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FATHER VINCENT MERCER AND THE IRISH DOMINICANS.

Submitted by a blog reader

Vincent Mercer

Vincent Mercer was a member of the Irish Dominican province and a priest, He was laicised in 2017. He is currently living in an apartment in Dublin, payed for by the Irish Dominican province. He has a Wikipedia page dedicated to him, which can be viewed to see a list of his convictions and jail terms. Since the year 2000 the law of the church has said that if a priest is convicted of child sex abuse they are to be defrocked. It is now 2017.


The abusive career of Vincent Mercer began when he was a student for the priesthood in Tallaght back in the late 60’s early 70’s. It was brought to the attention of his then provincial Flannan Hynes OP (still alive thought now living in South America). He was not expelled from the order, and this allowed him to continue he abusive career until the 1990s, using his position as a priest/Dominican to gain trust and a cover of respectability.

Flannan Hynes OP (still alive thought now living in South America). He was not expelled from the order, and this allowed him to continue he abusive career until the 1990s, using his position as a priest/Dominican to gain trust and a cover of respectability.


He was made principal of Newbridge College, a secondary school (at the time an all-boys boarding school) run by the Dominican order. It was a curious appointment, as Mercer had no teaching qualification or indeed a civil third level qualification what so ever! Here he begun to abuse boys also. He used creep into the dormitories at night time and sexually assault the students.

He was removed on ‘health grounds’ one night (and I do mean literally in the middle of the night) and moved to Waterford, where he abused, to cork where he abused, back to Dublin where he abused.

Each time he was moved a different reason was given. Incidentally while Mercer was in Newbridge college one of his colleges was Brian Mckevitt op, editor of the Alive newspaper. It is alleged that one boy told McKevitt that Mercer was abusing him. McKevitt reacted by dragging the child in front of Mercer and making him repeat what he had said about Mercer! McKevitt was challenged on this on the radio programme ‘Liveline’. He denied that he was in the College at the same time as Mercer, however the yearly college annuals tell otherwise.


Mercer was eventually removed from ministry in the early 2000’s as victims began to sue the Irish Dominican province. However he could have been stopped a lot earlier, as he was reported while he was a student, by a fellow student who is now a prior of a Dublin community.


Mercer was allowed to continue his vile behaviour because superiors claimed they did not know that child abuse was wrong! And they did not know what to do about it! So they moved him until the next complaint was made, then shipped him off again to another unsuspecting congregation!

Amazingly when he was removed from Newbridge, to Waterford, the then provincial actually said he was suitable for youth ministry! I know this to be true because the man who was prior there at the time told me.


Two former provincials, who were in office when Mercer was abusing, and who had it reported to them, are still alive, living in Ireland and in ministry.

JORDAN


Fr. Tom Jordan OP editor of ‘Spirituality’ magazine. Provincial 1984-1992. Currently residing at the Black Abbey Dominican church, Kilkenny City.

Tom make 2 claims regarding knowledge of Mercers abuse.

  1. He knew nothing.
  2. When he does admit that he knew something, he claims did not know that child abuse/rape was wrong! (I am not making this up!) Now this makes him either amoral, unable to distinguish right from wrong, therefore not suitable to be a priest, or a liar, again not suitable to be a priest.
  3. In 2003 the Province held a seminar on the subject of Child sex abuse, in the Dominican retreat centre in Mayfiled, Cork city. It was a seminar, with professional speaks speaking on this terrible issue. The then provincial was Gearoid Manning, who left the order in 2004. During the seminar Both Flannan Hynes (who was home at the time) and Tom Jordan stood up and declared they did not know that the rape and sexual assault of children was wrong, or indeed was a crime. To be fair member of the province did try to tackle them, but were stopped by the chair of the meeting. To this day that is the line peddled by Tom Jordan. I remember sitting with him at lunch one day and raising this, specifically why did he not report Mercer to the Garda, and again I got the usual ‘I did not know that child abuse was a crime’ answer. (Well at least he said ‘crime’ instead of ‘wrong’ perhaps it was the beginning of a moral enlightment!) I questioned if he knew rape/sexual assault was wrong, he answered that he did. So I asked him why he had had this lack of clarity when an adult male priest raped a child. I remember his look of indignation and indeed sheer contempt at my questioning him. He answered, in a very patronising way, that I wouldn’t understand, it was ‘complicated’ for them. I was stopped by another priest for asking more questions, and he change the subject! Tom is the kind of cleric who is ‘progressive’ and believes in the ‘empowerment’ of the laity. He also treats with distain anyone who would dare disagree with him, and did not think twice about inflicting a paedophile priest on the unsuspecting laity. He did not know that child abuse was wrong.
  4. Fr Larry Collins OP. Provincial from 1992-2000. Member of the Dublin marriage tribunal. Currently administrator of the parish of St Dominic, Tallaght, Archdiocese of Dublin. (Ironically the place where Mercers abuse was first reported, but back then it was called Loreto parish) Also on the board of management of Newbridge College, and parish schools.

