Can. 87 §1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church. He is not able to dispense, however, from procedural or penal laws nor from those whose dispensation is specially reserved to the Apostolic See or some other authority.

§2. If recourse to the Holy See is difficult and, at the same time, there is danger of grave harm in delay, any ordinary is able to dispense from these same laws even if dispensation is reserved to the Holy See, provided that it concerns a dispensation which the Holy See is accustomed to grant under the same circumstances, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 291.


We have now arrived at the point in the RCC whereby certain adherents of the Latin Mass are urging bishops to disobey Pope Francis and the Vatican on the suppression of the Latin Mass.

This is quite a serious development – since many of these Latin Mass folk reject the teachings and practices of the Second Vatican Council – which was a full Church Council.

Is this in fact, not urging bishops to revolt against Francis and Rome and go into schism?

I think that schism in the RCC has been on the cards for some time in different ways.

On the left the German Church has been following a path of its own on the questions of giving Holy Communion to the divorced and Protestants and on the question of the blessing of same sex marriage and unions.

On the right we have people clamouring for the refusal of Holy Communion to pro abortion politicians and clamouring for the Latin Mass.

Do we now have two Roman Catholic churches?

1. The Liberal Roman Catholic Church?

2. The Right Wing Roman Catholic Church?

And, can these two work together.

Or do they need to split and be two distinct Roman Catholic Churches?

1000 years ago the Church split into Eastern and Western.

In the 16th century the Western Church split into the Catholic and Protestant churches.

Are we now facing a new split?



It’s now time to close the Cistercian monasteries at Portglenone in Antrim, Mellifont in Louth, Roscrea in Tipperary and Moone in Kildare and relocate all monks to the mother house at Mellerary in Waterford.

This will leave Mellerary with a viable community of 20 + monks.

There is absolutely no point in having four or five old monks in monasteries built for larger communities.

Plus, it’s a waste of money maintaining 5 old, nearly empty buildings.

There may be problems about lands that were left in wills to the different monasteries. Some lands can be sold and other lands go back to the donor’s families.

Another problem will be the individual monastery graveyards where generations of monks have been interred.

This problem has been solved by other religious orders by reinternment in other cemeteries.

Some monastery graveyards can be cordoned off and come under the care of a parish or a diocese.

There have been Cistercian sexual abuse cases in some monasteries.

There are concerns about the Purcell activities in Roscrea and Mellerary.

Purcell is not the only Cistercian monk who had a homosexual lifestyle.

There have also been concerns about alcohol abuse in some monasteries.

Perhaps the situation in Cistercian Ireland has not been addressed because the Abbot General was Irish?

Dom Eamon has a big problem with indecisiveness.

Hopefully a new Abbot General and a new council will bring a renewed energy to the order’s problems.

The “Irish Situation” must be at the top of the agenda for the new abbot general and his council.




ROME — Pope Francis has approved further clarifications regarding restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass in an effort to ensure that liturgical reform is “irreversible” and that liturgical celebrations adhere to the changes made after the Second Vatican Council.

The clarifications, published Dec. 18, ban priestly ordinations and confirmations in the old rite and limit the frequency in which priests who receive a dispensation to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass can do so.

The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments released the responses to 11 questions (or dubia) prompted by Francis’ July 16 decree, Traditionis Custodes, which limited the use of the traditional Latin Mass.

The responses, which are addressed to the presidents of Catholic bishops’ conferences around the world, were approved by the pope during a meeting with the head of the Vatican’s liturgy office, Archbishop Arthur Roche, on Nov. 18.

Roche, in an introduction to the new text, said that each norm has the “sole purpose of preserving the gift of ecclesial communion” with the pope.

In explaining his original decision to reimpose restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass earlier this year, Francis lamented that it had become a source of division in the church.

