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ANOTHER CISTERCIAN MATTER

*** I am travelling to Canada for a week from today. I will continue to blog but comment moderation may take extra time. Bear with me, please.

THE SAD DEATH OF PAT WALSH OF ROSCREA ABBEY.

Dear Pat

I have been following your blog for a while now and want to thank you for highlighting some awful abuses within the Church.

I am especially concerned over Richard Purcell and his disgraceful behaviour particularly following the suicide of Pat Walsh who was the guest master at Roscrea and I truly hope he did not witness anything and tried to bring it up with Purcell or Malachy Thompson.

I have no proof of anything I am sorry to say but just have a horrible feeling about it.

I will tell you what I know about Pat. I visited Roscrea for the first time in October 2018 as I had a friend there who was a novice oblate and so met Pat and stayed in touch with him afterwards albeit on a brief email every now and again.

My friend didn’t stay and he alerted me to Pat’s death. All I know is that Pat went missing – he was on the Garda website as a missing person and then found dead a few days later. If you google Paude Walsh Waterford you can actually watch still the funeral Mass via the link below the death notice in which the family talk about their search for him and then finding his body. He was a very big man so I would imagine he drowned or overdosed. I have tried very discreetly to find out more via someone I know who goes regularly to Roscrea but I get no real answers and people don’t want to talk about it.

So I don’t know the family really. All I can also say is that when I met Pat he was not at ease at all and I thought he seemed very depressed. So it may be that depression was the chief cause of his death; however the goings on at Roscrea can’t have passed him by either. I know he was a Carmelite for a long time too.I don’t know if there was an inquest?

Xxxxx

Sorry to leave more unanswered questions with you.

PAT SAYS:

At this point, ANYTHING that happens in Cistercian monasteries has at least the potential to be worrying and scandalous.

This is because we know that bad things have happened and are happening.

Someone as vulnerable as Pat Walsh could be very damaged by hearing and seeing things he should never hear or see.

Most sincere lay Catholics are shocked to the core at the things that have hapoened and are happening in monasteries and dioceses.

Rather than being the light houses of all that is good and moral, these places have become the flickering, enticing, lights of Hades.

85 replies on “ANOTHER CISTERCIAN MATTER”

I knew Pat, as a Carmelite novice he was going to go forward for the priesthood and was studying at Miltown in the early 2000s. A humble chap, devout, maybe a little insecure. He was well known among the sisters, and Mother Veronica of Dolgellau kept up with him, even after he left the order. Such a shame.

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This is sad, but note that he wasn’t a monk. As the supply of new monks and nuns dried up, it’s been a temptation for monasteries to “keep things going” by taking on seculars who are prepared to work in exchange for their keep. They are called various things: “familiars”, “helpers”, “confreres”, “interns’ “aspirants”. Such people are mentally “vulnerable” in one way or another, and usually end up causing trouble to themselves and the monasteries concerned. I think that an English nunnery had its church burnt down by one such.
Mental illness and suicide among monks and nuns used to be covered up, often with the connivance of the police and medics. For example, a monk becoming violently insane might not have been committed to a mental hospital but be put in a “private asylum” -literally in a padded cell, with no medication or treatment.
It’s facile to say that monasteries are “hot-beds of gay activity”. Back when men wanted to become monks, it was well known that you could only get into certain monasteries if you were gay (not just an RC thing -ask the Anglicans). Others were very much “If you’re gay, stay away”. However, most monasteries of any size contained a gay faction fanatically loyal to each other, and which used psychological violence to protect their position:
https://www.bishop-accountability.org/reports/2000_Coldrey_Integrity/integrity_09.htm
while the straight monks left them alone so as to have a quiet life. Not always, though -I know of one monastery where the straights professed a rabid homophobe, who went on the rampage as soon as he was solemnly professed and the gays all left! One way of sorting the problem…

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A lady I knew worked for the same order she had been an orphan at. She learned salacious talk from a beach preacher, then a married man with children copied that from her.

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In Ealing Abbey they were/are called housemen. I knew one of them. The lived in houses the monastery owned in the streets surrounding the abbey. The professed monks did none of the cleaning, cooking or manual work, all of which was done by the housemen, who received a pittance plus free accommodation and meals.

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That’s because many EBC monasteries didn’t have lay brothers – the history of being founded abroad and going to England on the mission meant they were all priests and so had to employ people to do the work.

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6.30
I never heard such rubbish from beginning to end on the blog. You know nothing of the history of monasticism and religious life.

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6.30
I never heard such rubbish from beginning to end on the blog. You know nothing of the history of monasticism and religious life.

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Interesting that the article mentions Benjamin O’Sullivan. It’s also true that they all know about each other. O’Sullivan was a rising star at Ampleforth with a high media presence after they released a recording. Well before the papers caught up with him I heard Dame Sadie Brogan of Farnborough comment that O’Sullivan should keep his head down because of what he had to hide.

