THE OTHER DAY I HAD THE FOLLOWING EMAIL FROM A NORTHER IRELAND CATHOLIC:
Dear Bishop Pat,
I am writing to you because my grandmother was a parishioner of Saint Peter’s and I know for a fact that her and her friend were robbed effectively by various priests in Saint Peters. I know for a fact that it was not you as relatives remember you going to Saint Peters as caring compared to the others.
There names were Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx and Xxxxxx McXxxx and they lived in the Lower Falls and were extremely religious.
He fooled many old ladies out of their money
Vincent McKinley was a gambler and gamblers can go through a lot of money.
The way it worked was that he asked these old ladies to lend their parish their savings and it would be returned to their relatives when they died – but not to tell the family about the “loan”.
The money was never returned 😦
There was a long standing practice in Ireland for priests to encourage old people to leave their money and farms to the parish or parish priest. Some of the old people thought it would get them into Heaven when they died. In many cases children and other relatives were done out of money and land that was rightly theirs.
Maybe readers will know of such cases?
I dont think it happens just as much these days – but probly does still happen.
I know priests who have been left money and land by widows with the family members being displaced.
I know of one Down & Connor parish priest who specialised in visiting old people’s houses and coveting possessions like old valuable clocks and antiques. Often the old person would say that they would leave it to him in their will. But the priest would say: “I’ll take it now in case your family do not honour your wishes” and off he’d go to the car withy the item he coveted.
There is a book or a Ph.D thesis to be written on the topic of priests, money, wills and possessions.
I know that priests were not the only ones to take advantage of people.
But I think its particuarly bad when a priest goes after old people’s possessions.