Good afternoon Bishop Buckley
I hope you do not mind me contacting you, I need to ask your advice.
I have elderly family living in the greater Ballymurphy Area, old vulnerable and deep rooted in their faith.
I am so concerned and worried about their health, for one reason, their Parish Priest Fr Patrick McCafferty is calling his parishioners out for confession.
2 very elderly people made their way on Saturday and stood in a queue so Fr Patrick McCafferty could hear their confession, as he sat on a chair behind the locked gates of Corpus Christie Church Belfast, no sign of protection of antibacterial to clean the locked gates as people held on to during their confession.
The week before Fr Paddy McCafferty was driven around the Ballymurphy Whiterock Westrock area in an open roof car so he could bless the houses and streets, and once again called he parishioners out, some standing for over an hour waiting for the car to go by.
Now in normal times this act would be welcoming and good, however we are in the middle of a global pandemic and being advised to Stay at Home.
On a personal note, I believe Fr Paddy McCafferty is seeking attention, The sacrament of confession is such a personal moment between God and the confessor, so why in under Gods name did Fr Patrick McCafferty allow the press and journalists/ photographers take photos of this precious moment. He himself posed for photos.
Who can I write to, who can I ask have him stop this selfish need for attention he is willing to sacrifice the health and lives of those parishioners who have come through so much in he history of Corpus Christie Church.
Maybe he has applied for the £10.000 grant, and showing he is working, ( could I find this out somewhere)
May I ask where do I turn to, to stop his dangerous behaviour of self seeking.
Possibly he is a good priest, possibly his heart is in the right place, but his self seeking need for the press and photographs to be in the news is scary.
I have asked my elderly family to stay at home, but they feel this will protect them, I’m afraid for the parishioners.
Stay home stay safe.
I think our correspondent raises very important points.
1. There is no need to be dragging old and vulnerable people to locked metal gates for Confession. I think we all know that the older we get generally, the fewer sins we commit.
2. It was highly irresponsible to ask such people to queue.
3. The unavailability of hand sanitizer is a very big mistake.
4. And the question about having TV cameras and journalists to visit old people at Confession would lead one to think it was a press outing for Paddy.
5. And Magna is right. The likes of Paddy and Amy touring the streets with the Blessed Sacrament is theologically strange.
Jesus is already in these streets and houses.
He does not need clerics to unlock the Prisoner of the Tabernacle for people to have HlJesus.
This is a clerical circus show.
It is totally irrelevant clerics trying to appear relevant.
I have provided the correspondent with Bishop Treanor’s email address.