The bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg in Austria have commissioned a book to teach that gay love comes from God, and reveals God’s “goodness and humanity”.
The book, titled The Benediction of Same Sex Partnerships, calls on the global Catholic church to change its teachings on homosexuality.
Marriage equality was legalised in Austria in 2019, and the Catholic bishops are calling for “official blessings” of same-sex couples within the church.
The catechism of the Catholic church states that same-sex relationships are “acts of great depravity”, and adds: “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
But liturgical scholar Father Ewald Vollger, who contributed to the book, said that changing Church’s teaching on homosexuality “can be not only discussed, but also demanded”.
Archdiocese of Salzburg Publishes New Book on Church Blessings for Same-Gender Couples – New Ways…
Austria’s Archdiocese of Salzburg has published a new book which explores the blessings of same-gender unions, an important step towards formal recognition of LGBTQ+ relationships in a country where…newwaysministry.org
In an interview with KirchenZeitung Diozese Linz, the diocesan newspaper of Linz, Vollger said that providing official blessings to same-sex couples would “of course” require a change to the catechism.
He said: “There has been movement in the topic. The teaching of the church is receiving less and less resonance in society and within the church, and moral theology in particular is in favour of new approaches to evaluating same-sex relationships.”
Although Vollger accepts that marriage within the Catholic church is not yet on the cards for same-sex couples, he said: “Benediction… is an official act of blessing.
“Just as marriage between a man and a woman is an image of God’s creative love, so is a same-sex relationship an image of God’s attention to human beings.
“If partners live the gift of mutual love in faithfulness to one another and live their lives with the spiritual gifts of God such as kindness, forbearance, patience, reconciliation, etc, their relationship is also an image of God’s goodness and humanity.”
The book describes the legal situation for same-sex partnerships in Austria, and discusses biblical tradition, ethical and moral theology and liturgical science.
Gay relationships, based on love, committment and mutual support should be blessed in church, if couples so desire.
In the Bible we are told: “God is love. Wherever there is love there is God.
I am not arguing for the RCC to extend the Sacrament of Marriage to gay couples.
But there is precedent in the church for the blessing of gay unions.
It might also help gay people to concentrate on the live aspect of being gay – and move away from the emphasis on promiscuous sex and partying.
And, if priests and seminarians, openly, had committed partners it might stop the whole current scandal.
PLEASE KEEP AARON AND HIS FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS
Sadly, Aaron took his own life the other day. He was from UK and lived in Larne. I had several long chats with him.
As a curate, I had a very good parish priest in Canon Walter Larkin when I was in Kilkeel in 1983 and 1984.
Larkin had been the ferocious president of St Malachy’s College, Belfast – feared by teachers and pupils.
When he became a PP he was feared by his curates.
When I was being “bold boy” in Belfast priests used to say to ne: “If you’re not careful you’ll end up with Walter Larkin on Kilkeel”.
And that’s exactly where Daly sent me in February 1983.
And to make it worse, Larkin and Daly were classmates.
I arrived in Kilkeel and went to Walter’s house to introduce myself.
He answered the door, grunted at me, and pointed me to his large, very bare dining room.
“Well, Buckley, what do you think of me” was his first words
I answered, Walter I dont know you, but I have heard you are very difficult to work for”.
“Have you now”, he answered.
Then he said: “You know all the priests are waiting for us to fight with each other”, he said.
I said: “Perhaps”.
Then Walter stretched out his hand towards me and said: “Let’s fool them and be friends”.
We did become friends.
We had very long talks about spiritual matters. And when he was dying he sent for me.
As I sat with him at his death bed Daly walked into the room and was not happy to see me. It had been two years since Daly sacked me.
My fellow curate, Denis Newberry, who had been Walter’s head boy in St Malachy’s was afraid of his life of Walter.
I wonder was Walter a mathematician? Below are some of my pay slips Walter gave me – full of fractions and maths.
Both Walter and I were strong people and he very wisely recognised the way to treat me was man to man and it worked.
A good boss will not be a bully. He will be a team leader that allows the members of the team to use their talents.
It goes to answer those clerics who say I fought with all priests.
Walter was the toughest. We got on well because we had mutual respect.
Walter was afraid of going to hell when he died.
When we met he used to say: “Pat tell me why I will not go to Hell”.
I spoke to him about God’s infinite and mercy and the fact that when God forgives our sins he forgets them too.
THE TINNENY FAMILY HISTORY SITE
Walter was the grandson of Margaret Tinneny of Belturbet and the son of her daughter Annie Casey of Belturbet and James Larkin. He was raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Although he planned on a career in medicine, after his graduation from Queen’s University in Belfast he responded to the calling to enter the priesthood.
Walter was ordained a priest at Maynooth, County Kildare in 1940. He said his first Mass in the old Catholic Chapel behind the railway station in Belturbet. His older brother Michael, who by that time was himself studying for the priesthood, served at his First Mass.
From 1945 until 1970 Walter was assigned to Saint Malachy’s College in Belfast in various positions and spent many years as President of the college. In 1970 he left the college and became the parish Priest of Crossgar after completing his assignment there he served as Parish Priest of Kilkeel. On April 6, 1988, The Very Reverend Cannon Walter Larkin, a priest for 47 years died of emphysema at Upper Mourne, Kilkeel, County Down. He is buried there.
Rather than working openly with their people as Francis encourages, the Australian bishops still resort to secrecy and control. Picture: Shutterstock
Australia’s Catholic bishops seem to have learned little from the sexual abuse scandal and its associated cover-ups. Pushed by a royal commission report to implement reforms, they recently reverted to standard operating procedures of delay and secrecy in suppressing a major report on governance reform. While hoping to delay and control discussion, the bishops were outmanoeuvred by the leaking of the highly significant report. It will now be available to and discussed by all Catholics – as it should be.
