In the early church the ministeries

that developed quickly and hopefully under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, were: overseers (bishops), presbyters (priests) and deacons.

These were the ministeries that developed in the early church communities.

The apostles were not given by Jesus to individual Christian communities, but rather instead to the whole church – all the communities.

Very few of the apostles played the role of overseer in specific church communities. James was the exception. He became the overseer / bishop in Antioch and was both an apostle and a bishop.

The rest of the apostles had a travelling commission to preach and convert in all the many church communitied: “Go out to the whole world……”.

So it’s ridiculous nonsense for the RC bishops to call themselves the successors of the apostles.

A bishop is simply the senior elder or presbyter in a particular place.

Jesus appointed only 12 apostles.

There are 5,000 plus RC bishops today.


Another “myth” is that Peter was the bishop of Rome.

There were no bishops in Rome in Peter’s time.

It is doubtful if Peter ever was in Rome.

Certainly the “bones” buried in the Vatican are not Peter’s bones.

Why are the Scriptures not enough for RC clerics and Hierarchy?

Why add on unnecessary and unproveable claims.

The papacy is also a political and man made entity.

The bishop of Rome is simply that – the bishop of Rome.


If the RCC wants to reproduce the church Jesus founded why they abandoned the ministry of APOSTLE?

Why not have those eleven the “cardinals” instead of 120 Cardinals?

Why not have Francis and 11 other apostles?

And let the world’s bishops be what they should be – the overseeing elders / presbyters of their local churches?

In the man made history of the church the office of Bishop has been moved from being an everyday pastor to being a BIG KNOB.

Very few of them are real pastors and very many of them are behaving as if they were something special and elevated.

How long is it since you saw a bishop sitting in his cathedral in private prayer?

How long is it since you saw a bishop going into a poor home with a box of groceries and an envelope in his pocket to cover the gas or electricity?


There once was a bishop called Tom,
Who was not even loved my his Mom,
The thoughts of him made her sick,
He was so like her great uncle Dick.


I have just watched the BBC News One World programme on the Canadian Indian Residential Schools concerning sexual and physical abuse inflicted by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the Sisters of St Anne.
Bastards, bastards,bastards.
3200 children died at the hands of these RCC monsters.
And then the cover up and the attempts by th Catholic Church to obfuscate by using the document dump method added further injury to the survivors.


You’re making it out as if 3200 children were taken outside one day and brutally snuffed. The media has you right where they want you, buying into their hysteria.


‘You’re making it out as if 3200 children were taken outside one day and brutally snuffed.’
Oh, so it’s okay as long as it’s not on one day! You people really are something else!


Is this the Robert Hourigan blog again or the Buckley version? You see, Robert has been loose tongued about you Buckley and Rome is fully aware of Mr Hourigan using people to create a personal agenda/vandetta. He is using certain individuals to point score. Sad. Another monk has been dragged into it.


Mr Hourigan is a brilliant man and a great lover of Mount Melleray who is saddened by the behaviour of the abbot.


What a very convenient rewriting of history! And of course we are suppose go believe that the occupier in Larne encapsulates the essence of Jesus’s shepherding. If that is true, why isn’t there a multitude of new Christians schooled by the witness of the bright flames of The Oratory? Pat, your observations may be more credible if you stopped forever scoring yourself way above the bishops in the land. Why is it that failure in your book is measured by your standards? Were you to truly use the gospel of Jesus perhaps you might see yourself as falling very short of the Ideal, even shorter than the bishops you love condemning. I once thought your vision may be a catalyst for genuine, meaningful renewal in thought, witness and gospel, Christ-like living, but your constant judgments and denigration of priests and bishops is negative and very discouraging. Your description of bishops as “big knob” is offensive and vulgar but may well be more appropriate in your case. You have absolutely no idea about the charity any bishop provides. Pat, you love boasting about one person only – yourself…Did not Jesus advise about almsgiving and prayer being done in secret and not publicly simply to impress? Did not St. Paul say if we want to boast, we boast about the Lord, not ourselves? It is Christ we proclaim, not our own agenda. I think you ought to relearn the gospels!! Thank God for our priests and bishops who try their best, not always with success but who at least try without shouting from the rooftops. Pat, you carry out much good and undoubtedly are well intentioned, but why bash and smash us all the time?


