Dear Bishop Lang,

The present arises from a matter within the Diocese of Meath that has repeatedly featured on my blog for the past eighteen months or so. However, I now write to make enquiries about two priests that were previously ministering within the Diocese of Clifton that constituted the so-called “Glastonbury Monks”.

Both Fr. Rowe and Fr. Redman were ordained by you, Bishop Lang at Clifton Cathedral. This is a matter of public record. Therefore, Fr. Rowe and Fr. Redman are priests of the Diocese of Clifton, and they are subject to your jurisdiction, so it is appropriate to bring the following to your immediate attention.

In what follows for the avoidance of any and all doubt, I am NOT making any allegation of sexual misconduct about either of the two priests. I wish to make that unequivocally clear. They could be accused of naïveté and stupidity however, those are not delicts.

I am led to believe these two priests have been present in Ireland “discerning their future” for a conspicuous period of time. Is this true? This is a legitimate question, because Fr. Rowe was explicitly seen at the Cathedral in Mullingar, this morning.


It has been suggested that these two priests have been have been in contact and perhaps have stayed/are staying at Silverstream Priory — a diocesan right monastic community mired in scandal that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath, Bishop Thomas Deenihan. Is this true?

In the past, I have written to the safeguarding officer of the Diocese of Meath about my concerns about Silverstream Priory because scouts were staying at Silverstream Priory for camps and attending the Eucharistic liturgy. I have subsequently discovered that scouts were unsupervised within the monastic enclosure.

Therefore, the presence of these two priests, if they are staying at Silverstream Priory is now a safeguarding issue. And, as a consequence of same I now write to you as the Ordinary of the Diocese of Clifton the following questions.

Are Fr. Rowe and Fr. Redman visiting the island of Ireland with your explicit written permission?

Do they have your written permission to celebrate the sacraments in any Irish Diocese? In other words — are they in possession of a celebret from Diocese of Clifton, indicating they are priests of your diocese, and they are in good standing with their Ordinary?

In light of Fr. Rowe being seen at the Cathedral in Mullingar, we know definitively, therefore, that he [Fr. Rowe] is in the Diocese of Meath. If the two priests are present in the Diocese of Meath “discerning their future”, are they lawfully present at Silverstream Priory with the explicit written permission of the Ordinary of Silverstream Priory, Bishop Thomas Deenihan?

If they have spent time at Silverstream Priory: has Bishop Deenihan given them permission to celebrate the sacraments within the Priory and more generally across the Diocese of Meath?

Did you communicate with your brother bishop, Thomas Deenihan, about the presence of these two priests in the Diocese of Meath? If so, did Bishop Deenihan give his consent for the two priests to be present: a) at Silverstream Priory; and, b) within the canonical territory of the Diocese of Meath?

These two priests, I am led to believe, were members of the Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury, which was canonically erected by you presumably by a Decree. However, the website of the community states since the “promulgation of Traditionis Custodes and its implementation in the Diocese of Cliftion [sic], the Priory of Our Lady of Glastonbury is discerning its future”.

If these two priests of the Diocese of Clifton are looking for an authentic monastic life where the Liturgy of the Hours is celebrated in Latin with the Eucharist in the Extraordinary Form they would be better discerning their future in France rather than on the island of Ireland. And, they should avoid Silverstream Priory at all costs, because it is toxic and fatally compromised my sexual and financial scandal. The fact that the current Prior of Silverstream Priory has an acknowledged problem with viewing gay pornography is a demonstrable example of same. This sad fact was publicly and repeatedly recounted by Dom Mark Kirby to several individuals visiting the Priory.

May I respectfully suggest the following French monasteries as alternatives to Fr. Rowe and Fr. Redman? The following listed communities offer an authentic expression of what these monks may be looking for: Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Fontgombault, Abbey Notre-Dame de Randol, and, Abbaye Notre-Dame de Triors. If there were looking for something very right-wing almost fascist, Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux would be perfect. Alternatively, if they require something English-speaking, then, Clear Creek Abbey in the United States would also be a suitable alternative.

I would be grateful for a prompt reply to my e-mail with clear and unequivocal answers to the questions posed, herein.

