A 70 year old friend of mine in London had a scary experience recently when accused of being a racist. This is his story:
“There are good laws; bad laws and good laws abused by bad men and women.
In totalitarian regimes, your enemy could go the authorities with a baseless accusation and you might end up ‘disappeared’.
In the UK the best way to damage someone’s reputation is to run to police claiming to have been ‘racially abused’.
You need to produce no evidence; just a baseless and unsubstantiated claim.
The police then have to spend hours investigating whilst real criminals go relaxedly about their business.
This is the scary experience of one resident.
“As I was preparing to leave my flat in London I saw a large BMW 4×4 parked with what appeared to its engine running.
I approached the driver and politely asked if he could turn off his engine: pollution levels being dangerously high in the area. The man replied that his engine was now off.
This is something I gently do and am always met with courtesy.
In fact, because it was dark it was impossible to know the driver’s nationality.
Apologising profusely I said it must be the car next door.
I thought that would be the end of the matter: it was not.
The driver then said, “I will tell you what I will do”
He proceeded to turn on his engine and revving it for a maximum of several minutes.
Astonished, I said to him, “ you really are stupid and rude: we don’t behave like that in this country.”
The burly, forty-something driver replied,“ We own this country”
I laughed and walked away saying, “You own this country? You really are an idiot”
Those were the last words I addressed to the driver for I did not wish his aggressiveness to turn to physical violence-my wife and son were close by.
A couple of weeks later I received this email from a PC Xxxxxxx at Kensington Police Station.
Good Afternoon, Mr Xxxxx
I am writing regarding an on-going investigation about a racially aggravated public order offence. You are a suspect named by the alleged victim and you need to be interviewed about this matter. Would you be able to come in for an interview on Thursday 12th March at 0730hrs?
This type of interview would be a caution + 3. You won’t be under arrest and you are entitled for a solicitor to be present.
If you fail to turn up for an interview, however, then you may be arrested in order to interview you about this offence.
Accused: Sorry, but can you please enlighten me?
Someone has made an allegation against yourself that you racially abused him.
In order for this matter to be investigated, I need to interview you about this matter.
Are you able to come on Thursday 12th March at 0730hrs?
Accused: I am a seventy year old. Can we make it a later time?
I am now faced with the stress of having to prove the driver is a vexatious liar wasting police time and my own.
I am also faced with considerable legal fees to prove my innocence.
The police claim they are so under-resourced they can investigate only the most serious of crimes.
But here’s the irony….. thirty-eight of my close friends are either Nigerian, Ghanaian, Indian, Tunisian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish, Asian or Middle Eastern.
The ten I have spoken to so far cannot believe what is happening to me: all are prepared to come forward to say I have not a racist bone in my body.
More ironic is the fact that my wife is Japanese and my children and grandchildren all have French, German and Japanese blood and my cousins Jewish!
Were it not so serious it would be funny.
I don’t know what the driver claimed I called him to justify the allegation…..did he say this seventy year old threatened to beat up a man half his age? I fear I am not that courageous!
What is interesting is that the police have not asked the driver what might have been the cause of the altercation which was the driver breaking the law by running his engine at maximum revs whilst stationary.
Were they to do so it would become obvious the driver was seeking to use the police in order to support his outrageous claim of racial abuse.”
Racism in all its forms and expressions is evil and should always be challenged.
But sadly there are people in the people of colour community who abuse charges of racism and make false accusations.
I had such an experience myself some years ago in the town of Balbriggan in County Dublin which has a very large Black community.
A black woman in a car drove right in front of me on the wrong side of the road and nearly caused a serious accident.
When I remonstrated with her and told her I was teporting her to the Garda she said: “If you do I will tell the Guards you racially abused me”.
I still went to the Garda station and reported her and her threat to accuse me of racial abuse.
In the politically correct society we live in it so easy to be accused wrongly.
Racism is an evil thing.
But so is calling someone a racist when they are not.
Respectfully, I direct your attention to the affidavit annexed to the present sworn before a Co. Antrim-based notary public. Therein, a number of allegations of sexual misconduct are averred against the current Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey, the Rt. Rev’d Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO. During my seminary formation in Waterford, I visited Mount Melleray Abbey on several occasions. It is a place that is deeply close to my heart, and indeed the hearts of a great number of people in Ireland. It is a monastery founded during the persecution of the church in France that has been a source of immeasurable spiritual succour to a multitude of faithful both in Ireland, and across the globe. It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to be writing this letter; it is, in fact, a source of considerable personal sadness.