Larry Collins op, on the left of this picture, with his arm around Jim Dunleavy OP.


By the time Larry was provincial the ‘rumours’ of Mercer were getting harder to ignore. We were now in the era of the Eamon Casey and Brendan Smith scandals.

Rumours regarding Mercer were beginning to circulate around the province. In the mid 1990’s the Dominican priest in charge of the Dominican summer camp Knockadoon, in rural Cork, had heard of these rumours. (Incidentally Mercer had abused children in Knockadoon also, in the 1960’s). As Mercer was showing up to the summer camp, the priest in charge contacted Collins to ask if the rumours were true and indeed if it was safe for Mercer to be near the kids at the camp. The priest told me of the response he got from Fr Larry Collins OP, then provincial of the Irish Dominican province.

Collins accused the priest, who made the inquiry, of trying to malign Fr Mercer, of making untrue/unfounded accusations against Mercer and ordered the priest to desist at once from spreading such disgusting and unfound rumours about a wonderful priest! The priest told me he only wishes he had kept that letter. Mercer had many powerful friend who shielded him, Collins was one of them. I know that Collins had sent Mercer to Stroud, a centre for troubled/problematic priests, but removed him when Mercer claimed he was losing his faith! Though it is worth noting that Collins did, eventually, limit Mercers ministry activities, sometime in the late 1990’s.


Like Fr Tom Jordan OP, Fr Larry Collins OP did not feel the need to report Mercer to the civil authorities. We were now in the post Brendan Smith period. Collins became provincial in 1992, Mercers last know abuse was in cork in 1994, for which he has served a sentence. A simple google search will reveal all of this. Two things are worth noting. 1 no report was made by Collins to the civil authorities, 2 Collins seems to have tried to quash members of the province from asking questions about Mercer. At a community social a priest, in my presence, said ‘that Larry perjured himself in the Mercer case’, in claiming that he knew nothing of Mercers abusive behaviour.

Larry Collins is on the Board of management of Newbridge College, is a past pupil of the college, and has an almost fanatical love for the place. Yet this did not encourage him to protect children, or indeed remove a dangerous paedophile from a position where he could hurt children. If such a case were to arise now would Collins act correctly and report it, or would he still have ‘uncertainties’ regarding child protection? Is it appropriate for him to be heading a parish and be on board of managements of schools in the Archdiocese of Dublin?


I would describe both Jordan and Collins as two very judgemental men. For example in the issue of marriage equality both men would have had absolutely no doubts that Marriage equality was ‘wrong and dangerous for society’ and that it is the job of the state, through its laws, to reflect this. Yet when it came to Fr Vincent Mercer OP they ‘did not know that child abuse/sexual assault was wrong’, or that the States laws should be involved. They deny any wrong doing of course. The motto of the Dominican order is ‘Veritas’, the latin for truth. However, it seems that the relationship of some Dominicans with ‘truth’ is loose to say the least.

My conclusion.


I am going to make a dangerous conclusion. I cannot prove this, but it would make sense in light of what we now know. I suspect a deal was done with Mercer. If he said that his religious superiors had no knowledge of his abusive activity, then they would look after him, they would not kick him out of the order or strip him of his priesthood.

Though out of ministry, Mercer is still a priest and a member of the Irish Dominican province.


Just to illustrate the depravity and shamelessness of Mercer. Recently, last month, he attended a funeral in Mayfield in Cork city. Mercier position himself at the end of the church so all could see him as they left, and he greeted many people. The parents of the child he abused in cork, for which he was sentenced on 22 February 2013, live there, and he would know that. They were probably at that funeral.