Since then, the decree has become a lightning rod for a vocal minority group of Catholics who still favor the traditional Latin Mass, many of whom also have expressed skepticism or even outright rejection of the reforms of Vatican II and of the legitimacy of Francis.

Among the reforms of Vatican II was the approval of the translation of the liturgy into the vernacular, in an effort to make the Mass more accessible and involve greater participation of the laity. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI relaxed restrictions on the Latin Mass in an effort to foster greater unity with breakaway Catholic groups.

In an interview last month, Roche said that after years of trying to offer concessions, such as through the continued use of the old Mass, those efforts have “not entirely been successful” and it is time to “go back” to the principles of the Second Vatican Council.

He reiterated that message in his introduction to the new responses, saying that he was saddened that participation in Mass, and in particular, Holy Communion, has become “a cause for division.”

“It is the duty of the Bishops,” he added, “to safeguard communion.”

The new guidelines enact an outright ban on priestly ordinations and confirmations according to the old rite, although they provide an exception for parishes where only the traditional Latin Mass is celebrated and allow for the celebration of baptism, confession and marriage under the old rite.

The new guidelines also explain that if a priest has received the dispensation to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass but does not accept the “validity and legitimacy” of the concelebration of Mass, especially at the Chrism Mass (where all of the priests gather to concelebrate together with the bishop), then the concession must be revoked.

In his July decree, Francis also said that approved groups who use the traditional Latin Mass can no longer use regular parishes for their Masses and that instead, bishops must find an alternate location for them.

The new guidelines allow for the bishop to approve use of a parish church if another location is “impossible,” but state that the decision must be made “with the utmost care” and that the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass cannot be listed in the parish’s Mass schedule “since it is attended only by the faithful who are members of the said group.”

In addition, it notes that the Mass cannot take place at the same time as other “pastoral activities” taking place at the parish.

Further, the responses clarify that priests who receive the dispensation to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass are only allowed to do so at one Mass per day and that deacons and instituted ministers participating in such celebrations must be authorized by the diocesan bishop.

The document also states that if a diocesan bishop is to grant permission to priests ordained after the publication of Traditionis Custodes, that the bishop must first be authorized by the Holy See to do so.


I am pleased that Francis is taking on the anti Vatican 11 Latin Mass brigade.

The vernacular Mass IS the norm since the council

There is no real need for Mass in Latin.

And it has become a rallying point for those who don’t accept Vatican 11 and the pontificate of Francis.




We know that Richard Purcell resigned as Abbot of Mount Mellerary on November 25th last citing “personal reasons”.

But visitors to Mount Mellerary claim he was still presiding in the choir on December 8 th – the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On Friday last a current Irish Cistercian monk said that Richard Purcell had taken a 12 months leave from the monastery and the Cistercian order.

Meanwhile, other Mount Mellerary long term devotees have revealed that they found Richard Purcell pompous and arrogant.

Apparently, he was particularly dismissive of the Mellerary college old boys – the Mount Mellerary college that closed its doors in 1974.

Purcell hurt their feeling by suggesting that the Mellerary college had only been a mere “school” while his favoured Roscrea College was a “proper college”.

According to these devotees, Purcell had none of the grace, kindness and compassion of all the previous Mellerary abbots.

One of the devotees actually described Purcell as a “bollox”.

That’s not a word a Mellerary devotee ever uses lightly about the Lord Abbot.

So, sadly, it looks as if Purcell was not appreciative of people who have supported Mount Mellerary since the 1940s and 1950s.

I think Purcell was utterly spoiled by the Cistercian authorities who allowed him:

1. To study at Oxford in a Bohemian community.

2. Allowed him to rise up the ladder too quickly and give me massive airs and graces.

3. Turned a blind eye to his lifestyle and his regular absences from the monastery.

What’s the old saying:

“Pride comes before a fall”?

People in Cappaquin are also claiming that Richard Purcell only agreed to resign if the Abbot General Eamon Fitzgerald resigned too.