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I am sad to read about this man death. I’m sure he went to Mount st Joseph to find peace. I visited the grounds recently as I live in a village a few miles away. I was struck by how lonely and empty the place in now. There was only a few students from the school walking around, they looked sad and homesick and had nothing to do or no activity for the day (it was a Saturday). I was struck by the greyness of the buildings and the vacuum of life and spirit. It was not a welcoming place, the abbey church was not open and whilst the guesthouse door was open there was not anyone to answer me. I understand it’s a monastery for an order of strict observance, none the less I understood they welcomed visitors to pray and reflect. I cannot imagine how people could stay on the grounds and be happy. I just hope the students are cared for. The abbey website promises loads and fails to live up to these promises, I suspect the school does likewise.

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Best of luck telling Br Malachy Thompson anything, his life’s mission is to cover up and keep silent as he is very nervous about bad publicity. Obviously the community has become very small and the options to lead the community were very very limited as most of the monks are very elderly. Malachy is a man with limited talent, ability and intellect and would fail to get the bigger picture. Of course he knows about and knew about what Dick Purcell was doing in the guesthouse and college buildings. Malachy I think has his own secrets, the problems Malachy had when he arrived in Roscrea have not gone away. Mount st Joseph is a very strange place with secrets and cover ups.

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From what I have previously read on the blog, Dom Dick was (allegedly) a regular at the Boilerhouse, periodically serviced a local farmer, and enjoyed midnight sex in the kitchen of Roscrea with a Killaloe priest. Unusual but nothing that would push someone else over the edge.

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We do not know what secrets Malachy and Richard covered up and what this poor man knew or witnessed. We do not know if this man was intimidated or bullied. The behaviour of the Abbott was not consistent with what should be the behaviour of a monk, this would make most people very uncomfortable and upset. Monastic communities are very intense. Please do not underestimate how this behaviour could impact on a religious man living in the guesthouse.

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Bro Pat Walsh ODC was with the order in 2007. He completed the Diploma in Pastoral Studies in 2005 and then started his BTH Degree in Theology. He had his heart set on priesthood. I don’t know why he left the Carmelites as he seemed so happy there and was making good progress.

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Roscrea is doing a great injustice in encouraging people to join their community. With everything outlined in this blog over the years, the solution to their decline is not answered by giving false hope to good people. This is another form of abuse carried out by the Church.

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Purcell was the bursar at Mt. St. Joseph Abbey, before he was elected abbot.

The Cistercian College will not want negative publicity like this over the coming weeks and months. It is bad for enrolment.

It is clear to me +Pat that you going to keep at the Cistercians until they get their house in order. However, they will only act when you involve state bodies. I am sure someone in due course will give you a lead and then you can make real mischief.

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The state bodies have already been involved. It takes them time.

This is NOT going away.

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I think you can apply that the the RCC priesthood as a whole. What are bishops, priests and monks doing when they invite priestly vocations to the Church ? They know that they are inviting good willed young men full of enthusiasm for service in to a culture and way of life that we know and have seen is full of dysfunction, lack of integrity, lack of transparency and honesty, and where these young men will be asked to live a lie and to be unhappy. Some get out before too much damage is done – how many leave the seminary or leave the ministry shortly after ordination, having realised what they have got themselves in to ? The rest soldier on and further damage is done to them. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that in the future the enticement of young men in to the priesthood will be seen to have been a form of coercive abuse. I don’t think much is going to change, even in this era of so-called synodality. In fact, the forthcoming synods and exchange of views has already been deballed, with no real talk of how to re-imagine the RCC priesthood, and especially the role of women in the priesthood. Little is going to change, I fear. So, why continue to look for vocations and lead young men in to this dysfunctional clerical priestly life ?

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9.47

I have seldom found myself in almost total agreement with a contribution on this blog. Yours is a very accurate appraisal. As I said a number of times in church( with correction to follow!), the church is no country for healthy young men at this time….in the pews or on the sanctuary! As for young women, young women in about 1985-1990 copped the dynamic of things( In Ireland, not sufficiently aware outside the island on that timing). The CEO s of the Multinational are products of the dysfunction and consequently perpetuate it…..not without consequence….they are its victims also; in terms of the richness of human living, pain and pleasure ‘ontologically’ anaesthetised to/for them. No Country For Young Men ( in terms of priesthood as understood in our time). P.S Too late for the good ones already there as you allude to….

The sacredness of The Sabbath is being celebrated at this hour in kitchens, bedrooms, out in canoes and kayaks, on mountain slopes and city streets, on pitches of all kinds and small bookshops ( that may be open), on trains, planes and automobiles, on bicycles and Vespas, in tents and caravans, and on stools and chairs in quiet places and cafes……people sitting still and solitary and those together in family or groups, and in the spaces of some buildings put up for prayer. But No Country For…..

