A resigned priest offers troubling revelations about a conservative diocese

[Note: Below is an extraordinary opinion essay sent to me by its author, Peter Mitchell, a conservative Catholic and former priest. Mitchell was ordained in 1999 and laicized in 2017. He says that he “is grateful to be a baptized and practicing Catholic.” )

We Catholics ought to thank God that the abuse committed by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick against young men under his authority is finally coming to light. As a former priest, however, I fear that the bishops may be tempted to allow McCarrick to become a scapegoat for abusive patterns — sexual and otherwise — running deep within the hierarchical power structure of the institutional Church. My own experiences and those of others in seminary and priesthood lead me to conclude that there have been and continue to be numerous other such instances — and not only on the “liberal” side of the Church but, astonishingly for some, on the “conservative” side as well.

In other words, McCarrick’s unspeakable behavior and the conspiracy of silence that protects and enables it is sadly not some bizarre anomaly or rare exception but actually much closer to the norm than the Catholic faithful may at first be inclined to believe.

The revelations about McCarrick, as well as reports coming from Honduras of an entrenched homosexual network throughout the seminary system there, raise some significant further questions. Given that we know that many other people in positions of ecclesiastical power have been aware of McCarrick’s behavior and yet said and did nothing about it, the question must be asked: How many other bishops, vocation directors and seminary formators have engaged or are engaging in similar behavior with young adult men considering vocations to the priesthood, and how many other bishops and priests have agreed to remain silent about it “for the good of the Church”?

My own experience as a seminarian and priest indicates that there may be many.

I was a seminarian for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, from 1994 to 1999, the so-called “John Paul II years.” I was encouraged to enter the seminary there by priests and lay people whom I respected because I was concerned that “liberal” dioceses had problems with homosexuality in the priesthood, and I wanted to find “good formation.” The Diocese of Lincoln enjoyed outward success in having numerous vocations to both priesthood and religious life, and many young men like me were drawn there by its prestigious reputation for orthodoxy, traditionalism and conservatism.

(The other place I strongly considered entering seminary was the similarly conservative-slash-traditional group called the Legionaries of Christ, whose founder Fr. Marcial Maciel was exposed as a serial abuser).

I went to Lincoln when I was 20, believing that by going to a “conservative, traditional” seminary program I would find a place immune from the systemic problems that I knew infested “liberal, progressive” seminaries. I could not have been more mistaken.

Msgr. Leonard Kalin

When I arrived in Lincoln to be a seminarian, I was introduced to the vocation director and told I needed to follow his directions if I wanted to become a priest. This man, Msgr. Leonard Kalin, was the vocation director for the Diocese of Lincoln and pastor of the Newman Center at the University of Nebraska for an entire generation (1970–1998) under two bishops with a reputation for impeccable orthodoxy. When he died a decade ago, Kalin was remembered publicly as a good and holy shepherd of young souls. It was a façade.

Kalin had a widespread reputation for heavy drinking, chain-smoking, frequent gambling, and basically modeling addictive behaviors to the young people whom he was set over as pastor and vocation director. Young men who wanted to toe the line as Kalin’s seminarians had to be perfectly dressed, clean cut, well groomed, and maintain a crisp, neat appearance, as well as follow a regimented life of Masses, Rosaries and daily prayers. Such external discipline and order was impressive to me and to many of the young men who entered seminary with me.

Like McCarrick, Kalin always kept a close circle of attractive, handsome young men around him, and, curiously, he rarely if ever socialized with other priests or people his own age. There was a clear hierarchy of power in Kalin’s social circle, and he was always at the top.

As soon as I arrived I was told that all seminarians were required to attend daily Mass at the Newman Center. I was bewildered to find that the social life at the Newman Center centered around a culture of partying and alcohol. Indeed, from the very day I arrived, numerous other students and seminarians spoke excitedly about the highlight of the annual Newman Center social calendar — a trip to the well-known college party locale, South Padre Island in Texas, where all of the students and seminarians spent a week together of late night partying, drinking, and dancing — an atmosphere that would apparently be less than conducive to recollection and vocational discernment.
Kalin regularly took trips with seminarians to Las Vegas — referred to with a wink as his “desert retreat” — as well as all-night trips to a casino a few hours away just across the Iowa border, and seminarians were not-so-subtly pressured to attend and join in his gambling, drinking and late-night fraternizing. I cannot count how many times I turned down invitations to join Kalin and his “favorites” for a so-called “desert retreat” in Vegas or a late-night trek to Iowa after the nightly 10 p.m. Mass.

“Why won’t this man let me go home because I have to get up for work at 6:30 tomorrow morning,” was about the only thing I was ever really thinking as I endured these mandatory “seminarian meetings,” which were filled with cigarette smoke from Kalin and the “cool” seminarians. But many of my brother seminarians couldn’t wait for the meeting to end so they could join Kalin for his “nightcap.” Those who politely declined the invitation were never quite treated with the same kindness and affection by Kalin as those who went.Meanwhile, when Kalin wasn’t headed out for the night to the local casino, seminarians were required to attend meetings with him at the Newman Center, which began at 11 p.m. and regularly expanded into the wee hours. These meetings, which often involved Kalin berating individual seminarians in front of the entire group, were inevitably followed by an invitation to join the good Monsignor for a “nightcap” in his private quarters in the rectory. I never went for the nightcap. I never understood why others wanted to go.

