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THE CALL TO LEAVE THE “PRIESTHOOD” ?

We have believed, for a long time now, that God calls a man to the priesthood.

Is it possible that God could call a man to LEAVE the priesthood?

Of course, as Catholics, we believe that all 7 sacraments leave a permanent mark on the recipient that can never be obliterated.

So  such a man would not be leaving the priesthood per se. He would be abandoning the CLERICAL STATE.

And given that the clerical state is now in such a state of absolute disrepute – some might ask how any true Christian’s could remain in it?

The priesthood got into trouble as soon as the clerical state was added to it.

And on top of that the whole Church got into trouble when people started putting Can Law before Scripture.

In my long tug of war with Down and Connor I had a number of meetings with the then chancellor Canon Raymund Fitzpatrick.

He shocked me one day when he declared “Canon Law is a new book of the Bible”!

And the poor ejit really believed that.

There are many, many priests trapped in the priesthood as we know it.

Some of them joined because their fathers ir mothers had the vocation, not them.

Many priests are STUCK in the priesthood because they have no qualifications to do anything else and are afraid to lose the security of a house, a salary, a private health scheme and a pension.

Some of them are living lives of quiet desperation and coping by engaging in secret sex, drug and alcohol addiction.

God does not his children to be slaves in anyway. He always calls slaves into freedom.

Maybe he is calling many unhappy priests simply to leave and start again?

114 replies on “THE CALL TO LEAVE THE “PRIESTHOOD” ?”

Dear Bishop Pat,
I’m a priest now 7 years ordained, and I admire you. I am in the UK mainland. I have decided to [temporarily] stop being part of this Blog, not because of you, but because of the comments. You offer good topics for debate, but they just get hijacked, not only by our friend Magna. It actually drags me down a bit.
Pat, you are a good man with a good intention. However, others use and abuse you. I wish I knew you years ago.
I would love to give you my real name to keep in touch, but, I’m sure you will understand. Please pray for me. I am worried about my parish, with all this Covid19. I might be just 7 years ordained but I have several church communities etc. and no help. It’s just me and my dog. At least I have the dog – he’s quite sensible sometimes and just says – let’s go walkies. Don’t worry, I’m not not mad – not yet !
If I could leave would I? As long as I have people to minister to, I won’t leave. And thanks be to God I do have such people. Trying to follow Our Lord. Well Pat, priest or not, that’s always been my goal. gay or straight no matter.
Bess you Pat.

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10:48 pm
“Hold fast to what is good. ”
” I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me His
strength”.
” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean on Him and not your understanding,
acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your paths. ” Proverbs 3:5-6.
First things first – deepen your relationship with the Lord, through a deep spiritual life.
Find someone you can trust for regular chats. Develop healthy good friendships.
Have a hobby completely separate from all matters ” religious”. Keep walking the dog!
Why not contact Bishop Pat, in confidence, off the blog?
In my prayers. I wish you well.
May the Lord bless you and your ministry.

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Pat, there is indeed a lot of brokenness and dysfunctionality in the priesthood today. There are many priests who are unhappy and unfulfilled. There are many, many who are very fulfilled. I’m wondering if you can validate honestly your definitive findings, not just your observations, but clinical, academic, professional research? I think you make huge assumptions on the basis of some horrendously bad individual cases. I admit there is a problem but flippant remarks are not helpful. Compared to your time of seminary formation and early years of priesthood- and mine – so much has changed. We need to ask very deep, truthful questions, not engage in easy judgments.

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I only know of research done years ago among Church of England clergy and only gay clergy, and which was about the difference between them and straight clergy.
In the absence of empirical evidence (I would love to know of any) there is only anecdotal evidence and I don’t think clergy realise how they come across to the people.
Nobody underestimates the loneliness but the people have made allowances for the clergy’s funny little ways for ever. Priests who are rude or short tempered have been made allowances for and have got away with so much. People even years ago saw the defects in Father and just like child abuse, even if they didn’t say anything the people could often see straight through him.