Titled The Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting Co-Responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia, the report deserves serious consideration – but by refusing to release it until at least November, the bishops displayed their usual disposition to not trust their people, to keep them in the dark and assign to themselves the sole right to consider and comment on the contents. The report is the outcome of a royal commission recommendation that called for a review of the governance, leadership and management structures of dioceses and parishes, including issues of transparency, accountability, consultation and the participation of lay men and women.
The report provides an important analysis of why current arrangements are not fit-for-purpose, and outlines how the church can operate in ways that are faithful to its calling, respect the dignity of its members and are consistent with the reasonable expectations of modern society for inclusiveness, transparency and accountability. All Catholics and the wider Australian community have a legitimate interest here, so that effective and appropriate mechanisms in which the community can have confidence can be implemented.
Culturally, the focus of the review is closely related to the issue of clericalism, which the royal commission and Pope Francis have been explicit in stating lies at the root of many of the failures of the church and the perversion of its mission. The review panel took the initiative in having international experts review and offer perspectives on its likely findings and recommendations.
For some time now the bishops have promised it will no longer be ‘business as usual’ … Catholics and others might want to believe such commitments, but unfortunately they can’t.
The report was keenly awaited by Catholics in Australia and globally. It breaks new ground in articulating a way forward – an Australian model of church that has universal application. Such issues challenge many in the church, none more so than the current crop of Australian bishops. In many ways the report gets to the nub of the need for real reform, and addresses the cultural challenges in implementing a model of church that is open, accountable, non-clerical and inclusive.
For some time now the bishops have promised it will no longer be “business as usual” in the administration of the church and their role in considering the need for change. Catholics and others might want to believe such commitments, but unfortunately they can’t. This most recent episode simply underscores that sad fact. It is particularly perverse that on the topic of “co-responsible governance”, which goes to the heart of transparency and accountability, the bishops chose to send a message that they don’t much value or want the views of Australian Catholics, and sought to control completely any discussion. On this occasion their little scheme has been sprung, and rightly all Catholics will be able to read and comment on the report.
By defending their outdated instincts for secrecy, the bishops cling to an arrogant operating style. If Catholics or other Australians doubt this, they only have to read Malcolm Turnbull’s account in his recent memoir of how Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, shamelessly and contrary to all public commitments, conceded that the bishops do allocate Commonwealth education funds in ways that suit their own agendas. It is a revelation breathtaking in its duplicity. Little wonder then that Canberra’s Archbishop, Christopher Prowse, wrote recently that demands for transparency and accountability are part of “society’s aggressive secularism”. It seems openness and accountability are things to be feared and best avoided.
The work and report of the royal commission have been pivotal in generating internal momentum on church reform. There is little doubt that the review of church governance would not have happened were it not a key recommendation of an inquiry that shone a searching light into the fetid darkness of church hierarchy, culture and the perverted loyalties that dishonoured its mission and people. The legitimate pressure of the Australian community and governments has been critical in this process and properly needs to continue, to ensure all Australians can be confident that necessary reforms are implemented.
The governance review is part of a broader initiative, led by Brisbane’s Archbishop and president of the Australian Bishops Conference, Mark Coleridge, for a Plenary Council to consider the overall position of the church in Australia. To his credit, Coleridge prevailed in promoting this idea against the natural instincts of a sizeable number of his colleagues. A major consultative process, held over the past 18 months involving more than 17,000 submissions from individuals and groups, demonstrated strong buy-in from ordinary Catholics. An official summary of the inputs reached an unavoidable conclusion that most want serious and significant change and have little confidence in their bishops.
It was also clear that Australian Catholics are fed up with secrecy and a lack of accountability. The governance report is even more powerful because there is fertile ground among ordinary Catholics for such reforms. In the final analysis, ordinary Catholics are the church – and they are demanding shared leadership and control. But many clerics, and particularly the bishops, are of a different mind.
Confronted with the overwhelming demand for reform it seems the bishops panicked and reverted to their old habits. This is evident not just in the suppression of the governance report but also the brutal way they stacked the composition of six discernment groups, whose task was to prepare position papers that will frame the agenda for the formal Plenary sessions. These documents have now been released, and there is tentative evidence that, perhaps despite the efforts of some, the reform issues raised by ordinary Catholics are still in the mix. This highlights the fact that the bishops seem to be coming slowly to accepting that major change is irresistible.
Although the message from the people to the bishops in the first stage of the Plenary Council consultations was a very emphatic “we don’t trust our bishops”, that lack of trust can be bridged by the bishops recognising the richness and faith in the input their people have provided. There is ample scope for both people and bishops to walk this journey together. It is a case of trust building trust.
In 2018, Pope Francis wrote a “Letter to the People of God” – in other words, ordinary Catholics. In it he called for their help in ridding the church of sexual abuse and clericalism. Francis asked Catholics to be “active and assertive” in helping him to reform the church. The implication, and the none-too-subtle conclusion, to draw was that Francis doubted that many of his leadership team, and local bishops, were up to the task. So, he asked ordinary Catholics to support his push for reform from the grassroots. It is significant that the Australian hierarchy effectively ignored the Pope’s letter – a surprising and damning outcome that only confirmed the Pope’s assessment.
Rather than working openly with their people as Francis encourages, the Australian bishops still resort to secrecy and control, old habits they need to leave behind. The quality of the governance report, the product of a highly qualified but mainly non-clerical panel, should make the bishops start to trust their own people. Otherwise they may find themselves offside with the Pope and abandoned by most Australian Catholics.