Nor were Kalin’s shenanigans limited to his own parish. During his frequent trips to visit us at the seminaries we attended on the East Coast, we were frequently asked to help smuggle liquor into the seminary for late night social gatherings with Kalin, even though seminary policy forbade any possession of alcohol on the premises. In this way, Kalin trained future priests to show contempt for the rules governing clerical life. If a leader like Msgr. Kalin didn’t take them seriously, why should anyone else?

Kalin’s visits were also the occasion for the invitation to join him at beach houses on the Jersey shore near Atlantic City, in a manner similar to the way McCarrick operated. Such invitations were very flattering to young men, making them feel “included and special.” We were all told that “building fraternity” was an important and essential aspect of preparing for the priesthood. My and others’ consistent refusal to join in such fraternization led to our ostracism and subtle condemnation by our “brother seminarians” who were close to Kalin and compliant to his wishes.
On one occasion, after we were pressured to attend a party weekend at the Jersey shore (which involved drinking and gambling at various casinos followed by watching questionable movies at a beach house), I wrote to the then-Bishop of Lincoln stating that this sort of fraternization was terribly disturbing to me and detrimental to formation for the priesthood.

I received no official reply to my complaint, but a few weeks later another seminarian called me aside and told me that Kalin himself had informed the seminarians close to him that I had complained and instructed them to watch me to see if I would be “loyal.”

“There are no secrets among this brotherhood,” the seminarian said to me sternly, implying that my lack of loyalty had been noted and that I had angered Kalin and his henchmen simply by speaking up to express how I felt.

Just as Fr. Robert Hoatson of the Archdiocese of Newark has noted in his sworn affidavit, I experienced profound discrimination as a seminarian and later as a priest because I was a heterosexual in an overwhelmingly homosexual environment where sexually active gay priests protected and promoted each other. The experience of this homosexual atmosphere — at times overt, at times closeted — is felt across the board by heterosexual priests I know in numerous different dioceses and religious orders. It is “everywhere” within the Catholic clergy, but seems to be especially prevalent among priests within the power structure of chanceries, seminaries and the Church’s bureaucracy, up to and including the Holy See, where I served for a brief time in 2008–2009.

I was a heterosexual in an overwhelmingly homosexual environment where sexually active gay priests protected and promoted each other.Tweet

Back to Kalin. Just as Newark’s Abp. McCarrick had a ritual habit of inviting a seminarian to share his bed, Lincoln’s Msgr. Kalin had a standard method for maneuvering young men into unwanted intimate situations. Each afternoon at the Newman Center, a summons would go out from one of the young male students who worked for Kalin as his “janitors” to see who among the seminarians was available to “take Monsignor walking.” The one chosen for this ritual (always only one) was then instructed that at the end of the walk — I still can’t believe I am saying this — he needed to “help Monsignor to take a shower” in one of the locker rooms at Memorial Stadium, to which Kalin somehow had a private key. The unconvincing premise was that Monsignor was old and feeble and “needed help” in the shower. Although I succeeded in always finding a way to excuse myself from “helping” with his shower, I know that the men who did — and there were many – endured Kalin’s attempts to initiate sexual contact with them.

Lincoln’s Cathedral of the Risen Christ

Every seminarian was required to have a private meeting with Kalin in his residence every couple of months. Whenever I would go in for my session, Kalin would criticize me extensively (which often involved him swearing at me) and then tell me that the most important thing I needed to do to prepare to be a priest was to “learn humility” (meaning obey him unquestioningly). Then, after working me over emotionally, Kalin would conclude by issuing an order: “Give me a hug.” He would hold me for several minutes, cheek to cheek, with his body pressed against me.

I always found it bizarre and deeply off-putting, but at the time, in my naïveté, tried to explain it away as the somewhat eccentric kindness of an old man.
Assuredly, the outside observer will rightly ask, “But why would you remain in the seminary if you were subjected to and surrounded by such compromising and offensive behavior?” It is a question I have asked myself over and over in the past few years, turning it over like a prism, trying to ascertain a clear understanding of its many facets.

At the time, it seemed to me and many of my peers that the important thing was to “just get ordained” so that we could help others as “good priests.” In addition, the reputation Kalin enjoyed, both within the diocese as well as nationally, made it extremely difficult to oppose his wishes. He held all the power over our evaluation and program of formation, had the ear of the bishop, and had great influence over the assignments of seminarians and priests. In a word, he held complete control over our lives if we wanted to become priests.

Although Kalin passed away in 2008, the seminarians he favored became the priests who continue to hold the reins of ecclesiastical power. To this day, anyone who tries to speak critically of Kalin’s behavior and legacy is met with a code of silence for “the good of the Church.” If I ever tried to express frustration with Monsignor’s treatment of me, priests in positions of power over me quickly shut me down, almost robotically: “While he may have had a few flaws he was very orthodox and recruited so many vocations.”

