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OUR CURRENT IRISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS.

I thought it might be worthwhile having a look at the personalities, the activities and the ministeries of our current RC bishops in Ireland.

EAMON MARTIN ARMAGH

Amy Martin is like a glass of skimmed milk mixed with water. No personality, no leadership qualities and no presence.

He no longer really answers letters, hides behind safeguarding etc and is pious without showing a substantial spirituality.

He is just occupying an ecclesiastical office, waiting for a red hat, ignoring major issues among his clergy and will prove, in the future, to be eminently forgettable.

DERMOT FARRELL DUBLIN

Farrell is a 100 % Maynooth man and that is not at all impressive or virtuous.

He has received a pallium for his faithful service to the institution and all that this involves.

I agree with the Dublin priest on yesterday’s blog who said that Farrell will continue to preside over the ongoing deteriiration in Dublin.

He might steal the red hat from Amy which would be fun.

MICHAEL NEARY TUAM

Michael is nearly finished his last lap in Tuam and will disappear into the shadows.

He has been a “safe” pair of hands in Tuam.

Again, he will be eminently forgettable.

KIERAN O’REILLY CASHEL

Again, a non-personality. Former religious. Must have been known by someone in Rome to get Killala first and Cashel second.

He will never start a revolution 🤔

But he enjoys the Costa del Sol.

TOM DEENIHAN MEATH

Dark, dangerous and a disaster for Meath. Who did Meath piss off to get Deenihan?

KEVIN DORAN ELPHIN

My 1970 – 73 Clonliffe classmate. Probably believes and says his prayers. Never really grew up spiritually. Misguided loyalty to the institution.

FINTAN MONAHAN KILLALOE

Reminds me of the old ad for vodka: “So pure its wicked”. Carries frustration and anger. Would love to get Tuam after Neary.

DONAL MC KEOWN DERRY

Used to be a nice person pre mitre. Deep and strategic in not the best of ways. No boat rocker. Given to gimmickery.

NOEL TRENOR DOWN AND CONNOR

A big square in a big round hole. Probably means well. No social or interpersonal skills. Was born to be a desk jockey.

LARRY DUFFY CLOGHER

Typical old PP type interested in maintaining the plant. Has a kind side. Means well. Never received the gift of prophecy 😉

ALAN MC GUCKIAN RAPHOE

Deep. Means well. Spoke to me one time at an ACP conference when all others ignored me. Finds being a bishop painful?

JOHN FLEMMING KILLALA

Nearing retirement. Deep. Company man. Knows a lot of secrets.

RAYMOND BROWNE KERRY

Hopeless. Direction-less. Strong autistic personality. Petty. Weak.

FINTAN GAVIN CORK

Deep. Ambitious. Canon law suits him. Company man.

PHONSIE CULLINAN WATERFORD

Angry and aggressive. Deeply repressed. Most imprudent. Opus Dei.

Strange friendship with Abbot Purcell.

DENIS NULTY KILDARE

Deep. Secret holder. Frantic activist. Ambitious. Fearful.

GER NASH FERNS

Kind. Means well. People pleaser? Lacking substance?

Early days.

BRENDAN LEAHY LIMERICK

Cerebral. Tries to be pastoral. Ambitious? Partly unknown quantity.

MICHAEL ROUTER ARMAGH PLUS 1

Ambitious. Exaggerated sense of himself and his abilities. Possibly nasty and angry? Talked about to succeed N. Treanor.

MARTIN HAYES KILMORE

Nothing to judge him on. Low profile.

BRENDAN KELLY GALWAY

On the way out. Pleasant. Acted quickly recently in the Fr Michael King case. Responds to correspondence unlike others.

WILLIE CREAN CLOYNE

Big thick Kerryman and an immigrant in Cork.

MICHAEL DUIGNAN CLONFERT

Seems to be just finding his feet. Low profile.

PAUL DEMPSEY ACHONRY

Quiet to date. His current claim to fame is being praised by the ACP and Mahatma Flannery. Kiss of death?

FRANCIS DUFFY ARDAGH

Lights on. No one home. On life support?

DROMORE – EMPTY

OSSORY – EMPTY

Interested in hearing the views of readers – especially diocesan priests.

215 replies on “OUR CURRENT IRISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS.”

Pat, you wrote “Empty” beside Dromore and Ossory. You could have written the same beside every other name. There’s nothing going on, with any of them…….end of! It’s all over for the clerical Church in Ireland. I firmly believe that, even God has thrown in the towel.

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John Fleming, presided over our wedding in Rome many years ago. Very quiet, considered, I thought. Didn’t say a lot after dinner in a very very nice restaurant in Rome chosen by him I recall. Pre euro so a lot of zeros on the bill. Lira back then….

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No you’re far too sensible. However I would suggest you name John Waters an honorary pope because then the Baltimore Museum’s bathrooms will be named after the pope. 🤡

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I never realised it until now but when you line them up Tommy Deenihan looks like the most capable of them all. This is by no means a complement to Tommy.
Arrogance was the first fall.
Abuse was the second fall.
Inability is the third fall.

However, inspite of episcopal stupidity,
Ressurexit sicut dixit

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Jesus’ was the initial charism. Paul’s genius was the founding of communities in places Jesus had never been. These and other communities gave rise to overseers.

