Vatican Junior Seminarians / Altar Boys

Vatican abuse trial: Witnesses say allegations about youth seminary were ignored


Vatican City, Feb 25, 2021 / 08:00 am MT (CNA).- Witnesses at the fifth hearing in a trial for alleged abuse and cover-up at a Vatican youth seminary testified on Wednesday to an unhealthy culture of ridicule and abuse of power.rial

The witnesses also alleged that reports of sexual abuse were ignored or dismissed by authority figures, including the cardinal in charge of St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Three former students at the Pius X pre-seminary testified before the city state’s court on Feb. 24 that the environment was “unhealthy,” indicating that taunts of a sexual nature were common and that they had witnessed one of the accused grope the genitals of other students.

The three witnesses also alleged that reports of abuse were known by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, who dismissed them as “false and calumny.” It was reported in the course of the hearing that Comastri may have blocked the removal of the pre-seminary’s then rector, one of the defendants.


Located inside Vatican City State, the Pius X pre-seminary is a residence for about a dozen boys aged 12 to 18 who serve at papal Masses and other liturgies in St. Peter’s Basilica and are considering the priesthood.

The pre-seminary is run by a religious group, the Opera Don Folci, which is overseen by the Diocese of Como in northern Italy. 

The defendants in the trial are 28-year-old Fr. Gabriele Martinelli, a former student at the pre-seminary, and 72-year-old Fr. Enrico Radice, the seminary’s former rector


Martinelli has been charged with using violence and his position of authority to commit sexual abuse against a younger student. Radice has been charged with impeding investigations into the abuse allegations against Martinelli.

Martinelli has defended his innocence of the charges, calling the accusations against him “unfounded” and intended to “strike” at the pre-seminary.

Radice has maintained that he was never told about abuse by Martinelli by anyone, and has accused the alleged victim and another alleged witness of making up the story for “economic interests.”

Martinelli, who was not a cleric at the time of the alleged abuse, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Como in 2017.

The alleged victim, identified as L.G., was born in 1993 and was 13 at the time the alleged abuse began, turning 18 about a year before it ended.

In testimony on Feb. 24, witnesses said that Martinelli was “protected” by the ex-rector and given roles of responsibility, bypassing even two other seminary faculty who were priests.

“The rector had allowed Martinelli to feel he was already a priest from the beginning,” according to one witness, who left the pre-seminary after a month, due to what he called “an exhausting experience” because of an environment of gossip and taunts about one’s physical appearance or “effeminate behaviors.”

The three witnesses said that they did not have direct knowledge of sexual abuse against L.G. as described in the charges, but testified that they had seen Martinelli engage in inappropriate behaviors such as sexual advances and momentary genital touching of boys other than the alleged victim L.G.

The Pius X pre-seminary was described by the former students as an environment with “psychological pressures,” where it was common to hear “homosexual jokes” and other lewd comments. Martinelli was described as having a “dominant role, very strong,” and a “homosexual demeanor.”

L.G. was described by one witness as “extremely credible,” but a bit delicate because of a difficult family situation.

One witness testified that Martinelli and L.G. seemed to hate each other and never speak, but that Martinelli also gave L.G. and another student special favors, positing that Martinelli was motivated by fear of what they could reveal about him. This other former student was also scheduled to testify on Feb. 24 but did not present himself at the hearing.

One witness recalled having seen Martinelli touch the genitals of another student, “like an implicit request for sexual intercourse.” This student refused the advance and afterward “fell out of favor” with Martinelli. He became “marginalized” and was psychologically pressured to leave the pre-seminary, which he eventually did.

This alleged victim was also scheduled to testify in the Feb. 24 hearing, but had been excused by the court for an unidentified reason.

All three witnesses spoke about knowledge on the part of superiors about inappropriate behaviors. One said that he was “very sure” that the seminary authorities were informed of the abuse accusations, that “Radice knew but did nothing,” and that attempts at making complaints to him fell on deaf ears.

One witness also claimed to have sent an anonymous letter to Pope Francis two years after leaving the pre-seminary about what he had seen there and stated that L.G. had once asked him to deliver a letter to the pope for him, which he did not do because he “didn’t feel like it and there was no opportunity.”

Fr. Pierre Paul, a priest and the director of the Capella Giulia, a choir of St. Peter’s Basilica, testified on Feb. 24, saying that L.G. had confided in him.