Terry Fewtrell is involved with Concerned Catholics of Canberra-Goulburn. This article first appeared on johnmenadue.com
Yes, there is a problem with secrecy on the RCC
And cover up.
And sexual promiscuity.
In fact there are so many problems I cannot see there being a solution to it all.
It is a house built of the sands of what is worse in humanity.
The whole system needs to be destroyed a a new, Gospel based system embraced.
That must men the end of hierarchy and clericalism.
Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta – currently facing trial both in his native Argentina and in the Vatican after allegations of sexually abusive behaviour toward his own seminarians – has returned to work in the Vatican’s powerful and troubled Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See – APSA – the Vatican’s central bank.
Crux reported the news Saturday evening, quoting Vatican press office director Matteo Bruni, who told Crux: “[W]hile naturally remaining available to the Argentine judicial authorities, [Bishop] Zanchetta was able to resume his service which does not interfere in any way with the investigations.”
The Catholic Herald independently confirmed the news with Bruni in a brief exchange on Saturday evening, and again after reaching Bruni by phone on Sunday morning. Bruni had nothing to say about the status of Bishop Zanchetta’s canonical process, but Pope Francis had the results of the preliminary investigation no later than May of last year.
“Something like fifteen days ago the preliminary investigation came to me,” Pope Francis told Noticieros Televisa in an interview broadcast 28 May 2019. “I read it, and I saw that it was necessary to make a judgment. Then I passed it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, [and] they are making the judgment.” At that point, the Vatican and Pope Francis had been aware of the complaints against Zanchetta for years.
The Vatican suspended Bishop Zanchetta in January of last year, after reports surfaced of ambiguous conduct with seminarians and irregular financial management. Shortly thereafter, Zanchetta was with other high curial officials on retreat with Pope Francis, despite his suspension. Argentinian authorities eventually decided to indict Zanchetta and try him on charges of “aggravated continuous sexual abuse” allegedly committed against two former seminarians. Zanchetta denies the charges. he has entered a plea of Not Guilty and is currently standing trial in Argentina.
In November of last year, Crux cited Vatican sources as saying that the investigation in Rome was nearing completion, and that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – to which Francis entrusted the matter – was waiting for the court proceedings in Argentina to conclude.
This is not the first time Bishop Zanchetta’s employment status has been the subject of scrutiny.
Over the summer of last year, Bishop Zanchetta produced a certificate for the court in Argentina, which came from the sostituto of the Secretariat of State – roughly, the pope’s chief of staff – Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra. The certificate said Zanchetta was needed in the Vatican to “continue with his daily work” even though he was supposedly suspended from his tailor-made position as “assessor” to the APSA.
When news broke – in June, 2019 – of the leave granted Bishop Zanchetta for “work-related” travel, the Catholic Herald asked the press office for clarification of his status, but received no reply. In September 2019, after the note from Archbishop Pena emerged, press office director Bruni told the Herald: “[T]he situation concerning [Bishop] Zanchetta’s working activity has not changed since 4th January ,” which was when the Holy See confirmed Zanchetta’s suspension, pending investigation.
On Sunday morning, Bruni had nothing further to tell the Herald, beyond his confirmation of the statement he gave to Crux.
7 months ago Crux Now
Argentine officials request arrest of bishop suspended from Vatican job
An Argentine prosecutor has requested international assistance in the arrest of Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, the currently suspended “assessor” at the Vatican’s de-facto central bank. Zanchetta is facing charges of defrauding the state and “aggravated continuous sexual abuse,” with two former seminarians having filed a criminal complaint against him.
According to La Nueva Mañana, prosecutor María Soledad Filtrín Cuezzo made the request after Zanchetta failed to respond to numerous telephone calls and email inquiries she made to the Argentine official after he was allowed to return to Vatican City. In August, he was required to provide contact numbers and email addresses to Argentine authorities so he could be updated on the status of his case.
Zanchetta served as Bishop of Oran from 2013-2017, when he resigned, allegedly for health reasons.
After spending some time in Spain, where he allegedly received psychological treatment, he was appointed by Francis to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which functions as the Vatican’s central bank, where he worked in the newly created and ill-defined position of “assessor.”
However, in Argentina, over 20 seminarians complained about alleged sexual and other misconduct by the bishop, including paying visits to the seminary late at night, sitting on the beds of seminarians and giving them alcohol.
He was also accused of defrauding the local government of nearly $250,000, as well as other financial misconduct.
On January 4, the Vatican acknowledged the bishop was under investigation and suspended him from his role.
On August 8, the bishop presented himself in the Argentine court to be formally informed of the charges against him. After giving the court a Vatican-issued certificate signed by Venezuelan Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, the Substitute at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, the court allowed him to return to the Vatican.
The certificate didn’t officially summon him back to Rome, but stated that he does in fact, work in APSA and that he lives in the Casa Santa Marta, the hotel within Vatican grounds where Francis has lived since the beginning of his pontificate.
Earlier this month, the offices of the Diocese of Oran were raided in connection to the case, and prosecutors sought to lift the deal allowing Zanchetta to leave the country.
On Nov. 12, Filtrín Cuezzo was notified that the court was constituted to try the bishop on the charge of sexual abuse, aggravated by the fact it was carried out by a minister of religion. According to the complaint made by the two seminarians, the abuse occurred at the John XXIII seminary in Oran and in a private house in the town of Los Toldos in Salta province.
When the prosecutor requested this summer that Zanchetta face trial, she included the findings of a psychological evaluation conducted on the bishop. La Nueva Mañana reports that among other aspects, the psychiatric report states that Zanchetta “presents a personality with psychopathic traits (indicators of manipulation, superficial emotions, poor empathetic ability); he does not have psychosis, or another mental disorder that alters the relationship with reality. It is linked through disparate interrelationships, exercising power over others, and can include the conduct deployed and ability to discern socially reproachable acts.”