+Pat Buckley


Bishop Thomas Deenihan, Ordinary, Diocese of Meath.
Ms. Loraine Byrne, Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Diocese of Meath.
Ms. Becky Cawsey, Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Diocese of Clifton.
Br. Elijah Carroll, the “prior” of Silverstream Priory.




On Thursday I reported the diocese of Waterford and Lismore to the Garda and the Irish Charities Regulator.

Waterford is registered as Charity Number 20010751.

The Regulator has the power to investigate any irregularities with regard to a charity’s funds.

It also has the power to investigate misbehaviour or failure of duty on behalf of the charity’s trustees


*** I have been informed that the Garda in Waterford have already begun an investigation.

Therefore we must be circumspect about how much we say.

ALPHONSUS CULLINAN, as bishop,  is the senior trustee of this charity.

He is also the one who is accused of keeping the theft of the € 70,000 from the authorities and allowing the priest to pay the money back  secretly over a 14 year period.




Dear Chief Superintendent Colleran,

I am corresponding with you about a possible serious matter in your division.

Am amount of € 17,700 was sitting in a bank account belonging to the Reverend Ger Fitzgerald of Ennis, currently residing at Xxxxxxx Xxxxxx Limerick.

A close friend of Rev Fitzgerald – a Mr Xxxxx  Xxxxxx currently residing at Sixmilebridge Co. Clare- telephone number 087 90 XXXXXX – claims that the money does not belong to Rev Fitzgerald but to another party.

Mr Xxxxxx says that he has given all the information about this money to Bishop Fintan Monahan of Ennis.

My Xxxxxx claims that the money is no longer in the Rev Fitzgerald’s account.

I have no idea where the money currently is.

It is my hope that Bishop Monahan has informed the Garda of this situation?

My fear is that the money might be the proceeds of crime?

Sincerely yours,

(Bishop) Pat Buckley

0044 7488 374364


I’ve also been informed that the Garda looking into this matter.


Very often on this blog we concentrate on the sexual scandals and corruptions in the RCC.

But we must never forget that financial corruption is at least as common as sexual corruption in the RCC. In fact financial corruption may be even more common.

We have the two cases above under consideration currently.

In Down and Connor some time ago Fr ConlethByrne was convicted of giving a woman £ 145,000 from the parish of Loughlinisland.

He was given a suspended sentence and went to live in Portglenone Cistercian Monastery.

Fr Byrne died earlier this month. RIP.

There have been many cases of priests around the globe stealing small and very large sums of church money.



Dear Br. Elijah,

As you are aware, the sham that is “Silverstream Priory” has provided a rich seam of scandal for my blog over the past twelve months. I felt honoured by the oblique reference to my blogging in the accounts of the company known as “Silverstream Priory” company number: 513644:

“The Monastery has received some negative media attention, which may have some negative impact on income for the Company. The actual financial effect of this attention could have is difficult to quantify. However the Directors are confident that the Company has the capacity to continue its activities profitably”. In the years that I have been blogging that is one of the finest backhanded compliments I have received.

Therefore, for the obvious reason, I am always keen to have a conversation with any individual who will provide me with information about Silverstream Priory.

Yesterday, I received a telephone call from a well-placed individual who apprised me about the visit of members of Silverstream Priory to the recent abbatial blessing of Mother Mother Eustochium Lee, OSB, as the fourth abbess of St. Cecilia’s Abbey on the Isle of Wight. The Abbatial Blessing was conferred by the Right Reverend Philip Egan, Bishop of the Diocese of Portsmouth.

The unannounced and unarranged arrival of members of Silverstream Priory to the abbatial blessing was a source of surprise as an invitation had NOT been extended to Silverstream Priory and/or any of its constituent members.

Who then within Silverstream Priory felt it was appropriate to travel from Meath to the Isle of Wight to attend the blessing of an abbess to which an invitation had not been extended? Does this action display a level of egotism and a troubling lack of insight within the Priory?

Was approval for the journey given the Ordinary, Bishop Thomas Deenihan? Was the decision to travel to the Isle of Wight made unilaterally and independently of the Ordinary?

