Fintan Monahan, the RC bishop of Kilaloe, is refusing to give Ger Fitzgerald’s former mistress a proper answer about how he has handled the situation and how he is going to prevent the priest targetting other women in the future.
Her has had an unknown number of women in his life since his time in the seminary.
He told Yvonne little bits about a number of other women he had been with.
I don’t know if he came clean with Fintan Monahan about these matters. I suspect he has not.
We know he initially denied his affair with Yvonne but when she produced six months of recorded information to Fintan he admitted the Yvonne matter.
It seems that instead of taking disciplinary action against Ger, Fintan allowed him off the hook by allowing him to take a voluntary sabbatical.
Why does a relatively new priest get a sabbatical.
Many priests never take one.
Im 45 years ordained and Ive never had one – nor do I feel the need of one.
Ger should have been sent somewhere to seek and accept advice and direction and to face the question as to whether or not he is capable or willing to be celibate.
Having secret affairs with women in parishes is never a satisfactory situation and nearly always leads to people being hurt and to scandal.
As you will see in the emails below, Fintan has not properly addressed the Ger situation either with Ger or Yvonne.
It is the old story of bishops not veong honest and open with those hurt by prirsts and the church.
I have heard that you have convened a canonical inquiry into the actions and behaviour of Ger Fitzgerald.
I wish to formally request that I be allowed to give evidence to that inquiry.
cc Archbishop Okolo. Papal nuncio to Ireland.
I acknowledge your email.
At our meeting, you told me very little and I have no idea what the outcome of the investigation was.
Is Ger suspended? Is he on a leave of absence? Is he on a voluntary sabbatical?
And more importantly, what safeguards have you put in place to protect other women in the future from Ger’s predatory sexual behaviour?
Cc Papal Nuncio.
This last email from Fintan is really a two fingered response:
Chilean Jesuits Recognize 64 Cases Of Sexual Abuse
AFP – Agence France Presse. May 25 2021.
The Jesuit congregation of Chile has acknowledged that its priests sexually abused 64 people, including 34 children, between 2005 and 2020, according to a report from the Catholic order obtained by AFP Tuesday.
Eleven Jesuit priests were found guilty following an internal investigation of “abusive situations with a sexual connotation” involving underage victims, according to the report by the Society of Jesus, known colloquially as the Jesuits.
Of the perpetrators, “five have died, three are currently under strict professional supervision plans, and another three are no longer part of the Society of Jesus,” said the order.
The Jesuit order said that since 2018 it has been providing authorities background to the abuse allegations.
It added that 31 of the victims have received financial compensation.
Amongst those found guilty was Renato Poblete, the late former Jesuit leader who allegedly abused four minors and 19 adults over four decades from 1960.
Poblete, who died in 2010, spent almost 20 years as the head of the Hogar de Cristo, the country’s largest foundation for the homeless.
He was first accused of abuse in 2019, after which the Jesuit congregation asked for forgiveness.
The Chilean Catholic Church has been embroiled in sexual abuse scandals since 2010 when pedophile priest Fernando Karadima was first accused of molesting boys.
A Vatican canonical court found him guilty in 2011 and in 2018 he was defrocked by Pope Francis.
His case helped expose a culture of sexual abuse within the Church in Chile.
Here comes another RC sex scandal.
This time involving the Jesuits – Pope Francis’ own order.
And once again the perpetrator is dead meaning the victims will not see justice being served.
But at least the Jesuits are acknowledging this one and I hope that means something to the victims.
Hopefully they will get counselling and compensation too.
Everyone knows about my fallout with the RCC and my total disillusionment with it, but by the grace of God, and it alone, to date, I have never had either:
1. A crisis of faith.
2. A crisis of vocation.
One of my prayers has always been: “O Lord, let me go into my coffin as a priest”.
Of course, I am constantly struggling with the thoughts of how God works – particularly how he allows people to suffer and how he allows mind boggling natural disasters.
But then, as a limited human being how could I hope to understand God and his ways?
I am a catholic Christian and as such I believe firmly in:
The existence of God.
The Bible – properly read and interpreted.
The Seven Sacraments.
The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
These things and my relationship with God have given my life deep meaning for many decades now.
Most of the time, I like others, travel the humdrum road of life.
Occasionally, I have felt the presence of God permeating me and at such times I am confirmed in both my faith and vocation.
I believe God to be the epitome of Good.
I believe Satan to be the epitome of Evil.
From the beginning of time we Christians believe, there has been a struggle between Good and Evil and during our lifetimes we are caught up in that struggle – internally and externally.
The life of faith is a joy to those with faith.
To those without faith, it is unfathomable.
And its got nothing to do with intelligence.
In fact, its got more to do with simplicity and childlikeness.
Its about approaching life with more of the heart rather than the head.
Our Rome Correspondent Writes
Not only did Roche bankrupt the Leed’s diocese as bishop with his endless vanity projects, he also was involved in some financial shenanigans when he was private secretary to Bishop Gordan Wheeler – who doted upon his flaxen haired Yorkshire lad!
To have been removed from your diocese once may be considered unfortunate, but twice… Well, it did him no harm. The first time he had to “go away” he was sent to Rome to study for a Licence in Spirituality at the Gregorian University. This is hardly a course for theological high flyers.