‘but your constant judgments and denigration of priests and bishops is negative and very discouraging.’
Imagine the entitlement and arrogance of going through life expecting to be encouraged and never get criticised.


11.49: You have problems very frequently in reading texts properly. I never said that I am averse to all criticisms. Criticisms are necessary and I welcome them but the constancy if negative and denigrating criticisms by Pat ARE very discouraging. I have no sense of entitlement simply because am a priest: I don’t live my life on such a model. Never did but I have every right to express my displeasure at the continuum of vicious and nasty narrarives, most of which are deliberately mischievous. Go to Specsavers!!!


‘I never said that I am averse to all criticisms.’
Perhaps you would like to point out where I said you did? And you say I don’t read comments!
You see, if you want to control the criticism, you don’t want criticism at all.
‘Why is it that failure in your book is measured by your standards?’
Because if we only went by your standards you would get nothing but unconditional adoration and praise.


@11.05pm well done on your brilliant comment we would like to read more comments like this one. Bless all our Priests.


2.25: Blah, blah, blah…to use Greta’s phrase…You are deliberately being trucculent and silly…Blah, blah, blah..


The truth is that it’s only now that ministries in the early centuries is being researched with some level of consistency. The Australian theologian John N. Collins and Phyllis Zagano have done a lot of work on deacons. The deacon was closely connected with the overseer, the episcopos. Their table-service role is now considered to be a skewed view of their identity.
You translated presbuteros as priest. It’s more accurate to say elder. Interestingly, the word is almost always used in the plural in the early centuries, as a class of people rather than an individual, unlike the roles of overseer and deacon. The word for priest is hiereus. There were far more than 12 apostles. An apostle is dimply someone who was sent. In Luke 10.1 we read ‘The Lord chose 72 others snd sent them out (apostelo). They were all apostles and some of the 73 may have been female.
Scholarship has s lot more to say about these matters and is increasing our knowledge sll the time.


Apart from a few catchcries, that’s a pathetic response to 11.46. Long on loud. Short on analysis.


Whatever about the authenticity of this theology and ecclesiology as outlined by Pat, it has some merit. So much has happened over recent decades within the church and priesthood that has changed our approach to ministry. While we recognise the need for authority as represented by Pope Francis, essentially in the everyday living of priesthood, we are the “overseers” in the parishes where we work. We cannot do what we like or preach what we like but as priests in parishes we are in a situation to be a true shepherd. If we act like Christ in all things we should have little difficulty being true shepherds. I have yet to find the shepherding of Christ in its fullness. Many of us try. Judging others in their spirituality and shepherding is easy to do but let each of us look to our own witness. The only template is JESUS CHRIST, he and he alone.


12.26: I concur with you. A very balanced and sensible comment which are the kind Pat should only tolerate when discussing serious issues. We can discuss the crises if authority, leadership and relevant ministry forever and repeat the same “visions”.. I’ve read so many reports, have attended so many seminars re: renewal and change and ministry, i ciukd write seminar origrammes as a living. Now, I work as suggested by 8.22am with the good parishioners who are gifted, talented and skilled to make our parish a caring, Christ-like community. We use resources given but adapt them to our own parish situation. We are not getting any younger to be taking huge challenges and complicated programmes…



Was Mr Hourigan booted out of a monastery or had an application to join refused?

What if he was. It doesn’t invalidate any of his, well researched, claims.


1.18: Asmodeus, if Hourigan was prevented from entering a monastery or asked to leave, he may have axes to grind. I thought Pat didn’t know Hourigan!! It’s quite obvious he does know him and that he helped Pat draft his recent letters to various bishops. TRUTH is not being told about Hourigan and Pat’s relationship. Nope.