“He never explicitly told me what was wrong but it was understood that they were problems of the affective-sexual sphere,” Paul said.

Paul made a report to the Commission for the Protection of Minors, part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, in 2017. He said Wednesday that he had wanted to make a report earlier but had been stopped by L.G.

Thursday morning, the court of the Vatican City State’s again convened for the questioning of the Bishop Oscar Cantoni of Como, who was installed in the diocese in 2016 and ordained Martinelli a priest in 2017.


Bishop Diego Coletti, the bishop emeritus of Como who led the diocese from 2006 to 2016, presented a medical note to be excused from questioning and was not present.


Cantoni testified on Feb. 25 that before ordaining Martinelli to the priesthood, he had spoken with the rector of the Pius X pre-seminary and the rector of the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome, which Martinelli attended for his priestly studies.
Both, according to Cantoni, had told him that Martinelli “had made a positive path” and was ready for ordination.

“All the people I had asked for an opinion on Martinelli, who had had anything to do with him after the [transitional] diaconate,” said there had been nothing wrong in his behavior, Cantoni said.

Cantoni admitted to there having been, between September 2006 and June 2012, signals from priests speaking about “sexually inappropriate conduct” on Martinelli’s part. But he said these accusations dated back to before Martinelli was a cleric and therefore were outside the existing norms for sexual abuse of a minor by clergy.

“Since he has been in Como, first as a deacon and then as a priest, there has not been a report. It was a transitory homosexual tendency linked to adolescence,” the bishop said.

Bishop Cantoni also added that since becoming a priest, no one has ever issued a complaint to him about Martinelli.

It was revealed in the course of the hearing that there had been some question about whose jurisdiction the Pius X pre-seminary fell under, since it is located on Vatican property, but managed by the Opera Don Folci, which is located in the Diocese of Como.

Cantoni said he asked for clarification on this question from Cardinal Comastri, who said he was not responsible as archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica and vicar general for the Vatican City State.

The bishop said that since “we lived in ambiguity,” he asked Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, who said that “there was no pact between the Vatican and Como.”

“I was able to clarify that the ultimate responsibility lies with the Diocese of Como,” Cantoni said.

The Diocese of Como is currently investigating the Opera Don Folci, focusing primarily on economic and pedagogical matters. The investigation has been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

L.G., the alleged victim, will take the witness stand at the next hearing, scheduled for March 17. On March 18, the court will inspect the pre-seminary.

Another hearing date has been set for April 14.


We can see from these matters that the “rot” is well and truly established in the Vatican.

Homosexuality, ephebophilia and paedophilia are all alive and well in tge Vatican.

The MUCCA SASSINA club in Rome is the haunt of many priests, religious and bishops.




This article is reproduced with the permission of the editor of THE VILLAGE magazine.


Horrific physical and sexual violence was permitted, mostly by priests, in one of Dublin’s top private schools, though the Carmelite Order, led by Fr Richard Byrne, won’t say what it did to stop it, and if it alerted the Garda

In the wealthy suburbs of south Dublin, the redbricked facade of Terenure College has stood out as a beacon of respectability and status for more than 150 years.

A training ground for the elite of Irish society, run by the Carmelite order of priests, it has produced captains of business, pioneering doctors and legal giants.

Legends of Irish rugby have been reared on its hallowed sporting fields, which lavishly sprawl over some of the most valuable land in the country. The school website boasts of an “atmosphere of welcome and warmth” and a “history to be proud of”.

But behind the cloistered walls of this exclusive boys’ school, a dark and chilling chapter from its past is about to be revealed. A number of former pupils have come forward claiming they were subjected to a regime of rampant sexual abuse and sadistic violence at the hands of those entrusted with their care during the 1960s and 1970s.

Middle-aged men now, they tell stories of sordid assaults and relentless groping by predatory teachers, the emotional wounds of which remain unhealed today. Some of the abuse happened openly in class in front of other pupils while the perpetrator taught, showing no fear of being caught or punished. It also took place in the playground, at the swimming pool and in locker rooms as they showered.

For the first time, evidence has also emerged that the Carmelite order has covertly paid out significant sums of money as compensation for sexual abuse.

Until now, this compensation scheme has been kept from public sight or scrutiny.

Despite several requests, neither the Carmelite Order or Terenure College will confirm whether An Garda Síochána were informed about the deeply disturbing allegations behind the scheme.