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You make good points. But I have been keenly observing priests for 50 years now, have met many priests and met their partners / victims.
And I’m not without an understanding of the complexities of understanding people and their social interactions. I have a masters degree in social science. This blog is exploring all this territory.

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Pat as a layman (in both churches and academe) my favourite three sociologists are:

– Pierre Bourdieu for his humane study of habitus
– Peter Berger for his wit and his sharp take on religion (infinitely more insightful than Durkheim – quango dwellers please note)
– Os Guinness for his poignant critique in modern culture (his Gravedigger Files do for the church what Screwtape did for the individual)

Can you tell us what were and are for you several of the nicest topics in social studies fields?

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In QUB, 1987 – 1989 I studied Sociology, Anthropology and Political Science in the Irish context.

I was most fascinated by the study of
The Irish Travellers and Tory Island, Donegal.

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One of the nastiest and most tragic things was when English Catholics were banned from teaching the Irish, so they fell back on the ancien regime with its Berulleanism (monarchical Jansenism). (Popes didn’t dare excommunicate Louis XIII-XVI as heretics; fortunately the likes of Montfort kept proper belief going amongst the ordinary classes.)
This was one of the main reasons the British Empire fell apart (after the Irish had been employed as the fixer caste, as Ferdinand Mount testifies).
My own ancestry were non-conformists, non-Christians, or elsewhere. The generation whom Newman strengthened were nigh on wiped out, just as three of my grandparents “enquired” (and got very little “instruction”).

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Gramsci was observant about the subaltern dialectic (stealing of affections), but was wrong to advocate it as practice. Girard’s pessimistic mimetics (replicating the victim mentality – a perfect fit for Jansenism / Jesuitry) tops off the Roman repertoire!

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Priests feel low and are of course unhappy and unfulfilled. They realise that their taskmasters that belong to the Vatican strumpet don’t really care about them. They also realise that their bosses would sell them down the river if they had problems or bring any hint of trouble to their door. They also realise that if they become sick or come to retirement age the prelates will not want to know them anymore because they have become of no further use to them. They might even cut your pension to save money so that they themselves can continue to live in luxury within their palaces. GET OUT.

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At 10:51am – this is utterly untrue and a projection of your poisonous and bigoted soul. There is a humane, thoughtful and reasonable discussion taking place here for once. Your lying contribution – the unveiling of your twisted mind – serves that discussion badly. Do one.

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Hi +Pat, I studied sociology only as additional modules on my foundation degree. The sociology bits helped me to balance the theology, which I love, with the world and its needs today. You can’t have true theology unless it’s about others and the world around us all.
… No man is an island unto himself, however, every man is entitled to his own island.

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@10.51am Totally agree and you hit the nail on the head. The clergy will not be happy with what you say as they don’t have the courage of their convictions.

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10.51 I think there are still some humane bishops but their room for manoeuvre between the Scylla of centralisation and the Charybdis of the New Movements is shrinking.
Since bad diplomacy, the very concept of “communion” has been negated. We must leave it to individuals to discern their own course and timing.

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I love the Irish traveller way of life,
It’s that alive-spirit and an open heart and a love for the world in all its beauty and glory. Not being tied down to the boring and mondaine; it’s a big and beautiful world God has given us, so enjoy. Another thing, love and family! A big pan of Scouse or neck-end soup, or similar, always on a low heat in somebody’s kitchen, usually me nan’s. And if it’s not eaten in a day or two my mam will call me up and say, “Have you been round to ye nan’s for a scran.” And if I say, “But if I’ve just ate or I’m not hungry…” Well, as I’ve become older, I know it’s about respect and givin’ me nan a big hug and not eating before I go round. Family! Love! Respect! And always defend innocence, just as if they are your own.
My mum is my queen and she is always right. Even when she’s wrong, she’s right because she’s my mum. And if anybody makes her upset or cry…

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The initial comments here are thoughtful and insightful. However, soon Magna and his cohort will out of their traps like bloodthirsty greyhounds in sight of their prey.