He might well have an axe to grind ( I don’t believe he has) but even if he did, it still doesn’t invalidate his claims.


Most Bishops have their own oratory Chapel where they pray.
If they prayed regularly in the Cathedral Church, kneeling and clutching their prayer books, they’d appear holier than thou.


2.06: You are right. I think Pat is very misguided in his theology and spirituality today. The topic is written in such a way that Pat is patronising and a nasty judge. Pat, you are very wrong on this topic. You cannot simply make things up each day and be selective abiut your interpretation of scripture.


3.10: Well go and correct your erroneous interpretations. That’s easy to do. Try it.


Well done today, Pat. Interesting how they have resorted to telling you to correct your opinions and have a poke at Robert Hourigan.


Hourigan and Purcell had a little something going on and Hourigan doesn’t want to share it. He is using Buckley to fire the gun that Robert has already loaded.


4.10: Who are “they” as you refer to? Are you not being disingenuous in attacking those who rightly challenge Pat’s opinion?


I didn’t even think about apostolic succession until I saw somewhere re Hans kung comment on AS. It made me think twice.

Think AS is a flawed one, I remember tour guide in Rome telling us about Pope ‘joan’ which was interesting, 3 popes, pope/s produce a son and then names his son as a successor.

Papacy is a political also monarchy. Rcc is full of legalism which jesus never intended except for 10 commandments. The more I see rcc as church of legalisms, the more I see rcc is not of God.

In jesus time, he do away with legalism. He went from places to places without any restrictions. No excommunication at that time by Jews. I started to see excommunication as means of control tool.

I support Hourigan efforts cos

1.One of my deceased relatives got married there.

2. I met Fr o Brien there and experienced healing from him which was unexpected and came from god.

3. I felt peace and calmness there. Last time I visited Mt Melleray was before fr o brien’s death. That’s a decade ago or more.

4. RP breaking his vows which wasn’t compatible with rcc ethos AND standards, also duplicity allied with double standards on his part and also his superiors who supported him by means of tacit silence or non response which indicates tacit approval of RP’s activities or support RP.


Eastern Christianity refers to 70 Apostles and Western Christianity refers to 70 Disciples.
It’s understandable that it is debatable and that many will see it differently.
My humble opinion is that the Disciples answered the call of Jesus but that the Apostles answered a second call.


Pat, why have you never establishes of provincial Oratories where disaffected Catholics might gather for prayer, worship, Eucharist and renewal? This might have been a worthwhile initiative. Werd you fearful?


I would love to help people establish oratories in other places. Some I ordained promised that and did not follow through.


LOL. I’m absolutely delighted to hear this. It says a lot about your judgement in ordaining them in the first place. I hope you have raised your standards.


6.08: Where are the ordained men working? What a pity they didn’t attempt to found new places of prayer and renewal. Perhaps it highlights the huge difficulty presented by 21st century in making Christianity relevant.


The comments on that article are very funny and it’s the familiar situation where a new priest has come in and changed the ethos. They all just need to stop giving money.


All eyes on Vinny tomorrow from 10.30am with the funeral of David Amess in Westminster Cathedral. A personal message from Francis and Carmel pride of place in the front row – what’s not to miss.


Some of the ex Anglican clergy queenie Sisters wanted to get in on the act tomorow by concelebrating at Westminster. Vincent stamped his clog down and told them to get lost and telling them it wasn’t about them. They are annoyed because Carmel always has her special seat.


The Anglicans not the ex ones always try to muscle in or take over the proceedings. The Vicar jerk in Southend today made sure he was on the news in front of the hearse with black stole. The poor Monsignor got pushed out. I wonder if the male hating Anglican Bishop of London will show her face tomorrow.


Boris will be familiar with the Cathedral surroundings after having his baby Christened there. +Vin will play to the gallery. Glad he has clamped down on the ex Anglican lot. I hope the female bitch bishop of London does not turn up.


They have become more or less objects of ridicule in Ireland and more so in Scotland after KOB. Where would the blog be without them, Bp Pat?


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