People are saying that Purcell had something on Fitzgerald?



Within hours of the Gardai and Proseecution Service deciding not to prosecute Kirby over his sexual advances towards Dom Benedict Andersen Tom Deenihan withdraws all canonical charges against the whistleblower!

So, the whistle-blower has done nothing wrong.

Then why is he cast out of his monastery and forced to live 3,000 miles away from it with very little financial support and depending on his family?

The truth is that his only “crime” was speaking out about Kirby’s sexual advances towards him.

He had no option but to speak out as no one within the Church was willing to listen to him and act.

To this day he fully stands over his statement that Kirby was targeting him sexually.

And Kirby has history with this behaviour everywhere he has lived.


Dear Bishop Deenihan,

In light of my posting on today’s blog, I was contacted by an individual who provided me with some interesting insights about Silverstream and Dom Mark Kirby. He suggested that the recent posting on the website of Silverstream Priory has arisen from the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions not to charge Dom Mark Kirby, OSB. Is that an accurate summation of the facts?

However, I was also contacted by one of the priests of the Diocese of Meath, who informs me that it was YOU, Bishop Deenihan that referred Dom Mark Kirby to An Garda Síochána; it was NOT Dom Benedict Andersen, the Silverstream whistleblower. Is this true?

The first caller who is not a priest told me that it is possible for people with standing to submit a “Request for a Summary of Reasons” to the Director of Public Prosecutions to understand their decision-making not to prosecute Dom Kirby. I imagine this includes you, Bishop Deenihan, and Dom Anderson. Is this correct?

Upon receipt of this request by the DPP, a lawyer within its “Victims Liaison Unit” will write to the individual(s) giving a summary of the reasons that informed its reasoning not to prosecute Dom Kirby. The Office of DPP advertises this will usually occur within twenty-eight (28) days. Thereafter, it is open the complainant(s) to seek a review of the decision of the DPP not to prosecute Dom Kirby.

Such a review (if requested) will be carried out by a lawyer who was not involved in reviewing the evidence against Dom Kirby in accordance with the “Guidelines for Prosecutors”. If, and when a review has been completed, the reviewing lawyer will then write to the individuals with their decision. It is stated that a review will normally be completed within six (6) weeks of a request. But, in light of the pandemic, it is not unreasonable to suspect that there could be a conspicuous delay. Thereafter, on the outcome of the DPP’s review, the option would be open to the complainants to seek to Judicially Review the decision-making of the DPP, however, that is unlikely but it is important to keep all options on the table.

Bishop Deenihan, I need not remind you that the alleged actions of Dom Mark Kirby, OSB, towards Dom Benedict Andersen, OSB, adequately satisfied the threshold of sexual harassment. However, the actions were sufficiently serious for the police spent a conspicuous amount of time investigating the allegations.

We do not know what informed the decision-making of the DPP, however, we can legitimately speculate that the decision not to prosecute was possibly predicated on the grounds of Kirby’s known ill-health.

The caller highlighted that the alleged actions of Dom Kirby (supported by written evidence) were tortious, and moreover, they are actionable before the civil courts in Ireland. Thus, he left me with the impression that it is open to Dom Andersen to initiate civil proceedings against: i) Dom Kirby; and, ii) vicariously against the Diocese of Meath; because, a) there exists a sufficient relationship between the tortfeasor (Kirby) and the defendant (Diocese of Meath) and, b) there is also a sufficient connection between that relationship and the tortious conduct. It could be interesting times for the Diocese of Meath should this matter come before the civil courts. I, of course, would be happy to give evidence if I was invited to do so upon receipt of a subpoena. Consequently, it may-be the case that an Irish court room is the appropriate and most suitable forum for these matters to be appropriately ventilated.

