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DOM RICHARD PURCELL – COULD HE BE THE NEXT ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN?

COULD THE VATICAN TAKE US ALL BY SURPRISE AND APPOINT A HOLY, UNWORLDLY AND DEEPLY SPIRITUAL MONK TO SUCCEED DIARMUID MARTIN?

Irish Times 2009

Dom Richard Purcell becomes abbot of Mount St Joseph Abbey at just 33

IRELAND’S YOUNGEST abbot, Dom Richard Purcell (33), received the abbatial blessing from Bishop of Killaloe Most Rev Willie Walsh…

Patsy McGarry

Mon, Jul 13, 2009,

IRELAND’S YOUNGEST abbot, Dom Richard Purcell (33), received the abbatial blessing from Bishop of Killaloe Most Rev Willie Walsh during Mass at the Mount St Joseph Abbey Cistercian monastery near Roscrea, Co Tipperary, at the weekend.

Fr Purcell, originally from Rathgar in Dublin, was elected on June 16th by the community at Mount St Joseph and the abbots of daughter houses in Scotland, Australia and Kildare to succeed Dom Kevin Daly, who had been abbot there since 2003.

As the constitution of the Cistercian congregation states that a monk must be 35 to be eligible for such an office, and as Fr Richard was technically ineligible for election on grounds of both age and years of profession, it was necessary for him to secure a two-thirds majority for his election.

It is a requirement of Canon Law that a monk be professed for seven years before he can be elected abbot. Fr Richard was short of the required years by three months. After his election in June, proceedings were suspended while necessary dispensations were sought from Rome. On June 17th, Cardinal Rode, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, issued a dispensation concerning Fr Purcell’s shortfall in years of profession.

He did so to Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, Cistercian abbot general in Rome, who then dispensed with the minimum age requirement and confirmed Dom Richard as the eighth Abbot of Mount St Joseph Abbey. He will hold office for six years. The new abbot entered Mount St Joseph Abbey in 1997, having completed a degree in music and French at UCD.

In 2002, he read theology at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, and, on return to Mount St Joseph in 2004, he was appointed abbey bursar. In 2005, he was ordained a priest and, in 2007, he was appointed prior at the monastery while continuing as bursar.

There are 22 monks at Mount St Joseph, two of them in formation.

The monastery was founded in 1878 by monks from Mount Melleray in Co Waterford. In 1905, they established the Cistercian College, a Catholic boarding school for boys, in the Abbey grounds.

Past pupils include Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former Labour Party leader Dick Spring, former minister for foreign affairs David Andrews, and former editor of The Irish Times Conor Brady.

NEW ABBOT OF MOUNT MELLARY 2017

Sat, November 04, 2017

As Dom Richard, our new abbot, was previously abbot of Mount St Joseph Abbey, Roscrea he had already received the Abbatial Blessing in 2009 so on Saturday 4 November Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, celebrated the ‘Mass to Invoke God’s Blessing on the New Abbot and his Abbatial Ministry’ at Mount Melleray Abbey.

Bishops Lee O’Reilly and Monahan

Bishop Cullinan was joined by Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly of Cashel and Emly, Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe, Bishop William Lee, emeritus bishop of Waterford and Lismore and Bishop William Walsh, emeritus bishop of Killaloe.

Phonsie blessing Purcell.

The Mount Melleray Community was also delighted to welcome monks and nuns from the Cistercian and Benedictine monasteries of Ireland, Britain and Norway, and in particular the new Father Immediate of Mount Melleray, Dom André Barbeau, Abbot of Val Notre Dame in Canada. Also present were representatives of the religious orders and congregations of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore, representatives from the Church of Ireland, civic and state representatives, Dom Richard’s family and friends, and the staff, friends and associates of the monastery.

Phonsie and Dickie

It was a memorable occasion for the community and all those associated with Mount Melleray Abbey. The photos taken by Oisin McHugh and Tom Keith capture the atmosphere of the day.

Click here to view the full gallery

PAT SAYS

Yesterday, a priest friend of mine suggested that the current abbot of Mount Mellary could succeed Diarmuid Martin in Dublin.