The Degree’s themselves are readily available in the university WC, above the toilet paper dispensers with the notice “STL in Spirituality – Please Take One”. Roche never completed the course, let alone obtain the qualification (though he uses the letters after his name), as he was swept off his feet in his first few months in the Eternal City and appointed Spiritual Director [sic] of the Venerable English College.
You see Arfur bewitched the then idiot rector Edna Toffee Loo… and the rest as they say is history. Or is it? Well his friendship with onetime Cardiff priest Fr JJ hasn’t done him any harm and the Red Biretta awaits. Pope Bergolio won’t hear a word against him and so his appointment is assured. By the way it’s worth nothing that the financial mess that he caused twice in Leeds wasn’t cleared up by current Bishop Stock.
That was done by the excellent John Wilson, now archbishop of Southwark and my tip to succeed Vinnie. Mark my words the chubby young prelate is the one to put your money on.
One of the oldest businesses in Larne, where I live is sadly closing. Its been here since 1870 – 151 years.
I’ve known the current owners, John and Anne Sproule since I came here in 1984. A lovely couple.
The following piece appeared in our local newspaper, The Larne Times:
“The mid-90s, however, saw a visitor of the supernatural variety.
“We had a ‘presence’ in the shop that would make noises, empty boxes and shift things about,” Mrs Sproule said.
The odd occurrences prompted the family to seek help from Canon William Lendrum, a Church of Ireland minister who became known for his exorcisms.
“Canon Lendrum came down to have a look; from what he could see, [the presence] looked like a farm worker – someone in old fashioned clothes.
“He spent a while talking to it, but after he was finished we never had any more bother.”
Canon Lendrum, who died in 2018, would later write about the experience in his book Confronting the Paranormal: A Christian Perspective”.
MY TAKE ON THE PARANORMAL:
I dont believe that heaven is way up beyond the skies or that hell is way below the earth.
I believe that the physical world we live in is surrounded by the spiritual world and that something as flimsy as a lace curtain divides both worlds.
In that sense, each world can impinge upon the other in various ways and at various times.
In my 45 years as a priest I have had a small number of encounters with the spiritual world.
I have been asked to intervene in a similar way that Canon Lendrum intervened in Pollocks Jewellers.
Let me recall one such occasion for readers.
I had a call from a Presbyterian family in rural County Derry saying that they were troubled with an unwanted presence in their family home. They had asked their minister to come and pray in the house and he refused.
I arrived at the house about 5 pm on a dark winter’s afternoon. As I made my way to the house an elderly man came around a corner and beckoned me to go away. He was dressed in a cap and what looked like a working clothes.
I presumed him to be an unfriendly neighbour unhappy to see a Catholic priest in the area – which was very Protestant.
I rang the doorbell and the young husband let me in. I mentioned the unfriendly neighbour to him and he said: “That’s the presence we are having trouble with”.
We talked for a little while and he and his wife explained the regular unfriendly and aggressive sightings of the man by various family members.
I suggested that I might celebrate Mass in their kitchen which they were very agreeable to. During Mass I went around every room in the house and blessed each room with holy water.
Just after Communion at Mass their eight-year-old son came into the kitchen and said to his father: “Daddy, the bad man is after jumping out the sitting room window”.
We had a cup of tea and I left. In the coming days and weeks the husband telephoned me and told me that they had no trouble and sightings since my visit.
The paranormal is mysterious. There are more things in heaven and earth than we can understand.
I certainly believe in the paranormal and I believe that unsettling energies and appearances can be solved through faith and prayer.
Of course, there are also many very positive and healing spiritual energies that can drift into our lives that can give us a sense of peace and inspiration.
I believe that some people are more sensitive to these energies than others.
Clerical sources in Kerry diocese tell me that not all is well down there.
The bishop, Ray Browne, a blow in from the Elphin diocese, has never won the hearts of the Kerry priests because of his strange, disagreeable personality, his expectation of obedience even in small things and his emphasis on money and fundraising.
THE FATHER SEAN “KING PUCK” JONES AFFAIR.
The ordination of Sean Jones has frozen relationships between Browne and the clergy.
On the one hand, a number of priests strongly advised Browne not to ordain Jones. Browne did not like being told what to do and resentment set in.
Then Browne, after making Jones sign an addidavit denying what was on this blog about him and denying that the jock pic was of him went on and ordained Jones.
Browne now sees priestly support for his decision about Jones the litmus test of priestly loyalty. And many priests still disagree with Browne’s actions.
Jones is a curate in Tralee and by all accounts is very underworked and spends a lot of time on his computer in his rooms.
Browne forbids and criticism of Jones.
Some Kerry priests think that Jones will not last in the priesthood.
This would be a disaster for Browne as he has bet on his money on King Puck.
Could Browne survive an “I told you so” outcome?
THE MARK MORIARITYCASE
Mark Moriarty has been a friend to King Puck and Chris Derwin from Maynooth days.
The Maynooth “shadow” hangs over him.
Browne has him currently living alone in Kilcummin parochial house – a very dtrange arrangement for a seminarian – who should surely be helping out in a parish?
Priests are requested not to visit him?
Clerical rumour is that Browne is not to ordain him?