As Lord Phillips, the President of the Supreme Court United Kingdom remarked in Various Claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society “The law of vicarious liability is on the move”. In light of advice received from counsel in Dublin, Catholic Child Welfare Society is a sound statement of legal principle that can be called in aid before an Irish Court. In the judgment of the Irish Supreme Court in Hickey v McGowan, the Court clearly stated that “the close connection test must be taken to represent the law in Ireland”. The Irish case was one where vicarious ability was imposed on an employer for acts of sexual abuse perpetrated by an employee. There is a clear direction of travel that can be pursued.

As you are aware, the burden of proof in a civil case is conspicuously lower than a criminal matter. In light of the known misbehaviour of Dom Kirby before his arrival in Ireland and the failure of the Diocese of Meath in the person of your predecessor, Bishop Michael Smith to undertake the most basic background checks; the optics look appalling.

In conclusion, Bishop Deenihan, would you agree with my suggestion that the statement on the website of Silverstream Priory was deeply imprudent, ill-advised? You would also accept that it would be imprudent for the Diocese of Meath the think just because the first decision of the DPP would appear to be favourable towards Dom Kirby, a second review could beget a different decision? And, if that is the case it will be another marker on a saga that shows no sign of abating any time soon.

With prayerful best wishes,

  • Pat Buckley




Dear friends,

As you may be aware, in 2020 allegations were made to the Gardaí and to the Charities Regulatory Authority concerning our monastery and its founder, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby. While the allegations were denied, we understood that they had to be investigated by the various authorities and we cooperated fully with the lengthy and thorough investigations that followed.

An Garda Síochána, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Charities Regulatory Authority have now completed their thorough investigations and they have found no cause of action against either Dom Mark or Silverstream Priory.

Subsequently, an independent external canonical investigation found no canonical case to answer.

Silverstream Priory remains a recognised and registered charity with the Charities Regulatory Authority and complies fully with the Charities Governance Code. Dom Mark is a priest in good standing.

We want to thank you for your prayers and well wishes, which we appreciate sincerely.

We look forward to your support as our community continues to grow.

In Christ,

The Monastic Community


Dear Bishop Tom,

As you know a number of priests from the Diocese of Meath supply me with information about Silverstream Priory. They do so because they continue to be DEEPLY concerned about what they consider is your negligent handling of the so-called “Priory”. They are scandalised that you continue to permit a never-ending source of scandal to exist within the diocese. They are increasingly concerned that your judgement has become clouded because you do not wish to appear acting in response to the Bishop of Larne.

Let me be blunt, the vast majority of the priests in your diocese want Silverstream immediately suppressed. Of course, I want the Priory to remain open, because it continues to provide my blog a rich seam of scandal that my readers just love. I know this, because my viewing figures go through the roof when I have a Silverstream day.

This morning, I was sent a link to a statement, posted on December 16, 2021 on the website of Silverstream Priory. I enclose a copy below for your kind consideration. As ever, these statements beget more questions than answers. As you know, I am a quizzical individual, and readers of my blog like me to ask questions of you on their behalf. And, as I know you love hearing from me, I felt you would welcome the present correspondence.

Bishop Tom, are you aware of the statement? Did you personally and explicitly approve in writing its publication on the website of Silverstream Priory?

Now, the statement makes explicit reference to Dom Mark Kirby being a priest in good standing. As Silverstream Priory is a foundation of Diocesan Right, Dom Kirby is clearly a priest in good standing with his Ordinary, Bishop Thomas Deenihan. You would accept that is the natural inference of that statement; if not; why not?

Have you now rescinded the Decree that prohibited Dom Mark Kirby, OSB, publicly celebrating the sacraments?

If so, why did you not publish the original Decree that prohibited Kirby from celebrating the sacraments in the Diocese of Meath?

The allegations made against Dom Mark Kirby that are now a public reality by the publication of this statement on the website of Silverstream Priory shows that Dom Mark Kirby was credibly accused; the accusations were sufficiently serious for An Garda Síochána to investigate and for a file to be prepared and sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Objectively, you would accept that the failure to communicate to the public is a serious safeguarding failure within the Diocese of Meath. If not; why not?