“After all he is a Dublin man from Rathgar” said my friend.

I must say that the thoughts of Richard Purcell going to Dublin never entered my mind.

I didn’t even know he was Dubliner.

O’Reilly of Cashel and McGuckian are religious order men.

He is highly educated and has been on the upwards ladder since he was 33.

He is now 44 – which might make him a bit young. He would be in Dublin for 31 years.

132 replies on “DOM RICHARD PURCELL – COULD HE BE THE NEXT ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN?”

No offence, and undoubtedly the abbot is a good, holy man, but why would a man who has a vocation to silence, solitude and the seclusion of the cloister be suited to the populous, urban, high-profile diocese of Dublin. You wouldn’t expect a gregarious PP of Dublin to be suddenly made Abbot of Roscrea.

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Where Dom. Richard is now (Mount Melleray Abbey) the community are not silent. There is some very good and interesting men there who are a joy to listen to given the chance.

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So yesterday we hear of a naughty monk in the Boiler House. Today, it’s a monk as a possible Ab of D – hmmmmmmm 🤔

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Pat will ye ever catch yourself on with this nonsense. Hume as an ex Abbot in England wasn’t exactly a success story in Westminster, some would say a disaster. You are clutching at straws on this one and if I may say so this suggestion of yours is a foolish one as there is more chance of you getting Dublin.

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Why would he become ‘a great archbishop’?
What do you know, Buckley, that we don’t?
Or are you, as usual, just bullshitting?
Just for once, Buckley, provide evidence for your claim.
For once, for Christ’s sake!

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They have only 7 monks, yet a few years ago the built 27 lovely new cells in a big modern extension, even though the abbey is huge. They then were ordered by the General Chapter not to admit any new postulants, because they were all so old, and were effectively told to die out. It is confusing.

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Apparently the novitiate in Mount Mellaray has been closed for many years, and if they get any novices a novice master will be required. As Fr Abbot has no experience of being a novice master, might they send for the PP of Mullagh?

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O’Reilly of Cashel is not a religious order man! He is from the SMA’s – a missionary society, very different from a religious order like the Jesuits, which Mc Guckian belongs to.

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Yes, Irish dioceses have plenty of missionaries who either were not accepted or didn’t apply to their diocese and then later on they fancy a wee parish near or in their home town, so apply for a posting in their home diocese. Instead of going on tv shows Ray Kelly should be on the mission.

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Pat, His appointment to Dublin is about as likely as yours. Francis watchers will tell you that his CV will do little to recommend him, I’m sure that he is indeed a holy and upright man but he lacks the one thing Francis prizes more than anything – Pastoral experience. Presiding over a group of geriatric monks doesn’t exactly recommend him to lead the country’s largest diocese. No Pat, your friend is way wide of the mark on this one.
The man to watch is Fr. John Dardis SJ. A native of Dublin, media savvy, since he was Dublin’s first press officer under Cardinal Connell. Highly personable with a warm disposition. Shrewd as a fox but with the biblical gentleness of a dove.
His CV includes a period working as head of the refugee services of the Jesuits in Brussels – a cause close to the heart of the pontiff/
https://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0421/49327-darisj/
akso https://www.jesuit.org.uk/european-jesuits-urged-show-solidarity-refugees
For Pope Francis he would be an ideal candidate. He is 63, which is just about right for the post and he knows the diocese well. If I were a betting man my money would be firmly on this dark horse. He is above all a man of profound faith and would fill the post admirably. He is currently Rome based and serves as a member of the general council of the Jesuits.
https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dardis-sj-joins-general-council/
Definitely the man to watch.

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6:38
Like the medieval cardinalate, you don’t get to the Jesuit General Council unless you are a Machiavellian megalomaniac.

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We don’t need another appointment of a desk priest who hasn’t been in Dublin for years and who never served in a parish.