The development of ministries in the early Christian centuries is fascinating which has been and is a focus of research to get a clear picture of how these developments came about.

The re-opening of ministry to married men and ultimately to all Christians regardless of gender is the current and next step in this organic process.

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Great idea and very interesting analysis of Irish episcopacy – could the same me done for England and Wales and Scotland?

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I second that request. Hopefully a report is imminent on: Elsie; Big Bad John; The Prince of Darkness; Spock; Hopeless; O’Toothless; et al.

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1.37: These names attributed to Bishops belong to many an English cleric. They think they are superior to all but many are as described by 1.37: bad, dark, spocky, toothless, hopeless, jealous and very upper class nasty queens.

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Very cheeky to post this on Amy’s 60th birthday.
The determination not to spend this decade is real. The target is a new posting in Rome in the next five years.

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This is a deeply unimpressive list of the bishops, none of whom exhibits anything that makes one think that their dioceses, or the wider Church, is in good and capable hands. The same could be said of bishops in the rest of the UK – Scotland and England and Wales. These men are heavily invested in the status quo. The usual excuse for that is that they are being obedient and loyal to the Pope and the Church. A more cynical, and probably more true, reason is that they simply do not have the wit or the courage to be imaginative and creative about their roles and the future of the Church; or, they are simply interested in a quiet life, enjoying what vestiges of episcopal respect and deference still exist. For example, I simply cannot understand why a bishop, who year on year is seeing the decimation of his clergy numbers through death and prison / crimes / care of/ lack of vocations etc, and the consequent inability to provide basic and essential sacramental services to the faithful (which the RC Church tells us are the channel of God’s grace), is prepared to sit with the status quo and allow this to happen. When, surely, a bishop who really bothers would be asking serious questions about priesthood, who can be a priest, how priests are trained, the nature of priesthood, how priesthood is lived etc ? Instead, you barely hear a whisper about that kind of thing. When did you hear a bishop talk about the grave obstacle of compulsory / mandatory celibacy, and think out loud about the ordination of married men ? And, going further, do these bishops realise that the faithful are increasingly finding the Church irrelevant to their lives and moving away ? Do they even think about the reasons for that ? Such as the disastrous collapse in trust in bishops, priests and the Church; the silly and prissy obsession of the Church with people’s relationships, sexuality etc; the increasingly insulting and demeaning attitude of the Church to women ? And more. Give me a bishop who is not afraid to ask these questions, to debate them, and to be fearless in looking to the future with imagination and energy, rather than sitting comfortably by, It’s called leadership.

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Noticed at the line ups 👆. Realised that we have far too many bishops. It isn’t worth keeping these extra bishops. 1 for each province would be preferable or ideal. But we no longer listen to our bishops as Covid-19 situation exposed them big time. They weren’t speaking for ourselves.

They no longer spoke up for the lonely, the old aged in nursing homes, abused victims those in need of help during the pandemic.

Even FFG govt aren’t listening to the bishops anymore.

Careerist bishops would be in no particular order.

1. Deenihan.

2. Gavin.

3. Monaghan (lugs).

The ones who don’t believe in supernatural or sacred things.

1. Crean.

Attention seekers :

1. Amy.

2. Router

Cover ups bishops :

Nearly all of them.

Too ambitious :

1. Gavin

2. Deehinan

Top heavy (lopsided) bishops sounds about right though. There is no balance there cos reduction of priests but no of bishops had remained the same

No leadership.

They think of themselves first before us as lay people.

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Re my post at 9.55am,
In fairness, I never met any bishops mentioned above except for Drennan of Galway diocese and Buckley from cork diocese, now retired. Never met a bishop until my confirmation. Then fast forward the years, just two both retired now which I met via ceremonies somewhere else etc.
Friend was telling me a story of him getting a lift from a Bishop of Waterford when he was thumbing a lift from Dungarvan for Waterford. He said he doesn’t know his name but recognised a Bishop dress, it was a Bishop (I say not the 0ne before phonsie but 2nd one before that) with a chauffeured Mercedes car.

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Bishop Michael Russell of Waterford, who drove a Ford used to give us seminarians lifts all the time. Nice man. Afterwards he alwsys asked Monsignor Shine “How is Pat”?

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Pat at 3.25pm
You are correct re Russell as I couldn’t rem his name. Friend told me it’s very rare for him to see a Bishop giving him a lift.

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Very good summary, Pat. The bishops come in two varieties: dark or bland. That’s very far from what is needed right now.

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Seems a bit top heavy. Too many bishops and not enough priests. Should they not just merge some of them.?