Are you in a position to confirm if the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute Dom Kirby on the grounds of ill-health?

Who is the superior at Silverstream Priory? Is it still Dom Elijah Carroll? Of course, he is not a cleric, hence, he cannot exercise jurisdiction over clerics? Is this why the Dec. 16 statement was signed “The Monastic Community”? Why is it impossible to discover anywhere online (other than my blog) the identity of the superior of Silverstream Priory?

I am asking about the leadership of the community because in the 2022 calendar, I see that in the refectory at the top table there are two (2) chairs. Normally, the Prior sits alone at the top table: so are there two superiors at Silverstream. Is the current superior nothing more than a patsy for Dom Kirby? Is the current superior nothing more than a patsy for Dom Kirby, who, even in public disgrace, cannot bear to relinquish control of “his” community?

I loved the cryptic reference to the independent external canonical investigation. Was this investigation conducted by Abbot Brendan Coffey and the disgraced Richard Purcell? My readers would love to know. I also have it on very good authority that another investigation is taking place; but, I will protect its integrity at the moment.

Are you aware that the decision of the director of public prosecutions not to prosecute can be reviewed; and, if the review uncovers further evidence a prosecution can still be launched against Dom Kirby? If that is the case, is this statement on the website of Silverstream Priory, ill-timed, ill-judged and an exercise in stupidity, and driven by the desire to raise funds?

The statement makes reference to an investigation that has been completed by the Charities Regulator. By return, are you happy to provide me with a copy of same from my blog or would you prefer I wrote to the Regulator in Dublin for a copy of same?

With prayerful best wishes in this grace-full season of Advent,

Your brother bishop,

+ Pat Buckley.



On December 5, Dom Brendan Freeman, OCSO, gave a chapter talk to the community at New Melleray Abbey, a monastery that was founded by monks from Mount Melleray Abbey in the American state of Iowa in 1849. Until recently, Dom Freeman had been the Superior ad nutum of Mellifont Abbey, again, a foundation of Mount Melleray Abbey.

Unfortunately, Dom Freeman has a reputation as being the superior that oversees the closure of Cistercian monastic houses. He was the superior that oversaw the closure and suppression of The Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, Utah. And, his appointment as Superior ad nutum is usually a negative portent of the closure of a monastic house.

In his chapter talk at New Melleray Abbey, Dom Brendan observes the following:

“When I was asked to be superior ad nutum I was at a loss on what I was suppose [sic] to do, but as I watched the community over the last weeks, the longest I have been at New Melleray in eight years, by the way I saw something I missed in the initial weeks I was here. When I arrived on the 20th of September I was shocked by how much the community has changed over the years I was gone – the aging process is advancing rapidly and the question looms large over the horizon, how long can we last?”

His question: “how long can we last” is also appropriate for the Irish Cistercian houses.

This Blog exposed the sexual scandal of Dom Richard Purcell and the callous indifference the same by the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO and the Bishop of Waterford, Alphonsus Cullinan. So at the time of writing Mount Melleray Abbey, does not have a named superior. The question is: why? We have recently learned that Richard Purcell was seen shopping in Dublin. Clearly, he must be adjusting to his new state with relative ease.


Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Roscrea, has not elected an abbot in recent years. The superior, Dom Malachy Thompson, OCSO, has not been elected Abbot. Why?

With the return of Dom Brendan Freeman to New Melleray Abbey, it would appear that Mellifont Abbey does not have a named superior. And again, it is appropriate to ask: why?

Upon reaching the age prescribed by the constitutions, Dom Celsus Kelly, OCSO, submitted his resignation and, he has been the Superior ad nutum of Portglenone since 2019. Again, this is a foundation of Mount Melleray Abbey.