TOM JORDAN

Tom Jordan op is the former Dominican provincial and currently editor of ‘spirituality’ magazine (Dominican Publication’s)

LARRY COLLINS

fr Lawrence (Larry) Collins op. Administrator of Dominics parish Tallaght Archdiocese of Dublin. Defender of the Bond Dublin marriage tribunal, former teacher of canon law in st Mary’s Dominican studium Tallaght.

133 replies on “FATHER VINCENT MERCER AND THE IRISH DOMINICANS.”

Thanks for this well-written and disturbing post. It really annoys me when they came out with this lie that nobody knew it was a crime. Everybody knew it was a crime and that anyone caught would be in trouble with the police. Even if it wasn’t a crime in law, they should have known it was a grave, mortal sin. Even the old confession manuals had sections dealing with it, so it was known about. .

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Malcolm op told Albert Kirby: “I didn’t report the abuse because I thought the victim did not want to take it any further.”
This was after the victim had informed numerous church staff, safeguarding and then reported, in person, to +Malcolm op himself!
They are a vile and dispicable lot, Bishop Pat!
This little light of mine… I’m gonna let it shine!

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It is not credible that any of these lowlifes did not know that any abuse of children or vulnerable adults was a criminal offense. They should all be prosecuted and brought to justice. If they were ‘ Religious’ which makes it worse they should be dismissed from their Order.

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I am not mistaken that Gearoid Manning worked for The Granada Institute after leaving the Dominicans? Manning put all his efforts into developing The Biblical Institute

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In evidence to one of the State inquiries, Gearoid Manning gave oral evidence about the St Xavier orphanage run by the OPs, which didn’t close until the 1990s. He revealed that until 1964 it was staffed by live-in lay staff, namely a Master and Matron, plus domestic staff.

The OPs had a supervisory role and didn’t live in or run it day to day.

Then in 1964 one of the OPs from St Saviour’s priory decided to move in, lived there as the sole resident adult and dismissed the lay Matron and Master. Manning described him as being like the mother and father to the children.

Abuse by the OP then followed and the OPs later had to compensate victims and also pay funds to the redress board.

Bizarrely, the inquiry didn’t ask more about or name the Dominican who took over the orphanage. Nor did it ask about who in the Order had approved the arrangement, including the dismissal of the lay staff.

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One of the many heartbreaking aspects of Manning’s evidence was when he was asked how was it that children ended up in the orphanage. He said that in most cases the child’s mother had died and then the father had felt unable to raise the children and put them in the home. Imagine a child whose mother has died, their father has basically sent them away to an orphanage in a strange city, only for them then to be abused. How awful it was.

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Interesting that it was the libs and progressives in the order who hushed things up. Reminds me of McCarrick.

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9:56
You skimmed the article and found what you wanted to find. Have another read of it. This time open your eyes.

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9:24
Does it matter?
In the real world rather than the cerebral world of theology, labels are an irrelevancy.
Whether liberal, progressive, moderate, conservative or ultra-conservative, the fact of the matter across the catholic world is, priests were protected and continue to be protected regardless of their bishops or religious orders theological tag. From Maciel to the Jesuits- cover ups!

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10.20
If you are the same poster at 9.56 then yes. According to you, it does matter.

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“The last time people will speak to you in a straightforward way”. This was said by Fr Allan White OP before rejecting the Bishophric of Portsmouth at the last minute. There are still some Dominicans with morals but very few.

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I remember Allan White asking me after my Ordination if I felt changed? He has a sharp wit and very clever. I don’t blame him turning down Portsmouth or any other diocese. He is too clever for them.

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To the Blog contributor.
The Very Reverend John Harris OP the new Provincial from August would be more than happy to consider your issues or Bishop Buckley’s issues so St. Mary’s Tallaght
Dublin D24 X585 or provincial’dominicans.ie
or if you lack Our trust contact Congregation of for the Institute of Consecrated life and Societies of Apostolic Life Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz Palazzo della Congregraziono palazzo Pio XXII, 3 , 00193 Rome.
Father Mercer is NOT in the Irish Catholic Directory 2021
And yes you are correct he should be laicised however if that has not been done it should be done now also you could draw your concerns to Archbishop Farrell about Larry Collins as well.