Indeed he did — as did McCarrick, who prized his reputation as a fisher of men. The relevant and germane question today is, what ongoing effects has the systemic abuse of powerful men like McCarrick and Kalin had on those who are presently serving as priests? How many of these men’s “intimate friends” are now themselves bishops and chancery officials holding power over other priests’ lives?

How many of these men’s “intimate friends” are now themselves bishops and chancery officials holding power over other priests’ lives?

At least in Lincoln, the answer is: many.
I know so many good, generous men who serve as priests there and elsewhere who live in fear of Church authority and who remain silent about Kalin’s abuse because they know that Kalin’s protégés and protectors hold the reins of ecclesiastical power. The power of Kalin’s “friends” exactly mirrors that of McCarrick’s “friends.”

McCarrick with one of his alleged victims, James

The difference of course is that McCarrick rose in the Church to the level of cardinal. But within their own “kingdoms” each of these men rewarded those who complied with their wishes. This power structure remains intact. How many other McCarricks and Kalins are there in how many other dioceses and religious orders in the United States?
My own life as a priest was undoubtedly affected by the totally inadequate and abusive formation I received in terms of preparing me for a healthy life as a celibate heterosexual male. In 2017, I accepted laicization from the priesthood as a consequence of having violated my vow of celibacy as a priest on more than one occasion. I lived an unhealthy life as a priest, and I hurt people. I never intended to become such a person, but I did. What I did was wrong. I deeply regret having hurt people who looked up to me as a spiritual leader, and I take full responsibility for my actions.

I am painfully aware, however, that the people to whom my seminary formation was entrusted modeled addictive behavior to me and an entire generation of young men who are now priests. This culture of fear, shame, and secrecy — which exists within the “traditional” Church just as much as it does in the “progressive” Church — must be exposed and broken if the Church is to truly move forward.

Sadly, and perhaps understandably, this has not even come close to happening, because bishops and priests fear being exposed and lay people fear finding out. There is a strong tendency to engage in denial, particularly among devout Catholics who want to comfort themselves with soothing lies, like, “We go to a Mass said by a holy and orthodox priest, so those problems don’t exist here.”

Perhaps the exposure of Cardinal McCarrick’s lifetime of abuse can give other priests and former priests and seminarians who have lived through the kind of thing I and many others have endured the courage to speak up about what happened to them, as a way of beginning to unravel the problem and initiate some sort of movement towards healing. The first need of someone who has experienced trauma is to be able to speak about their experience and be listened to. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult for active priests to speak out because the men they would be speaking out against control every aspect of their lives and their reputations. But it needs to happen for their own good and for the good of the Church.

That is my motive in sharing my story: to help the Church begin to heal by talking about how I feel about what happened to me, so that others — but especially other priests — may find the courage and freedom to do the same. I fully understand that abusers like McCarrick and Kalin are people who were themselves abused in some way. I wish for them as well as for everyone involved only healing, forgiveness and an encounter with the liberating Mercy of Jesus. I pray for forgiveness first and foremost for myself.

But there must be an honest acknowledgment of what they did, and sadly there must also now be an honest acknowledgment that many other bishops and priests have done what they did. There can be no longer be any hiding behind the illusion that silence and denial are good for the Church.

Forgive me if I close by sharing a personal insight from the journey I have taken. One of the key components to my counseling and healing has been a 12-step program called “Adult Children of Alcoholic and Dysfunctional Families” (ACA). It has been an eye-opening experience for me to see how the description of dysfunctional family dynamics in ACA applies verbatim to the way the Church and seminary formation functions as a “spiritual family”:

We became afraid of authority figures and isolated. We became approval seekers and lost our identity. We became workaholics. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem (ACA, “The Laundry List”).

After 24 years of living entirely within the dysfunctional system that controlled my entire life, I am slowly beginning to find healing and a new way of living and thinking. I am finding the courage to speak honestly and candidly about how unhealthy my life was as a priest, despite trying to keep up the appearance of “holiness” on the exterior. I am overcoming the unwritten rule within the Church, common to all dysfunctional families: Don’t trust. Don’t talk. Don’t feel.
place of such destructive silence, the family of the Church needs to step into what ACA calls “The Solution”: “You will find freedom to express all the hurts and fears you have kept inside and to free yourself from the shame and blame that are carryovers from the past.”

Unlike those who are still priests, I am finally free to share the truth about my experience without fear of reprisal from the ecclesiastical authorities who used to control my life. My story is only one small and relatively insignificant domino in the abusive system which McCarrick and Kalin exploited and profited from. But surely there are many, many other priests and bishops in positions of ecclesiastical authority who have embraced a similar pattern of abuse of power within the Catholic Church and who have brought great shame and sorrow upon many good people, including many priests.

Are there any others out there with whom my story resonates?
Will you have the courage to join me in speaking the truth to power by sharing your own story?
On August 3, Bp. James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska acknowledged Mitchell’s story in a column titled “Christ Suffers With Us, in This Painful Moment.”


What we t on with Kalin and McCarrick is still going on in many seminaries today.

You have hompsexually active seminary professors seducing seminarians.

You have many seminarians happy to be seduced or afraid not to please staff priests.