Former pupils who attended the school in the 1960s and 70s have alleged that a number of staff, both priests and lay teachers, abused them. They identify the same men repeatedly, claiming these individuals engaged in warped paedophile and sadistic behaviour but were never held to account.

Fr Aidan O’Donovan, a long-serving member of the teaching staff, was one of the most notorious.

President of the school’s Pioneer Council and spiritual director of the Carmelite Third Order, an ancient branch of the order established for lay people, in the eyes of parents and staff, he appeared a charming priest and devoted teacher.

But some of his old students recoil in terror at mention of his name

“He always had a boy on his knee during class”, says Martin, who attended Terenure in the 1970s and whose identity has been protected. “He was a great story-teller and to be asked to sit on his knee during stories was like getting a star. It was almost an honour.

As soon as you sat up on his lap, his hand would go straight up. We all wore short trousers so it was easy for him to interfere with us. He molested me on several occasions in front of the rest of the class not caring whether anyone could see.


Once, I got an infection in my anus because he had put his fingers inside me. I had to stay at home because I had a fever from it. The worst thing was not being able to tell my parents how it happened because you were afraid you wouldn’t be believed.

The sexual abuse was just one side of life at Terenure. It was quite normal to be beaten around the place. You would be brought to the top of the class, stripped from your waist down and beaten with a bamboo cane on your bare backside. It was horrific but from a very early age you were told to ‘take it like a man’. We were a rugby school. We had to be seen to be tough.

I used to go home with red marks on my hands and legs from being beaten and my parents would blame me for upsetting the teachers. I can only imagine how they would have reacted if I had told them about the sexual abuse”.

Another past pupil, now in his 50s, is haunted by a number of encounters he endured at the hands of the same priest.

“Apart from the sadistic beatings many of us endured, they were always touching you up and grabbing you. Fr O’Donovan was a well-known ‘kiddy-fiddler’. I remember him putting his hand down the front of my trousers and holding me while I was going to the toilet. That was the sort of twisted thing we were put through.

If I had gone home to my mother and told her what was happening, she would have killed me. So I used to hide in Bushy Park and just not go to school at all. The abuse destroyed my life, and 40 years later, I am still very angry they have got away with it”.

Another former pupil abused by O’Donovan describes him as the “quintessential wolf in sheep’s clothing.

He would ingratiate himself with parents who fawned over him in the hope that their son might be given a place on the rugby team while at the same time sexually abusing their boy and leaving him permanently damaged.

We called him Donewax. He would take you to his knee smiling and before long have his hand down your pants. If he didn’t take you to his knee he would sit on the edge of the small bench seat at our double desks and while inanely reading from a school book fondle your privates inside your pants.

One thing that I vividly recall is the fact that his brown habit had openings where the pockets should be. This allowed him to fondle himself with one hand as he abused you, while appearing to anyone looking to just have his hand in his pocket”.

Fr Aidan O’Donovan died in 2013. Former pupils who claim to have been abused by him say they are outraged he never faced justice. Many have felt unable to speak up until now.

Aged 61 today and living abroad, Martin says he is in no doubt that the school authorities were aware of sexual and physical abuse by certain teachers but did nothing to stop it.

“I visited the school about 15 years after I left. I discussed the abuse with a priest I met that day and was told that Fr O’Donovan had been moved out of teaching. It is my belief he still could have had access to children after that. He should have gone to prison. The school knew exactly what was going on”.

More than a month ago, Village sent a series of public interest questions about sexual abuse allegations to Fr Richard Byrne, the provincial head of the Carmelite order in Ireland which runs Terenure College.


Fr Byrne is a former head of the school and a past pupil.

He is also chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership, the body which represents Catholic bishops in the Irish education sector.

Fr Byrne was asked to confirm whether his religious order had received any complaints about sexual abuse at the school at any time in its history, and if so, how such complaints were handled. He was also asked to confirm if any complaints were investigated internally and whether the appropriate authorities were informed including An Garda Síochána.

We also enquired whether the order was aware of any cases where abuse complaint/s had been made against any teacher against whom an earlier complaint had been received. Some victims believe that if the school had not ignored what was happening, other children could have avoided a similar fate.

Not only has Fr Byrne refused to answer any of these questions, he has failed to reply at all, ignoring numerous requests by email and telephone.