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The abbey’s description of it s purpose, which it gave to the Irish charity regulator, is very moving.
The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance is a monastic institute wholly ordered to contemplation. The monks dedicate themselves to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery under the Rule of St Benedict. They lead a monastic way of life in solitude and silence, in assiduous prayer and joyful penitence as defined in the Constitutions, thus rendering to the divine majesty a service that is at once humble and noble.
https://www.charitiesregulator.ie/en/information-for-the-public/search-the-register-of-charities/charity-detail?srchstr=Melleray&regid=20003203

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You seem to be into monks just now, Bp Pat, but with so few seminarians, I suppose it is only natural, especially after Dom Kathy Kirby going to ground like that. I hope you do a follow-up on the hidden-queen of Silverstream soon.

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Dom Erik Varden , a Cistercian, was appointed Bishop of a diocese in Norway, october last year. Maybe a big surprise is in store for Dublin!

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Pages in category “Cistercian bishops”

The following 19 pages are in this category, out of 19 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).

AHoratius Acquaviva d’AragonaAdolf of Osnabrück

CPompeo Cornazzano

FJuan Esteban FerreroBaltasar de Figueroa

GGuy of Vaux-de-Cernay

MMaurice MacGibbonJan MadalińskiSilvio MessagliaInnocenzo Migliavacca

OUilliam Ó FearghailPedro de Oviedo Falconi

PCristóbal Pérez Lazarraga y Maneli VianaPeter of Lucedio

RErhard von RedwitzSigismund Pirchan von Rosenberg

TOrani João Tempesta

XDomenico Xarth

ZStanisław Zaremba (bishop of Kiev)

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May not reflect recent changes? You can say that again. The last on the list, Stanislaw Zaremba died in 1653.
Those bishops you list are not belonging to the Cistercians of the Strict Observance or Trappists (OCSO), but to the earlier foundation, Order of Cistercians (O.Cist).
There are 7 bishops living who are members of the OCSO.

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Dom Eamon Fitzgerald a former Abbot of Mt. Mellerary who hails from a Dublin is currently Abbot General of the Cistercian Order. He is based in Rome.
A possible runner?

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11 23: That’s a mean comment about Pat but perhaps he is just being mischieviously intrusive as always in affairs that are none of his business. While Pat is a loveable, nasty old rogue, his hobbies and pastimes are all centred on gossip, speculation and hearsay. Ge is iften ru6ght but mostly wrong.

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New charity haberdashery opened in Mullagh! Gentlemen’s Underwear, Designed by The Captain and modelled by The King! All profits go to Mullagh parish.

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While all this speculation about who will be the next Archbishop of Dublin is diverting, it fails to get to the real issue that is facing the Church, no matter who leads it. Namely, to bring the Church out of its dolt headed stupidness of clericalism, whereby the Church is predicated upon a clerical class with authority and power, all by virtue of their sacramental ordination, in to a world where the Church is the community of the faithful who rightly take their place in ordering and running the Church, without all the vestiges of clericalism. This has to happen from the Vatican down to the smallest parish community. Then we will see a Church that is grounded in the Gospel and following Jesus Christ, rather than prancing around doing irrelevant liturgies and processions and silly stuff, as well as exercising a disproportionate moral authority that it does not deserve. Radical change is what is required. Not more of the same. All the men – yes, note, men ! – that you are taking about will just be people of continuing and more of the same. Who is going to be the prophetic voice of reformation and change ? I don’t hear any names being mentioned.

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The Reformation you seek, dear, happened 500 years ago. There are lots of Christian churches who operate along the lines you suggest, including Pat’s Oratory and various other denominations.

What’s stopping you joining them? Do you really, in your heart of hearts, and unconsciously perhaps, see them as a bit inferior to the RCC?

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Reformation is a permanently-required dynamic in institutions and in individuals. It’s not a one-off act. Ecclesia semper reformanda.

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Some churches are more reformed than others. Take the plunge! Join them! Don’t be a Catholic moaner but be a happy Protestant instead!

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10.45: Prophets indeed are in short supply, non existent really. A few individuals are good but we need a complete metanoia….a whole new imagination and creative vision. It is absent. The pandemic is accelerating the decline of the Church, but also highlights the absolute necessity for visionary leadership because we, as a Church, like all of civil life, politically and otherwise, cannot return to “what was”. Until we are blessed with prophets and gospel visionaries, each of us who truly care must seek to do our utmost to create and build nourishing and meaningful faith/prayer/gospel communities in our parishes. We are in changed and changing times and we are unable to adapt in relevant ways to the challenges. Sometimes we get tired of being tired and our analysis goes around in circles. As an institution, the Church is in a cultural and spiritual abyss. We are lost but every now and then we see glimmers of hope through small initiaves and individual efforts but we are struggling for a meaningful relevance.