This leads to outings to restaurants and saunas.

It also leads to priests and seminarians going on trips and holidays together.

The priests supply the money and are the sugar daddies.

The seminarians supply the young bodies and are the sugar babies.

Having gone on in seminaries for generations now, this is the new norm.

Heterosexual seminarians are bullied and driven out.

Other seminary staff turn a blind eye.

Bishops turn a blind eye or are co



Senior Maynooth Clergy enaged in a systematic campaign of grooming and sexual abuse within the last 10 years in Maynooth.


2.39, As usual, like that drunken fantasist idiot at 2.25am, Pat won’t challenge the lies of this fool. This blog thrives on lies, speculation, innuendo and mischief making. Perhaps in the sober light of day, this shithead at 2.25am might give real evidence to back up his assertions, once he himself recovers from a late night shag..which has left him damaged, hopefully!!


Heterosexual seminarians are not bullied! The current mix of seminarians at Maynooth prove that. Some of them are very clearly gay but some of them are also straight and are getting along fine at Maynooth.

I’m heterosexual and never had any bother there. Yes the odd time moves were made or I saw some things but I kept to myself and didn’t take part in anything!

Celibacy means celibacy and if you aren’t capable of living it then you really shouldn’t be a priest.


3:37 pm

How do you know 2:25 am is a fantasist, or if he’s telling lies?
You sound very anger. I wonder why?


They all go in with the eyes open, Bp Pat. Flirting is one thing, but having to wash some fat, old rancid flower is another. I feel sorry for the guys who get picked to do that at Gaynooth.


This article makes for very uncomfortable reading. The truth as outlined from beginning to end is disturbing. It makes me want to go into hiding, to reflect in a way not done before. Every exposure of such truths scream against the essence of Christ’s priesthood and God’s love. Thankfully in the 70’s I was not ever subjected to any pressure or approached by any staff member or senior student, such were the strict boundaries. Yes, I witnessed one staff member preferring certain students over others but that was finally exposed, by myself and others. Yes, I saw the efforts by two or three senior students to make special friendships but nothing happened. These friendships were often commented on but to my knowledge no one was harmed or damaged. These particular Iindividuals subsequently left the priesthood for other relationships. But certainly, all staff except one, kept their distances. What has gone wrong? The culture of unquestioned clericalism, of poor human formation, little real psychological insights given, a onservative, neatly boxed in sexuality and of poor spiritual and prayer formation have all contributed to the crisis we are in. Alongside these, the clerical sexial abuse scandals and reckless, damaging responses given have by far the most significant effect in a very broken clerical priesthood and church. On this good shepherd Sunday we must REAFFIRM the sanctity and dignity of all true SHEPHERDING/CARING/LOVING given to all in different ways, but whose true authenticity alone is found in Christ, the one we must all imitate. Sometimes it becomes almost impossible to hope, to dream, to ecpect for something infinitely more worthwhile, visionary and meaningful.


Excellent comment at 9:08am – more comments like this from posters – and less of the hate-filled rants, wicked insults and drink-fuelled diatribes by certain trolls.

In my day too, in Maynooth, there was no suggestion of any impropriety whatsoever by staff or the deans. They had their faults and flaws of course but were irreproachable in the area of boundaries and propriety.

Among the students, there was certainly no culture as is currently described of what appears to be rampant sexual immorality.

Someone on this blog the other day made a horrific comment about the “smell of lube and feces” on St Mary’s corridor.

That comment is disturbing enough in itself but if it is true??? Why would anyone even make such a comment?

I think it is clear that something is very seriously amiss nowadays in Maynooth – a place of which I have only the happiest memories.

What went wrong? Where do the comments on this blog originate? Are the comments fact- based or are they the work of disaffected and disturbed individual(s)? Why will no one grasp the nettle in the bishops’ conference?

The lack of decisive intervention and action does indeed give rise to suspicions that men in high places are seriously compromised.

The Paul Prior scandal is unaddressed. That is extremely serious – the allegations against him of boundary violations and other untoward behaviour.

But the silence is deafening. It would appear that he went on to cause similar problems among the Jesuits and now he is gone from them to God knows where? Talk about a mess.

Michael Mullaney was an average student and now he is president of Maynooth? The current “leadership” for want of a better word need to be thoroughly scrutinised. Mullaney’s “Jesus was a racist” remarks should have led to his removal from office.

The sounds that have been coming from Maynooth this last number of years are very disturbing and worrying. Allegations of sex parties and certain students rooms being dens of vice? The alleged rape of a seminarian from the diocese of Killaloe? The fact that a number of recently ordained priests have left not long after ordination? The whole “Gorgeous” saga?

The whole thing is utterly crazy! If it is all “fake news”, a vendetta by some ex student with a grudge, etc., etc., then that must be transparently established.

Otherwise clean the place out or close it down.

If there is a student or students who have been in sexual relationships with bishops and other prominent clerics and they are blackmailing them, to ordain those men will be a disaster for the church.

Call their bluff and get them out. Get rid also of the compromised bishops and priests. Clean house! Scour the place. There is clearly something very rotten and toxic at the heart of all this. Radical surgery to excise the cancer is needed.