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+Pat: As an addition to your 14th parag, where you describe disillusioned priests “coping” (my emphasis on coping) through “secret sex, drugs etc”, I would add that many simply no longer believe in the religious beliefs they grew up with. Those beliefs combined with youthful altruism and familial/community factors served to induce many young impressionable and naive young men into the clerical straitjacket.
I have said this previously and repeat it. I can think of no explanation for serious repetitive child abuse by RC clerics other than that they no longer believe in the foundation and tenets of the religious beliefs they profess and publically represent.
MMM

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The same can be said of the fraudsters who call themselves bishops. Some of them neither believe or pray too and that includes RC and CofE.

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9.57: Pat, I still believe you make we, very subjective assumptions about priests. We are, as a group I the church, struggling with many issues, changes, challenges and dysfunctional clericalism It takes time to disentangle from the destructives and negatives of church/clerical culture. I have endeaviured to do that all my 40 years of ministry. My faith/beluefs have changed nut my faith in the reality of Jesus has not changed, just my awareness of this truth and all it means for me as a priest. My prayer is a constant moveable reality. My ministry has changed. Priesthood as we have known it is being deconstructed. What its end meaning as of now will be, I don’t know. I think making sweeping judgments abiut priest’s prayer and faith is unfair. We are human being a, first and foremost and are therefore prone to all human frailties, brokenness, crazy behaviours, etc….I’m not justifying any such but observing that the ideal is iften impossible. We, as priest’s, need “therapy” to reengage meaningfully with all challenges. It is a very difficult time for most of us in ministry. Most of us are genuinely committed but have an awareness of the difficulties, not quite knowing what to do. Is opting out the only answer? Not necessarily.

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10:48pm
Thank you for your very genuine and heartfelt post, I agree with you that some of the topics we discuss on this blog may feel somewhat judgmental, whether perceived to be fair or not. However, there does need to be an arena – an Areopagus acropolis of open discussion if you like – a place where people don’t have to hide in fear. And sometimes this includes venting off hurts and pains because people have been abused and/or silenced by their Bishops, priests: and sometimes by deviant Vulnerable Persons Protection C.I. D. Police officers who have their own objectives…
Democracy was born out of open and unfettered discussion; truthful questions and truthful answers.
The effects of abuse are absolutely soul destroying…
… “It’s savage and it’s cruel
And it shines like destruction
Comes in like the flood
And it seems like religion
It’s noble and it’s brutal
It distorts and deranges
And it wrenches you up
And you’re left like a zombie…”
Indeed, if it were not for this blog I would, without the shadow of any doubt now be dead and my family would be comoletely destroyed: and the people responsible would be not in the slightest concerned. Then they would have been freely able to do it again.

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The Church today is morally and institutionally corrupt , and bankrupt of any authority to pass judgment on anyone -It offends the honour of  God.

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I was called at a very young age to be a friend of God’s. Of course I did not realise then the very circuitous path I would take.

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Hard to leave once your in. Not qualified to do anything else, difficult to get a job. Starting again with no house, job or money. Much easier to stay in and go through the motions. The workload has greatly diminished in recent years. The best means of escape is meeting a partner with their own house and income or receiving an inheritance. Pat is more talented and more of a survivor than most, look at his struggle to survive after Cahal the Informer booted him out.

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When Daly sacked me I had nothing and was in debt. Many days I searched my pockets and under cushions for coins.
But it got better with my getting a column in the News of the World 1994 – 2005 with £360 a week.
Then there were weddings etc.
I am a fighter and a survivor. If I had to drive a bus all week and be a priest on Sundays I would have done it.
I never had to do that.
Where there is a will there is a way.
And I refused to give them back the house.
It can be done.
But it’s hard.
Great freedom comes with it.

