One of the groups of people I have worked with in my 45 ministry to date – are those women who have had relationships with priests and then become priestly cast-offs.

One of the first women in this position I met was also the mother of an Irish religious order priest’s three children.

At the time was working in Birmingham diocese and the woman came up against the coldness of the then archbishop Courve de Meuville.

Having got nowhere with that particular snob she contacted that other snob of the time – the Westminster monk and archbishop Basil Hume.

He was as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.

So decided to send him a shock for Christmas.

We bought a large doll, dressed it as a priest and sent it by courier to Hume which included the note:

“Basil, would you please put the enclosed baby priest in your cathedral crib this Christmas in remembrance of all the priest’s babies that are denied and forgotten by the Roman Catholic Church”.


Another woman I met was made pregnant by a priest in the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.

Her and I travelled on a cold winter’s day to meet the bishop at the time, Larry Ryan.


Ryan sat as far away from us as he could in a large room

We arrived drenched from the windy rain.

He never offered us as much as a cup of tea.

He listened but said nothing.

He did nothing.

Pat and sister Margaret RIP circa 1955