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Sometimes contacting a Vatican Department does pay dividends. It is helpful if the Cleric in charge of a Congregation is a native to Ireland or even the UK. Some people used to scoff at the advice before on this blog of contacting Cardinal Sarah – he or someone from the Congregation always replied. Most don’t.

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To Jim S @10.17 – are your pretending to be a Dominican now or their spokesman? What do you mean by “our trust”?

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11:54 am Is Jim S on a kick back? He forgot to delete or change ‘trust’ !!! LOL
I get the impression there is concern more cases might emerge.
You might as well contact Santa The North Pole as The Vatican.

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@10:17am
There has never been a Pope PioXXII the last Pope Pio was the XII 1939-1958 you should check that you are giving correct information when indulging in your favorite hobby of advising people to write to all and sundry.

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1.16
Well spotted. That the kind of illiterate know-all we are dealing with here.

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8.35
Yes. Pius II was a renowned humanist. And Pius IV fathered at least three children. It was downhill from then on, apart from the great Pius V.

Be careful what you wish for.

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@ 12:08 pm

Betty, don’t mind the gratuitous insults from some posters.Some no more believe in God than the tooth-fairy. They cannot stand MC simply because they cannot outsmart him.

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12.07: Betty Crackpot – you know quite well the situation re: MC. Stop playing such foolish games. Grow up. The blog issue for today is serious and you debase it by referencing this bully. The crimes committed by Dr. Mercer are disgusting. I hope all victims receive justice and proper compensation. I hooe you that the new provincial will act with compassion and justice. I know him to be a kind, caring man. These abuse crimes yet again are disturbing and beg questions still for all of us in ministry.

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@ 11:18

Oh, its now, Dr. Mercer!
In what subject is his doctorate? From which University?

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@ 12.08pm anonymous
I was only asking, no need to be snappy!

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Pat, I wonder if you should do one of your open letters to the current provincial asking why Mercer is still a priest, still a Dominican and why they house him? More their line to give his flat to a victim.

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It’s a disgarce that Mercer got something such light sentences.
From Wikipedia:
2003 case
In March 2003, Mercer pleaded guilty at Naas District Court to four counts of indecent assault on a 13-year-old boy. He was given a sentence of six months imprisonment.
2005 case
He was convicted in March 2005 of 13 sample charges of indecently assaulting eight boys aged 10–13, between 1970 and 1977. He received a three-year suspended sentence at Naas Circuit Criminal Court.

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Should these people be striped naked and left in stocks in the public street to be raped?
An eye for an eye. We will then see if they’ll deny knowledge of rape being wrong.

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UPDATE

I have just learned that, in the past, the Dominicans appointed a group of lay chaperons to accompany Mercer everywhere he went. When out, he was accompanied by two lay chaperones.

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Some years ago while on a sunday visit to Mt. Melleray Abbey in Waterford I saw Vincent Mercer accompanied by two other men. I recognized Mercer having met him briefly in the early 1980s at a function. He befriended a family I know sexually abusing their 12 year old boy. Words fail me. Appalling harm done in so many ways.

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11.16: Pat: the link video of 12.20 is disgusting. It’s a link to some horrendous porn videos and other horrible material. You should delete it for security…I hope our phones are not destroyed by opening it. Did you link in?

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Gone. I thought it was a video of someone being attacked by a dog.

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6.49: Thanks Pat for deleting that comment and video link. It is a cautionary tale. As you know these links are often not safe. Maybe you should ensure that any link in future is safe…Recently a friend firwarded a tik tok to me and I am shocked at what came with it. Disgusting assiciated porn links. Thanks.

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12.57: If Chris Derwin is getting on with his life, shouldn’t you just MYOB…Really, your type are irredeemably ignorant and low life.

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That’s still only very recently you know, Bishop Pat. Why did it take all that time one has to ask? They’ll never change, it has to be said. Never!
And why kids? Why can’t they just go on a date with somebody, for a pint or something, or even a dating site and go on a “date” with an adult, like normal human beings.
There’s a big cruelty element to it, no two-ways-about it; cruelty and control over smaller and innocence.
It does have a satanic element to it.
If anybody ever touched one of our kids, my cousins, well. I’ll say no more — I’m no judge… but I am very able in lots of respects! x

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Liverpool X: the power and control elements act like an extra aphrodisiac in the abuse of minors by persons in “responsible ” positions. That’s as well as the availability factor.