Francis, who worked closely with Zanchetta when both held positions at the bishops’ conference in Argentina, acknowledged in an interview with Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki in late May that Zanchetta had been investigated at his request and is currently facing a Vatican trial.
Sources have told Crux that the investigation in Rome is nearly completed, but that the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which is handling the case, is waiting for the Argentine courts
It is DISGRACEFUL but NOT SURPRISING that Francis has given this man Zanchetta his job in the Vatican back before the outcome of his criminal trial in Argentina.
What a slap in the face for his seminarian victims?1
What lack of respect for due process in Argentina?
Let’s take a day off today from the the fighting about local clergy and allow me to regail you about the night a senior Roman cleric entertained myself and my priest friend to a mean in one of Rome’s finest hosteleries.
I had never met the cleric in question. He was a friend of the priest I was travelling with.
My friend had said: “We must look up my friend Xxxxxx in Rome. He might meet us for a coffee”.
The day we got to Rome my friend rang him and told him we were in town and suggested a meet for a coffee. But the Roman would have none of it. He insisted he would take us to dinner – as his treat.
We were staying in a humble Airbnb in a Roman back street. The Roman said he would call for us – and he did in a BMW limo
Here is a picture of the chauffeur. Sorry for the angle. I had to remove my priest friend and the Roman from the pic.
He announced to us that he had a little surprise for us I thought we might be getting a couple of minutes with Francis.
But no, we entered a delightful small square in Rome and pulled up outside a restaurant called Pierluigi.
I was about 9 pm and was packed. Our friend has no reservation but said he was friends with the owners. When the manager saw our Roman host he was effusive and brought us to what turned out to be the Roman’s favourite table.
Without any request the Sommelier arrived with the Roman’s favourite Prosecco- which was beautiful.
The menu came. It was as big as a book. The Roman told us to have exactly what we wanted.
As we entered in I noticed a massive fish counter. Everything was on it including four kinds of lobster – including Maine lobster flown in fresh from the USA.
The Roman and my priest friend had several starters of exotic seafood from the fish counter.
Salmon Tartar at euro 23
Fillet steak in a lovely sauce at euro 32
Tiramisu Pierluigi at euro 23.
The other two gentlemen went to town on two types of lobster, clams, oysters etc – a feast befitting Poseidon.
I had red wine. They had white. I did not count the bottles.
There was a desert wine.
Then there were the coffees and the liquers.
The liquer recommended by the Roman was BERTA CASALOTTO ACQUAVITE DI VINO.
Apparently it is a highly regarded grappa with alpine herbs?
I priced it at £ 100 a bottle when I got home.
The bill came. It was horrific ! It looked like euro 600 +
I wanted to contribute the euro 70 my food had cost and a bit more towards a tip.
The Roman would not hear tell of any such contribution.
He smiled and said something in Italian to my friend which I didnt hear. Afterwards my friend told me he had said “i penny di Peter” – Peter’s Pence.
The owner arrived and sat with us for a while and insisted on another BERTA
We were dropped off at our Airbnb in the limo.
So that’s how some Roman’s live, at least some of the time.
To hell with the auld Sherbourne and its pretentious Saddle Room – where some senior Dublin clerics hang out with fawning seminarians.
A third of staff working for the archdiocese of Dublin are to lose their jobs as it grapples with the financial cost of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Irish Independent has learned the diocese, Ireland’s largest, is working on details of a voluntary redundancy scheme which it will offer its 82 staff.
A spokesperson for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin confirmed the proposed job cuts and said a restructuring process is expected to take some months to complete. “Staffing levels could be reduced by one third,” she said.
That would mean job losses for as many as 28 of the 82 staff employed by the diocese. Staff are to be offered support and advice mechanisms which will be paid for by the diocese.
The jobs affected are believed to be in the areas of parish pastoral workers, finance, human resources, communications and the diocese’s chancery office.
One Dublin priest who wished to remain anonymous, told the Irish Independent he was “gutted” for the diocese’s pastoral staff with whom he has worked. “We could not have got through the pandemic without our lay parish colleagues and then just when parishes are about to reopen, our diocese chooses to do this,” he said.
The diocese said that like many organisations it is facing increasing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and the closure of churches for public worship for almost three months.
The current crisis had compounded the sustained fall in financial support in Dublin for over a decade as congregations have become smaller, the diocese said.
Dr Martin’s office told the Irish Independent that the closure of churches for Masses since March had seen support for Share, the second collection at Masses, drop by 80pc between March and May this year compared with the same period last year.
The Share collection is used to support poorer parishes and Central Services in the diocese. Last month, Archbishop Martin announced that priests in Dublin had agreed to a 25pc cut to their incomes.
“A restructuring strategy to address this urgent situation is under way in an effort to reduce costs and plan for a sustainable future,” the diocese stated.
The spokesperson said the voluntary redundancy scheme is part of an overall restructuring plan but stressed it would be attentive to the needs of all involved.
This, of course, is very bad news for the 28 people who will lose their jobs and for their families.
Hopefully they will get as generous a redundancy payment as DM and his associates can muster.
Hopefully they will find new jobs asap.
But, I feel this downsizing is a thing the RCC are going to have to get used to.
Fewer people attending church.
Fewer priests available.
Less and less money coming in.
Personally, I view this decline as a very good thing and in fact the work of the Holy Spirit.
The RCC has become an evil organisation and empire.
It will shrink and shrink and in time have as much influence, hopefully as a local social club.
I have never lost my faith in Jesus thank God.
But I have lost all faith in the RCC.
That second faith was pulverised out of me by the hideous priests and bishops I have met over the past 44 years.