Did the resident cleric at Silverstream Priory, Fr. Hildebrand Houser, OSB concelebrate during the liturgy of installation? If so, did Fr. Houser have a letter of good standing and a celebret personally signed by the Ordinary of the Diocese, Bishop Deenihan to present to Bishop Egan?

How did the scandal-ridden community at Silverstream feel justified inserting itself into the mainstream Benedictine world? Was the visit to the Isle of Wight an attempt to gain credibility within the Benedictine world? Did the Silverstream community hope that by being “seen” at an important event in the life of the Church it would somehow ameliorate the unresolved scandal of Dom Kirby’s behaviour? Did anybody within Silverstream suggest it was imprudent to make the journey to the Isle of Wight? If so, why was that voice of reason, ignored? If you are in the United States would you consider it appropriate to travel uninvited to a similar abbatial blessing?

Because you did not have a conventional Benedictine formation you are possibly oblivious to the etiquette involved in an abbatial blessing. However, gatecrashing is never acceptable. Would you accept it showed a lack of finesse?
While the liturgy is open to everybody do you consider it rude to have travelled without an invitation to the blessing? Do you feel that that you personally, and the community at Silverstream Priory owe an apology to Mother Lee?

If you travelled without the permission of your Ordinary, and the fact that this e-mail is going to appear on my blog, do you think you owe an apology to Bishop Deenihan? He will not be happy to be receiving a copy of this e-mail!

Br. Elijah, have you ever considered the futility of your position as the so-called superior of Silverstream Priory? Unless you have been secretly ordained by Bishop Deenihan — you are not a cleric — hence, you have no jurisdiction over Fr. Houser, Fr. Andersen or Fr. Kirby. How does that make you feel? Do you ever read the Code of Canon Law and reflect on the futility of your canonical status. As a non-cleric, do you accept that you are canonically impotent? Does that cause you to have sleepless nights? Are you searching for canonical legitimacy?

May I ask you a personal question: do you ever reflect that you have wasted your life by joining Kirby’s vanity project? In light of the scandal that surrounds Silverstream Priory — do you consider that your “vocation” has been a worthwhile? Do you hope to be ordained a deacon and priest by Bishop Deenihan in the future? Personally, I think it is unlikely you will ever be ordained because of the indiscretion of Dom Kirby who told everybody about your addiction to gay pornography.

Your secret struggles are widely known because of the repeated indiscretions of Mark Kirby. It was he who told everybody about your addiction to gay pornography, and that is how it got back to this blog. Some priests in Meath love salacious gossip and there were more than happy to share that information with the Bishop of Larne because Silverstream was never wanted in Meath and the sooner it closes the better.

Do you feel angry about Kirby’s indiscretion? I sincerely hope you did not tell him in a confessional setting because he has wilfully and deliberately violated the sacramental seal of confession. That is a delict that needs to be brought to the immediate attention of your Ordinary Bishop Deenihan, who may wish to refer the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Some more questions. Why did you not join a mainstream Benedictine Abbey? Are you just obsessed about the Traditional Latin Mass? Would you accept that the nomenclature “Benedictine” is misapplied to Silverstream Priory, because, it is not “Benedictine” in spirit?

Br. Elijah, do you accept that Silverstream is hopelessly and irreparably compromised due to the scandals surrounding its founding prior? Do you and there community think it is now time to draw a line in the sand, and petition for the community to be voluntarily suppressed? Have members of the Silverstream contemplated leaving to become members of more “mainstream” Benedictine communities?

Would you and other members of the community feel more at home within the SSPX? If so, why not make a pitch to that organisation for membership? However, how will you explain to them the scandals surrounding the founder of Silverstream, Dom Kirby?

Br. Elijah, I ask you to examine your conscience before God about some of the questions I have posed within this e-mail. I will write you again with some further questions about Dom Kirby.

Because I believe transparency is good for the church, I will place this e-mail on my blog. I know you will not reply, but if you do, I can guarantee your confidentiality.

With prayerful best wishes

+ Pat Buckley


Bishop Thomas Deenihan.



PHONSIE CULLINANE is indeed a bully and a cover up merchant.


Phonsie showed both contempt and mockery for Richard from the time he became bishop.

