Some readers wanted a “religious blog” for today’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

That bring up the role that Mary has played and does play in the Catholic faith.

The two extremes regarding Mary exist in parts of the Roman church that have made Mary a goddess – and the opposite Protestant extreme playing down of Mary.

Mary, unlike Jesus, who was God and man is totally human and was the daughter of Joachim and Anne.

In the Immaculate Conception we are asked to believe that Mary was conceived totally without sin while the rest of us are conceived in “original sin”.

This happened because God wanted the mother of his son to be totally sinless.

Original sin is a strange idea. It means that every baby is stained with the sin of their parents can’t forebears.

If a child in this world was the son or daughter of a murder would we say the child was born with the sin of murder on it’s soul?

I don’t think we would.

And if God, who invented the wonderful human reproductive system decided to by pass his wonderful creation and cut Mary’s husband, Joseph, out of the equation did not not make Jesus less human in his coming?

I think that Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Jesus’ virgin birth is really about a classical and primitive distaste for sex and the sexual reproductive act between a man and a woman – a superior man and an inferior woman?

And it ties in with the Jewish belief that a woman was dirty and untouchable during menstruation.

And it further ties in with the primitive Catholic belief that a woman had to be purified and “churched” after giving birth and before returning to the Sacraments.

The Judeo Christian preoccupation with sex and women’s bodies and bodily functions is totally outdated and crazy.

I believe that Mary was indeed special because she said YES to God.

She was the exemplar custodian of Jesus on earth.

She totally supported him in his ministry.

And while most ran away she stood by him at the moment of his death.

She was the first great Christian.

And she is truly Saint Mary.

Loving sexual intimacy is not inferior to virginity.

Marriage is not inferior to celibacy.

The sexual act of love making between two loving committed persons is a holy act.

The orgasm is the precursor of the Beatific Vision.

At that moment even devout atheists will cry out “Oh God”!

One of the great challenges facing today’s Catholicism and Christianity is the production of a new Theology of Sexuality.

And that does not mean a free for all or the notion that sexual sin cannot and does not exist – because it does!

So, today I will celebrate Mass in honour of Mary – servant, mother, wife, saint.

But I will not worship her as a goddess – because that is the last thing she would want.

Mary is a magnificent signpost to Jesus. But she is not the destination.


Priests make a public promise of celibacy. That celibacy means not to party and not to have sex with anybody.

Monks make other vows – either the vow of chastity of the conversion of life. Those vows means not to have sex with anybody.

When priests and monks publicly proclaim that they are unmarried and chaste and at the same time have a secret sex life with others – they are being hypocritical and committing sexual sins.

The answer is for them to remain faithful to their vows and promises or to leave the priesthood and monastery and embrace their desired sexual lives.

Or another authentic option would be to leave the Roman Catholic Church and join a church which allows priests to marry and/or have same sex partners.

Gregory aka Earl

In this respect Dom Gregory Collins of Glenstal did an authentic thing by becoming a vicar in the most gay friendly diocese in the Church of England.


Has Dom Richard Purcell of Mount Mellerary undergone a Road to Demascus experience, made a good general confession and embraced a life of virginity?

If he has he should say so.

If he hasn’t why is he staying where he is?


Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array.
On this Great Feast Day of The Glorious Immaculate Mother of God let us ask for Her powerful intercession in all our needs.


I don’t think it’s fair to describe Chichester as “the most gay friendly diocese” as it is actually a very conservative diocese by CofE standards. The Bishop is an Anglo-Catholic who does not recognise the ordination of women and many of his clergy would be anti-Women and anti-gay. With the exception of a few parishes mainly around the Brighton area.
The title of the most gay diocese in the CofE would probably go to the Diocese of Manchester where being gay isn’t just tolerated, it’s practically required in order to hold a post. Adherence to Trinitarian belief or even realist philosophy is entirely optional, with clergy professing membership to Don Cubitt’s Sea of Faith movement. Diocese of Manchester isn’t just Gay Friendly, it’s the diocese of “anything goes”.
Chichester is quite, quite orthodox.