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1:25

A fundamental problem: the Church is run as a business.
Financial considerations come first, hence the ongoing 35 year long “crisis”.

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In an “ideal world” McCarrick would be made to debrief about what his mentors told him about how they were mentored.

A disaster like Rome doesn’t “just happen”, it was added to over a period. It’s significant to non-members by reason of its influence.

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I suspect that 10:45 is an old nun, or more likely, a bitter divorcée. Does she not realise that her manifesto has been carried out in full by the modern nuns, such as the Sisters of Mercy, who are absolutely and totally kaput.

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CISTERCIANS

The 5 Custercian monasteries should be amalgamated.

Then Dom Purcell would have 40 + monks under him.

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Seems you like the Cistercians. I have a large selection of books by Thomas Merton. When the world and the RC church start to depress me, I emerse my self in them. They never fail to stabilise me. The Carthusians are also very good. We have lost the deep truths. Meditation. Silence and solitude.

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Merton was a moral reprobate with uncontrolled appetites who ultimately took his own life. Hevis not a suitable spiritual guide.

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What would be the point of amalgamating them? In the post-Vatican II there are no vocations, except in traddyland. The post-Vatican II renewal of religious life failed the Gamaliel test.

The old monks should be left in peace in the five houses they have known all their adult lives. If they moved to Mt Melleray that would be highly disruptive and they would be there for only a few years before facing more disruption by going into nursing homes.

That is the modern way, because monastic infirmaries are no more, and the oldest and infirm are sent to nursing homes, even though they were told when they joined they would be in the monastery for life and would be cared for in old age by the monks.

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Agree. Send them all to Roscrea to give it a boost. Sell Melleray to some traddy crowd. Shame to lose Roscrea with the school tied up with it. Wonderful place

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More than likely they were discussing celibacy and the implementation of an age limit of 35 for admission to their orders. Discernment Irish style.

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KILLALOE PRIEST

Who was the Killaloe priest who joined Roscrea monastery? What happened him there? Why did he leave? Where is he now?

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Is that Anthony McMahon, who is now MIA? A while ago, Pat, you reported that Lugs Monahan recalled Anthony to the diocese from his role as a British Army chaplain. You reported that Lugs insisted on immediate return, even though Anthony said that he needed to do just six more months to qualify for an army pension.
Anyway, that dictatorial approach backfired on Lugs when Anthony went off on a leave of absence and never returned.

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You are confusing Anthony McMahon with Paschal Hanrahan. I explained this to Pat at the time. Anthony is PP in Kilmurry McMahon in West Clare. Paschal is a British Forces Chaplain. Kieran O’Reilly also tried to recall him to no avail. Fintan Monahan is more dogged in his approach and will hound Paschal into returning. Paschal is afraid to return to Ennis as his brother is a solicitor whose firm was accused of misappropriating millions in funds from local people and embezzlement. Sins of the brother eh…

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His name was Neil Dargan. He was a priest-teacher in St Flannan’s college in the naughties. He joined but left a few years later. He then returned and served as a PP before being moved to an AP role due to suffering from mental health issues. He is now retired from ministry and identifies as a layman. He was a classical scholar who was happiest in a library. Priesthood was not his calling…

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What a load of bollox. Who are you to judge if priesthood was his calling or not? What’s wrong with a priest in a library? They don’t all have to be burnt out with activity. Left with no wisdom to offer anyone.

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The much-travelled Dom went to LA with Phonsie (why?) to celebrate an ersatz so-called Celtic Mass with lots of diddly-dee music. He certainly gets around. I always thought that abbots lived quiet lives in their monasteries, not straying far from them.
https://youtu.be/7xvCuAjiMBw

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12:19

Who funds these junkets-the sheeple.
No wonder there’s two donate buttons on W&L website.
Was it the singing priest leading the songsters.
Wonder if they had dinner with O’ Mahony to discuss mercy and holiness.