A more senior Waterford priest told me recently that Phonsie deliberately mocked Richard by continuing to refer to him as RICHIE after Richard told him he like to be called Richard.

A small thing in itself. But hurtful and provocative.

Phonsie was mocking Fr Richard and his sensitivity.

Phonsie also mocked and made little of a particular health problem had.

He dismissed Richard from the priesthood on the flimsiest of reasons.

Richard felt broken and destroyed after his various encounters with Phonsie.

He even tried to harm himself !

Phonsie drove him to the very edge

THE STOLEN € 70,000

On the other hand, Phonsie did a sectet deal with a priest had stolen € 70,000 of diocesan money

Phonsie never reported this crime to the Garda.

And is allowing the priest to pay back the stolen money at € 5,000 a year for 14 years out of his diocesan salary.

That priest is still residing in diocesan property and is allowed to minister freely in the diocese as if he did nothing wrong.


And then there is Richard Purcell who is a caused of serious sexual violation of his monastic vows.

Phonsie allowed him to continue to have faculties for the diocese.

And made sure that Purcell was prominent at every diocesan event.

And Phonsie continued to publicly concelebrate Mass with him.

So, Protect a thieving priest.

Protect a lecherous monk.

But destroy a good, kindly priest, beloved of his parishioners, who was totally open about his life.

There is something deeply dark, something deeply sinister about PHONSIE CULLINANE.

No wonder he has to take cold shower every day.

I’d say he has skeletons as big as dinosaurs in his dark damp closet.





Don’t forget folks – this was only Eamon Casey’s HOLIDAY HOME!

His permanent home was the Bishops Palace in Killarney.



When the news of the scandal broke Eamon Casey used 70,000 he stole from Galway to try and pay off Annie and Peter.






Dear Phonsie,

Is is true that Father Xxxxx Xxxxxx stole € 70,000 of church funds and you are allowing him to pay it back at € 5,000 per annum?

Did you report this serious crime to the Gardai?

If not, why not?

Is it true that you stated to another priest at the time that nobody would ever find out about this crime?

Is Father Xxxxxx paying interest as well as paying the capital.

Do you not think that the people of Waterford and Lismore, whose money was stolen, should be informed about this crime?

Have you initiated canonical proceedings against Fr Xxxxxx ?

If not, why not?

Your brother bishop,

+ Pat Buckley


Dear Chief Superintendent Dunne,

I have been made aware that a serious crime has been committed in your divisional area.

A Father Xxxx Xxxxxx , a priest of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore is alleged to have stolen the sum of € 70,000 from diocesan funds.

The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Phonsie Cullinane has made a private arrangement with Father Xxxxxx to pay monies back at the rate of € 5,000 over a period of 14 years.

As the money was donated by the public of Waterford and Lismore​ this is a serious matter of public concern.

As a priest, who lived in and was ordained in Waterford, and having family members still residing in Waterford,​ I have a strong interest and involvement in that area and feel that because of my connection I am a person who can legitimately report this matter to the Gardai.

Father Xxxxxx still resides in the Waterford area.

Sincerely yours,

(Bishop) Patrick Buckley.

Larne. Co. Antrim. BT40 1RQ

0044 7488 374364



This is enough to make one’s head spin. In fulfillment of the late Bishop Dunn’s wishes, the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University has reportedly raised £2.1 million to endow a new Bede Chair in Catholic Theology. The university announcement was made in the post, “Durham Centre for Catholic Studies is UK first” (Durham University News, March 3, 2008). Fr. Michael Brown, a priest of Newcastle upon Tyne, offers a brief synopsis of the news in his post, “Bede chair of Catholic Theology at Durham” (Forest Murmurs, April 24, 2008), and mentions that Fr. Joseph O’Leary was one of four candidates invited to Durham for interviews and to offer a public lecture. As an update to his post, Fr. Brown writes: “I understand that Prof. Ayres got the job.”