Fr Éanna Ó hÓbáin, the current head of Terenure, has also ignored our queries.

An Garda Síochána too has dismissed a request for information as to whether it was aware of abuse allegations at the school.

A response from the Department of Education, which gave more than €2m of public funding to the school during the last academic year, is also outstanding.

While most of the historic abuse claims are against former clergy at the college, a number of retired lay teachers have also been accused. One is alleged to have had access to minors after he left Terenure.

Sean (not his real name) describes one alleged incident with this teacher which happened during class. He was looking forward to getting the results of an assignment, thinking he had got a good grade. But his excitement turned to terror when the teacher called him to the top of the room and began to humiliate him in front of his classmates over the quality of his work.

“It was an experience that still leaves me cold”, he recalls. “He grabbed me and pulled me into him under his gown as he ridiculed my work in front of the rest of the class. Then he started reading the winning essay, and as he did so, he started rubbing his erect penis against me. It happened in front of the rest of the class. I was about 14 at the time”.

Another former pupil John was going through a difficult time at home when he claims he was targeted by the same teacher at the age of 14.

“He knew I was going through a tough time and my grades were going down. He told me he understood but I would still have to be punished for it. He asked me to come to his office one afternoon after school. I always remember walking through that door. He stripped me naked, put me over his lap and started spanking me. He then started to fondle my genitals. It must have gone on for at least half an hour. It was the last day of term.

I left the school that day and never went back. He picked on me because he knew I was vulnerable.
Apart from the sexual molestation, I witnessed the most horrific violence at that school. Some staff seemed to have a penchant for punching young boys”.

“Terrorism was employed to keep order”, another ex-student recalls.

“Bamboo canes and leather straps (two lengths stitched together and weighted with a metal insert at one end) were used with great fervour. I recall sitting beside one of my classmates who was fond of a laugh. Class had just started and in order to get us all to settle down quickly, a heavy duster for the blackboard was employed as a missile. Flung with great force from the hand of a Carmelite, it struck my friend on the right temple. He dropped to the floor unconscious. When he awoke after a few moments, he was told to sit where he was and behave himself”.

This survivor describes another priest who plagued certain students and made their lives a misery.

“I can still smell him nearly half a century later. It was smoke mixed with body odour. He loved to rub up against you and slobber over you. His brown habit was filthy, covered in ash, spit and dribble. He got a quick rub or feel in whenever he could. He was a marksman with the duster and fond of the ‘chin wag’ as we called it, where he would grab your earlobe and jerk it while pulling you up off the seat, then let go and rap you with his knuckles on the chin. This was his punishment for talking in class.

He liked to lean in close, rubbing something hard in the area of his groin up against your back as he pretended to check your jotter”.

Several survivors in their 50s and 60s say it is only now they have been able to cnfront what happened to them at Terenure after years of repressing painful memories. They say they have been tormented by issues of trust, poor selfesteem and shame throughout their adult lives, which has led in some cases to failed careers and broken marriages. Their sense of betrayal is overwhelming, aggravated by the fact that they never got to see their abusers held to account.

“There was no room for self-pity or wallowing”, says one ex-pupil in his early 60s.

“Our parents worked hard to send us to a private school. It’s not as if we were orphans in residential institutions. We were privileged children. But in some ways, because we were middle class from comfortable homes, the lid was kept even tighter on the abuse because there was so much more to lose. The social stigma and the shame were much greater. Our world was supposed to be civilised and respectable. It was anything but”.

Until now, revelations about sexual abuse in educational institutions have been confined to those attended by disadvantaged children from working class backgrounds. Private schools have been more adept at keeping such scandals at bay, dealing with allegations in-house and avoiding reputational damage to their powerful institutions which have schooled the great and the good.

But Terenure College is one of a growing number of fee-paying Irish schools who may have to confront decades-old abuse in the coming years, as survivors gain the courage to come forward and seek redress and compensation.

The financial implications for private colleges which find themselves exposed to historic claims could prove catastrophic. Some may face the prospect of having to sell off valuable chunks of their campus or even closure.

But many victims believe the time has come to blow the whistle, regardless of the consequences. They say their ‘alma maters’ should no longer be allowed to hide from the dark secrets of their past, which have shattered so many lives.

“As a survivor of the violence and sexual abuse at Terenure, it saddens me to think that success on the rugby pitch was put ahead of child protection.