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If I won the lottery I would help any priest who wanted to leave Babylon. I would feel it my duty to save anybody from misery, not just our priests.
I would buy a church or similarly useful building and ensure schemes were set up to help Anybody back into work; Recovery from addictions; Help families who have got any difficulties. I would need a personal advisor, like my Bishop, who would assist me in my making all these dreams come true.
I would buy the best toys and take them into Alder Hey kids’ hospital on Christmas day; I would buy mobile food takeaway vans to ensure homeless people, and non homeless, were fed.
Anybody who knows me knows I am not paying lip service here.
Now I am sensible enough to know that money is not the answer to all the problems of this world, but I do know that when you are down in the dumps for whatever reasons, money can make the journey a bit less bumpy. The list is endless which is why I would need my Bishop to be my personal advisor in this respect.
As long as I bought myself a decent little house in half decent condition, then the rest I would invest into lots of ideas like what I have said above in order to try my best to change the world and relieve genuine isdues for others.
If I only had the resources to make these ideas come alive. If only! x

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This house has several spare bedrooms. Any priest who needs / wants it will get a roof and food here.

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@11:28 am

DP&P, why not start small and try to do what might be doable?

Try implementing half an idea initially?!?!

Check out social enterprise or social entrepreneurs websites for further information.
Funding might be available depending on the project idea and viability.

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John 23 wrote/said the best thing I ever read about being a priest; he was writing to the priests of Venice; ” The secret of a priests life is to remain human.” Recent popes…the last three trounced his sentiments with dire consequences throughout the Roman Empire.

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John the 23rd was obese, he clearly couldn’t control his diet, when I was a child he was the only fat person I had ever seen.

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4:37
What has your comment got to do with anything.
Maybe John 23rd had medical issues or was taking medication for a medical issues or put on weight for lack of exercise….

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4:37
I’ can recommend reading his autobiographical ‘Journal of a Soul’ together with Peter Hebblethwaite’s ‘John XXIII’ biography.

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At the time I did not appreciate its essence. But the dean of Clonliffe, Father Seamus Conway said: “Cynicism is the cancer of the priesthood”.

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WHAT PRIESTS NEED TO SAY TO BISHOPS

“I hereby withdraw my consent to be governed by you”.

If enough priests said that at the one time what could they do?

They cant sack thousands of priests at the one time.

They cant evict thousands from presbyteries at the one time.

Revolt lads !
Stay in your presbyteries.
Use the collection for your upkeep.
The people will back you.

The hold they have over you is only in your head.

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Pat @11.04am Priests don’t posess the guts and backbone to do as you suggest as they are yellow belly cowards Many just see their role as a 9-5 job and happy to reap all the financial security with free house and bills paid. They feel secure as long as the bishop doesn’t bother them and even the bishops can’t be bothered anymore unless its scandal involved. Priests are just fine thanks to the laity who keep them. The ones coming on here moaning and groaning are just pathetic as they knew what exactly they were getting into. A lesson to the younger clergy is look at how your bishop treats the older retired boys and learn – that’s going to be you in the future.

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What we need are people with resources willing to help these priests to leave the sinking ship and renounce the falsehood that is Catholicism. Give them time and space to embrace the secular world free of any religious belief.

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Tom Doyle and Bishop Robinson did something similar but perhaps didn’t break “communication” (I don’t precisely know). Also, I know of several cases where a priest has insisted on doing things his way and he prevailed openly even if it didn’t hit big circulation media. A broad clergy coalition at Cardiff threw Ward out but all they got from it at the time was another bishop from the same system.
Sadly there would be the risk of diplomatic pressure on our legal system: Rome is very entrenched in our government through quangoes where caste thinking prevails. Don’t underestimate the power of the miscellaneous fixers / handlers / minders / meddlers / elbow joggers nor of the merrygoround of centralising officers. I think Pat’s case was down to local specifics of the time.

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Maybe. But at bottom it was me standing up to him in public in the tribunal and in the courts. These people can have their power rendered useless.

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I get the impression MC is back again posting anonymously today. The constant references to priests being spongers etc is totaly wrong.

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Yes it is wrong to call all priests spongers.
Mind you, I have met many priest spongers, most of them from religious orders, where those priests did little or no work.

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11.40am I get the impression that you are paranoid about MC being every commentator on here. What have you to fear/hide Reverend? Why don’t you contribute to the debate rather than being a cry baby everytime someone writes something that obviously threatens you in some way.