The details concerning each of the four candidates and their respective lectures and positions are derived, according to Fr. Brown, from a post by James Mawdsley, “Church and University: Durham’s New Chair of Theology” (Ecce Mater Tua, April 21, 2008). “As part of the selection process,” says Mawdsley, “yesterday the four candidates for the Bede Chair each gave presentations to a packed room of local clergy, academics, parishioners and students. One candidate had travelled from London, two had flown in from the USA, the fourth from Japan.” The candidate from Japan, of course, was none other than Fr. Joseph O’Leary, the notorious dissident who has insinuated himself into numerous blog discussions under the monaker of “Spirit of Vatican II,” or “Joe O’Leary,” or simply “Fr. Joe.” Mawdsley reports his ‘take’ on the four candidates as follows:

  • Prof. Lewis Ayres — solid and interesting
  • Prof. Christina Beattie — [apparently] the best of the candidates, both in content and communication [but see up-date at the top]
  • Prof. Rev. Paul McPartlan — interesting but his overall point(s) unclear
  • Prof. Rev. Jospeh O’Leary — I think he is theologically dangerous

We certainly concur with his ‘take’ on Fr. O’Leary. Australian blogger John Heard, “Notorious Dissident Priest Father Joseph O’Leary Bound For Durham University’s New Bede Chair in Catholic Theology?” (Dreadnought, April 26, 2008) gives a more detailed report of the history of Fr. O’Leary. He reportedly sent an email to the heads of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University, as well as to the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, the Diocese of Westminster, and Catholic theologians, writers and bloggers across the English-speaking world, warning them about O’Leary’s background. Excerpts from Heard’s correspondence:

It was with some alarm that I read that Father Joseph O’Leary was being considered for the new Bede Chair at Durham University. Father O’Leary is well-known, indeed quite notorious, within the online Catholic community:- The Case of Father O’Leary; and- The Perplexing Sayings of Father O’Leary.He is especially infamous for consistently and domineeringly pushing his arguments against Catholic teaching on human sexuality, and denying the historicity of the Resurrection.

… On two occasions I have had cause to report Father O’Leary’s comments to me (on my blog) and about me (on his blog and other blogs) – in relation to the Church’s teaching on human sexuality – to the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney for further investigation. I can forward the correspondence. Other scholars, bloggers and priests have also apparently reported specific examples of Father O’Leary’s heterodoxy to their local ordinaries. However, I understand that, owing to the details of Father O’Leary’s position in Japan, not much has been done so far.

That would change if Durham and the Centre seriously considered giving Father O’Leary the Bede Chair. He would become a lightening rod for dissent and controversy. Far from presenting the Catholic Church to the secular university, Father O’Leary’s appointment would reward the worst kind of secularist ideas and the people who hold them with the official title ‘Catholic’.

The history of my own interaction with Fr. O’Leary, who was a classmate of mine in graduate school at Duquesne University back in the early 1980s, is reported by Christopher Blosser in “The Perplexing Sayings of Fr. O’Leary” (Against the Grain, August 2, 2005). O’Leary is very bright, learned, and diabolical. He is obsessed with portraying active homosexual relations in a positive light, as reported in “What homosexuals do” (Musings, June 26, 2006) (his combox comments alone are sufficient to indict O’Leary here, not to mention his obscene discussion of the cult of the divine prepuce [foreskin] in another venue). We banned him from the comment boxes on this blog, even though he continued to post by logging onto different computers, as we noted in “Obstinate O’Leary refuses to be banned” (Musings, August 14, 2006). He denies the historicity of the Resurrection, even while cleverly appearing to affirm it in some trans-historical spiritual sense. He buys into the assumptions of the most skeptical traditions of German higher criticism of the Bible. My own critical analysis of his claims to Chalcedonian orthodoxy in his Christology may be found in the following posts:

We hope that Fr. Michael Brown is right and that Fr. O’Leary was not given the Bede Chair in Catholic Theology at the University of Durham. For O’Leary to receive that chair would be a hideous blight upon the future of that venerable institution and a flagrant disregard to all the canons of Catholic theological responsibility. As it is, we continue to be deeply troubled that Fr. O’Leary continues to hold a teaching position in the Department of English Literature at Sophia University in Japan. Fr. Al Kimel justly raises the question “Is the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ Christian” (Pontifications, quoted in Against the Grain, August 2, 2005). His nefarious influence is not only obnoxious. It is doing great harm.