When past pupils admire with pride the trophy cabinet in the college containing the Leinster Schools cups, they should be aware that they were won at the expense of innocent boys whose lives were destroyed by perverts disguised in brown Carmelite habits and grey suits. A few bad apples in the barrel yes, but nobody ever cast them out.

Why not? The public, who subsidise private schools, have a right to know what happened. We can’t keep brushing abuse scandals under the carpet”.


The above is shocking in the extreme.

It wasn’t only the children of the poor these religious abused. Some of the rich got it too.

The cover up by the Carmelites is as bad, if not worse than the abuse.

I hope all victims come forward and tell their truths and stories.

I hope they all get justice, the therapy they need and the compensation they deserve.

The police need to start putting bishops and religious leaders in prison for the cover-up they do.



John McClean

A former teacher and rugby coach has been sent to jail in the last couple of days for sexual abuse in one of Dublin’s most prestigious schools -Terenure College, run by the Carmelite Order.

Mc Clean abused at least 23 boys between the ages of 12 and 16.

I court he changed his plea to “guilty” on 27 counts.

The Carmelites and Terenure College have apologised for not protecting the abused boys better.

Our Dublin priest correspondent Father Bruno says:


“The overly prolonged search for justice for former pupils of Terenure College has begun with the conviction of John McClean for a ” career” of sexual abuse of teenage boys”.


The 1996 meeting (Irish Examiner).

Inspector Jason Miley today told Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, that in 1996 the father of one of the victims informed Father Robert Kelly, the then Provincial of the Carmelite Order in Ireland, about the allegation his son had made against McClean.

Inspector Miley said Fr Kelly had a number of meetings over the summer break with McClean during which it was made clear McClean would not be returning to Terenure College. McClean was granted a three-year career break and became a rugby coach at UCD.

Inspector Miley agreed with Mr Guerin that Fr Kelly had a note of one of the meetings with McClean in 1996 during which McClean admitted to the allegation.

Fr Kelly told gardaí when providing these notes to them during this investigation that he had no recollection of this, but if it was in the notes then “it was true”.



“In 1996, from records of the Carmelite province and school obtained by the prosecution, the provincial Fr Robert Kelly was fully knowledgeable of the criminal complaints made against the teacher. Today he had” no knowledge” of the complaints?

Was Archbishop Martin aware of the upcoming court trial date as he preoated to retire? What was his role in these matters prior to his retirement?


What has been the role of RICHARD PURCELL as chairman of the TOWARDS HEALING – the CORI service paid for by the religious orders to provide services of counselling to victims abused in church institutions?


Word has it that the Terenure old boy network has been getting the word out – “forgive and forget” – otherwise the “nure will close,”.

Much closer inspection of those senior staff and clerics at Terenure and provincial superiors during the last twenty years is required. Will it happen?

What of the various headmaster carmelites during McClean’s reign of terror. Where are they now? What did they know?

One who is no longer in the priesthood is very well known to have run with the fox and the hounds.

We can, very sadly expect more allegations to emerge.


I have no personal knowledge of Terenure College. I went to school and did my Leaving Cert in the much less prestigious Rathmines Tech down the road.

McClean’s reign if abuse was very bad and he behaved as if he had no fear of being foubd out or dealt with.

Was that because he was the rugby coach and these prestigious schools just love their rugby?

I’m amazed that after he was reported he simply got a three year teaching break and went on to work with other young men.

There does need to be a thorough investigation conducted into Terenure College.

What abuse happened?

What was covered up?

Who were all the players?

Maybe Father Bruno is right. Maybe there is a lot more to come?



Phonsie of Waterford has a very controversial In Tray just now.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Priests in the Diocese rely on the offerings of the people to live. With the suspension of public Masses, there is little money coming in for the payment of clergy. I know that this is a difficult time for most people. If however, you would like to make a donation towards the payment of priests at this time we have made this online payment facility available.

I also have in mind various projects for spreading the faith in the Diocese and for this we need to employ a Youth-Ministry Officer and a Faith-Development Officer. These roles are vital to help change the negative culture that surrounds us and to let people know God’s message of truth and mercy. If you would like to help support these and other diocesan initiatives, you can contribute to Bishop’s Evangelisation Appeal below.

I would like to thank you in advance for your support and generosity.

Yours Sincerely,
Bishop Phonsie

Waterford is facing a problem most dioceses are facing – reduced income due to closed churches etc.