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I wouldn’t be inclined to defend the Roman Church but this article does seem a little uncharitable:

1. Donal McKeown’s heart has always seemed to be in the right place, open-minded, compassionate and personable. It is true that he may be a product of the institution but on the whole, he always strikes me as a good man who cares deeply about other people, particularly the laity.
2. Alan McGuckien is a spiritually mature man, like Donal his heart is in the right place and he cares about people. I feel that making him a bishop wasn’t the best idea, not because he was unsuited but because it chained him a bit. Alan is friendly, cordial, personable and I would hazard a guess that he isn’t as Conservative as many of the others.
3. Noel Treanor is clearly on the autism spectrum with a serious lack of social skills. He only came to D&C as a stepping stone and because of his lack of people skills, he has trapped himself there and will never receive his red biretta. The pope should have left him in the EU where his strengths were best suited. He may salute many but they certainly don’t salute him.
4. Eamon Martin, who in their right mind decided to appoint Derry’s Eddie McGee to a leadership role? As a creature of a bishop, he did have mild strengths, as a bishop he has none. Unpersonable, unfriendly, a man who hasn’t a clue about the lives of those outside of the episcopate and the most cringe worthy bishop in Ireland. He clearly made the wrong decision years ago when he chose the priesthood over coming out of the closet and the Irish church suffers for that decision.

That pretty much says it all, two good men out of four listed. Hardly surprising that with the exception of the weirdest right wingers, Ireland is done with Roman Catholcism.

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Two Church of Ireland bishops, Patrick Rooke of Tuam and Ken Kearon of Limerick are retiring tomorrow and their dioceses will be amalgamated. That will reduce the number of dioceses from 12 to 11.

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The surnames of the retirees illustrate two aspects of “Church of Ireland” history, with Rooke being Anglo-Saxon (Planter stock) and Kearon a native Irish name (must have a souper in the lineage).

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4.28
You mean like Neill, Clarke, Henderson, McDowell, Stack, D’’Arcy, Hannon, McMullan etc?

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8.49. Lol, half those names are Scottish 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. The other half are soupers. 🥣

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+ Pat, have you sent birthday greetings to Archbishop Martin? A sixtieth birthday should be acknowledged.

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Why would Bishop Pat send any greetings to Amy? Amy rarely acknowledges any letters. Two can play that game.

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Eamon Martin is a good and decent man. The role of Chairperson/President of the bishops’ conference ought to be an elected and revolving one. It’s not healthy to have so much responsibility concentrated on one person.
The archbishop of Armagh could still retain the title primate even though most countries don’t have such.

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Eamon Martin is the worst appointment to Armagh in my lifetime and I am in my 70’s. He is a total waste of space.

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Does anybody think the synodical process is going to make any difference ? I fear not. I think it will be nobbled by bishops who have the ability to sift what they want to pass on to Rome. They will only pass on what they think Rome wants to hear. We already know that the issue of women and ordination is simply off the agenda; but, how many more pressing matters will be pushed to one side and not be addressed ? I am not expecting much. The laity will speak, but it will be interpreted through a clerical and episcopal ear and mind. It won’t take people long to realise that this is just a PR exercise and that the clerical and episcopal world will simply dismiss it and carry on with their own agenda – which is simply more of the same.

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At least, synods are more real now. In previous pontificates the reports were produced before the delegates had left home.

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Anon at 11.03am
Synodical is merely a talking shop, period.
Synodical narrative will be controlled by the red hat bigwigs as all the noise coming from the laity will fall through.
No point though as its an essentially and purely PR exercise. Cracks are appearing all over the rcc. It’s like a fire fighting exercise on full throttle. 😉, 🔥🚒

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Wrong church. You might want to try the Congregationalists, Presbyterians or Anglicans, where doctrine is decided by a show of hands.

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12:25
In fact, right church. It’s you who are out of step. I’d duggest you (re)-aquaint yourself with the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15.

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In Maynooth we used to speculate about whom, among the current students, would later in life be made a bishop. I can assure that of those from my time, Denis Nulty, Fintan Monahan, Tom Deenihan or Amy were never mentioned as future pointy hat wearers.

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Another attack on Archbishop Farrell and he is just in the door.
Every Dioceses in the UK is amalgamating Parish’s for the last few years just Dublin is behind times and Archbishop martin did not want to close any parishes sadly it is the way it is.
Not just for financial reasons but also Dublin has a very elderly Clergy base and failing numbers in attendance.

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Bp Pat, you’ll need to lighten up for the festive season. A nice new Grindr scandal or a BlacksForDaddies disgrace would be more appropriate for the holidays. I hope you won’t let everyone down.

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Oul Gossip Alert@11:22am

Sadly yet another piece of useless information from you know who. Unfortunately Patsy’s analysis of the whole useless Hierarchy is correct, God help us.

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11.22
Jim S., if you and Bela Lugosi learned to write standard English your comments would be less easily identifiable. Well yours would be. His/hers would still give the game away by the recourse to vulgar language.

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Granny Grammar@1:27
You’re so easily identifiable yourself, and such a bore. Your pedantic corrections are always aimed at the same posters and you ignore others. It tells us what a vulgar nasty oul bowsie you are.

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2.13
Bela Lugosi, do you have something against grandmothers? Are you misogynistic? Are you ageist?
You sound like an uneducated, chauvinist quasi-sedevacantist from Dublin who left national school too soon.

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2:34 Bela Lugosi never got over appearing opposite Arthur Lucan in drag as Old Mother Riley in Vampire over London. He had no idea that this old lady was actually a man.
This disappointment shows through in his comments about grannies etc. He once told me I reminded him of the drag queen Divine (strange, you wouldn’t expect a trad Catholic to have heard of Divine) which rather reinforces this.