As a fair-minded and reasonable individual I am sending you a copy of this letter as a PDF, which will be followed-up by a signed hardcopy. It is my intention to publish a copy of same on my blog, however, I will not do so — if I receive a request from the Nunciature not to publish same.
The future of the Irish Cistercians is far too important to permit inaction. To this extent, I respectfully request that you transmit a copy of this letter and the attached affidavit to the Secretariat of State of the Holy See with a request that this matter is brought to the attention of, HE João Card. Braz de Aviz the Prefect of the competent Dicastery. I further request that the Dicastery launch an immediate investigation into these allegations, and an important positive first step would be the appointment of an individual by a Decree authorised to conduct an investigation into these allegations in accordance with the dictates of Canon Law, cf Canon 1717, and the law proper of the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance. If, Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, refuses to step aside, the Dicastery can be invited to render a Decree forcing the imposition of an interim superior on Mount Melleray Abbey, and/or an apostolic administrator for a period of eighteen (18) months.
An important further step would be for the Dicastery to write to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Waterford requesting the peremptory suspension of the faculties of Dom Richard Purcell to minister in that canonical territory.
Respectfully, in Christ, I remain,
Most sincerely yours,
+ Patrick Buckley
The Oratory Society
Anyone who mistakingly thought the Richard Purcell case had gone aware was gravely mistaken.
A number of people, including long time devotees of Mount Melleray have been working hard on this case.
This includes civil lawyers in Ireland and canon lawyers in Rome.
All of these people will not give up until this case gets sorted.
Sometimes, in discussing sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, we forget that the sexual abuse of children is actually a global phenomenon involving people of all races, skin colours, religions and places.
We have seen sexual abuse rings involving Pakistani men in the UK.
We have seen it in the Church of England.
In fact, the vast majority of paedophiles are neither priests nor even Catholics.
There was a very active paedophile ring in Northern Ireland in the 60s and70s.
It involved very senior people in the Northern Ireland and British establishment, including Lord Louis Mountbatten, a prominent member of the British Royal Family and the “stepfather” of Prince Charles.
It also involved high ranking politicians, medics and police officers.
Child sex abuse is a very old problem.
And in the past it did not get the prominence it does today.
The full truth about the Northern Ireland sex ring has yet to come.out.
Even the IRA and Sinn Fein has had their paedophiles.
At some point this weekend, Joe Biden will take his place in a line of people approaching the altar of a Catholic church to receive communion.
The US president, a devout Catholic whose speeches regularly include biblical references and who carries a rosary that belonged to his late son, attends Mass every weekend – in Washington, his home town of Wilmington in Delaware, or wherever he happens to be traveling. If the traditional Sunday morning Eucharist service is not possible because of his schedule, he will receive the sacrament on Saturday evening as permitted by the Roman Catholic church.
“It’s really an encounter with God,” Father Kevin Gillespie of Holy Trinity in Washington, the church Biden usually attends in the capital, told the Atlantic earlier this year. For Biden, this “sacred and intimate moment” is a “gift that enhances his faith”, and “we most certainly encourage him to improve his intimacy with God through the Eucharist”.
But not everybody in the Catholic church in America is quite so keen on Biden receiving communion. Next week, a national online meeting of US bishops will discuss whether the president and other high-profile political figures should be denied the sacraments because of his stance on abortion rights.
“How can he say he’s a devout Catholic and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the church’s teaching?” archbishop Joseph Naumann, chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) committee on pro-life activities, asked last month. Biden’s position was a “grave moral evil” which presents a “unique problem” for the church, Naumann said.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading conservative and critic of Pope Francis, has gone further, saying that politicians who “publicly and obstinately” support abortion are “apostates” who should not only be barred from receiving communion but deserve excommunication.
At their meeting, the bishops will consider a document aimed at clarifying the church’s position on the Eucharist, and decide whether to commission further work on the circumstances in which the sacraments may be denied. The proposal needs the support of at least two-thirds of the 280 bishops in the USCCB – and more than 60 have already requested a suspension of all discussion, citing divisions within the conference.
Among opponents of the move is Robert McElroy, the bishop of San Diego, who wrote in America Magazine, the Jesuit journal, that “the Eucharist is being weaponised and deployed as a tool in political warfare. This must not happen.”
A letter from a senior Vatican official last month urged US bishops not to rush any debate and decision, and there has been speculation that the first meeting between President Biden and Pope Francis could take place at the Vatican the day before the USCCB’s virtual session opens. That would be seen as a strong signal from Rome.
Whatever the outcome of the USCCB’s deliberations, the decision on whether an individual parishioner should be denied communion lies with the local bishop. Wilton Gregory of Washington and Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware, have both made it clear that Biden is welcome to receive communion at churches in their dioceses.