Why would anybody want to belong to a diocese such as Chichester if it such as you have reported – pretty much anti everything which doesn’t fit nice and securely in to a narrow focus of traditionalist Christian theology ? Especially if it has to do with sex, sexuality, gender, relationships, genitals….. Being anti things isn’t something creative or embracing. it just looks for the difference in people and things and excludes them and creates divisions. The irony is that amongst all this traditionalist stance is such a camp, louche, gay culture which manifests itself outwardly as high liturgy, interest in peripheral things etc. Inwardly, however, there is much duplicitous and dysfunctional behaviour, where clergy especially play out a parallel lifestyle, living a lie and doing huge damage to themselves a other on whom they project their dysfunction by their self loathing, frustration and hatred. Sound familiar ? Yes, the Catholic Church and its clergy by and large !


@ 9:52 – you make my point perfectly ! Just become someone doesn’t think like you, and is able to find the words to criticise what you take as granted, you have to go on the offensively offensive. I think that says more about you than about me. Loathing, frustration, and hatred sound like a description of you this Tuesday morning than it does about anybody else. Okay, Ducky ?!


Mother Teresa, on once hearing the criticism that Catholics pay too much devotion to Mary, remarked: ‘No Mary, no Jesus.’ And she may as well have made explicit the corollary of this: no salvation.
How could any exclusively human being have said ‘yes’ to the incarnation of the most pure, the most holy son of God without herself being pure and holy? Being sinless?
Before Mary conceived Jesus in her womb, she had already to have conceived him in her heart, her immaculate heart.



Not all all Ducky I think you just don’t recognize yourself, just because someone doesn’t think like you. You can only revert to ad-hominum insults which say’s it all about you Ducky.


Here I am on my new big comfy chair. Greetings all on this special day. Vaccine day!!
Quite frankly all this Mary business is a load of old tosh.
In older times a priesthood, trained and schooled in a made up theology and marianology spurted this nonsense to an illiterate, ignorant and uneducated people who were easily brainwashed. They even believed in fairies!
Of course the RCC exploited this whole Mary business and every now and again in “catholic’ countries an ‘apparition’ would occur- just to keep the pot boiling.
Lourdes, Fatima, Knock, Poland etc etc.
However the most recent fairy story in Madjagorie might have been an apparition too far!
Better educated and less gullible people started to question the whole carryon there and it is hardly any secret that the top brass in the RCC distanced themselves sensing that the game was up although they still felt there was a few quid to be made at this latest Marian theme park.
As for all that power and control nonsense around woman’s wombs and sex lives- well that’s worthy of a blog on its own.
Now time for a wee coffee and Bush!


The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are both infallible doctrines???



It still isn’t compulsary to believe any of it.

Belief cannot be compelled. To think otherwise is a contradiction in terms, one a controlling institutional Romanist church has yet to accept.

Love, however, is not a belief, but a disposition. It is what beliefs are not: a must for salvation. According to Paul, at any rate:

‘And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge (for this read ‘dogmas’)…but have not love, I am nothing.’ (1 Cor 13: 2)