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Yes I too think 9:47 is spot on.
I can’t speak for diocesan priesthood but there are many religious communities which should be allowed to fizzle out.

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Mr Mulvihill and 9:47, you’ve both set the cathbots off so you’re both obviously on the nail.

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9.47, our regular correspondent on seminaries being outmoded and let’s have priestesses is back. Have you tried the Anglicans? All you desire is there and it’s better for your peace of mind to be a happy Anglican rather than an unhappy Catholic. If I go to Tesco but really wish it would change to be more like Sainsbury’s, I don’t drone on about Tesco and try to change it. I just go to Sainsbury’s instead.

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@ 9.15am (William Mulvihill). The cosy set-up did for your day, Bill, and you raised no objections when you were ruling the roost in New House and when you sought ordination as a deacon and priest.

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I would agree. I also believe this is not a safe place to be sending boys and young men to be educated. It clearly is not a healthy environment.

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Nobody in their right mind would send their children to any school associated with priests, particularly not a boarding school.

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12.43
The distinction you make between shopping chains has more to do with ones fiscal pocket than anything else….Sainsbury’s having almost everything and expensive, Tesco has a lot and is less expensive… and then a sliding scale.

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Br Mal Thompson is utterly hopeless. Would not offer help and guidance to anyone. He is as pastoral as constipated duck.

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W.B Yeats. Sailing to Byzantium.

Enigma. Convolution. Undecipherable. Publishing problems. Whatever……….just join the dots….

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12.46

I never liked The Roost… in it twice in seven years. You may remember Frank Duhig had a solution for a certain matter ( never my dean) …. It was the availability of cold showers. I would not describe Maynooth as cozy…. You are of course somebody who left and lives on a very big island now ? A guess from the construction of your contribution… the use of William and Bill is superfluous… except for one who rates their intelligence higher than it’s actual quotient!

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Ruling the roost refers not to the tacky pub of that name in Maynooth village. It’s a common idiomatic expression. In this case, Bill, it refers to you ruling the roost in New House, where you were the ying to Nellie Dean’s yang.

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Fintan Monahan must intervene in Mount St Joseph. Not only was there one of his priests involved in a sexual relationship with the Abbot. There is so much wrong and unholy about this place. Pat Walsh I have no doubt was taken advantage of.

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9.52
You have no proof of your final sentence. A disgraceful post given that the deceased’s family could be reading this blog. If you have evidence of wrongdoing you know where to take it. If you don’t, show some responsibility.

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Where do you take Cistercian wrong doing to? The Abbot General? He does NOTHING!

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9.52
If you listen to the Family sadly Pat was troubled with mental health.
Sadly he must have drowned as the five men struggled to get him out the water and the family called them their hero’s.
Bishop Fintan Monahan needs to look at this Monastery however we all know from past experience of Fintan he is very slow to act.
However ALL Religious Communities are responsible to Rome but Bishop Fintan could raise his concerns as Bishop Denis would clear the floor with them.

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@ 12:56 pm
Rip, Pat.
Total, complete, and utter crap, Jim. The writer to Bp. Buckley said: “I am especially concerned over Richard Purcell and his disgraceful behaviour particularly following the suicide of Pat Walsh who was the guest master at Roscrea, and I truly hope he did not witness anything and tried to bring it up with Purcell or Malachy Thompson.” Jim, have you any idea of the number of people in this country on psychoactive medication? Any idea of the number of lives ruined by personnel working for Holy Mother Church? Any idea of the number of people prematurely dead as a consequence of abuse by Church personnel? Any idea of the depth of suffering, hurt and destruction of lives thanks to clerics including bishops covering up for clerics? Did it ever occur to you bishop Fintan might be slow to act because he only acts when he has no choice but to act? Are you in receipt of a kickback for posting on this blog, Jim?

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I thought monasteries are supposed to be schools of love according to ‘The Rule of St. Benedict’, not schools of lust…?

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The Rule actually allows for certain punishments of misbehaving monks. I have not heard of them being used in modern times.

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I worked in the school in Roscrea in the 90s. Nothing changes here. It is the modus operandi to abuse and take advantage of good and honest people.

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Bishop Pat,
you know very well that the Congregation of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life are responsible and Abbot General would not wish correspondence from them.

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A nun told me something years ago which I think might be helpful for anyone discerning religious life. Some vocations in the church come and go (such as teaching sisters) but some are permanent and have lasted centuries such as the monastic orders.
These permanent vocations have different emphasis at different times but don’t go away, so if the life of one of these vocations is totally screwed or they can’t get people to stay, it’s not that there is a lack of vocations or there is something wrong with society, it will always be because the community isn’t actually living the life.
Shagging in a gay bath house being an example.