Father Gillespie’s public defence of Biden attending Mass has drawn angry phone calls, letters and emails. He told the Guardian it seemed best to refrain from speaking further on the matter, but said the president “has and will be welcomed to receive the Holy Eucharist” at his church.
Biden, the second Catholic to occupy the White House after John F Kennedy, has said his faith shapes “all that I do” and will “serve as my anchor” through his term in office. In his book, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics, he wrote: “My idea of self, of family, of community, of the wider world comes straight from my religion.”
On abortion, Biden has said he personally believes life begins at conception but recognises others do not share his view. “What I’m not prepared to do is impose a precise view that is borne out of my faith on other people,” he said in 2015.
In recent months, the Biden administration has lifted restrictions on federal funding for research involving human foetal tissue, rescinded a Trump policy barring organisations that refer women for abortions from receiving federal grants, and allowed women to remotely obtain a prescription for an abortion pill during the pandemic.
The Catholic church says that Catholics in public life should uphold principles consistent with its doctrine. But in a survey carried out by the Pew Research Center in March, more than two-thirds of US Catholics said Biden’s views on abortion should not disqualify him from receiving communion.
According to exit polls taken during last November’s presidential election, just over half of US Catholics (51%) voted for Biden, compared with 45% who voted Democrat in 2016; and 47% voted for Trump, compared with 52% in the previous election.
Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the USCCB’s proposal “serves to further polarise an already sharply divided episcopy, some of whom have been outspoken opponents of Pope Francis’s relatively progressive papacy.
“The proposal to exclude Biden and all election officials who support legal abortion from communion is an effort on the part of conservative bishops to shore up their base of regular Mass-goers who are the life blood of the church. But exclusionary ecclesial policies will only lead to greater defection from the pews, especially among Millennials and Generation Z.”
Michael Budde, professor of Catholic studies and political science at DePaul University in Chicago, said barring Biden from communion “will be rightly seen as a move of desperation, an attempt to coerce what has not been won by persuasion or dialogue”.
He added: “There is no consensus among the Catholic faithful on this measure; significantly, there is no real support for it at the level of the worldwide Catholic communion as voiced by Pope Francis. That there are finally some important US cardinals and bishops who are tired of this can’t-win strategy may be an indication that someday a better vision might finally emerge.”
A scathing editorial in the National Catholic Reporter earlier this month said the “tragic reality” of proceeding with the proposal was that “it will seal the deal on the branding of Catholicism in the United States as a culture war project.
“This culture war … is not the church of mercy and encounter that Pope Francis is trying to offer the world. Nor does it resemble what the carpenter’s son from Galilee preached and died for.”
In the end of the day only God Himself is in a position to judge the soul of anyone.
The RCC is entitled to teach its teachings and express its views on all matters.
In doing do it is expressing an OBJECTIVE MORALITY.
But whether a person is in sin or not is a matter of SUBJECTIVE MORALITY.
The RCC teaches that any woman who has an abortion is AUTOMATICALLY EXCOMMUNICATED.
It also teaches that anyone who helps duch a woman procure an abortion is also AUTOMATICALLY EXCOMMUNICATED.
So, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Catholics, already automatically excommunicated and not allowed to receive Holy Communion, and don’t even know it !
I dont believe in excommunication.
The Church is primarily the Family of God and God is not in the business of throwing His sons and daughters out of fhe family.
I am 45 years a priest.
I have NEVER refused anyone Holy Communion.
I have NEVER refused anyone absolution
As an old expression says:
“A priest should be a lion in the pulpit and a lamb in the confessional”.
Cara Lodge, Matt Talbot Adolescent Services’ residential facility for troubled teenagers in Enniskeane, West Cork.
TUE, 08 JUN, 2021 MICHAEL CLIFFORD THE EXAMINER
The chief executive of the Matt Talbot Adolescent Services (MTAS) charity has resigned with immediate effect.
Patrick Relihan had been on sick leave since last March.
In February, the HSE began a financial audit of the Cork based charity.
The Irish Examiner understands that the audit was prompted by allegations of financial mismanagement and followed a major review of the MTAS operation in recent years.
The audit is ongoing and no findings have yet been made from it.
The chair of the charity, former GAA president Christy Cooney, yesterday informed some of the staff about Mr Relihan’s departure.
When contacted, Mr Cooney said that he had no comment to make on Mr Relihan’s position.
Asked about the financial audit being undertaken by the HSE, he repeated that he had no comment to make.
MTAS, which treats young people with addiction problems, has been in operation for over 20 years in Cork City and, until last year, through a residential centre in West Cork.