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Good luck to him. I would rather sell gelato than the lies of the RCC. At least he’s not poncing off the sheep.

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True especially regarding the entrance of Maynooth Seminarians. So much pain and online targeting of vulnerable men .

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Mary McAleese:

“Many of us are in growing despair of our Church’s inability to turn a critical spotlight on itself while shining a critical spotlight on the world at large,” she said, and referred to “its controlling clericalism, its cavalier misogyny, its evil homophobia, its institutional and clerical child sexual and physical abuse,its episcopal cover-ups that protected criminals and ignored victims, its lack of financial transparency and accountability”.

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2.43
Because, inter alia:
The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Not only the Dominicans. What about The AG of the Cistercians, Brother Malachy Thompson of Roscrea, Dom Michael Ryan of Moone Abbey and Bishop Phonsie. All ignoring the reality and covering up. Morally bankrupt the lot of them. They continue to protect their positions at all costs. History will not be kind to them.

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Part of the goals of Trent was to tackle clerical abuse and formation shortcomings by setting up highly regulated seminaries, enforcing canon law and enforcing discipline. All that was reversed after Vatican II, with abuse cases exploding, peaking in the 1980s. Look at Maynooth, for example, and the collapse in discipline and order in the seminary, if Maynooth can still be considered to be a seminary since 1968.

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This echoes exactly what I realised yesterday: of the 7 sacraments in Catholicism, the ONE that’s nearly disappeared now is… confession.
Modern day Catholics forgot about sin (evil).

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Dom Michael Ryan is in good company. He’s very happy to ignore what’s going on. Pretending he’s not in the loop. He has been sent evidence.

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In fairness Br Mal Thompson was the last man standing. He was a late vocation with little academic track record. He’s there to order the removal vans. He is not going to upset Fr Dick Purcell as he will be answerable to him again when they relocate to Purcell’s patch. Apparently the monastery gardener in Roscrea turned down the job when Mal got it.

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Fr Ambrose Farrington and Br Kieran Dooley would be horrified to know what is going on in Cistercians. Ryan and Thompson are 2nd rate compared to who went before them.

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For a little order these Cistercian guys get lots of attention. They are more into property development now than in religion.

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Thompson knew what was going on. He orchestrated Purcell getting rid of Fr Aelred Magee, an obvious candidate to be Abbot. The politics in the OCSO would put the Vatican to shame. A priest in the Cloyne diocese appears to have the inside track and not afraid to spill the beans to other religious. More is known than is being let on.

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“Is Malachy Thompson the head of house now?” He’s most certainly head of something by the looks of things. But as a Brother I’m not sure how this works out as head of monasteries are usually priests?

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He certainly knows how to “milk” a teet (amongst other things). See point 0:40.

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It suits people here to attack Dom Richard Purcell. The constant attacks are distasteful. It suits some in the OCSO to keep the focus on Fr Richard as it keeps the spotlight away from their own nocturnal adventures. Both north and south.

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@4.00pm I would like a web link to provide secure evidence of your statement. Please retract if you do not have secure evidence.

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I know of an ex cleric who believes child abuse is not Taboo. I believe as this person was abused time and time again it may be a form of trauma bonding with his abuser. A mental protective measure justifying the abuse thus being able to hold this very dangerous point of view?

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7.48 idiot? Why so nasty? He is Associated with devil’s triangle in Kildare.

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Thoughts please? …. Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday.

“It is still the doctrine of the Church that anyone who knows himself or herself to be in a state of serious sin which distances him from the love of God should not move forward to receive the Holy Communion simply because everybody is going,” Cardinal John Onaiyekan said in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, on Sept. 9.

“He must first avail himself of the sacrament of reconciliation with God through confession.”

“But unfortunately, what we see is a general stream of people going for Communion at Mass, and it seems like they don’t really bother about whether they are in the right spiritual state to receive it.”