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The nun spun you a line. Very few orders fizzled put in the history of the church prior to Vatican II. If you challenged her she’d be hard pressed to provide examples. The nun was comforting/deluding herself to explain away the catastrophic collapse of the Mercy sisters etc after they “renewed” themselves.

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Brideshead fantasy alert (with a total lack of historical awareness or ability to apply it to modern times) at 12:50.

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OK, 12.07, kindly list the orders and forms of religious life that withered away in the centuries before Vatican II. Bet you can’t. The suppression of the SJs does not count.

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The renewal of the convents has been so successful that soon there won’t be a single convent left in Ireland (apart from the traddy ones, of course).

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12.50
Another ignorant comment seeking to blame Vatican II for everything including Covid.
Over 90% of all religious orders in the church are extinct.
See Shaping the Coming age of Religious Life by Fitz and Cada.

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God y’all really are stupid. Hint: the nun made that comment at the end of the twentieth century. If this still doesn’t make sense to you, ask me nicely and I might explain it. 😂

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Very interesting how wound up the ‘fathers’ are getting about this. Very very interesting indeed.

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The PP of Cookstown has applied for planning permission to turn the derelict former convent into apartments.

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Pat please contact the two ex Killaloe seminarians, they have a lot to share on Armagh predator seminarians.

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11.45
Please do no such thing, Pat. The men being stalked here have a right not to be. His sexual fantasies are being served up here regularly.

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12:07pm
I think you are living a fantasy life, it wasn’t just the Mercy Nuns who had a catastrophic collapse. Check the statistics of all Orders after the so called great renewal, the drop in numbers speaks for itself!

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This is very upsetting. The Cistercians are not the first order to abuse good people through control and clerical dominance. The communication to you +Pat is as important for what it doesn’t say as much as what it does say. The person who wrote it visited the guesthouse and had a friend who was in the monastery. There is clearly information there. We can all read between the lines as well as we are all aware of what has come forward about Richard Purcell and Malachy Thompson. Silence or be silenced.

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http://www.stdeclansway.ie/minister-heather-humphreys-td-officially-opens-st-declans-way/
The official opening of St. Declan’s Way, which took place on September 29th 2021, is the culmination of almost a decade of work to revive this ancient pilgrim path.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD (pictured at the launch), officially launched the 115km walking trail during a visit to Mount Melleray Abbey in County Waterford. The Minister’s Department provided support under the Rural Recreation Fund to bring the project to fruition

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******

I am embarking on a 7.45 hour flight and will moderate comments when I arrive.

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° LIVERPOOL ECHO °
Bishop Eton Monastery, Woolton Road, CHILDWALL, Liverpool.
“The Bishop of Hallam, Ralph Heskett, formerly parish priest at Bishop Eton in Childwall, Liverpool failed to report child clerical abuse.
A Roman Catholic bishop told about sex abuse by a priest at a Liverpool monastery didn’t report him to the police, a court heard, recently. 🙈 🙉 🙊 🤢
.
https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/catholic-bishop-didnt-report-sex-21810727

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Mount Athos …. a noun not a verb please…. has prescription s to behaviours among its monks ( like the RCC and celibacy) but what is prescribed is everywhere present. Many monasteries are teaming with life….In the world and it is not prayer than sustains their younger constituencies. It has a lot to do with their emptiness in Ireland….. prayer sustaining the very old!

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12.46
On reflection, it’s the “ sought “ that gives you away. No one marries intending to divorce. You are the archetypal cynic…..

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There’s a heavy shadow in todays blog. A lost vocation and a lost life. There’s a serious unacknowledged pandemic in Ireland. For whatever reason people lose hope and perspective. Things get complicated and people feel lost in misunderstanding. There’s always a way around and beyond any difficulties which come our way. That those lacking this perspective this day may find it and be consoled let us pray to the Lord.
The peace of wild things – Wendall Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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Bishop Pat, Your verse yesterday Copout26 has upset Bishop Nolan as he likes to be called Bill as he is macho and he already has to Willie’s in his dioceses.
He has Wullie Boyd AKA the Shoes Brothers (you tube star) and Willie McFadden who has fame for being Rector of the Gay Seminary in Glasgow.
Bill’s “sister” from Motherwell is now the Spiritual Director of Osscott Thomasina known for her dinner parties in East Kilbride on the parish plastic so Joe Toal was glad to get rid of them bill and Thomasina.

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Suburban Montreal holds the wilderness of Donegal. That’s enigmatic if you don’t follow Twitter!!!!

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No it’s s wedding he celebrated 25 years ago.
I am more concerned about the pups I have never seen that before all lined up like sausages usually they are all around their Mother be interesting how many of the nine survive. I would have cancelled my plane.

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The Cistercians are obsessed with property and control. Ordinary decent folk are disposable. People are discarded like unwanted rubbish be that in the church or in the seedy gay Boilerhouse.

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