A well-organised paedophile ring involving civil servants, ex-clergy, members of political parties and even gardai infiltrated the child-care system in Ireland.
Now campaigners believe that there were links between the Dublin-based ring and members of a well-organised paedophile ring which infiltrated the child-care system in north Wales, and which was finally exposed and broken up in the mid-1990s.
While the Catholic Church has been vilified in the Ryan Report there are now calls for an inquiry into the role of non-clerical abusers in state-run institutions
The Government has been taking a more severe legal attitude to victims of abuse in State-run schools and other institutions than the Catholic Church has to victims of clerical abuse, they say.
The Department of Education has “taken on” one such victim, Louise O’Keeffe, who was raped by the headmaster of her school in west Cork when she was eight years old in 1973. Although former primary school headmaster Leo Hickey was convicted of multiple rape and abuse of children, Ms O’Keeffe was left with a legal bill of €500,000 after the State successfully fought her claim for compensation.
Hundreds of victims of rape and abuse by non-clerical teachers or care workers in the State’s employ have received letters from the Dept of Education threatening that their cases will be fought.
Ms O’Keeffe, the High Court heard, suffered “catastrophic injuries” at the hands of the paedophile rapist Hickey — who nevertheless continues to be paid his State pension of €26,000 a year.
Among the figures identified but never exposed because of insufficient evidence is a retired senior civil servant who would have the power to suppress indictments and reports on sex offenders.
Another is a retired former senior garda in Dublin who had well-known links to senior clergy and who was accused of raping a 13-year-old boy. The garda was transferred from a city station after the allegation but was never questioned or charged.
And at least one senior care worker remained in public employ until the mid-1990s, despite repeated claims by boys that he was an abuser and brought paedophiles from Britain and Northern Ireland to care homes to abuse boys.
Many boys who passed through the state-run homes later became teenage prostitutes. Several have made allegations about a ring of apparently rich and well-connected paedophiles with access to the homes in the 1980s.
In an ironic twist, an Irish woman who has been raising the issue of abuse of children in State-run institutions in Dublin, Loretta Byrne, was effectively forced from her job in the Department of Education in 1988 after she persisted in seeking action about allegations of abuse of boys in care.
Among the boys who claimed to have been raped in the late 1980s was Brendan O’Donnell, who went on to murder Imelda Riney, her three-year-old son Liam, and Fr Joe Walsh in 1994.
One home where Loretta Byrne says there was strong evidence of abuse was Trudder House in Wicklow, which was opened and run directly by the State in the 1970s specifically for Traveller children.
One of the first directors of Trudder House in Newtownmountkennedy was Duncan McInnes from Scotland, who raped and abused dozens of children in the home. He fled the country after complaints were made in 1981. He later died in Canada.
Paedophile David Murray was forced to leave the Sisters of Charity in Kilkenny in the mid-1970s after a boy said Murray had raped him. Rather than report this to the gardai, the Sisters helped Murray find a new job at Scoil Ard Mhuire at Oberstown, Co Dublin, where he worked for several years. Murray is believed to have had links with Welsh paedophiles who travelled between here and north Wales and even found jobs for some in State care homes here. He was eventually convicted of buggery and gross indecency and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in 1997.
By the time he was arrested and questioned in the mid-1990s, Murray had raped and abused boys in a succession of homes here and, it is believed, Wales and possibly Northern Ireland. Details of all this were excluded from the report which concentrated almost exclusively on the abuses in Church-run institutions.
Ms Byrne said: “The Government has been aware of the abuse that went on in state institutions for a very long time. [Judge] Mary Laffoy resigned because the Department of Education would not give her papers. They must release these papers if the victims in these places are to get the kind of closure that the clerical abuse victims have had in the redress process.”
I think we all knew / that paedophilia was not and is not confined to clergy.
It’s a very serious activity for anyone to be part of – especially police and lawyers who are supposed to uphold the law – and doctors who are vowed to the protection of life and limb.
It is a vile poison in society.
BISHOP DENIES CONSORTING WITH PROSTITUTES.
BISHOP Comiskey said he had made only three trips to Thailand in the early 1990s, and not the six reported in some newspapers…
BISHOP Comiskey said he had made only three trips to Thailand in the early 1990s, and not the six reported in some newspapers. He had been there about six times in the past 35 years, including some “long before I became a bishop”.
On one occasion he had stayed “practically on top of a mountain with another Irish bishop”. On another he was on the way to give a mission in Japan where he had always dreamed of going as a missionary. Two further trips were with his diocesan secretary, Father Tommy Brennan.
He had never stayed in a hotel costing £800 per night. That price for two weeks, plus a £4,300 first class return flight to Bangkok, represented two years’ salary for him.
He said an Irish travel agency was running bargains at that time for £1.200 for a fortnight’s holiday, and he had paid a couple of hundred pounds extra for a single room.
Thousands of Irish people had gone to Thailand at such prices. He had met 50 Irish people in the Royal Cliff Hotel at East Coast Siam and not nearby Pattaya or Bangkok including 19 from Wexford. He hoped that the Clare hurling team, which had holidayed in Thailand, would not be accused as he had been.
He responded to another questioner “If you’re asking was I out consorting with prostitutes, I was not.”
He said that he was never arrested and jailed at Bangkok airport. He had not been allowed “through the immigration” there having lost his passport, and had had to wait two days because it was a bank holiday in Ireland.
In the end, he was given a US passport after ringing the papal nuncio in Bangkok.
He did not think such holidays were an extravagance. They were his only hobby and he felt he was entitled to use gifts from friends to finance them.
But “seeing that such a big issue has been made of it, it would destroy any further holidays I would intend to have in Thailand,” he added.