That is bound to continue and get worse.

Many people will not return to Mass when the lockdown is lifted.

They have developed the habit of not coming.


Nearly everyday a new scandal comes out of the RCC.

Every scandal sends more people away from church.

And Phonsie has his very own big scandal in his diocese with MOUNT MELLERARY and RICHARD PURCELL.

The scandal has been reported to Phonsie who seems to have done nothing about.

Why give a man who does not sort out scandals any more noney.

Let Phonsie sell assets to pay his priests – churches, presbyteries, hall etc.


Sadly, this collusion scandal involved my old friend Monsignor John Shine 😭


John Shine’s nephew, the Waterford sports coach, Bill Kennealy, was a prolific paedophile.


The Garda knew about him for years abd did nothing.

The suggestion is that Monsignor Shine may have colluded with senior Garda to prevent Kennealy from being prosecuted?

Shine was a good, kind pastoral man but as a canon lawyer he had a blind spot when it cane to savibg the good name of the church and people he was loyal too.

He had a misguided idea that it was better to sort things out quietly and privately.

That’s what the Church did in the past.

Anyway, the whole thing is now to be subject to a judicial enquiry.




A contact in Rome to whom I asked this question recently answered: “Could it be because there us a very powerful gay rump in the Cistercians”?

As we proceed with this matter, which we will pursue to the bitter end, I am coming to the educated conclusion that Richard Purcell is not alone and that he is being protected by other actively gay Cistercians of differing ranks.

And of course, the corollary of that is that Richard Purcell probably has all this information – information that could cause many heads to roll.

If Purcell goes, how many other OCSO’s will he take with him, including members of other religious orders like the Dominicans and indeed diocesan priests and seminarians?

Purcell is another Gregory Collins – the Benedictine abbot of Jerusalem and a former monk of Glenstal – who found his position untenable after a liaison with a young Palestinian man. He is now a vicar in the Church of England. In the end Rome insisted he go.

The Cistercians have at least one semi- powerful episcopal supporter in the Vatican who has expressed an interest in protecting and saving Purcell and other compromised Cistercians.

This episcopal supporter is himself the object of many suspicions, one or two of which I am aware.

In any event, the Purcell matter is progressing (slowly as is Rome’s way) in Rome with the help of very competent canonical and civil lawyers.

This week I, myself, will be swearing my affidavit before a Belfast notary, recounting all I have learned over the past six months.

Other affidavits are being sworn in the Republic.



The word Holocaust is derived from the Greek holokauston, a translation of the Hebrew word ʿolah, meaning a burnt sacrifice offered whole to God.


DERMOT FARRELL of Dublin has appointed a 68-year canon lawyer who tried to deny the Tuam Baby holocaust as parish priest of Berkeley Road in Dublin’s north inner city.


Having worked all his life, as a bachelor, deciding whether men and women trapped in bad marriages should get a church annulment – he is becoming a parish priest for the first time – seven years before his retirement at 75!

In the nterview below Paul Churchill maintains that he is on the side of truth. Of course he means Roman Catholic truth. In the minds of people like him there is no other truth!

In the interview Churchill attemts to deny that the Bon Secours nuns piled 796 uncoffined babies bodies wrapped in Coke like bottles, all on top of each other.

In a letter he wrote at the time he says anyone accusing the nuns, especially the media were doing the work of THE DEVIL!


Everything that Churchill claims about the Tuam Babies has been blown out of the water by Catherine Corless, the local Tuam historian, who has backed up everything she says with extensive documentation and taped interviews of former Tuam internees.




Cardinal refused chapel for wedding

A YOUNG Dublin couple have been refused permission by Cardinal Desmond Connell to marry in the chapel of their choice for reasons…


The Irish Times – Patsy McGarryFri, Dec 7, 2001, 0

A YOUNG Dublin couple have been refused permission by Cardinal Desmond Connell to marry in the chapel of their choice for reasons “too numerous to recount”. They were assured, however, that those reasons were “sufficiently serious to merit what might seem a rather strict regulation”.

Ms Laura Smyth (26), a physiotherapist at a residential centre for people with mental and physical handicap in the city, wrote to the cardinal on November 8th last seeking permission – as is necessary – to be married in the centre’s chapel on February 20th next.