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@12:16. I’m not 11:40 but can confidently say that it’s because they’re all about protecting their own position and standing. If they could get on out here in the real world they would have done.

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11.40 there were several such, especially last year. The best thing with these half-true statements is (if we wish) to add a rider that demonstrates where it doesn’t apply while not trying to refute where it might (for all we know).

You can’t solve a button pressing problem wholly within the button pressing system (if it even is button pressing) (Godel’s theorem).

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Pat, seriously as if any priest would have the balls to say what you say above to his bishop. They wouldn’t, because they are servants.
I understand that you want to give everyone a say here, but without Magna’s invective the discussion is skewed towards a narrative where not all priests are spongers and abusers. In reality they are all dependent on the donations of the sheep, have vowed obedience to their superior, are functionaries of a cult which the UN has implicated in torture and the only priest I know of who has publicly stood up to their bishop is you!

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What’s wrong with “not all”? Are you an all-or-nothing thinker, when it comes to others’ affairs? And the Vatican has never been so popular at the UN than it is now. I agree about the finding about torture (along with other countries).

Surely an opinion other than yours isn’t “skewed”!

Why be hostile with people that actually agree with you?

And the discussion isn’t skewed, “invective” or no “invective”. You haven’t exactly argued a case for “invective”. I think you are a strife causer on behalf of Rome (you hadn’t noticed they are absolutist too).

So much for “dialectic”, now the substance. Mental abuse is created by Rome which abolished all belief and prayer about 60 years ago (having lost the contraception battle 90 years ago). Some clergy were tricked into this career path in their younger day through some sentimental attachment combined with sleight of hand. As for sponging this is the concrete relationship consequent upon the prior actions of Rome, but in many cases it is not the attitude of heart of individual clergy. There are even some genuinely non-plussed bishops, much as we get “better” mileage out of the ruthless ones.

Unusually, my family were sort-of “ectopic” vis a vis Rome and it has still taken me a lifetime in the laity to figure all this out.

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12 27: You may not be Magna: but you have his mindset. Full of hatred, vile, lies and a poisonous narrative of untruths about priests. My vow of obedience to my bishop has never stopped me from living truthfully, compassionately and with integrity nor has it prevented me from expressing my abhorrence about abuses and corruption. But you don’t care reall…..do you… ?

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12.27pm Totally agree. These priests are more slaves to their bishop than servants – many forget they are there to serve. If you turn a blind eye to abuse or stay silent on the issue and side more with the RC junta then you are quite simply a co abuser.

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Can you not see, Pat, that the likes of the anonymous poster at 12:55pm is having a laugh at your expense? All this “just for Maynooth survivors” is a complete and total spoof.

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3.09, When Pat allows our comments, he gets the last laugh.
Are you under the delusion that you can offer any argument?

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Why not set up professional support group/s for priests, with regular meetings.
Online meetings are easily organised so members of the group can include like-minded priests from various countries. Maybe Bishop Pat could facilitate organising contacts, etc.
It’s just a suggestion.

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1.54pm You are not the real MVB are you? You are an imposter aren’t you? Yesterday you posted anti RC info and today you are seeking to help priests!! You haven’t done your homework very well, have you Father?

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Pay great news in Tuam. Shane Costello will be ordained priest at Knock Basilica in August . All issues resolved now so can go ahead x

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About spoof comments – I have often wondered whether Magna Carta was a spoof, an employee of the church probably, posting with the intention of discrediting Bishop Pat.
I personally disagree with Pat’s policy on comments and would probably only allow a fraction of what he allows myself. However what comes across clearly is his openness to literally any opinion and his kindness in allowing people to comment here.
If nothing else, standing up to bishops and his kindness will be his memorial.

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4.37pm
Nancy Pelosi and yourself could have a chat….she was making much the same comment about a current U.S. personage …..

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The Maynooth sauna escort network is no more due to Covid 19. No more gang sex in the Dark Room with senior clergy with cash.