Currently, the only male Cistercian Abbey in Ireland to have an Abbot is Bolton Abbey, Moone, Co. Kildare. This is the Canadian-born, Dom Michael Ryan, OCSO. This is a community founded by Roscrea.

Readers of the blog will remember that the allegations of the misconduct made against Richard Purcell were brought to the personal attention of Dom Ryan in his capacity as Father Immediate of Mount Melleray Abbey. He ignored the allegations. He also failed to respond to a letter sent by individuals that had been engaged to deal with the Purcell allegation. So, we can legitimately describe Ryan as a cover-up merchant and a company man.

Realistically, the only solution for the Irish Cistercians is mass amalgamation into one single monastery. So the question is which one will it be? My money is on Mount Melleray Abbey. Roscrea has the burden of the school; the other houses are simply unsuitable. I suspect the lands that come with these monasteries will be sold. However, I have it on good authority that the lands of Bolton Abbey are subject to a number of restrictions meaning it will return to the original benefactors should the community be closed and suppressed.

We also can surmise that Dom Michael Ryan, OCSO, is wholly unsuitable to be elected superior of a “super community” at Mount Melleray Abbey as is Dom Malachy Thompson for reasons that for the moment are best left unsaid.


Also, excluded is the former Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, Dom Augustine who is now living in a cottage. Again, he is wholly unsuitable for reasons that are left unsaid for the time being.


It is interesting that the return of Dom Brendan to New Melleray Abbey and the possible announcement of replacement superiors at Mount Melleray Abbey and Mellifont were not announced on the website of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Clearly, they do not want anything appearing on my blog.

The bigger question is: do the Cistercians in Ireland have a future?



RTE’s Pat Kenny stand his ground with Covid denier

I personally think its time that the government in Ireland and the UK got tough on Covid Deniers and Conspiracy nuts.

Covid is a threat to the life of each one of us.

If certain individuals don’t want to get vacinnated that’s their right.

But steps must be taken to stop them infecting others.

There has to be a balance between the COMMON GOOD and INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS.

I am very fortunate. I have had 3 full Pfizer vaccines in February April and November and am due to get the booster in March.

Fair play to the authorities in Northern Ireland for rolling out the vaccines so we’ll and so thoroughly.

Northern Ireland is ahead of the Republic and the rest of the UK in this. Well done.

I think that we should:

1. Introduce covid passports for everyone.

2. I think that mask wearing should be compulsory in all public spaces with penalties for those disobeying.

3. These covid passports should be obligatory for gaining entrance into workplaces, hospitals, GP surgeries, shoos, schools, pubs, restaurants, churches etc.

Of course I am a supporter of human rights etc.

But I do not believe that any individual has the “human right” to infect another person with a disease that will make them very ill or kill them.

I am not saying that the current vaccines are perfect.

But I am saying that they are the best defence we have just now against a massive threat to mankind.

And we are all too vulnerable just now to pander to conspiracy nuts.



John Doerfler

A Catholic diocese in Michigan has been thrust into the national spotlight after a prominent priest and author shared its guidance on transgender members and those in same-sex relationships on social media this week. The viral guidance, which the Diocese of Marquette issued in July, says such congregants are prohibited from being baptized or receiving Communion unless they have “repented.”

It instructs the church’s priests on how to develop pastoral relationships with “persons with same-sex attraction” and “persons with gender dysphoria” and “lead them step‐by‐step closer to Jesus Christ in a manner that is consistent with the Church’s teaching.”

The Roman Catholic Church has long held that being gay isn’t a sin but that being in a gay relationship or having gay sex is. The Vatican also ruled in March that priests can’t bless same-sex unions.

Regarding transgender people, the Vatican in June 2019 released “Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education,” which rejected the idea that trans people can exist and said the “ideology” aims “to annihilate the concept of ‘nature.’”

The Diocese of Marquette said in its guidance that trans people deserve “love and friendship” and compared them to people “suffering from anorexia nervosa.”