Update 4/29/08

It has been officially confirmed that Professor Lewis Ayres, an English lay Catholic theologian currently teaching at Emory University in Georgia in the USA, has been appointed as the first Bede Chair of Catholic Theology in Durham University. (Courtesy of Volpius Leonius, Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle, United Kingdom)


An interesting assessment of Jap Joe obviously form a Conservative position

The two criticisms of Joe are:

1. He disagrees with the teaching of the RCC on human sexuality.

2. He denies the historicity of the Resurrection.

Well, I agree with him on the RCCs teachings on human sexuality.

But I am shocked that a priest of Cork and Ross denies the historicity of the Resurrection and gets away with it

And why is a priest of Cork and Ross, ordained 49 years ago to serve the Faithful of Cork and Ross teaching English Literature in Japan?

How has Jap Joe got away with abandoning his true calling for nearly 50 years?

Is he being paid anything by Cork?

Is he on the priests private health scheme for Cork?

Will he get a priest’s pension from Cork?

I’m also wondering if Joe is gay and actively so?





Joseph Stephen O’Leary is an Irish Roman Catholic theologian. Born in Cork, 1949, he studied literature and theology at Maynooth College (BA 1969; DD 1976). He also studied at the Gregorian University, Rome (1972-3) and in Paris (1977–79). Ordained for the Diocese of Cork and Ross in 1973, he was a chaplain at University College Cork (1980–81). He taught theology at the University of Notre Dame (1981–82) and Duquesne University (1982–83) before moving to Japan in August, 1983. He worked as a researcher at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nanzan University, Nagoya (1985–86), where he later held the Roche Chair for Interreligious Research (2015–16). He taught in the Faculty of Letters at Sophia University, Tokyo, from 1988 to 2015.

Dear Jap Joe,

It is obvious from your little letter to the ACP that you do not like this blog or its author.

Since finding that out I cannot sleep at night.

Having your approval of me is the most important thing in my life – even more important that having God’s approval.

Receiving your disapproval of me felt worse than being, apparently, automatically excommunicated, on the occasion of being raised to the Fullness of the Priesthood on May 19th 1998.

I have never fully understood “automatic excommunication”. Is it a kind of canonical masturbation?

Not that you would know anything about such matters Jap Joe.


You were ordained a priest in 1973 – three years before I was ordained.

But you seem to have spent all you life travelling the world looking into philosophical conundrums.

You were ordained to be a shepherd and a pastor after the mind and style of the Chief Shepherd and Pastor Jesus Christ.

Now I have searched the New Testament and I can’t find the words:

Go out to the whole world and philosophise to all men and women”.

“Go and baptise all men in the name of the Heidegger, the Dumoulin and the Budda“.

O Joe!

You went out to do good and you did well 😀

Decades as a parish dodger and desk priest

Decades of travelling the globe in academic irrelevance and luxury.

All making you feel you can judge me.

I’m lots of things Jap Joe, but unlike you I have the smell of the sheep about me.


Jap Joe, in my upstairs toilet the door opposite where I preside is a blank surface.

It’s waiting for a Bull of Excommunication in LATIN to be pinned to it.

An Irish Episcopal or ACP Reprimand would be pinned at a lower level.

I have come up with a great use for your letter to the ACP but I need you to resend it after you’ve printed it on softer paper.

God Bless Jap Joe.

Your brother priest

+ Patrick Buckley

Episcopus apud Larnensis




The ACP responds to recent comments by Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, Waterford & Lismore in relation to Fr Richard Geoghegan.

The story was covered in the Irish Examiner.

Link to article:

Full text of the Irish Examiner article at the bottom of this page.

ACP Statement, Thurs 20 January 2022:

Last October, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) issued a statement in relation to complaints we received about the way some bishops are treating – even it might be said bullying – some of their priests. We noted that this is generally not the case with most Irish bishops. We pointed out that, for over a decade now, the ACP has seen its role as supporting the rights of priests to fair and just treatment.

So it was with dismay and sadness that we read the news that Richard Geoghegan of the diocese of Waterford and Lismore has left the priesthood. As the ACP supported Richard’s quest for fairness, it is imperative that we add some facts, as we know them, in response to the recent statement from Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore.