Bishop Comiskey began the question and answer session of the press conference by saying he had handed the file containing the newspaper allegations, made against him in his absence, to his solicitor.
He was not doing this out of any sense of revenge but, referring to the libel case taken by Marian Finucane of RTE, he added “I think you’ll agree that my good name and my good character is also essential to my office as bishop.”
He admitted that he did not always act in accordance with the 1987 Department of Health guidelines on reporting child sex abuse. In one case he had sent an accuser and an accused to their respective doctors, telling the doctors to look up the guidelines. The doctors sent them back, saying they did not know what the bishop was talking about.
He said there was at least one case, “an old case”, which he did not report to the Garda, thinking that it could be handled by removing the priest and treating him. Even as late as last year he had had “a very vigorous argument” with one priest who said he would never report or “inform” on another priest.
Bishop Comiskey said that there had been six cases of allegations against named priests in his diocese.
He had removed one priest to allow an investigation to take place. After “vigorous representation” from his therapist, however, he had reappointed him alter two years. He would not have done that today.
In another, he had removed a priest but the Human Life Institute in Connecticut, “supposed to be one of the best treatment centres in the world”, strongly recommended that this priest “must be given back his post”. He had refused and had come in for “considerable abuse”.
Asked whether he had ever been warned before Father Jim Doyle’s conviction for child sex abuse in 1990 that he was a risk to children, Dr Comiskey said he was not to the best of his recollection, but he asked to be able to check his records before he gave a definitive response.
Asked why he had used his nephew a Dublin solicitor also called Brendan Comiskey to buy an apartment in Donnybrook in 1988, he said it was because it was “a personal purchase” using his own money the diocesan solicitor had, however, been kept informed.
He said £18,000 had been his own money and the 75 per cent balance had been a Bank of Ireland loan. In those days, before he started to receive a separate salary of £20,000 per year, he would have been paid out of the diocese’s Central Fund, and the cheques would have been drawn on that fund.
Asked why the diocesan debt had risen sharply in 1992 and 1993, Bishop Comiskey said one of the principal reasons was that there had been “a huge bill” for seminarians’ fees, which had risen from around £200 per year in the 1970s to £4,000 per year in the 1990s.
Bishop Comiskey had a massive alcohol problem in those days.
FATHER TOMMY BRENNAN
I think Father Beennan went to the USA and became a Cistercian monk.
Trudder House in Co Wicklow is one of the most tragic cases. Set up in the mid-1970s to house boys from the Travelling community who had been living rough and sniffing glue, it almost immediately became a house of horrors. Eventually, 19 of its young residents made allegations of sexual abuse against several people connected with the home.
Allegations against its director included multiple aggravated rape of several children, together with sadistic beatings and torture. This individual fled Ireland during the 1980s and was reported to be working in childcare in Scotland. He died in the early 1990s. (More on him at the bottom)
Trudder House in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow was set up for boys from the Travelling community but became a house of horrors
A MAN has been jailed for seven years for attempted buggery of two boys while he was a care worker.
Brendan Kelly (35), married and the father of one son, of Drumvoughane, Moycullen, Co Galway, was convicted by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court following a four-day trial last December of committing the offences at Trudder House residential centre in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow in the 1980s.
The jury failed to reach a verdict on two further charges involving a third victim.
Police officers found that mild mannered Brendan Kelly had tormented victims aged from seven to 12.
The jury heard how he took the traveller children for holidays in the caravan which he used as a boudoir for his sick sex advances.
Michael McDowell SC, prosecuting, said he was entering a nolle prosequi on these charges and others on the indictment against Kelly.
Judge Kieran O’Connor said the maximum sentence he could impose was 10 years. He noted from the probation report that Kelly still maintained his innocence and had told his wife before they married about the allegations.
Eamonn Leahy SC, defending, said Kelly had been employed in Trudder House without any formal training whatever in care work. He left in 1987 when the allegations were first made and hadn’t return to care work since. He had also been abused in his boyhood.
Supt Gerard Blake said Kelly had no previous convictions and apart from these matters had never come to garda attention. A complaint about him in 1987 led to an internal enquiry in Trudder House after which Kelly left but the gardai were not involved.
The charges arose out of garda investigations which began after complaints were made on December 23, 1994. About 200 witness statements were taken and Kelly’s offending as well as that of others came to light.
Supt Blake agreed with Mr McDowell that evidence of far more serious sexual offending was found. The main perpretrator, who had been in charge of Trudder House from 1975 to 1981, left the jurisdiction and died abroad. He was involved in violent sexual abuse.
Kelly was not associated with that regime and joined the staff later. Trudder House had different managements from time to time and was not now used for child care.
Patrick Chawke, general manager of the Corrib Great Southern Hotel, said Kelly had been highly commended many times for the way he carried out his duties as a porter.
Evidence on behalf of the defendant was also given by Fr Colm Clinton and Oughterard businessman Michael Keogh. Written testimonials were also handed into court.
Pleading for leniency, Mr Leahy said the offences Kelly was convicted of were more than 10 years old. The Supreme Court had noted that antiquity of charges was a matter that could be considered in sentencing.
Judge O’Connor said he was impressed by the testimonials and sworn character evidence for Kelly. But he was also concerned with the effect his offending had on one of the victims, according to the victim impact statement.
The jury took just over two hours to find Kelly guilty of attempting to bugger one boy on a date unknown between January 1, 1983 and December 31, 1987. They then convicted him of a second attempted buggery charge by an 11-1 majority vertict following a further half-hour’s deliberation.
The victims are now aged 23 and 25. The 23-year-old victim agreed he had 20 criminal convictions.