She explained this would mean a lot to herself and her fiancΘ, Mr Michael Cooke (30), as it would “allow my clients, who would not often witness a marriage, to be involved in the day”. She also said that in making the request she had the full support of the centre’s administrator, a member of a religious order.

FATHER PAUL CHURCHILL replied on behalf of the cardinal, on November 12th. He said the cardinal, while appreciating Ms Smyth’s reasons for making the request, “would be unhappy at this stage to change accepted diocesan policy in regard to marriages in private churches and oratories”. The matter had been gone into “very carefully” some years ago by the late Archbishop Ryan, he said.

“The pastoral difficulties and problems that led to this decision are too numerous to recount here, but I can assure you that they were sufficiently serious to merit what might seem a rather strict regulation,” the letter then said.

Replying to Cardinal Connell on December 2nd Ms Smyth said the reason given for his refusal was “not a satisfactory explanation”. She and her fiancee would now “have to explore the alternatives of cohabiting or a civil marriage, neither of which we want but have little choice about at this time” .

Once, again we see Churchill as the mouthpiece of the hierarchy pushing ROMAN CATHOLIC TRUTH!

I dont believe that Paul Churchill is a “bad man”.

But he is a BLIND MAN putting RC teachings, doctrines and laws before compassion.

Would it not have been a human and pastorally wonderful thing to allow the clients of their carers to see their carers married, to be part of the ceremony and to be part of the celebration?

Clients like these probably never see a eedding in their whole lives.

Would Jesus have refused the wedding taking place in a chapel in a facility for the disabled? Absolutely not!

What would Jesus think of those who, like the Pharisees, refused?

Would He repeat what he said before – things like: “brood of vipers”, ” whitened sepulchres”?

“You lay burdens on men’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to remove them”?

So what qualifies Paul Churchill at 68 to be a parish priest for the first time in his life?

A lifetime defending RC teaching on marriage?

Letters and interviews denying the Tuam Holocaust?

Refusing marriage to disability carers in front of their clients on the basis of a church laws that lays down the only places where marriages can be celebrated?

Would Cardinal Connell and Paul Churchill have allowed Jesus to attend the Marriage Feast at Cana and turn water into wine.

On the basis of canon law – YES!


Connell was a philosopher who was an expert in the Beatific Language – the language God and the angels use to communicate with each other in Heaven 🤡.

When Connell condemned homosexuality on one occasion the gay activist Senator David Norris came out with a brilliant statement:

“The cardinal seems to know a lot about Angels but absolutely nothing about Fairies” 😜

Cardinals and Canon Liars live in Cloud Cuckoo Land.


Sean Jones

Does anyone know the circumstances under which Sean Jones left the Pallotine Order in Rome before going to Maynooth as a lay student and eventually being accepted by Kerry?

A contact in Rome is asking.



The Job’s Comforters who visit this blog keep telling us that we will never achieve success in our mission to highlight corruption at high and low places in the clergy and hierarchy.

But we can take confidence from the parable below.


Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she will not eventually wear me out with her coming!'”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”— Luke 18:1-8, 

PERSEVERANCE is a very important and formidable tool in the toolbox of reformers, whistleblowers and the exposure of clerical duplicity and cynicism.


We now have established that DICK PURCELL has a minimum of four strikes against him – the Boilerhouse, Fr. Dargan, Oxford and a farmer in Roscrea who is a lease holding of Roscrea land.

We are no longer seeing smoke and looking for the fire. We are seeing lit and smouldering sparks in the undergrowth.

This blog is more than happy to leave the Purcell thing alone if he and his superiors do the right thing.

If not, as is said by Shakespeare in Macbeth:

“We fail! But screw your courage to the stickingplace, and we’ll not fail”.

We will not, under any circumstances, let this go until right is done.


1. Does Richard Purcell have the dirt on others who are therefore afraid to act against him?

2. Is it a cases that if Purcell, a constituent card in the pile, falls, others will fall?

3. Is the Abbot General, Eamon Fitzgerald, himself compromised on some way?

4. Why is it that the local ordinary of Mellerary, with a history of speaking out on moral issues, Phonsie, is now totally silence on this massive moral issue within his own diocese?

Of course, currently, the Irish Hierarchy as a whole are in defence mode, ate are afraid to budge an inch.

As a Kerry priest said recently:

“The main reason Ray Brown ordained Sean Jones was to spite Buckley and his blog”.