11:00 am

Why will no one in the Bishops conference grasp the nettle.
That is very concerning. Are people in high places comprised?
Are we to believe what has gone on and what is going on in the
American Church, as outlined in today’s article, could not or is not
going on in the Irish Church?


Someone should copy and paste this 11:00am comment and email it to the nuncio and IEC.


“… I was not ever subjected to any pressure or approached by any staff member”

Not even for a bed bath?


11.43: Why do little prissy heads like you reach to the gutter so frequently? Grow up.


I too welcome the sane and constructive comments at 9:08 am and 11:00 am, and hope, though I think in vain, that they might encourage the tone of responses on this blog. Pat has remarked that he excises the more offensive rants which usually appear in the middle of the night, but the ones allowed are bad enough, and express the self-loathing or lubricious fantasies of deeply troubled men. I suppose that the justification for posting some of them is that they do, nevertheless, reflect the state of the priesthood and seminary training.

Today’s account is devastatingly convincing, and very much worth pondering, particularly the author’s reference to survivors of abusive family relationships which mirror the experiences of many at the hands of “the system”.

The Bishop of Lincoln NA during the author’s time in seminary was Fabian Bruskewitz. He was the bishop who received the complaint which he passed on to the abuser together with the author’s name. Bruskewitz presented himself as a lion defending Catholic faith and morals, thereby luring impressionable idealistic young men to his diocesan seminary, where they were mentored in “the system” by the abuser Mgr Kalin; Bruskewitz both knew and allowed this. Meanwhile his own failure as a shepherd – a rôle in which he loved to present himself – was frankly disgusting. He treated women with contempt, let alone homosexuals, whom he tried to scape-goat for the Church’s abuse, and described gay relationships as a “degeneration” and “a perversion” that is “repulsive to normal human beings”; for reasons of his own he did not apply these judgments to Mgr Kalin, despite having had Kalin’s activities reported to him. Rather at the time of his death Kalin was eulogized as a saint.

You can read more about Bruskewitz’s moral and pastoral failure in his informative Wikipedia entry. Needless to say he is still regarded as a hero by those possessed by “vincible ignorance” – in the language of today, we’d rightly call them suckers and/or liars. This appalling man is still alive, so would it be too much to require that he answer a few questions?


Pat was Fintan’s redress scheme to his former two seminarians a success. A cash payment towards their continued psychological recovery. I think Fintan is the only Bishop who feared that two lads might take their own lives due to the severe flashbacks of the sexual assaults. One did self harm and the other did attempt a hanging from a tree.


Inevitably there is a lot more viz. this complaint from another of Kalin’s victims:

Say what you like about Rod Dreher, but he does ask the kind of hard-hitting questions which Bruskewitz should answer. His successor, Bishop James Conley, has had to take time out since last year to deal with depression and anxiety. I’m not surprised, so get well soon, Excellency.


11.43: Your infantile comments or humour attempts diminish you, fool. Try to at least appear you can rise above your asshole stupidity and say something worthwhile. Why the need to destroy all attempts at intelligent and necessary debate? Are you stunted in emotional growth?


I fear that undoubtedly there are similar scandals, like Kalin’s abuse of seminarians, waiting to erupt about Maynooth and very possibly the Irish College in Rome.

The rumblings and tremors are too persistent. The sooner it explodes the better. Lance the boil. Press the button. Get it over with so we can clean up the mess.


Agree with @2:38 pm, but let’s not forget it is not just about cleaning up the seminaries, but about addressing the whole clerical culture. Those well-intentioned young guys who offered themselves to the seminary in Lincoln NA did so under the delusion that the “homosexual agenda”, which they had been taught to believe was the product of socially liberal and progressive theology, did not also obtain in a traditionalist/conservative seminary; they were deceived.


And definitely not just Gaynooth. When I was a novice at Farnborough Sadie Brogan used to tell one of the other novices that I had a big dick.
The really sad thing there is that if Sadie reads this she won’t be able to tell which of the dozens of novices that have left I am.


To give His Lordship credit, he has come out very firmly against contraception, and there has never been a scandal involving women found in the rooms at Farnborough.


Did somebody say recently that none of those novices who posed on the sheep farm for Portsmouth Diocesan website “Viva Voce” remains at Farnborough? Now we know the reason why.


@ 3:09 pm

I know of a monastery who have been unable to keep a novice for almost 25 years.
All left due to a friend of Dorothy becoming too friendly….


You’re well informed at 3:50 pm. Had they been rejected having failed to measure up?


Paul Prior in my formation meetings asked the size of my Penis in Cm. my reply was I don’t have a measuring tape on me now.


1. Did Paul Prior cause new trouble for the SJs or did they move him on because of past episodes that came to light ? If the former, what did he do ?

2. I don’t think all this stuff about Maynooth and the activities of seminarians and staff is fake news. There is too much of it. It may be embellished in part, but the volume of it does suggest that something has been seriously amiss.

3. I take at face value the reports of pre 1970s rectitude at places like Maynooth. I think that was probably true, in part because there was still very much a closed approach to issues of sexuality and its expression. That didn’t mean that problems would not emerge later in a priest’s life, as we have seen with the scale of abusive behaviour that was taking place.