The narrative of Mary and her story is beautiful. I don’t doubt that it has elements which inspire and uphold lots of people in their hope. However, like most things in traditionalist Christian theology, it is all somewhat contrived, mechanistic, cultivated, and improbable as a literal reality, for the simple reason that it defies the laws of physics. The Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection – you name it. they are all impossible, simply because they go against the establish laws of physics that are set and immutable. So, they never really happened as a literal reading would suggest. Indeed, the whole Christian story is just too convenient. I do wonder why in this pinprick of time and space which is represented by 4 or 5 thousand years of biblical history, should it be that a creator has intervened in such a particular way in one place and with one people ? He/She/It hasn’t ! People have constructed a story, that is useful to them and comforting, in order to explain how they see the world and themselves and others. I don’t blame them for that, we are all entitled to create spaces and histories around us to provide some kind of explanation and safe space. But, please do not expect everyone else to be assumed in to your story, especially when it is i so patently fabricated and improbable. A development of this tendency continues in the Roman Catholic Church that over the centuries has nicely tied up the whole narrative in itself and taken control of it, as well as those who subscribe to it. So, what do I believe ? Well, not very much that is delivered to me as an ‘oven ready” package of beliefs or narrative. I prefer to exist in the ‘not sure’ space that gives room for investigation and speculation, that recognises that I cannot understand everything and cannot account for everything by a nicely packaged theological or scripture story that evidently comes from human genesis. It allows me to wonder and to be amazed and to have flights of fancy that do not constrain me. I will eventually know the truth, but not here on this earth. And not a truth given to me in my childhood by the Church ! Where ? Dunno ! However, I do have a sense that whoever or whatever created me and the world will absorb me in to that existence, and I will be okay. But, I will not be straightjacketed in to a human, engineered, made up, contrived, mechanistic story such as the Immaculate Conception and other nonsenses would like to do to me. What endures ? Us. People. Love. Goodness. Relationships. Family. That’s enough for me.



The laws of physics are set and immutable? You make yourself sound, well, rather dogmatic, like those to whom you quite clearly feel superior for their religious dogmatism.

Is there even a nuance, in principle, between the dogmatism of science and that of religion?


@ 10:23Try falling out of a tree and see if the laws of physics are not immutable ! Then you will understand. At least they are evidenced as reality and fact, whereas all these religious dogmas are imagined. You cannot prove them. You never will be able to prove them. They are opinion. Whereas physics is reality and fact. Simples !



Should I fall from a tree a thousand times plus one and strike the ground, this is not proof that the law of gravity is immutable; it proves only that it self-attested on those occasions.

To prove immutability here, or with any law of nature, would require infinity; but you don’t believe in this either, do you? Even if you did, infinity (since it has no end) could not prove your claim to immutability; it would attest the application of natural law only on those occasions in which it had been demonstrated.

Natural law immutability is an unproven, and unprovable, dogma. Much worse than any religious dogma, since death itself will reveal the truth or other of these statements/beliefs.


Bishop Peter Ball Suffragan Bishop of Chichester and later of Gloucester was also a traditionalist
This report on Ball gives a fair summation of the collusion and enabling of this convicted paedophile prelate that ran for decades before, during and after his term within the Chichester diocese.
The higher they go the more peverse the outcome?


I’ve just said mass. What eejit wrote the prayers for today’s mass? I didn’t have a clue what I was saying. I wish I’d copped on earlier and got the old missal out. Every year it’s the bloody same with this new translation. Some parish dodging twat I guess spent hours translating from the Latin.


I don’t blame you Pat. I wish I had done the same. But then I would probably get reported.


Fr Tommy

The missal and the Mass do not belong to you. You probably don’t remember being taught in liturgy lectures that the liturgy is the public work of the Church. Stop making it all about you.


The archives of Pray Tell for 2009 and thereafter offer some light on the debate concerning the new translations. A friend told me that the first version was accurate but a bit blah. ++Pell got involved along with a fellow whom a wag always referred to as MORONey. These guys gave you what my friend called the present atrocity.
He did say that the translation of 1998 was superb. Someone got hold of a copy from a sympathetic bishop and somehow got it online. Lulu offers printed copies of the same. Watch out for sales! Do note that this is for your information and consolation as I have no vested interest in Lulu.
As my friend often said there was no reason why you couldn’t study the text – even on the altar!


Fr Tommy, I forgot to mention that searching for Jonathan Britt is the easiest way to find the Sacramentary on Lulu. He also offers other items which you may find of interest.