The attempted buggery offences took place at Glenmalure in the Wicklow Mountains, in a caravan owned by Trudder House. The victims told the jury Kelly got into their sleeping bag with them and they woke to find him rubbing his penis against their backsides.
ONE of the most vicious paedophiles ever to work in an Irish child care institution was Duncan McInnes, who was director of Trudder House until he mysteriously left the country in 1981.
McInnes, who fled to Scotland in 1981 and died in Canada in 1990 in his early 50s, had brutally beaten his victims black and blue before raping and sexually assaulting them throughout his six-year stint in charge at the Co Wicklow centre.
He was one of six people connected with the former traveller children’s home against whom complaints were made during a painstaking garda investigation involving more than 200 witnesses.
But Galwayman Brendan Kelly, sentenced to seven years imprisonment yesterday on two counts of attempted buggery, remains the only person to be charged with sexual offences at the Newtownmountkennedy institution.
McInnes had already fled the jurisdiction by the time Kelly began working at the home.
The Irish Independent has learned that English-born McInnes emerged as the central figure in the criminal investigation, and it was only when gardai started trying to track him down that they learned of his death in Canada in 1990.
They also learned that he had continued to be involved in child care in Scotland when he left Ireland. He later moved from Scotland to Canada a short time before his death, and there were reports that he had been involved in child abuse in both those jurisdictions.
Four of the six people against whom complaints were made were young residents of Trudder House, victims of McInnes who had in turn begun to abuse other boys in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to bring charges against these four.
In 1975, a genuinely caring voluntary group called the Dublin Committee for Travelling People, co-founded by former Bewley’s Café owner Victor Bewley, took over Trudder House to provide accommodation for young traveller boys who had difficult home circumstances or who had appeared before the courts.
Tragically, Duncan McInnes was appointed director of the facility and began his reign of terror. He had a background in childcare in Scotland, where his name has also emerged since in connection with separate child abuse investigations.
Without naming him, prosecuting barrister Michael McDowell SC referred in court yesterday to McInnes’ brutal regime.
“In fairness to the accused (Kelly),” said Mr McDowell, “far more serious offences against young children were detected and the perpetrator of these offences was identified but went abroad and has since died.
“He was in a position of authority before the accused was employed there from 1975 to 1981 and those offences involved violence and sexual abuse of children.”
Supt Gerry Blake said that in 1987, one of Kelly’s victims made a complaint about him to one of the people in charge at Trudder House. That led to an internal inquiry during which Kelly was suspended, but gardai were not informed. He later left the institution and had not seek to become involved in child care since.
Supt Blake said it was not until two days before Christmas 1994 that the first complaint in relation to sexual abuse at Trudder House was made to gardai.
Mr McDowell said that as a result of that, more than 200 witnesses were interviewed “in an investigation into Trudder House in its entirety”.
By mid-1995 however, 19 young travellers had made allegations of sexual abuse against six people associated with the residential home McInnes, Kelly and four former residents. The DPP decided not to proceed against these four.
A spokesperson for an organisation called Traveller Families’ Care yesterday said the verdict closed “a painful chapter in the history of our organisation relating to the early 1980s”.
WAS BISHOP DESMOND WILLIAMS INVOLVED IN ABUSE IN TRUDDER HOUSE AND A NORTH DUBLIN FOOTBALL CLUB?
BISHOP/FATHER DES WILLIAMS – DUBLIN – WAS A CHILD ABUSER
fROM Gareth o’ Callaghan FACEBOOK 5.11.2016 15.34
“I feel like a ghost caught inside a person I don’t recognise, stuck between this world and another; not wanting to live any longer, but not wanting to die just yet.” If you are a survivor of abuse, then I am sure these words will make perfect sense.
I spoke during the week to a man who was savagely abused by a Dublin priest for five years as a young boy. His name is Noel. Today he is in his fifties, but part of him will always be eight years of age. Noel tried to kill himself twice. Thankfully he is alive today. And hopefully what I am about to write here – the story he has never been able to tell – will help to set him free from the torture, and the awful remorse and guilt he feels, of his past.
It has taken me days to reconcile my reasoning and need for writing this post. It makes for horrific reading. Please be aware of that before reading any further here. The man at the centre of this piece has never been publicly associated with child abuse before now, to the best of my knowledge and research. His crimes against children are undoubtedly one of the greatest and most appalling cover ups in the history of clerical sexual abuse by the hierarchy that existed back then in the Dublin diocese. I am naming him for the first time today.
There is a Garda file on him for over fifty years, but it has been permanently ignored and forgotten. Noel, a victim of this monster, is slowly beginning to live again almost fifty years after his tiny, innocent life was stolen and almost destroyed by a Dublin priest called Des Williams.
In 1959, ‘Father Des’ (as he liked to be known) set up St Kevin’s Boys’ Club in Whitehall, on the sprawling northside of Dublin city. The club drew huge numbers of small boys who loved soccer.
Father Des’s interest in soccer was purely a front to disguise that he was a paedophile. Once the club was formed, he quickly set about abusing its young members. Noel’s abuse started in 1968, shortly after joining the club. He was eight years old. Once the grooming stopped, the abuse started.
“Father Des” brought Noel back to a house one night. There were four other men present in the upstairs bedroom. Noel was blindfolded and tied facedown to a bed. He was then raped by the priest, and then by each of the men. This horrific abuse continued for over five years, until Noel turned thirteen. By now it was almost 1974. According to official club records which I have seen, Fr Des Williams was ‘Executive Director of Football’ (and overall owner) at St Kevin’s from 1962 until 1974. His committee appears to have remained largely unchanged during those years. The same few names appear to hold their senior positions in the club during that long period. At first I couldn’t understand why a paedophile ring within a local football could go unnoticed, despite the fact that they were targetting local boys; that was until I delved more deeply into William’s connections and responsibilities.