4. The cause of a change in culture in seminaries is probably due to changes that were taking place in society at large, and in the Church. Individualism was becoming an accepted form of expression. Discovering oneself, and acting on those discoveries, was prevalent. No surprise then that sexual expression began to take place in seminaries.

5. Serious questions need to be asked about Maynooth and the Irish College in Rome, just as they do with the proliferation of seminary colleges in the UK – Oscott, Allen Hall, Wonersh, the various Spanish colleges, and the Venerable English College in Rome. There are reports from all of them about ‘strange’ things going on with staff and with seminaries. Somebody really does need to take a good look. And I don’t mean some superficial visit by a pensioned off cardinal from Rome.


How long was it known that Paul Prior was manifestly unsuitable to be allowed anywhere near formation, and how in the name of sanity did he get taken on – albeit briefly – by the Jesuits?



Did it not occur to you before dashing into print that you may have hereby identified yourself?


I don’t agree that homosexual predation has been going on in seminaries, ‘for generations’, at least not to the degree suggested by your comment, Pat. There has probably always been a homosexual element in seminary life, not necessarily active, ever since seminary formation was founded by the Council of Trent.

I have only fond memories of my time at Maynooth (despite the lies about me regularly told on this blog by an assortment of Romanist parasites and moochers), and homosexual predation most certainly was not the norm in my time there, which isn’t that long ago.

Yes, I was propositioned, more than once … by seminarians however, not by seminary staff, who were naturally more practiced at social distancing, where it concerned seminarians, than people today are in the Covid-19 Pandemic. In short, they did not, as a rule, socialise with students. Boundaries were there, and generally they were respected by all on either side.

Were the number of homosexual seminarians fewer, say, sixty years ago than today? I doubt it, given that the proportion of homosexuals in any given population is likely not a variable, but a constant. However, I do believe that the erosion of personal morality, compared with the normative standard of moral behaviour sixty years ago, has significantly contributed to the incidence of homosexual prowling in seminaries today.

The origins, then, of these behaviours lie more in counter-cultural trends than in anything personal, that is, in the growing tolerance in societies over the past sixty years of moral conduct that have had repercussions on other aspects of morality, both in general, and in the individual.


I agree with Magna’s observations. It would have certainly been true that homosexual identity in the seminary would have been largely beyond the pale sixty years ago as it was in society as a whole, so the gay culture which is pretty normative today would not have obtained. I also think that the priesthood was not then the gay profession it has become. It was by no means uncommon for other professions such as the military and school-mastering to attract a “confirmed bachelor” type who was not necessarily gay. Furthermore, given the mass exodus of heterosexual priests to get married in the sixties and seventies, there must have been many, whether straight or gay, who took celibacy seriously, which does appear to the case today – in part because we now live in a society which defines us by our sexuality.


I have a theory, completely unsupported by evidence, that the levels of homosexuality are likely higher today than in the time frame you mentioned, not only because it is easier to acknowledge it to yourself and family, but I suspect there may be a biological impetus as well. I would think that in an over populated world, a negative feedback loop would increase rates of homosexual orientation and also of infertility. This may sound fanciful, but there’s evidence that men ejaulate different numbers of sperm depending on their sexual partner, least with a regular partner. A woman would therefore be most likely to get pregnant with a complete stranger and it is estimated as much as 10% of children were not fathered by the man they think they were.
If nature can make such adjustments surely it can change sexual orientation in response to increasing population!



An interesting point about the incidence of homosexuality in any given population.

Unfortunately, because of the taboos and stigma associated with homosexuality historically, the incidence of it, and the potential of this to vary with time and circumstance, will probably always remain a matter of conjecture, some of these, undoubtedly, more fanciful than others. Our knowledge of this is restricted, too, by ignorance about the scientific (not the religiius!) aetiology of homosexuality.

I agree that the levels of homosexuality nowadays are higher than before; but actually so? Yes, nature MAY have a self-regulating mechanism for times of overpopulation by increasing the incidence of homosexual births by percentage of a given population. If this is true, then it blows right out of moral water all condmnation of this orientation as ‘unnatural’, since homosexuality itself could then be construed as a feature of Natural Law, and, therefore, of God’s design.

Your assumption, however, presupposes not just innate intelligence in nature to make such adjustments, but an overarching intelligence to decide when the time is right to make them. This would take us indistinquisably close to the Muslim school of thought that teaches not Natural Law, but Ash-arism: the belief that God acts through first causes, in other words, ‘that God himself oversees every twist, turn, change, and eventualuty in life’. Which makes me wonder why those who profess this belief condemn homosexuality with such brutal ferocity.😕



I’ve just remembered the following. In the run-up to the Republic of Ireland referendum on same-sex marriage in 2015, I watched a YouTube video on the preparations for it.

In the video, a middle-aged married couple, like me supporters of same-sex marriage, were discussing the forthcoming referendum. Surprised at the high visibility of so many LGBT folk campaigning for a ‘Yes’-vote, the man turned to his wife and plaintively asked: ‘But Wh–ere have they all come from’. His wife answered: ‘They’ve been hiding.’