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This isn’t the UK though, this is Ireland. The north may currently be occupied by the forces of the British state but that still doesn’t make them British.

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Josephine Devine obviously hasn’t read the Good Friday Agreement, which was endorsed by huge majorities in referendums held on both sides of the border.

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GrannyGrammar@ 2:34pm

No I loved my Granny, but she wasn’t a pedantic oul bitch like you. Neither am I misogynistic or ageist. It’s just nasty morons like you who insult people for no reason that I don’t like, bad ‘cess to you whoever you are.

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Oh so it’s okay when you think so. The Protestant mindset I have remarked on in you before obviously extends to every area of your life.

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Pat I will admit here that I don’t usually agree with most of your posts, but your blog is a genuinely insightful and interesting outlet.

This, however, is a remarkably accurate overview of our hierarchy. Hayes and Dempsey are the only two bishops whom I have not met, and I last interacted with Fintan Gavin when he was still running around Dublin, but I doubt he’s changed much.

(Religious priest who has fallen into the trap of diocesan life)

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There shouldn’t be religious in parishes, especially lone wolf religious being used as curates to fill in gaps. The diocesan priesthood is a particular vocation, which religious by their own life choices admitted thet don’t have, given that they didn’t sign up for a diocese but instead chose to join the SJs, SMAs or whatever.

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9.28
A benighted view and contrary to the rich variety of Catholic ministry. SMA are not religious but a society of diocesan priests who live a common life.

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“Religious” is a very broad group. Some are better suited to parish ministry than others. What is the difference between an Irish MSC priest in a parish in Brazil v their parish in Tallaght?
SMA priests aren’t religious either, they’re secular priests.
With that said, within ten years of our first parish (after the lifting of McQuaid’s ban), we had lost a considerable number of men. Men who never signed up to be PPs and curates. We’ve turned down every offer of same from bishops of various dioceses ever since.

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It is unlikely that Archbishop Eamon Martin will ever be made a cardinal. His highest academic qualification is the MPhil from Cambridge; he does not have a PhD and/or a Pontifical Doctorate. He has not published any substantial works. His handling of the disaster that is Stephen Wilson does not inspire confidence. In the past the conferral of a “Red Hat” was often linked by the amount of cash sent to the Holy See. In the current climate the Archdiocese of Armagh is not awash with money. Martin is micromanaging the decline of that archdiocese.

Archbishop Farrell, he, too, does not inspire confidence. He was appointed to Ossory from Meath to sort out the financial disaster within the diocese left by the previous bishop and his vanity project, i.e. the cathedral. In his time in Kilkenny, he seemed primarily concerned about maximising the revenue at the cathedral to the detriment of the Dominicans down the hill at the Black Abbey. Due to the state of the Archdiocese of Dublin it is also unlikely that Farrell will be given the Red Hat.

Archbishop Neary. Thank God that he and his wig are leaving the Irish episcopal scene. His self-serving homily and his meaningless apology did not go unnoticed.

Bishop Deenihan. His handling of the scandal that is Silverstream Priory has been an absolute disaster as eloquently demonstrated on this blog. That will not go unnoticed. He does not inspire confidence. It is probable he will retire as the Bishop of Meath. He is ambitious but lacks the talent and finesse to be a “success”.

Bishop Monaghan, a nasty piece of work who was the hatchet-man for Archbishop Neary. He is trying to establish himself as a “writer” by publishing books on Cardinal Newman and Thomas Merton. Desperate to translate to Tuam as the successor to Neary. That is looking increasingly unlikely, so hopefully, Lugs can see out his days in Killaloe.

Bishop Browne. He is an absolute disaster. Priests that I know in the Diocese of Kerry are in absolute despair. He is indecisive. His sole topic of conversation seems to be the bad weather and the negative impact it will have on farmers. His inability to make a decision is legendary, and when he does, he expects immediate and unquestioning compliance. He notoriously ordained Fr. Jones, who we are told swore an affidavit stating that his diminutive podgy figure and receding hairline bore absolutely no resemblance to a diminutive podgy figure with a receding hairline in a series of photographs from a Grindr profile sent to Pat Buckley. Quite remarkable.

Bishop Gavin. Another company man. He is deeply ambitious. It is noteworthy that he speaks Spanish and Italian the two languages you need to master to be “successful” in the church. From a pastoral perspective he is a non-entity in Cork.

Bishop Cullianan. Attempting to masquerade as a bastion of orthodoxy. He can rightly be described as the closest thing Ireland has to Cardinal Burke. A complex man; one would not be surprised if a scandal emerged in the future.

Bishop Leahy. It was speculated that when he was appointed to be the Bishop of Limerick it was to be a training ground for him to return in glory as the Archbishop of Dublin. He is very bright, but he is conspicuous by his absence in Limerick.

Bishop Crean. Not liked and not wanted in Cloyne. Another poor appointment by Archbishop Brown. His obfuscation about what happened on the altar of St. Bartholomew’s Church, Kildorrery is one of the most scandalous, egregious and unforgivable acts that I have seen in my lifetime. His refusal to acknowledge this reality and his further refusal to rededicate the altar is perverse. One has to legitimately question – why he does not wish to stir that nest of hornets? What is Crean hiding?

