On Monday evening I had a long meeting with Robert. He has messaged me asking for a meeting.
I am always open to meet anyone anytime and any place.
My impression of Robert is that he is sincere and authentic in his views, his words and his actions.
Like he says on the video, he and I have very different views on many things. We would disagree on our understanding of many things. We would also disagree on how issues should be tackled
I believe after meeting me, Robert accepts that I too am sincere and authentic.
He expressed the view that the Church had treated me badly and that I should have an apology for that.
He was surprised to hear that 14 years I had written to Bishop Noel Treanor asking to meet him for a friendly chat and a cup of tea – and that I have never received a reply.
PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS:
One of the main purposes of his wanting to meet was to tell me that a number of priests and seminarians that have featured on my blog have reached out to him and told him that being on the Blog brought them to a very bad place with depression and dark thoughts.
These priests told him that it was not so much what I have written on the Blog- but the cruel comments of others that I approved.
This led us to a discussion in which we identified two types of “errant” priests:
1. Priests who are weak and have fallen and failed but who were not engaged in any form of abuse.
2. Cynical priests who are deliberately living a double life without feeling any remorse and with every intention to keep living like that.
In the video you will see Robert’s reaction to both types – compassion for the fallen weak ones and challenge for the cynical ones.
In fact he tells them – “change or leave”.
Robert is a proponent of the Catholic laity working to renew the Church.
He introduced me to two things I had not been previously aware of:
1. The Home of the Mother ministry
2. The Exodus 90 ministry.
I need to look deeper at these two movements.
But I do believe that for the Church to be renewed it will have to be a case of the sheep leading the shepherd’s.
Because many of the shepherd’s are happy to sit in the comfortable pit they are in.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to quote a wonderful verse that is relevant here:
I THINK MY SOUL IS A LAME OLD DUCK
I think my soul is a lame old duck,
Dabbling around in farmyard muck.
Fat and lazy with useless wings.
But sometimes when the North wind sings,
And the wild ones hurtle overhead.
It remembers something lost and dead.
And cocks a weary bewildered eye,
And makes a feeble attempt to fly.
It’s fairly content with the state it’s in.
But it’s not the duck it might have been.
Bishop are you the bishop you might have been?
Father are you the priest you might have been?
Sister are you the sister you might have been?
Brother are you the brother you might have been?
Jack are you the Christian man you might have been?
Mary are you the Christian woman you might have been?
Is it possible we could all learn to fly again?