So all kinds of people in the Irish RCC are being retained, protected and ordained out of severe episcopal and abbatial pigheadedness and spitefulness.

What a dangerous “spirit” to be guided by!



Two very notable comments appeared on yesterday’s blog about Richard (Dick) Purcell of Mount Melleray.

One suggested that a farmer who rents land from the Cistercian Monastery in Roscrea (where Dick was abbot) was involved in a sexual relation with Dick.

When I was a (lay) student in Maynooth Dom Richard was still at roscrea. Another (gay) student told me Dom Richard was riding (his words) a local farmer who was renting farm land from the monastery. I honestly thought it was the gossipy ranting of a gay man and there was no way a Cistercian would do that. Sadly it seems I misjudged….”

The other comment suggested that a prominent and respected Dominican, Father John Hyancath Walsh OP, who had been in Oxford with Dick said that Dick had chastity problems.

Dom Purcell’s friend, Fr John Hyacinth Walsh OP, currently prior of St Saviours Dominican priory Dublin (also the studium) was overheard commenting on the Dom Dick scandal. He admitted that he (Dom Dick) did have problems with it (lack of chastity) in the past, but he though he had gotten over it. They had been in Oxford at the same time: walsh op in the English studium, Blackfriars: Dom Dick at st Benets Hall (EBC). Dom Dicks sexual activities were well known among catholic student circles in Oxford”.

The second comment also said that Dick was well known for his sexual activities among Catholic student circles in Oxford.


The allegations against Dick are piling up.

1. The original Boilerhouse sauna allegation.

2. The midnight sex in the kitchen of Roscrea with a Killaloe priest – which was confirmed to me personally during a telephone call with the Abbot General Eamon Fitzgerald.

The Abbot General has since suffered a total loss of voice!

3. There arises the continued talk of Richard Purcell’s behaviour at Oxford.

I’ve heard he was particularly found of Jesuits.

4. There now arises the question of an involvement with a farmer tenant at Roscrea.

How long will Richard Purcell and his superiors allow this saga to continue?


We would ask the comment makers on yesterday’s blog about Oxford and the Roscrea farmer please give us more information.


I’m listening to The bishopbuckleyspodcast | BISHOP PAT’S HOMILY. Feb 21, 2021 I st sunday of lent on Podbean, check it out!



The case of Abbot Richard Purcell which has featured on the blog for a while, has now begun to make its way through the Vatican’s corridors of power.

The case is being brought by a small number of Catholic lay men and women – long time supporters of Mount Melleray.

They are using funds they intended to leave to the monastery in their wills to finance the case.

They have employed a number of Roman canon lawyers and an Irish senior counsel to guide and advise them.

Initially they had hoped that Purcell would do the right think himself.

No hope of that I’m afraid.

What has happened to the admirable and godly Cistercians?


Pope Francis recently changed canon law to allow for women to be admitted to the “minor orders” of Lector and Acolyte.

It would involve the bishop enrolling women in in these two “orders” traditionally reserved to male seminarians as part of their journey to priesthood.

It would be a very positive step towards the integration of women into the male dominated church.

Francis is not getting much of a reaction from the world’s bishops.

So much for Catholics obeying the pope.



Mark Langham

The funeral of Monsignor Mark Langham (60) took place yesterday at Westminster Cathedral.

He was more recently the chaplain of Cambridge Univetsity.

Before that he was the administrator of Westminster Cathedral.

No one at the funeral mentioned he liked to French kiss the senior altar boys at Westminster Cathedral – something the senior altar boys did not appreciate. The English prefer their tongue cold.

Why send a priest who tongued senior altar boys to be chaplain to a university full of young males?

Is that why Arnold or Elsie never said a word about Langham at the funeral Mass?

Nor did anyone what happened in the parish of Bayswater when Langham too over from the saintly Fr Michael Hollings who took the homeless into live with him in the presbytery.

As one Westminster priest messaged ne yesterday:

“When Langham took over Bayswater he threw the homeless out – a well known fact in Westminster. It didn’t suit his champagne lifestyle”.


The pic below of Dick Purcell and ex Armagh seminarian, Brendan Marshall, was taken inaynooth in 2017.

Dick was/is friendly with a few Maynooth sems.


An Ossory priest sent the picture below to the blog concerned at how much weight their new Apostolic Administrator Denis Nulty has lost.