And isn’t her answer more pertinent about those LGBT folk of sixty or more years ago?

The apparently higher numbers of LGBT people today probably aren’t so much a significant statistical revelation as a sociological phenomenon reflecting not only changed times, but changed attitudes, morally and socially, to the LGBT demographic.


Now now, Carta, it’s neither today not yesterday since you were in Maynooth. Typical – gay men always lying about their age 🙄

Propositioned? In yer dreams! 😆 You had blond eyes and blue hair didn’t ya? Yer stood out a mile so yer did 🤣


Magna I am in no way asserting that idea, just speaking a thought. There is evidence relating to your last point – homophobic men become aroused by homoerotic images.
The motivation for hatred then leaps to attention, as it were.


Isn’t it funny, when it comes to finance, clerics get very animated, even apoplectic.
When it comes to immoral corrupt abuse of power in their ranks, there’s little response from the brotherhood. I wonder why?



When it comes to such moral sludge in their guttered ranks, they become extremely self-defensive, apoplectically so as well.

Apoplexy is their best suit, and it is worn on all occasions when their privilege is challenged. 😆



Sludge. It’s a feckin contaminating slurry pit reeking to high heaven. It stinks!😷


KOB was ordained in 1965 and fully acknowledged he was… let’s just say, “practising to become gay” his entire adult life.


He has the papal flag flying on the vehicle too! I don’t think even Dr Turtle would go that far.


Jesus got the wind in his hair in that open-topped car.

‘Embarassing ‘ isn’t the word for this social media circus.

Are these silly, attention-seeking stunts an Irish Catholic thing, or do they take place in Britain, too.

I’m listening to this video as I type, and I’ve just heard Paddy McCafferty say that he had brought Jesus to the people.



I’ve never read anything like it happening in the UK, but, of course, I wouldn’t put it past the Ordinariate.

However, I saw this recently. While Italy is on quarantine, the Italian Air Force flies a single jet, representing the virus, to meet other jets that stream the colours of the Italian flag while Pavoratti’s Nessun Dorma plays.


He could do with taking up a fast to lose some of that excess lard he’s carrying, rather than prancing around with the monstrance. For God’s sake, what an attention grabber. This has nothing to do with the Lord, it’s all about him. Look at me…. !


Some pretty vile people on here as usual like 5:23 and 5:27pm. And the usual poison from the Carta troll. Of course Buck presides gleefully over all of it. Christians? Is that what you call yourselves? Seriously?


Interesting pic here – see the LGBTQ+ flags in the background. I wonder what Jesus was thinking about that as he was traipsed around by this fuckwit ? Where’s Fr McCafferty on that issue ? Intrinsically disorder ? Well, no more so than you, you great bit lump.


Father McCafferty strikes me as a well intentioned old buffer – but I don’t know him, so may be horribly wrong. The one who worries me is that tight young Scot who interviews him. Sancta Maria Media – what the hell is that? Is he “approved of” by Old Mother Burke, I wonder?


So, according to McCafferty, people who haven’t prayed for a long time, and haven’t been to church, are now on their knees because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Why? Have they had personal epiphanies? Well, yes and no, probably. Yes, they’ve had a manifestation, but no, it was not of God. To be blunt, they’ve had the caca scared out of them with the thought, however melodramatised it might have been, of their imminent demise.

The Church loves such times as these (though it would never publicly admit it), because frightened people are controllable people, and these can be very generous indeed to what they believe are God’s Gombeen men on earth.

Fear is the Romanist’s best ally.😕


I see that Pope Francis is to join with Muslims in an attempt to sweet-talk God into bringing Covid-19 to an end.

God is reportedly the immovable object in this matter, and I’d hate to see the state of Frankie, and his prayer-pals, when they collide with him on the proposed ‘World Prayer Day’. God is not well pleased with the Romanists (don’t know about the Muslims), and may be looking for an opportunity to say ‘NO!’. Yet again. 😕

Covid-19 will run its course; nature, not God, will stop it in its tracks. But I suppose religionists have to feel relevant in someway. And doubtless they will feel not just relevsnt, but essential when Covid-19 eventually, inevitably, goes to ground,

Speaking of relevance, the Vatican has postponed the annual Peter’s Pence collection until 4 Oct this year. Seems it would be unseemly, even by the Vatican’s ground-level standards, to thrust a pecuniary hand in the faces of people who are themselves struggling financially at the moment. No; Vatican luminaries have decided that it would appear less harpy if them were they to wait until 4 Oct to fleece their sheep.

Reportedly, the sheep don’t mind being fleeced, or when they are fleeced, but just as long as they are fleeced.


4.32: The devil is back with more twisted thought patterns. Always one to attribute the worst of motivations to people’s behaviour and intentions. You cannot read people’s minds. You cannot interpret their intentions. For someine who constantly exhibits crazy, irrational and dangerous behaviour, you cannot ever afford to judge anyone. Yes, everyone – except bravura Mags – is fearful, anxious and vulnerable because of the CORONAVIRUS. And yes, much to your disappointment, many, many people have found comfort through religious services or celebration of Mass by watching parish webcams. This CORONAVIRUS had brought many to a deep thinking within about their lives, to an awareness of what really matters. Today, we opened our church for 2 hours for parishioners to spend 5 minutes in prayer while keeping distances (all supervised) and providing sanitisers etc….approximately 450 visited, some not chyrch goers and expressed gratitude for the opportunity. I thank God for such goodness, searching, faith and reflectiveness in people. We will do likewise next Sunday. It is a parable of inspiration and stands in stark contrast to the darkness and ugliness of minds as possessed by Magna. Your words are destructive, never enriching.