In 2020, the Association was contacted by a priest from the diocese of Waterford and Lismore as he felt a priest of the diocese – Richard Geoghegan – was being “pushed out of priesthood” – even though there was no allegation or official complaint against him. One of the ACP Leadership team met with Richard and, with Richard’s agreement, accompanied him to a meeting with his bishop.

During the meeting, Richard expressed his wish to remain a priest of the diocese. Bishop Cullinan responded that he knew that Richard did not want that. The Bishop added that he felt it best for Richard if he left the priesthood. In response, Richard said that he never felt supported by the bishop since he came into the diocese.

In reply, the Bishop outlined all the reasons why he felt Richard should leave – including a mental health crisis that Richard had experienced. Sometime after the meeting, when Richard obtained the minutes, he discovered they were completely distorted and only included some of what the bishop had said and nothing of what Richard or the ACP member had said.

During 2021, Bishop Cullinan withdrew Richard’s ‘celebret’ – a card that acknowledges a priest is in good standing with his bishop – which meant that Richard could no longer say Mass publicly or officiate as a priest. Richard was not informed of this nor did any formal process take place to alert him to it. He was then asked to leave the house provided for him by the diocese. Because he felt unsupported and ‘not wanted’ by Bishop Cullinan, Richard reluctantly signed the laicisation papers.

The ACP believes that Bishop Cullinan’s treatment of Fr Richard Geoghegan fell well below the ‘pastoral care’ a bishop as ‘a shepherd’ is expected to exercise in relation to his priest, a standard of respect, support and care that is enshrined in the law of the Catholic Church and which priests have a right to enjoy. Richard Geoghegan’s reluctant signing of his laicisation papers after 28 years of service to the diocese of Waterford and Lismore has left him at 54 years of age, without an income, accommodation and dependant on a derisory financial settlement.

The ACP contends that Fr Richard Geoghegan’s treatment is inappropriate, unreasonable and unacceptable.



Text of Irish Examiner article on 18 Jan 2022 by Eoghan Dalton

Controversy has flared in the Diocese of Waterford over the departure of a popular priest.

Richard Geoghegan tweeted on Sunday night that he had been “officially dismissed by Rome” and claimed his “Bishop was happy to dispense” with him.

The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore has pushed back on this, contending that Mr Geoghegan has left the priesthood “of his own accord”.

Mr Geoghegan was a longtime priest in south Tipperary, covering Carrick-on-Suir and other parts, and is the brother of former Mayor of Waterford, Fine Gael councillor Damien Geoghegan.

He came under fire in 2017 by an international right-wing Catholic publication following an appearance in an RTÉ programme hosted by hotelier Francis Brennan, where he performed in drag as singer Shirley Bassey.

He tweeted: “I entered seminary in 1987 at the age of 19. I was ordained in 1993 at the age of 25. On 7/1/22 I was officially dismissed by Rome. On Friday 14/01/22 my Bishop was happy to dispense me.”

Mr Goeghegan added: “I’m a good man. And he talks about the shortage of vocations.”

The crisis facing the Church due to a lack of priests has been referenced in the past by both Pope Francis and Bishop of Waterford and Lismore Alphonsus Cullinan.

However Bishop Cullinan told the Irish Examiner that Mr Geoghegan had sought to leave the priesthood of his own accord.

“Richard Geoghegan petitioned Pope Francis for laicisation from the priesthood on 31st March 2021,” Bishop Cullinan said.

“At the meeting last March, Richard attended the diocesan offices, in the company of a chosen colleague, to sign the request to the Holy Father for laicisation.

“On 15th December 2021, Pope Francis granted Richard Geoghegan’s petition, meaning that he is no longer a priest.

“I wish to acknowledge and thank Richard for his pastoral ministry over the years and wish him well for his future.”

Local councillor David Dunne said it was known there have been disagreements between Mr Geoghegan and the Church hierarchy.

“Fr Richard has my one hundred percent support. He’s one of the nicest men and is extremely well liked in Carrick,” Mr Dunne said.

“It’s people like him who will make the Church relevant and who are needed by the Church — not the other way around.”