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Joe, might it be that those going for communion don’t really believe in all that transubstantiation hogwash, and regard it as simply participating in a communal act of solidarity with the traditions of their religious tribe?
MMM

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7:06 pm

Did you not learn the difference between: some / any / much / many, in social work school?
What social work model of intervention did you practice: radical, marxist, systems theory,
etc, or are such models of intervention complete total utter hogwash used in theory books to brainwash the professional tribe.

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You’re welcome Joe.
Which is more than can be said about the two repetitive shitehawks @ 7.47 & 8.21 whose diminished wit continues to mouth the same valueless script every time I comment.
In my former professional capacity I was obliged to deal with such characters. The majority of them were usually in , ……..well, to put it kindly, in a psychological and/or practical mess.
MMM

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10:29 pm
So the former professional good without God social worker is also a pompous sounding
gas-lighter. What was your qualification? A CQSW from a polytechnic in England?
Have some respect for others, including their beliefs, values and world views, like a
good man.Social work/social workers are not exactly lily white. Many social workers have caused a mountain of trouble for citizens. However, statutory social workers can hide behind statutory legal teams. I’m sure you are fully aware of the numerous social work scandals, some of which are ongoing.

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Shocking to think the board of management of Newbridge College has someone complicit in cover up. Boards have a statutory function around safeguarding and Tusla reporting. Boards have an oversight role.

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7.47: Excellent riposte and reply to that hogwash from the Mourne mountains: dripsy, dreary, MOURNFUL MAISIE MICKEY!! 🤣😃😆😅🤣…his social work profession hasn’t exactly been superlative in so many horrific cases, of which he is aware. Well spoken.

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Mayo have fallen to Tyrone in the All Ireland final and the famous Curse imparted by a priest on Mayo. I think this curse is authentic. I have heard of similar curses by Clergy that came true.

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Its either you are talking rubbish or you dont know it nor experienced it.
Did experience it in this blog from someone or some priest out there when i mentioned JPII and Marciel re massive donations re last year or so.
Donegal now deceased healer did mention it re the dangers of curse, quite common in travellers. It confirmed my view that’s its real.
Also this blog is bit dangerous cos it invites the curse on the person.

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What have you heard? Seriously? Anything to share? Nothing! Stfu in other words early drunk @ 6.33pm.

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Did anyone see/read Joe Brolly’s divine revelations before the game. He got it strfro JC Himself

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Today’s blog submission is a classic illustration of the parable of “The Good Superior”
an adaptation of Luke 10:25-37. The application of this parable, otherwise known as
“the preferential option for the priest”, has become an outstanding major development
in Catholic ecclesiology, reaching its zenith in the latter half of the 20th century, which continues into the 21st century. Champion lads. Champion.

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8.40: De Integro. Lovely comment. You are so right: we do so much damage, mentally, emotionally and spiritually by constant negativity. While being truthful is essential for our well-being and moral conscience before God, we are, as Christ’s followers, called to be encourages. Christ certainly offer his peace and healing at the Eucharist but we are not always able to embrace the given grace. It eventually finds its way into our hearts. I’m glad you had that experience. In fact this morn ing waived depressingly upon for (I know why) and I thought how am I to celebrate 2 confirmations today and a vigil mass. Trusting in God I am at greater harmony now after the day. Every good wish and we pray for all whose lives are full of burdens and crosses, alluded to by Jesus in the gospel for this weekend. I believe if we try to love God and others to the best of our potential, we will meet crosses of all kinds…

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Pat, will you please remember Thomas who died recently (rip) and his family in a mass during the week. A very sad tragic story.

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Poor Mayo didn’t stand a chance,Tyrone were on top of things from the outset. Whatever about actual curses lots of people “curse” others by their negititivity and even cruelty. When we say or do something to another we should always think carefully, the shadow of painful memories and misunderstandings is long. I had reason to relive a certain betrayal recently and it wasn’t pleasant. This evening I watched +Pats mass after reading evening prayer and I have to say I recovered a peace I had been lacking these last few days. Let’s pray for each other and do whatever good we can, while we can leaving the rest to God.

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There was a Dominican profession livestreamed today from Dundalk. Beautiful church, woeful singing from people who need music lessons and shallow preaching from someone who needs elocution lessons to begin with. Magnificent setting.

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