothers at St. Mary’s International School, a prestigious all-boys parochial school in Tokyo, alleging they were raped or molested decades ago.

The school carried out an investigation, starting in 2014, and denies any abuse is ongoing. There have been no criminal or civil cases at St. Mary’s.

Takenaka said he decided to confront the problem of abuse in the Japanese church, demanding answers from the hierarchy and helping sexual abuse victims precisely because he still believes in God.
If he became a bigger person, his emotional scars would seem small in comparison, he said.

But he remembered during Christmas Eve Mass last year, he asked in his prayers:

“On which side is God’s justice on?”


And now clerical sex abuse raises its ugly head in Japan where the rc population is tiny!

It’s being brought to light by Francis’ visit to Japan!


This sexual abuse is more likely to have been done by missionaries?

Any Irish among them?

The original missionaries to Japan were the Jesuits.

I wonder if the Jesuit archives have any information on the abuse?

Japan and China, along with Africa and South America will feature in the coming tsunami of child sexual abuse stories from missionary lands





One of the Reformers expressed this when he said: “What Christ preached was a kingdom. What we got was a church”.

During His 40 days on the desert Satan appeared to Jesus and promised him power and weath if he worshipped him. Of course, Jesus refused.

But within 400 years Jesus’ followers had taken Satan’s deal and sold their souls for power wealth and position.

Jesus was a humble carpenter. Within a few short years his followers had become emperors.

One of the most painful things that all Catholics are experiencing today is seeing the amount of evil in the church – child sexual abuse, other forms of sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of money and possessions.

This evil primarily exists among the hierarchy and clergy. Terrible things are happening and being tolerated from the level of the pope down to the humblest of curates.

The hierarchy and clerics tell us, they would, why wouldn’t they, that the church is at once beautiful and terrible, good and evil. The use the parable of the wheat and the chaff growing together until harvest time.

In reality, all this means is that they are continuing to tell us to: “pray up, pay up and shut up”.

Even the most twisted and ignorant interpretation of Jesus person and mission could not say that Jesus wants us to tolerate evil and leave it grow beside good until God’s day of judgement.

The Christian imperative is to challenge evil and injustice anywhere it exists. A Christian cannot sit quietly and watch evil being done. He / she must spring into actions against all injustice and evil.

Any yet Catholic bishops, priests, religious and laity sit back and do not challenge the worst of evils in their own church.

And it’s not just enough to say “I concentrate on my own parish and make it as best I can”.

A deaf child being abused in Argentina is the personal business of the bishop, parish priest and laity of Ballydehob.

Any support we give, be it financial or otherwise, to an abusing church is literally co-abuse!

The current paralyzing corruption in the RC hierarchy and clergy, becomes our own personal sin, if we support that hierarchy or clergy.

A penny given to Peter’s Pence is a penny towards child abuse and cover up.

Your envelope going into the plate in Ballydehob parish is a donation towards child abuse and cover up.

All that is necessary for evil to thrive is that good people do nothing”.

“All that is necessary for hierarchical and clerical abuse to survive is for the laity to fill hierarchical and clerical pockets”.

If you really want to send the abusers and cover uppers a message:

Stay away from their buildings.

Stop giving them money.

Stop swallowing their message that good and evil must grow side by side until Judgement Day.

Stop clerics on the street, in supermarkets in banks, in restaurants, and tell them: “Not in my name. Not in Jesus’ name”.




He received the following reply:

We have reviewed the documentation transferred to the Archdiocesan office on the closure of St. Patrick’s College and it does not contain any personal data relating to you. We will delete the copy passport which you sent to us and will not retain a copy on file.

If you are not satisfied with this response, you may refer the matter to the Data Protection Commission, 21 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, D02 RD28.

The ex seminarian is indeed referring his case to the Data Protection Commissioner.

He finds it difficult to believe that, having spent two years in the seminary, there is no record of his time there.

He is particularly confused because during his time there he made several statements to the Gardai on happenings there!

He is also deeply concerned because, during his time there a fellow seminarian, Michael Deegan RIP, committed suicide in 1994 in St Patrick’s College, Thurles.

The ex seminarian had heard from Michael that he was being bullied and stalked by homosexuals within the seminary.