“In this disorder there is an incongruence between how the persons perceive themselves and their bodily reality,” the guidance says. “Just as we would refer a person with anorexia to an expert to help him or her, let us also refer persons with gender dysphoria to a qualified counselor to help them while we show them the depth of our love and friendship.”

The document says people in same-sex relationships and trans people can’t be baptized or confirmed or receive Holy Communion. They also can’t serve as witnesses at Catholic baptisms or confirmations.

But, the guidance says, gay and transgender people can participate in such sacraments if they repent. For gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer people, that would mean ending same-sex relationships, and for trans people, it would mean living as the sexes they were assigned at birth, although the guidance says trans people who have undergone “physical changes to the body” aren’t required to reverse them.

Also, in accordance with Catholic doctrine, the guidance says children of same-sex married couples can be baptized if they are raised in the Catholic faith and taught that same-sex marriage goes against the church’s teachings.

“Unlike a man and woman who are cohabitating or in an invalid marriage, the status of same‐sex couples can never be regularized, which presents a particular pastoral concern,” it says. “To avoid scandal, the baptism should be celebrated privately, and care should be taken to avoid the impression of accepting the redefinition of marriage and parenthood.”

The document surfaced after the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, LGBTQ advocate and best-selling author, criticized it on Twitter, writing Tuesday, “It is not a sin to be transgender.”

Martin added: “Transgender people are beloved children of God struggling to understand their identity. They need to be accepted with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity.’ As Cardinal Gregory told a trans person, ‘You belong to the heart of this church.'”

Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., is the former president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He tweeted later that assertions that being transgender is a sin and that trans people don’t exist “do immense harm to LGBTQ people and their families.”

He continued, “The Catholic Church needs to listen to LGBTQ people, not give them more reasons to distance themselves from the church.”

In a statement emailed Thursday, the Diocese of Marquette said the guidance was shared with pastors and school principals, among others, to provide “a framework” for them to develop pastoral relationships with LGBTQ congregants.

“The Church teaches that persons experiencing feelings of same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria is not sinful, but freely acting upon them is,” read the statement, shared by John Fee, the diocese’s communications director.

The statement also noted that the diocese’s bishop, John Doerfler, “served as a Courage chaplain” in his previous ministry and “found working with the Catholic apostolate to persons with same-sex attraction for several years as a priest to be a ‘privilege’ and he remains inspired by the members’ ‘faith and desire to live chastely.’”

The guidance from the Diocese of Marquette, as well as similar guidance from other dioceses, is also in conflict with many of Pope Francis’ teachings and the overtures he has made to the LGBTQ community, she said. In 2013, for example, Francis responded “Who am I to judge?” to a question from a reporter about gay priests. Last year, he told a group of parents that God loves their LGBTQ children.

But Francis’ statements conflict with church doctrine about LGBTQ people.

“If the church continues to have discriminatory attitudes, policies and teachings, the trend of people opting out of Catholicism is only going to continue,” she said.


I am shocked and disgusted that the RCC in any diocese is refusing gay and transgender people baptism.

We believe that we become members of God’s family 👪 at baptism.

So this diocese is saying that gay and transgender people cannot be God’s children and their children who may not be gay or transgender at all cannot be God’s children either.

And the ludicrous comparison of being gay to having anorexia reminds me of the time Kevin Doran of Elphin compared homosexuality to Downs Syndrome!

I’m beginning to think that Roman Catholicism is a mental illness and the more RC you are, the more serious the mental illness is and the more illogical and irrational your beliefs and utteran especially become.

I think my “gaydar” is quite good and the Marquette bishop John Doerfler, looks very gay to me?

Is there an element of “the man protesteth too much”?



Pope Francis meets participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life at the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, Dec. 11, 2021. / Vatican Media.

Pope Francis asked Vatican officials on Saturday to look out for “self-referential” founders of Catholic communities who put themselves “above the Church.”