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Superb analysis. Crean is an unmitigated disaster. He must have no faith at all if he allowed mass to be offered on the desecrated altar. I only hope he went in secret to reconsecrate the altar and church.

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The synod on synodality is a joke – it’s like having a committee to discuss the role of committees or a board meeting to discuss board meetings – it’s all smoke and mirrors seemingly to be doing something and actually achieving nothing.
Imagine the scenario in the early church – St Peter calling a Counsel to discuss a crucial and substantive issue – I know let’s call a Counsel to discuss a Counsel!!
Francis is playing – he knows it’s going nowhere and is a diversion and stalling tactic – he’s firefighting major financial scandal (trial in November) and every other clerical scandal imaginable and unimaginable (sex trafficking African seminarians) – the synod will come and go rather like Cop 26 – mark my words!!

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12.04: You are purely a cynic – pribably a disgruntled cleric or a nasty, complaining parishioner. Try to be positive. Tell us what your vision is? Incidentally the correct spelling is COUNCIL not COUNSEL…Perhaps a Freudian slip suggesting your need for COUNSEL..the word seem very familiar to you. Stay with your therapist..

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12.04
Obviously not theologically literate. Have you never heard of the council of Jerusalem? Read Acts 15.

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You mean the one where only the apostles and elders talked about penises and everyone else listened to what they had decided? That one?

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12.47 is relying on an account by a third party of what appears in scripture. The deficiencies in his/her comment may therefore be attributed to at least two potentially corrupt sources of transmission. The resulting distortion bears no resemblance to the biblical source.

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2:22 Since you were obviously there perhaps you would care to give us your own reportage. 1:34 (possibly you) keeps telling people to read Acts 15 but sadly you either haven’t read it or don’t like what it says. 😅

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Former head of the Anglican diocese of Rochester, Michael Nazir Ali will be ordained a priest today by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

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12.51
Left ministry because of swimming without clothes? St Peter would not have made it according to John’s Gospel.
“So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.” John 21:6-8

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2:12 Thank you for confirming you think it acceptable for priests to swim naked.
You’re a formator, aren’t you?

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Thank you, 7.54, for confirming your Jansenist credentials. The possibility of nude swimming is a sign of a civilized society. Are you a Manichee? Do you believe matter is evil?

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11.05
In addition, by the admission contained in your question, for confirming your neanderthal credentials.

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Pat, as a matter of interest, were an Anglican minister to join the Oratory would you re-ordain him? Vincent Nichols is ipso facto saying that Michael Nazir Ali was a layman all these years.

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2.16: Was after the same “thing” you were after Pat when you sought a partner!! A daft question to ask..Anyone seeking intimacy of any kind usually wants the sexual dimension too!! The former seminarians weren’t children. Imagine going skinny dipping in the seminary swimming pool after hours!! Utter madness. They could have said NO as one of the 3 did. Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph, can they continue to say that they were pressurised? Wonder if they were ordained, have left or bern ejected from seminary?

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Why is Newton there all ponced up in a mitre and pectoral cross? He can’t ordain as his a Jaffa.

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He did receive Nazir’s promise of obedience.

Rome allows him to dress as a bishop.

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I hope Pope Francis doesn’t give him the title of Monsignor. Let him live his new Roman life as a priest with no airs and graces and episcopal purple of which he was fond.

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When I hear someone reeling off a list of people’s names about whom they cannot say a good word, I often end up asking what do they all have in common. In this case… they are all bishops- Yes. They are all men- Yes. But, eventually, we get to the nub of the matter: You are the common denominator- you have little or nothing good to say about any of them; you are the issue or, rather, the one with issues…

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Has Gavin’s younger brother headed off yet from the Brum Oratory to the Dublin new Oratory ? I bet he’ll be glad to get out of that snake pit of the Birmingham Oratory. There is a whole list of them that are exclaustrated under the current regime.

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Love Fr Anton Guziel – he’s from Polish peasant stock and hails from Wolverhampton but puts on air and graces – he’s the Hyacinth Bucket of the Hagley Road.

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The Three, but also others – two at least. If Anton doesn’t like you, then you are out. Anton wanders around in some ridiculous stetson hat when he’s out and about. Talk about ‘look at me’.

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One bishop left off the list: Bishop Buckley..Would be interesting to know what this perfect man thinks of himself. What could he possibly say about his life? We know….

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Far from perfect. I do believe. I do try to pray. All my sins and failings are accessible on Google. I do make myself available 24/7. After 45 years still love being a priest.

I’m financially self-supporting.

AND, I am willing to be challenged and made accountable all the time and every day on this blog.

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I would say that Pat has many fine episcopal qualities. He is bold, clear and fearless in his teaching. He does not play to the gallery or say different things according to the audience.
He seeks out the lost, the confused, the failing, the lonely.
He calls out abuse.
He doesn’t just analyse problems but proposes solutions.
He is neither a desk nor a sacristy priest. He doesn’t court celebreties. He takes priesthood seriously but doesn’t take himself too seriously.
He gives superb one-to-one counselling, advice and has surprisingly orthodox stances. He is ecumenical and looks beyond his own faith tradition.
He believes.
Pat has faults – who doesn’t – but at least what you see is what you get.

