Yesterday a reader wrote:

“Pat, please expand on the Cathal Daly story. Describe how you felt approaching the altar; how Cathal dealt with it and how the parishioners in the pews felt. None of the hierarchy are any good when it’s put up to them in public.

Dear Reader,

At the time I was a young 33-year-old, who still had some faith in the institution – a faith I absolutely no longer have.

I stood in front of Cahal Day as he preached about love, forgiveness and reconciliation and still refusing to meet me or be reconciled with me.

The other two occasions were at Christmas Midnight Mass in the Mater Hospital, Belfast – and at Christian Unity Week in a Belfast parish.

I made sure not to disrupt the Mass in any way.

When Daly started preaching I left the pew, genuflected to the tabernacle and stood in front of him silently and not moving.

I placed myself between him and the congregation as a sign that our disagreement was a fracture on the Body of Christ.

I stared at him all through his homily.

Daly never looked up and kept on reading.

But his face was scarlet and his jugular arteries were doing a co-ordinated dance.

I’m told he lost it in the sacristy and went home like an angry Jack Russell.

At the time Daly was lecturing Catholics and Protestants to be reconciled while refusing to be reconciled with a fellow priest.

From October 1985 until July 1986 I waged a protest campaign on Daly.

He hid in his house sending the clergy letters that I was preventing him do his work.

I also brought him to the Industrial Tribunal and the High Court – where he was forced to sit as a defendant.

Of course, I didn’t win.

These guys have the establishment tipping their caps to them.

But I gave the little Hitler a run for his money.

Daly believed the voice of the bishop was the voice of God.

I once asked him if that meant that when he broke wind, God broke wind🤮

These arrogant bastards lorded it over priests and laity for ages.

More people need to stand up to them.

When you do stand up to them, they fold like all challenged bullies fold.