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Yes, Liam Lawton was in charge of the music. I’ve never understood why or how successive bishops of K&L have allowed Liam Lawton, a diocesan priest, to be a full-time singer.

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Oh no, there’s liturgical dancing at the 1hr:24min point. I wonder what Phonsie thought of that? He is probably against it.

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Opus Dei people are generally very sentimental at heart. They love this shite. It goes with the chatty, in your face feigned interest in you when you meet them. It’s not all whips, lace and leather.

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Liam Lawton isn’t a full time musician, he works around his parish commitments.
The bishops recognize that there are many different ways to serve the Lord and he has a big international following. $$$

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Maybe he and Phonsie have a little thing going. You know what those straight laced Opus Dei types are like when they get their kit off in private.

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Killaloe had or has only one sem, their first in years, and few priests under the age of 50. They cannot afford to lose younger priests.
During Fintan Monahan’s adress to the priests of Killaloe during their in-service day in November 2018, Lugs said:
“Fr. Anthony McMahon
We keep Anthony McMahon also in our prayers as he discerns on his year of leave of absence. He successfully completed the Camino recently and was back home in Ennis after that.”

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Neil Dargan is now a self-employed online Classical Studies tutor for Leaving Cert students. On his website he says:

I was born in Dublin and grew up in Ennis Co. Clare. I have had a lifelong interest in the world of Greece and Rome and in history generally. After leaving secondary school I studied Classics and History at Maynooth University (B.A.) and I obtained a H. Dip. Ed. at Galway University. I also had the wonderful opportunity to live at the Irish College in Rome for two years of study and immersion in the culture and people of Rome and Italy.

I spent over twenty years as a Catholic priest both as school teacher and Parish Priest both in Clare and Dublin before deciding to leave public ministry in 2014.

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I remember you. When I saw you got married I was happy for you. You were very kind as a curate in a mid-Clare parish when a friend committed suicide. Best wishes.

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Bucko boy, we have identified your Killaloe source and will deal with him. Lay off Dom Richard. You won’t get another warning. Watch those candles in your chapel. You wouldn’t want a late night fire now, would you!

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Now that’s a very strange comment.

You are threatening me?

Why do you need to threaten me over your Dom Richard?

You will burn my Chapel?

I’m not afraid of you and the more you threaten the more determined you will make me.

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Glad to hear you’ve informed the police, Pat. That’s a horrible threat. I hope they treat it as a hate crime.

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Ordeal by fire wouldn’t be good enough for you Bucko boy. I hear the Bangor monks do a nice line in car crashes too. I wouldn’t be crossing the border in that car of yours. Take the train my dear. You should have stayed away from abbots. Too well connected. And you were unwise to piss off the Knights aka Bangor. Go cream your monks now like a good boy.

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How nasty. The devil is at work here. Glad you’ve called the cops Pat. Very easy to track IP addresses these days.

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Pat, there seems to be a suggestion that Paul Prior won’t take up his appointment as PP Mullagh & Cross. Have you heard anything?

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Armagh appointments are out as listed on the carlingford omeath parish facebook page. A Nigerian will take over that part of Co Louth and a Nigerian as CC at the Cathedral. Eamon McCamley is to return from leave og absence and will only be available to supply.

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Today is perhaps an extreme example of what is very valuable in Pat’s online ministry: it shows Catholics up for what they are, albeit arson is very extreme. And if anyone is going to make out that that comment wasn’t made by a cleric or at least practising Catholic, nobody else has a dog in this fight.
Very glad you published it, Pat, keep safe.

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McCamley is being eased back in I see. Aul doll wants to see if the Lourdes Lethario will be accepted by different parishes before making him PP again. How many clergy in Armagh want him to supply about the place.

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Priest School documentary now on BBC Scotland ( Freesat 108).
What an absolute load of naive young men, …. and corpulent clerical hierarchs.
MMM

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Just as well Paisley’s rampant wasn’t there for it being filmed. I’m hearing he has taken a lot of his selfies down from social media. Won’t let him get away with what he has done.

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