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Transparent, available, self-supporting and accountable.
Father at 1:57 can only dream because these things are the epitome of responsibility.

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Your last sentence rings hollow in view of your failure to post my several last critical comments on how the blog has degraded largely due to your failure to exercise sensible censorship.
MMM

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MMM, this is my blog, not yours. Nobody, including you, will decide how it is run, moderated etc. Comment if you wish on topics, but stop trying to regulate my blog.

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Why doesn’t MMM set up his own blog – maybe called “Mountain Musings”? – and he could run it in the way he sees fit and he could decide what its topics and moderation policies should be? No special IT skills are needed and it’s easy to set one up on WordPress.

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I’ve written comments that Pat has not published and that’s his right and privilege. I never take it personally. It would be like going into a huff if you sent a letter to the letters page in a newspaper and they chose not to publish it.

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12.34pm

Oh I do love this blog – cheers me up no end, good and proper.

I enjoy it immensely when a cleric responds to a post with their customary clerical venom dripping from ever word – and the notion that your responding to a caricature of your own tepid imagination ie ‘your probably etc’
Ah the old canard of theological sophistication- tomatoes, tomato’s, council, counsel, as Fr Jack on Fr Ted might say to his arse of a bishop with abject sorrow and sincerity; I’Im so so sorry.’
Er the point being that Peter convened a local gathering of the elders to discuss a potential schism – a synod on a synod is nonsense – it’s not cynicism dearie it’s realism – nothing will come of it just as nothing will come of Cop 26 – cop yourself on.

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2.18: Poor you: A history and theology degree: good for you but there’s no evidence of your erudition in discussing issues. COUNCIL is the correct word, not COUNSEL. I still contend that you may be regularly in need “COUNSEL”… As for dripping venom: My God, you’re a bitch class act, my dear!!:

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Pat, on each occasion I was endorsing already published comment on the descent of the blog into a tit for tat degradation into banal crass commentary.
MMM

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1.34pm
If it makes you happy to think that dearie I’m happy with that – my theological and history degrees suggest I probably know a little more than nothing.

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You can always tell a cleric on the blog – they love correcting spelling and claim theological sophistication when they are the ignorant ones.

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2.24 and 2.27
If your comments showed a little more of the erudition expected of a graduate in theology and history you wouldn’t have to deal with such resistance.

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6.25: Well said about 2.24 and 2.27: his learning was done on line by the F Grade Academy…bought like any Pentecostalists do!!🤣😃🤣😉😎😄😅😅..loo paper..

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On this blog? The resistance is from the RC clergy who are used to telling people how they imagine it is and couldn’t write an academic essay to save their lives. 🤣

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The funniest thing here is the paranoia of cathbots who think they see Magna Carta everywhere.
Pssst! Be sure to look under the bed tonight!

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7.08
But, Magna, you lied to reders here. You claimed you had two doctorates. I rest my case.

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A priest of Ferns diocese told me that the bishops agonised and tried to postpone as long as possible the closure of the seminary in Wexford. They didn’t want the closure and implied retreat and failure to happen on their watch. I would suggest that keeping Maynooth open and also refusing to merge dioceses fits into that pattern.

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A sensible suggestion but I would suggest the reluctance to merge dioceses is a fear of a ‘shortage’ of mitres. 🤣

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That’s right. In many businesses and in the civil service and armed forces, when cuts happen they fall mainly on the junior staff. Bishops won’t vote to deny promotion opportunities to their favourites.

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2.15: Financially self supporting – with your pension and the support of your partner but also from donations and offerings received for your spiritual services, which you are entitled to. I am self financing too in the same way. I manage my salary which the good people of God give to us. The fact that you may have your “life story” on Google does not confer you with permission to say what you like about others nor is it ever a justification to slam the Bishops or thosevwho fail your standards. All the Bishops will say they too are flawed and sinners and that they don’t possess the fullness of God. They are as aware of their need of God’s geace as you are. Not all bishops are as you portray. Thankfully you weren’t around when Jesus was choosing the 12 apostles. You’d have been passed by!! Too much smugness, arrogance and a bloated sense of importance. Humility might be a preferred trait not messiah-adorning yourself…

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2:50 If you had a real job you would find every year you had something called an appraisal.
Increasingly direct feedback from colleagues and, say, customers or anyone else who comes into contact with you, forms that appraisal rather than what you think yourself.
Welcome to the real world, ‘father’.

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3.52: You needn’t worry about appraisals of my life. I interact very frequently with Parish Council, Finance Committee and parishioners to know whether I am responding to parish needs and expectations. I invite suggestions, ideas, comments and feedback regularly from groups and parishioners. Sometimes the response is challenging and personalised (aninymously)!! I’ve never behaved recklessly with people or groups in parishes. On-going feedback is essential. Yes, the temptation as you get older is to dictate or just do the minimum but it not easy to be always imaginative, strong or visionary. That’s why cynics or haters are best avoided: they drain your energy and positivity.

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I have slept with two of these bishops! If someone can guess the two correctly – I will acknowledge it!