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I’ve retired myself from active ministry and am delightfully happy ! A number of things conspired in ministry, life and family to see me taking a short sabbatical, quite legitimately and properly sanctioned, but once I had embarked on some time away from ministry and some other experiences and thinking, so much crystallised in my mind and led me to the decision that my days of active ministry were over. I hadn’t ever had a particularly high theology of priesthood and was always rather suspicious of clergy who bigged up their priesthood and made it all there was about themselves. I always saw priesthood as only one aspect of who I am. Interestingly, my family related to me as me rather than as priest, and that brought a sane balance to things.

I always had a sneaking suspicion that the ‘hands to the plough and never looking back’ narrative was particularly self-serving to the Church so that it could effectively have control of priests, and this is reflected also in the rather opaque relationships that exist between a priest and a diocese and a bishop. Some of it is frankly feudal and medieval, and smacks of control and influence over the priest. So, I never allowed myself to be a complete ‘company’ man and always retained a respectful distance and relationship with my diocese and bishop, making it clear in some simple ways that I was not going to be someone who was going to give over his destiny to the Church and its leaders. In addition, for quite some time I had begun to feel uneasy about many aspects of Catholic teaching and theology. I am not convinced that the Church does have it completely right about a number of issues, and found myself quietly dissenting and disagreeing. It become increasingly uncomfortable to give tacit public approval to these things. As my own mind and understanding grew, so my faith developed in different ways. In particular, I find myself moving away quite easily from a mechanistic understanding of theology, God, salvation etc., and have begun to see all of these issues of the Divine in a much broader and flexible sense. Twee, saccharine Catholic theology and piety also went overboard for me. I mean, who in their right mind can be expected to given assent to some of the nonsense that is peddled ?

Key in giving me security so that I could think these things through and make changes to my life was an underpinning of financial independence, which I freely admit I am very fortunate to have – such things as savings, inheritances, property, family money and professional pensions in my name from work I was involved in as a priest. So, being that fortunate I have been able to lay down ministry and to effectively cut any controlling financial dependence on the diocese, from whom I ask and receive nothing. I know that if that were not the case, as is the case with so many clergy who feel and think like me, then I would still be controlled and beholden, held under patronage, by the diocese and bishop. As it stands at the moment, I live independently, look after myself, keep an interest in prayer and thought in some aspects of the faith, and generally explore all sorts of other experiences and life. I keepl my promise of celibacy, if only because I am of an age where aspects of that don’t necessarily drive me anymore, but allow myself very close and affectionate relationships of love which are positive and sustaining, both in receiving and giving.

I am still a priest, aspects of which I still value and appreciate, I simply do not practice the ministry of a priest anymore. I have cut many bonds, and that has confused some people, but the majority of people seem to see it as something positive, and something that pretty much everybody else does in life as they grow and develop. So, if you can, I say, do it. Do not hang in just because you have to. Although, I do realise the practical, financial, economic, bricks and mortar aspects of this are difficult for most priests.

ps sorry about no paragraphs. but either my computer of the blog /website don’t seem keen to render this with paragraph spaces !

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5.30pm: Your comments are very insightful, honest and thought provoking. You express the reality for many priests, who, in the present circumstances of church and priesthood, would wish to have your kind of freedom, even if for 1/2/3 years. We are in very strange times but faith-wise, in prayer and spiritualuty I have, like you, distilled the essence of Christianity as Jesus envisioned it. I do not detest this ministry but now after 40 years plus, I would welcome a time out just to honestly re-evaluate everything. I gain some fulfilment and contentment in certain aspects but there is so much into which we are tied, much which is destructive of our human emotions and normality, that unless you are really a strong person within, priesthood can be a definite “killer” of our humanity. There’s a false sense of duty, fidelity, “staying with it” theology and spiritually which is very psychologically damaging to us as celibates. I sometimes believe that I would be a much better human being and of greater service to others if I was not in ministry but saying that, I have found much fulfilment in some incredibly challenging pastoral ministry. People, not the instotutiinal church have enriched and helped me. The sense of fulfilment or of finding fulfilment is irrevocably changed and changing.