‘Always one to attribute the worst of motivations to people’s behaviour and intentions.’
And you call him the devil?



Nah! They were caca-scared; this was their actual motivation. Nothing more noble than fear…and self-interest. So much for the spirit of peace and joy that supposedly sets Christians apart

These, always, have been the mark of Christians: fear of damnation, inspired by a damnable Judeo-Christian tradition, and the self-interest to avoid it at all costs, even to enduring the unspeakable mind-numbing monotony of endless rosaries.

Yes, Christians are at their best, when looking their worst, in such times as these.😆

Never underestimate the power of Voduo, and its slightly more respectable, exclusively Christian equivalents. It’s amazing what can be achieved with the psychosomatic (mind-bending) factor in religion.


7.49: Magna: The comment you make reveals your hateful mind. The wonderful joy I witnessed today – a you you’ll never have – from all age groups was immense. Why you would want to diminish anyone’s aspirations, beliefs or searching for support and comfort in prayer is unfathomable. The brief conversations with people today at required distances were inspiring. I witnessed great blessings among parishioners today. I just wish you were open to such blessings of grace and goodness. Did not Jesus advise: “Ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you..” I affirm the genuine goodness and faith and prayer of parishioners. I affirm their true caring for each other and for their parish community. It is not my task to steamroll over their lives: neither should you. I can now understand why you were flipped out of the seminary and I thank the good Lord you were never foisted on innocent, good, salt of the earth, Christ like people.


5.13: The only relevance and significance you feel Mag Rag is when Pat allows you space on this blog. But the sad truth is that only a small coterie of people follow this blog or take part in any commentary. Once your name is spotted, most scroll past. There are just a handful who respond as is noticed by the repeat comments and phraseology used. So, Margeif girl … Pope Francis will be heard, listened to and followed inspiringly despite your poison. God always listens to our prayer. So, turn to God in prayer for healing.


Nonsense! Magna has provided us today with some profound and well-thought out observations; particularly compelling were his informative comments at 5:48 in response to the also excellent points made by @4:48. The tone and intellectual level has generally improved over the last few days, so let’s keep it that way!


At 7:28
You used a few oxymorons in a short space of time:
Magna and profound;
Magna and well-thought-out;
Magna and compelling;
Magna and informative;
Magna and intellectual level.

In these pairings, the words should not be used in the same sentence – apart from asserting their incongruity.



Only ‘a small coterie of people follow this blog’? Have you seen the stats?

You silly little man. 😕

Oh! And you’re correct: God does indeed always listen to our prayers. And his customary attitude is:

Well, you can ask.


Well done, Magna. Every minute RC priests spend abusing you on here is a minute they’re not spending fleecing the poor.
Your comments here are true charity.


Ha! Ha! Very good – I tend to agree, though Magna would be even more effective were he to confine himself to the lofty “de haut en bas ” ( that’ is your actual French, as Kenneth Williams used to say ) comments he is more than capable of, rather than descending to the guttersnipe level which bedevils this blog. I blame the Irish! Yours sincerely, Dom Athelstan Rutherford OSB , English Benedictine Congegation – now, thanks to baseless rumours, living in Serbia ( address undisclosed ).


6.39: Another of Mag’s gobshite fools. True charity does not reside in Magna’s heart. Look elsewhere.


Hi Pat, a few comments earlier today sought to engage in reasonable debate arising out of the article for today, which I found both disturbing and unsettling but also very challenging. It raised many relevant questions for me and for many. However, it didn’t take long before the blog was turned into nasty, horrible commentary from and by the usual suspects, much of which had no relevance for the subject matter. It seems pointless to be serious on this blog or to be rational and honest. Doing so is ridiculed and mocked. Why all the vitriol which achieves nothing apart from giving a thrill to the writers…and a moment of fame?


Anon@ 9pm. A good comment, for I too deplore the inane trivial tit for tat comments. All they do is show up their poverty of thinking. Instead of responding in a semblance of any coherent way to criticism, many of their comments simply further reveal their inadequacies: and they don’t even realise it.


All these monstrances being carried round, I am feeling left out. It would be just the thing to carry on the train to work.


I suggest that Magna and his band of cynics read an article in today’s Sunday Telegraph re: The huge percentage of British people, young people particularly, who have tuned into religious services and broadcasts. He and his band might actually come into the real world!! Search out the article, you blockheads! I forgot: Good News isn’t welcomed by haters..



It’s amazing what people will do when they are bored out of their minds under Lockdown. And it’s unsurprising what they’ll cease doing once the moment has passed.

(I’m sure there’s a cute Latin proverb to express this, but my Latin, sadly, has gone all stale through lack of use.)


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