Originally, the organisation was affiliated with the Catholic Church which had set it up to help troubled teenagers.
Until last year it was in receipt of around €1.25m from the HSE annually.
Mr Relihan was appointed CEO in May 2015. A former priest, who had been a school chaplain in the Cloyne diocese, he had a diploma in applied chemistry and a bachelor in theology from a university in Rome.
He was appointed CEO in May 2015. Following his appointment, he acquired a diploma in management in 2016.
His appointment as chief executive coincided with plans to expand the charity’s operation, including attempts to source funds outside the HSE, which is principal funder of MTAS.
However, in the following years, the organisation was beset with major internal difficulties in which a number of staff members left the organisation.
One senior staff member was suspended on full pay for four years and this person and another former staff member both took legal actions which resulted in out-of-court settlements.
In October 2019, the Irish Examiner reported that a number of protected disclosures had been made to the HSE about the charity and a major review was being undertaken.
A review commissioned by the HSE into MTAS operations was conducted in 2019 and due to report by the autumn of that year.
However, the report was never published and the HSE told the Irish Examiner last year that this was because the reviewers had gone beyond their remit in investigating MTAS.
Last October, the west Cork residential facility, based in Enniskeane, was closed with the loss of 18 jobs.
At the time, the HSE and MTAS attributed the closure to a fall off in demand for residential places for young people, combined with a change of policy placing more emphasis on day care treatment.
However, a number of professionals working in the area disputed that there was less demand for residential places.
No response was received at the time of going to press from the HSE to queries about Mr Relihan’s resignation or the financial audit.
COMPLAINT TOCHARITY REGULATOR ABOUT SPENDING IN CORK ADDICTION CENTRE.
Complaint to Charities Regulator about spending at Cork addiction centre
Last year, the HSE and MTAS announced that the charity’s residential centre in West Cork was ceasing operations.
THU, 10 JUN, 2021 – MICHAEL CLIFFORD THE EXAMINER.
A complaint was made to the Charities Regulator about the operation of Matt Talbot Adolescent Services in early May, the Irish Examiner has learned.
The complaint detailed a number of allegations about mismanagement, including the expenditure of “a sum in excess of €400k with no benefit and to the detriment of our service users”.
The allegation details how the money had to be spent on staff-related issues because of the alleged mismanagement.
There was no suggestion that money was misappropriated by any individual.
The chief executive of Matt Talbot Adolescent Services (MTAS) Patrick Relihan resigned with immediate effect this week.
The Cork-based organisation provides treatment to teenagers with addiction problems and employs 40 staff.
Its main funder is the HSE, which contributes in excess of €1.2m annually.
The HSE has been conducting a financial audit since February, which is ongoing. The HSE also commissioned a review of the operations at MTAS in 2019 but decided not to publish the outcome. Last year, the HSE and MTAS announced that the charity’s residential centre in West Cork was ceasing operations.
Cara Lodge, which closed with the loss of 18 jobs, was the only non-private centre of its kind in the country.
Chief executive of Matt Talbot Adolescent Services Patrick Relihan resigned with immediate effect this week.
A spokesperson for the Charities Regulator said it “does not comment or give updates on open concerns as this could prejudice a charity or our regulatory work”.
The spokesperson added that if the regulator decides to conduct a statutory inquiry, it will be publicised at that time.
Four protected disclosures
The complaint to the regulator follows four protected disclosures from members of staff in recent years, all alleging shortcomings in various aspects of the management of the charity.
The outcome of the first of these disclosures was a recommendation in January 2020 for a full audit. However, the HSE did not commence that audit for another 13 months. A spokesperson for the HSE said it was not commenting on MTAS at this point.
MTAS has been in operation for more than 20 years and was originally under the auspices of the Catholic Church.
Canon Donal Linehan was a board member until 2016 as was Tim Crean, a brother of the current Bishop of Cloyne, William Crean. Mr Relihan had left the priesthood in 2014, a year before his appointment as chief executive of MTAS.
The current board includes former GAA president Christy Cooney, who serves as chair, and former Cork hurling manager Bertie Óg Murphy. When contacted, Mr Cooney said he had no comment to make. Messages left for Mr Relihan had not received a reply.
Patrick Relihan is the former protege of the retired Bishop John Magee, secretary to three popes.
He is also the former assistant director of vocations for the diocese of Cloyne.
Bishop Crean’s brother, Tim, was on the board of MTAS.
It started off life as a Catholic organisation.
I imagine there will be an outcome when the HSE and Charity regulator have finished their report?
THE COMMENT OF A SENIOR DUBLIN PRIEST ON HEARING THAT GER NASH IS TO BE THE BISHOP OF FERNS.