These people were putting gay pornography under Michael’s door during the night.

The ex seminarian brought the pornography to the college authorities.

Nothing was ever done and poor Michael took his own life.

In the case of Thurles and Michael Deegan he was being sexually stalked and harassed in his first year – when our English priest friend say the abusive material on his bed and took him to complain to Father Fogarty. That was 1991. He died in his third year when he was 20 going on 21.




Inés San Martín Dec 10, 2019

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, is pictured after an interview in his office at the Vatican April 17. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)

ROME – A leading Vatican official says he would “hold the hand” of someone who was dying from assisted suicide, even though he considers it wrong, because “no one is abandoned” by the Church.

Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia was speaking on Tuesday during the presentation of an upcoming symposium on end-of-life issues co-sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, which he heads.

“I believe that from our perspective, no one is abandoned, even if we are against assisted suicide, because we don’t want to do death’s dirty job,” the archbishop said, when asked about one bishops’

conference’s directive that a priest not be in the room if euthanasia or assisted suicide is performed.

“To accompany, to hold the hand of someone who is dying, is something that every faithful must promote as they must promote a culture that opposes assisted suicide,” Paglia said.

But regardless of a willingness to accompany a person through such a decision, the archbishop said Catholics should continue to fight against a “selfish” society that labels the elderly, the terminally ill and others as “not good enough” and a surplus to the world.

Suicide – in whatever form – is a “defeat” for the rest of society, Paglia said: “We can never transform it into a ‘wise decision’.”

However, he admitted he always celebrates the funerals for those who take their own lives because he sees suicide as “a great request for love that was not satisfied. This is why the Lord never abandons anyone.”

Paglia was speaking with journalists at the presentation of a Dec. 11-12 conference on Religion and Medical Ethics: Palliative care and the mental health of the elderly, which is being co-organized by the British Journal of Medicine and Qatar’s WISH foundation.

The archbishop told reporters that even though they were looking “for a rule,” the principle of never abandoning anyone is not a matter of law for him.

“In this selfish society, we don’t need new laws. We need a love supplement, a co-responsibility supplement,” Paglia said.

“We are all necessary, with no one to spare. A society that runs towards a perspective of justifying suicide or leaving behind those who are not ‘good enough’ is a cruel one,” he explained.

“For me, a person who takes their own life shows a failure of society as a whole,” the prelate insisted.

“But it is not a failure from God. We are each children of God. Can a mother abandon her son?”

Paglia noted that the Church says there’s no certainty that even the apostle Judas, who betrayed Jesus before killing himself, is in Hell.

“For a Catholic to say so, it’s heresy,” he said.

The bishop was also asked to share his thoughts about Italy’s growing anti-Semitism, where Senator Liliana Segre, an Auschwitz survivor and a member of the Italian Senate, now travels with a policse escort due to anti-Semitic threats.

Paglia said that a leap of conscience is important, so that the word “‘race’ is banned, and the words ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ are used instead.”

He said that open demonstrations of support for people like Segre from other Italian politicians are indispensable because “there is a surge of anti-Semitism. We see it almost daily, and the Internet favors its growth.”

Paglia also said that it’s important not to forget Pietro Terracina, one of the last Italian survivors of the Holocaust, who died on Sunday.

“Those who forget will repeat, and those who pretend not to remember, risk these tragedies being repeated,” Paglia said.


I agree with Archbishop Paglia. I too would hold a person dying like this in my arms. The infinite compassion of God and His Christ is everywhere.

Like abortion, suicide can never be affirmed as a GOOD. At best, is the lesser of two evils.

I can understand someone in extreme pain and and degeneracy choosing to end it all.

Some people have a very high pain threshold and others do not.

Some people’s faith can see them through a Calvary period and others cannot.

Only God can judge in the end.

We Christian’s are called to enter into all types of situations as signs of love and hope. Sometimes we bring our hope into situations of hopelessness.

But above all else we should bring the infinite love of God to everyone.

As a child of 4 the nuns in Carlow taught me this prayer I say everyday:

“Jesus Mary and Joseph I give you my heart today.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph assist me now and in my last agony.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.

Into your hands O Lord I commend my spirit.

Lord Jesus, receive my soul”.