Des Williams, at that time during the entire 1960s decade while he was abusing young boys at the football club, was personal assistant to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. McQuaid, it’s understood (and now known), was also abusing young boys at the time; but no one in judicial authority was prepared to take on McQuaid. ‘Father Des’ simply ran home at the end of his disgusting day and hid behind the gates and high impenetrable walls of Archbishop’s Palace in Drumcondra, just down the road from St Kevin’s Boys Club.
A couple of interesting developments took place in 1974. James Kavanagh became the bishop of that area of north Dublin city. Dermot Ryan had become Archbishop of the diocese shortly before this. Ryan was responsible for appointing Kavanagh. There was now huge disquiet in the local area about Des William’s carry on. A number of parents of young boys had gone to Whitehall and Santry Garda stations to report incidents of abuse by Williams. Nothing – NOTHING – whatsoever was done to investigate the claims or the abuser. Instead, James Kavanagh and his boss the Archbishop, once they had become aware of the extent of the priest’s abuse, came up with a plan to take Des Williams clean out of what was becoming a nasty embarrassment for church authorities.
In 1975, Trudder House was opened as a refuge and state-run home for young children of travelling families who, for whatever personal reasons, were unable to care for their children. The young children were taken into care in this huge renovated house set on its own sprawling grounds close to Newtownmountkennedy. It was a very remote location, detached from any source of local contact. When you arrived at Trudder, you were in the middle of nowhere. And you were very much on your own. The guardian and director of Trudder House was the same Fr Des Williams. Another director of Trudder was Duncan McInnes, who went on to rape and abuse the small children in his care, under the watchful eye of Des Williams, who had moved out of Dublin’s northside, and was now living in Trudder House.
McInnes beat his tiny victims with a long strip of plastic garden hose before raping and sexually abusing them throughout his five years at Trudder House. He fled the country after complaints were made in 1981. He later died in Canada in 1990 in his early fifties. Complaints continued to be made during the 1980s to an internal Health Board inquiry but Garda claim they were never informed. It wasn’t until two days before Christmas in 1994, twenty years after Trudder House opened its doors to small, vulnerable children, that the first complaint in relation to sexual abuse was made to Garda. In the investigation that followed, not one member of the long term management at the facility had to answer questions publicly about how they handled the matter of abuse of small children over the years. Galwayman Brendan Kelly was the only person to be convicted and sentenced to seven years in 1998. He remains the only person to be charged with sexual offences at Trudder House.
In 1985, Des Williams was ordained to the position of auxiliary Bishop of Dublin. He was consecrated in Rome by Pope John Paul II that year. His co-consecrator on the day, standing beside the Pope, was his friend and sponsor Bishop James Kavanagh. For many years in the 70’s, after his time with St Kevin’s, Des Williams was the episcopal vicar for finances in the archdiocese. In other words he was commander-in-chief, God’s financial controller, of all the money that rolled into the coffers of a huge diocese with quarter of a million churchgoers who contributed very generously every Sunday to two collections that he had masterminded, namely the SHARE collection, and the collection that gave Dublin priests their wages.
Could this be a reason why so many of his unfortunate victims stayed quiet? Or was their silence a result of his vicious violence and his ability to be the perfect Jeckyl and Hyde when it came to his devious ways of attracting young children to him, while hiding behind a bunch of fellow bishops who were untouchable by normal standards of the law, and who went out of their way to protect one of the most corrupt of their species?
Des Williams died in 2006. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin gave the homily during the funeral mass. Martin described Williams as “a loyal and discreet co-operator of many archbishops” The archbishop went on to say “Bishop Des Williams spent much of his life helping those who were disadvantaged and who at times had the right to be angry with society”. Wrong. Having spoken to Noel this week, and also to the best friend of another victim of Des Williams’s who could not talk to me directly because his life is still so broken and shattered fifty years later as a result of what he suffered at the hands of this monster over a five year period when he was a small boy, Williams was clearly only helping himself. He wasn’t helping those who were disadvantaged. He was preying on them while his fellow bishops covered up for him. Archbishop Martin’s final words: “May God reward him for his goodness, may he free him from his sins…”
I have a question here, Archbishop Martin. Who will free up the victims of Des Williams, and Bill Carney, and all of the other predators who masqueraded as devoted followers of a man called Jesus Christ? The same man you spoke so much about in the graceful eulogy you delivered that day ten years ago to a pervert whose cover up was responsible for more suicides than you will ever know. Maybe now, some of those men who innocently fell victims will find a reason to embrace their lives, now that this filthy monster has finally been named. It’s also worth remembering, Archbishop, that Jesus was a Jew. He was long dead before the first Catholic decided to go looking for a role model. The kind but broken individuals who are reading this who have had their lives damaged and destroyed in the past by people you clearly offer kind words to in their demise makes me realise even more that the days of the flimsy Catholic church are numbered. And I would say this to Noel, who I spoke to during the week, (and also to ‘B’), perhaps life starts today; knowing that you have both shared with me the words that you personally and painfully were never able to speak before now in almost fifty years. To those reading this who still can’t find the strength to see the beauty of life on their own terms as a result of abuse, but hopefully will in time to come: This post is for you. I feel like a ghost caught inside a person I can’t recognise, stuck between this world and another; not wanting to live any longer, but not wanting to die just yet.
It is very possible that we have not heard the full truth of everything that went in the RCC in Ireland.
We knew priests were covered up for?
We prominent bishops covered up for too?
All this involvement of Bishop Kavanagh with Carney and Bishop William’s with a boy”s football club and boy Travellers is very strange indeed.
Some of the blog readers felt all the detail from the various church reports were OTT.