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5.30, you are definitely in a fortunate position compared to so many others and I applaud your choices. Can I ask if you ever seriously considered leaving and what convinced you to remain but withdraw from active ministry)?

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8.57 there are many who don’t volunteer for extras or hope for promotion, they just stick to basics. This is a good way to reassess their options.
In my region are lots of good eggs that genuinely regret that they engaged in mob rule in the past.

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Maybe the young queens can make a new start, Bp Pat, but I don’t think the old queens over forty should leave the priesthood, not at their age. They have the Meadow under the guise of pilgrimage to look forward to as well as their regular visits to saunas, dirty cinemas, peep show booths, and other “facilities” to keep them well satisfied.

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TODAYS COMMENTS

A lot of good commentary today with caca cut to a minimum by careful monitoring.

13 comments not allowed today.

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Indeed Pat and thank you. Comments like @5:30, and sensible response like 6:31’s make this a blog worth following.
@5:30: thanks for an honest thoughtful reflection. I was struck by your reference to “the kind of nonsense peddled by the RCC”.
I too “moved through ” a lot of your “realisation experiences ” before ordination and “got out”. Now after some 50 years as an atheist follower of humanism, I view the whole caboodle of religion as a total con. I consider it a shibboleth largely followed by gullible emotionally dependent ‘cradle catholic mentality ‘ individuals, but significantly perpetuated and maintained by power hungry selfish careerists. Unfortunately they are supported by many clerics trapped in the dependent straitjacket deliberately constructed by their clerical masters.
MMM

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Hi Bishop Pat. The Curia at the Archdiocese of Glasgow met today by zoom. Your blog got a mention under AOB. Did you send those letters to the Scottish Bishops yet? They are shitting themselves incase you dish the dirt. I am sure they have nothing to worry about 😇. They will be mad that this has been leaked. Still. What can they do to me now?!

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I heard similar Taggart. What will be will be. Keep you nose out. Pat isn’t interest in writing to Scottish hierarchy as he knows they will tell him to do one.

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No wonder no one wants to be a priest with all these agnostics regretting their lives, how many vocations did they nurture or inspire ? None I suppose too busy reimagining Jesus while enjoying their Liturgy of the Hours or whatever it’s called, maybe Jesus is reimagining them not as seekers on a journey but as faithless betrayers of the Son of Man? Don’t retire genteelly Fathers take a stand go and get a job and work for a living everyday if you want to be in the laity, by the way not everybody’s place of work is a few yards down a corridor from their bedroom or can avoid work by switching on an answerphone

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Elsie is not dealing well with issues at present in her Harrow parishes. Connected of course with problems of a Harrovian nature. It’s a mess quite frankly. The female bishop of London is handling it all much better and running rings round Elsie.

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Father Guy or Father Monty?
One is a gentleman and the other a gentle man!
Both are friends with Father Peter Littleton.

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Oh dear! Whenever I see a priest’s name I don’t know, I check with the list of signatories to the letter in support of Humanae Vitae. Whether he is on the list or not – in my experience – usually tells you everything you need to know. Father Guy Sawyer indeed features; whereas poor Monty, at least on this occasion, had the good sense to keep his mouth shut – could be, of course, he had never heard of contraception in his circle of plump male chums. Friend over the river – not good.

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Only need to change one letter im Father Guy’s name to obtain a full description of the antique collector.

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Monty’s plump friends across the river – yes, that is quite another story on its own. That will be the next scandal.

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Taggart. You are a pain in the arse. Off on sick leave and sponging off the Diocese yet you’ve a cheek to criticise. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Clyde Street are watching.

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Hi +Pat, I am having issues with my phone connecton at the moment, but I understand how things are with technogy.
If I gave you a landline number could you call it at all?

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Every curate should be encouraged to buy a house as soon as he starts public ministry – even if he has to let it for years to cover the mortgage. It should be part of seminary formation.

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How wonderful it is to observe and participate in a blog conversation where the tone is raised and without the obstacle of negotiating around trolls.

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Tip top suggestion, which will pull the rug from under the “lay” people that tell prospective recruits to “give their all”.

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