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2.15: But you are not accountable to any religious authority, except God. You can decide your own nenu every day which is suitable for you, as you do. Yiu cindemn anyone who you deem unworthy, garbage ir s**t. The Irish Bishops are a mixed bunch but do not deserve the disdain and contempt you pile on them. You are very poir as an “encourager”. You pour buckets of cold water on any initiative by Catholic Bishops. Unfairly, unkindly and undeservingly..Pat, you do much good but show a little kindness to your fellow Christians. .

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My diary is decided by the requests I get for ministry from my congregation and the many others from all over.

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‘We have a bigger market share than you, which means we’re more charitable’.
You couldn’t make it up!!!

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3.56: Congregation?? 4/5/6….??? And the ones you supply with CATHOLIC SACRAMENTS..here, there and everywhere…Hmmmmm, hmmmm..Not anywhere near the 1,600 who attend our 5 masses every weekend!

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Am I right in reading here that Tom Deenihan is the most evil bishop in Ireland? The others seem to be mere company men and fools.

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Farrell has no vision in Dublin. He’s left that to his Task Force. The Synod
gang in Dublin had an imaginary boat in the Pro. More like a ship wreak. How many dioceses actually have experienced lay people in charge. Very few. It’s interesting to watch the bishops all jump on the synod bandwagon as a way of surviving post pandemic. None of the bishops are leading. They’re all in the same boat! Many of the faithful have not returned or have left. Are any of them listening to that. None of the new bishops are emerging as prophetic voices- just company men who got lucky!

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The recently retired provincial of the Irish Dominicans Fr Greg Carroll would be worth investigating for his zeal, efficiency, commitment, effectiveness, dynaminism, passion and generally imaginative approach to the administration of his nine-year tenure.

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There are close connections between the Irish Dominicans and Silverstream Priory.

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You might be surprised. Thinking of John Harris and Leonard Moloney to name just 2. The insights of members of their orders would be interesting.

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The Holy Ghosts have had a few odd appointments down through the years also. May warrant a discussion.

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Reply to ‘Anonymous’ re. the very endearing comment on Gregory Carroll:
I don’t know what to make of his. The Irish Dominicans seem to be making great strides in vocations with 3/4/5 novice students every year during Carroll’s tenure. However I met one of his novitiate classes a few years ago and, regrettably in the most unchristian language, they were genuinely just a band of weirdos. Very strange young men. At least one of them was a creationist too. I don’t know what that says for the future of the Irish Dominicans but there you go…

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1.39
The master of novices will put them right. He’ll show them how to go through the motions of a Mass in Latin without understanding a word of it.

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Despite their reputation I’ve always found Edmund Garvey of the Christian Brothers to be a very genuine and sincere man. He’s the Irish provincial and I think former superior general, or second in command. I don’t envy his job and often pity him when I do encounter him.

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For many centuries the majority of ordinary people wouldn’t have had a clue about who the local Bishop was or even who the Pope was. I am most certain that the eternal trajectory of these generations was not hindered by this ignorance and perhaps was even helped by it. Those who have a “stake” in the church spend so much time speculating about Bishops and that can be interesting when ur aquainted with those in question. The truth remains that whether the Bishop is a company man, ambitious, aloof or just down right evil it “needn’t disturbe the tranquility of your Christian lives” 😋 ( as a certain Archbishop said of Vatican II) I’ve said it on here before Ireland has far too many Bishops, American dioceses are larger or as large as some metropolitan provences here. It would be an enormous step toward a renewed church if there was less chiefs to focus on and more attention given the Indians.

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My local sausage roll eating PP who runs in and out of the local gay bikes house several times a week claims to have a special relationship with the Bishop and that’s why us parishioners are scared to complain.

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Father Ian Dalgliesh has been put in charge of the synod in our diocese, Wrexham. He’s just returned after being outside the diocese for sometime. He even spent time as an assistant at at Betty Turpin’s cathedral. He’s originally from East Kilbride. Think of the last 25 years of priesthood he has spent most of it elsewhere—curious appointment.

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3.36pm

That’s a lovely quote from Vatican II – please can you tell me whose it by?
I’m not a churchman and don’t know much about Vatican II and wondered which Archbishop said such a lovely and intelligent thing?

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I believe it was John Charles Mcquaid, Archbishop of Dublin. I don’t know if it is apocryphal or not. I’m not sure how lovely it was meant to be, I think it was meant to be dismissive of the scope of the council.

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He was a nonce and a certain few clergy were gullible to be taken in by him. A cruel fiend.

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I would be interested in having your comments on the bishops of the Cof I. After all–though you may not agree–we Protestants regard them as fully bishops as the RC variety.

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Bob Emery they are only laymen dressed up. Stop deluding yourself that they are real Bishops. The C of E, W, S & I have been built on the rot that’s called Henry VIII.

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6.39: Do you intend to shoot or poison the man? You seem a dangerous, unpriestly idiot…”..not while I’m alive..” – the words of a disgruntled, passed over, aggressive bully. Very definitely. If you are so determined with words, Fr. Braveheart, reveal yourself.

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Another priest in good standing who was found suitable in seminary. When is the penny going to drop that lack of faith and any attempt at moral life is the norm in the church, not the exception.

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This is all very well but character assassination is hardly a worthy to write about bishops of the Church Their work is most difficult. Charity, please.