The ONLY solution is to use the previous transation. Fr Tommy is not thinking of himself but of the extreme spiritual damage done by the horribly ugly and unprayable new translation. Its defenders are probably dreaming through the Mass and not noticing what words are being used.


Fr Tommy you need to follow the Roman Missal and the rubrics of the Church.
Do I sense a sabbatical or c/o coming along.


Ah now come on. I’m only being honest. That’s why Pat has the blog so people like me can connect and comment.


What nasty authoritarians we have here. The new translation is a pastoral disaster, just as so many warned at the time it was imposed.


Agreed, Father Tommy!
The translation that was foisted on us, with the collusion of Bishop John McAreavey and Archbishop Michael Neary was an ideological battle waged by a Chilean cardinal, Medina Estevez, whose first language was clearly not English, working on his own or with others, to bring the English-speaking bishops’ conferences into line. The Irish conference was only too willing to comply – shame on them and on the individuals named above.
Pat, you did well to retain the 1973 version.


Maynooth is going to be the only College and it will be very well watched.
No First Year Seminarians in Irish College this year.
Bishops Conference has decided not to use Irish College Rome this year and will review it next year
The Irish Times is not doing a Parish Directory for 2021.


Dear Martin/Jim,
Please learn how to write correct English. And please, no more advice on writing to nuncios etc. and no predictions of bishops’ appointments.
Enjoy the sex you are getting!


11.23: Leave your moronic brain in your back side…we don’t need your filth anymore. Some craps never grow up…


Embrace a life of virginity? A bit late for that now, Bp Pat, once the whistle has been dirtied. Self-restraint is all one can but hope for.


When I was looking at nude men on the internet today, Bp Pat, I was reminded of Elijah of Silverstream.


What’s perverse about the human body? It’s one of God’s most sublime creations. Are you a Manichee?


I am not sure the scandal-ridden former Dom Gregory Collins had many options available to him after being thrown out of Jerusalem and rejected by his order.
As for the other queen, Dom Richard Purcell, his order has closed ranks around one of its leaders and supporting him loyally.


Of course, the queens at Silverstream have taken the cult of Mary to the extreme; perpetual adoration, although perpetual indulgence on other peoples’ money seems a better description. Close it down, Bp Pat.


I can’t decide who is the most deranged – the great nancy-buffoon shouting “no mother without the son” – or the rabid “hot gospel” ranters. Lunacy meets madness.


If that is you Fr Stephanie I’d prefer you got off your lazy arse and stop sponging off the Archdiocese and lay faithful of Glasgow and get in a Parish. We have all had enough of you. Man up.


Hi Fr. I have re-read the Gospel and fair enough. I withdraw that last remark. I don’t think you do yourself any favours though with the Clergy of lay faithful of this Archdiocese. I wish you well. I will send you a private email as I’d like to meet up at some point to try to understand the Latin Mass.


At last. A Scot is off to Oscott to be Spiritual Director. A good and holy man for a change and not interested in Latin and Lace. Congratulations to Mgr Tom Millar, PP of Our Lady of Lourdes East Kilbride on his appointment as Spiritual Director of @OscottCollege. He will take up this role in September 2021. Please keep Mgr Millar and his parishioners in your prayers.


Jardine it is a long time till September 2021 and given Mgr Millar was to go to Rome and sadly pulled out.:( 😦


Jardine, you really are not in the know. Give up before you have established yourself? You fail to produce any evidence or results.


BVM. Virginity is a necessary element of the story Priests Monks Nuns. Virginity my arshe . The concept is misconstrued as sanctity. Holy priests monks and nuns I can neither confirm or deny


Remember lads. Kitchen sex is best, because he doesn’t have far to go to make you a sandwich afterwards!


Kevin Connolly the secret keeper of Stamullen. The truth will set you free Kevin even if the truth is revolting.


Disgusting comment about the Holy Mass. You are certainly not a Christian. Most certainly NOT RC.

Garngad Lad


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