Tributes were paid on social media to Mr Geoghegan for his work as a priest, with two saying he had been “treated abysmally” in recent years.

Some of his 3,400-strong social media following were surprised to learn he was a man of the cloth, and instead knew him for his tweeting on Waterford matters, musicals and events of the day.

Parishioner Nicola Long told him: “You were, and still are, and will continue to be a wonderful person. You are part of practically every family in Carrick, for being an amazing person in good times and in sorrowful times.”


PHONSIE CULLINANE is an anger filled and arrogant bully.

He is so thick and ignorant that you would think he came from a still undiscovered part of the Kerry / Cork mountains.

I saw that for myself the day he refused me Holy Communion at Monsignor Shine’s Funeral Mass in Tramore.

He was so angry I expected him get physically violent with me.

He is without compassion and empathy and in my view totally unsuited to the priesthood and episcopate.

FATHER RICHARD GEOGHEGAN, on the other hand is a mild mannered, sensitive and caring soul.

His parishioners all loved him and he was there for them at the most difficult time of their lives.

Richard is definitely both “different” and eccentric.

But there is nothing wrong with that.

The world would be very boring without characters.

Characters give life soft edges and filtered light.

When a gentle man like Richard meets a bully like Cullinan they cannot speak the same language.

Cullinan bulldozed over Richard and did him a massive injustice.

I hope that Cullinan one days meets his match and requires an emergency trip to the dentist after the encounter.

As my Da used to say about Cullinane types:

“Shooting would be too good for him. It’s a kick in the arse he needs”.

Richard Geoghegan would be welcome at The Oratory anytime.

In fact, my mother’s maiden name was Geoghegan.



Priests, like doctors, councillors etc, often have to deal with adult men and women who are “vulnerable”.

And therefore its very important that priests do not cross boundaries and become emotionally, sexually or even financially involved with these vulnerable adults.

Adults can be vulnerable for all kinds of reasons – a bereavement, a relationship break up, an unhappy marriage, a loss of employment, a financial crisis or an illness.

As a priest for the past 46 years I have met hundreds or thousands of “broken” people.

My job or vocation is to restore the broken to wholeness.

And it is very important that I do not use their brokenness for anything that benefits myself.


Recently we have been dealing with the case of the Killaloe priest Ger Fitzgerald who crossed boundaries and became emotionally, sexually and financially involved with two women.

When he met Y she was going through a period of intense bereavement after the death of her father and was in a very bad place.

She was not in a proper state of mind to commit to a relationship with a priest.

I know it takes two to tango, but Ger being the “professional” should not have crossed boundaries.

If a doctor had done what Ger did to Y, he would be struck off for life.

And even if the vulnerable person is showing an interest in the professional, the professional must take control and responsibility and back away.

And it was the same with C.

She had newly arrived in a foreign country and was having difficulties in her primary relationship.

Many of the adult victims of priests I have met have gone to the priest initially for pastoral care and “counselling” and the priest initiated a relationship with them – often at the first meeting!

The infamous Fr Michael Cleary did this with a 17 year old woman who went to him with mental health problems and who went on to be a life partner and the mother of his children.

Some priests are like spiders sitting in their web waiting for their next victim to pass by.


Perhaps it’s time that the Government introduced legislation that made clergy apply on a regular basis for a FITNESS TO PRACTICE licence?

Because the RCC in particular is not fit to decide who should practice and who should not.

After all, it’s a matter of public protection.


Today, Fr John (95) will be laid to rest today.

He was an English diocesan priest and a seminary lecturer.

He fell in love with a religious sister and he and she did the honourable thing – left and settled down in marriage.

John and his wife came to live in Northern Ireland andived in Bangor.

John joined us in The Oratory and regularly celebrated Mass here.

He was a gentle and very kind man. He was intellectually clever.

Quite a few years ago he completely retired and went to live in Scotland and later the North of England.

Rest in peace, John.


We lost Fr Ted Flanagan a couple of years ago in his mid 80s.

Ted was a priest of Clogher who left with Kate, moved to England, had a great career in teaching and music.

Ted returned to priesthood in later life as part of The Oratory and celebrated many weddings etc.