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Would be nice to know how exactly the process used to choose three names to forward to Rome to be considered appointment as a Bishop or to a specific Diocese – looking at the current list of Bishops would love to know if anyone knows who the 2nd and 3rd names were – the ones that missed out -would they have been any better than the person chosen.

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Fantastic summation of Phonsie, +Pat!
Angry and aggressive. Deeply repressed. Most imprudent. Opus Dei. Strange friendship with Abbot Purcell.

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7.07: If you are new to this blog, one thing you can be asdured: lack of charity, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. There is at times an unnecessary, vicious onslaught on bishops and priests. Yes, we deserve just and constructive criticism but not the assassinations. The untruths told about Bishops and priests is vile and unwarranted. As said before, this blog can be a very good forum for exploring truth, accountability and ministry and other related Church issues but it happens all too frequently that these issues invite nasty,, vindictive, ugly and cruel commentary. To be full of vigour, energy and imagination all the time to renew our Church, priesthood and parish communities is not easy. We know we are greatly challenged today but most of us are doing out utmost at parish level, sometimes with success, sometimes not..Giving up “hope” is not an option.

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During lockdown I watched a lot of services / Masses from Derry. Dont always agree with Bishop McKeown on some topics and do wonder about some of his clerical appointments down the years. But II have to say I was very impressed by Bishop McKeown during the lockdown- very pro-active, leading from the front – very rare to see him with mitre and crozier and sitting on the Bishop’s chair. When the first lockdown was over he went out around the parishes of the diocese to say Mass and see how the people/parish where coping – did any of the other bishops do that?

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Maybe McKeown should sort out the problem clergy in his diocese which he has constantly failed to address. He has simply moved them to a different place (the usual story). Maybe Pat is aware of the PP bonking his housekeeper in Co. Derry. McKeown has done zero about this despite being told many times by different people. He did eventually move the PP to a new parish but McKeown turned a blind eye when said housekeeper moved with him and continues to do so. McKeown is a weak clampit and indecisive. Appearances are very deceptive. He also has failed to take action on the motorbike priest who still continues to hang around Gents toilets on the north coast.

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The Motorbike priest is still hanging around toilets all over the north coast and into Donegal. The PSNI for the north coast part have cautioned him. McKeown is fully aware and Amy would have been fully aware years back as Administrator but the result on both their parts = inaction.

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Yes, I agree. It has been an interesting day of commentary on the blog some of it has been very perceptive.

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When Fr Nazir was Bishop of Rochester he was a leading promoter of the ordination of women, and appointed the first woman archdeacon in the Church of England.

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McKeown was always a bit of a sleekit. He turned a blind eye to lots involving the clergy at St Malachy’s over the years. I hope he has cleaned up his hygeine issues. Our Donal is too sweet when he wants to be.

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I remember a friend of mine who is a young Church of England curate in London told me that he thought Roman Catholic bishops must have to go to some sort of clinic before they become bishops, to ensure they have all humanity, warmth, compassion, love for fellow humans and common decency removed from their soul before they were given a mitre and a diocese to run into the ground.
He said that Church of England bishops are “not as bad” but certainly they are flawed too in many ways, but funnily enough he felt that since most Church of England bishops are married with families, they have a tiny bit more experience of real life, than some bunch of celibate bishops. His words, not mine.
I do remember the scene from Yes Prime Minister, where Sir Humphrey Appleby was speaking about Church of England bishops and said “Bishops tend to have long lives. Apparently Lord isn’t all that keen let them join him” and when asked by a university friend that do some clergy in the Church of England not believe in God, and Sir Humphrey replied “yes, most of the bishops” – I think can word for the Roman Catholic bishops.
With regards to a few on the list here. Donal McKeown has always been a strange one, as he says all the right words, has the proper body language and openness, has a feeling of being liberal, but does bugger all to back it up.
Having spoken to many in the Derry Diocese, a place where I was born, I sense that they at first liked Donal when he was appointed in 2014, especially after a long three year gap with no bishop, and of course he replaced their previous one, Bishop Seamus Hegarty, a man who had ice water running through his veins than blood, and a man who came under the description my C of E curate said – all humanity drained out of him.
Hegarty was always tainted by the Eugene Greene sex abuse scandal whilst he was Bishop of Raphoe and then of course he made a complete pig’s breakfast of sex abuse allegations in Derry Diocese. His tendency to become a sort of emperor of the diocese also won him no fans, so I feel McKeown was seen as a breath of fresh air.
Eamonn Martin I met on a few occasions, when he attended some ecumenical services in London. I thought he was very camp, limp, gay man, who has become Archbishop. His voice sounds so camp and light, it feels as if it is made out of candyfloss.
So, from my outside view point, Roman Catholic bishops are a weird bunch. Cold as an iceberg, but scumbags to the core for most of them, with no regard for humanity. There are a few exceptions, but not many. Only Bishop McKeown and Bishop McGuckian I would class as fairly decent men.

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Your opinion shows how deluded you are with McKeown et al. Your Church of England curate sounds equally deluded. Maybe he/she could explain yet another CofE Bishop crossing the Tiber.

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1.20

Is it true he divided three cream crackers between two visiting seminarians?

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Pat, what are your thoughts on religious bishops, are they the way forward for the church here?

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