The pope told members of the Vatican department that oversees consecrated life on Dec. 11 to focus on “discerning and accompanying,” while carefully scrutinizing leaders.

Vatican Media.
Vatican Media.
He said: “In discerning and accompanying, there are some considerations that should always be kept in mind. Attention to the founders, who at times tend to be self-referential, to feel that they are the sole custodians or interpreters of the charism, as if they were above the Church.”

The pope was speaking to members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life gathered at the Vatican for a plenary meeting.

The congregation is composed of five offices, responsible for promotion and formation, monastic life, governance, disciplinary matters, and the creation, merging, and suppression of communities.

Vatican Media.
Vatican Media.
The department is led by the Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz.

The pope urged officials to pay particular attention to the pastoral care of vocations and the formation process.

He also called for “attention to how the service of authority is exercised, with particular regard to the separation of the internal and external forums — a theme that worries me so much — the duration of mandates, and the accumulation of powers. And attention to abuses of authority and power.”

Vatican Media.
Vatican Media.
The “internal forum,” also known as the “forum of conscience,” relates to practices such as confession and spiritual direction, while the “external forum” refers to matters affecting the public good.

The pope added that he had recently received a volume by the Vatican reporter Salvatore Cernuzio on “the everyday abuses that hurt the strength of the vocation.”

In November, the journalist released a book in Italian called “The Veil of Silence: Abuses, Violence, and Frustrations in Female Religious Life,” highlighting the mistreatment of religious sisters.

Vatican Media.
Vatican Media.
The pope’s comments about founders are the latest sign of the Vatican’s concern about the quality of leadership in Catholic groups around the world.

The Vatican announced strict limits in June on the terms of leaders of international associations of the faithful and new communities.

The Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, which is responsible for associations of the faithful and international ecclesial movements, issued a decree restricting terms of office in a movement’s central governing body to a maximum of five years.

Vatican Media.
Vatican Media.
Members are now permitted to hold positions at the international governing level for no more than 10 years consecutively. Re-election is then possible after a vacancy of one term.

The new regulations say that where leaders have already exceeded the term limits, groups must provide for new elections “no later than 24 months from the coming into force of this decree,” or before Sept. 11, 2023.

In his address on Saturday, the pope spoke about the Vatican’s role in approving new communities.

Pope Francis changed canon law in November 2020 to require a bishop to have permission from the Holy See prior to establishing a new religious institute in his diocese, further strengthening Vatican oversight over the process.

“With regard to discernment in view of the approval of new institutes, new forms of consecrated life, or new communities, I invite you to develop collaboration with the diocesan bishops,” he said.

“And I exhort the Pastors not to be frightened and to fully welcome your accompaniment. It is the responsibility of the Pastor to accompany and, at the same time, accept this service.”

“This collaboration, this synergy between the dicastery and the bishops also makes it possible to avoid — as the [Second Vatican] Council asks — the inappropriate creation of institutes lacking sufficient motivation or adequate vigor, perhaps with goodwill, but something is missing.

“Your service is valuable in seeking to provide Pastors and the People of God with valid criteria for discernment.”

Vatican Media.
Vatican Media.
In an address to representatives of lay Catholic associations, movements, and new communities in September, Pope Francis underlined that governance in the Church is “nothing but a call to serve.”

He said that the Vatican decree setting term limits for leaders was issued because “the reality of the last few decades has shown us the need for the changes.”

“The exercise of government within associations and movements is a theme that is particularly close to my heart, especially considering … the cases of abuse of various kinds that have also occurred in these realities and which always find their root in abuse of power,” he said.

“Not infrequently the Holy See, in recent years, has had to intervene, starting not easy processes of reorganization. And I think not only of these very bad situations, which make noise; but also to the diseases that come from the weakening of the foundational charism, which becomes lukewarm and loses the capacity of attraction.”


This is exactly why Kirby should never have been allowed to set up Silverstream