“I have been a priest in the Diocese of Portsmouth under three bishops – Emery, hollis, and now Egan.
In all that time, I have never experienced anything like enduring the diocese today.
Egan has nothing to do with his priests. He has visited some parishes of the diocese for the first time in ten years only recently. Confirmations take place at the Cathedral as he has refused to travel to parishes to meet his people and administer the Sacraments to them.
Everything is Portsmouth-centred. By that, I mean the diocese has been centralised, and parishes are bypassed. This is having a detrimental effect on the parish communities. The Mass going population is in decline.
These figures are presented in Egan’s ten year plan. This is what he has been presiding over.
In our diocese in 1960, some 70,000 people were attending Mass and giving life and vibrancy to their communities.
By 2019, a year before Covid, this had halved to 32,000, and the mist recent Mass count in 2021, albeit in a time of restriction, was at 17,000.
Over the last decade, preceding Covid, the number of marriages being celebrated in our diocese decreased by 32%, baptisms fell by 35%, and confirmations fell by 40%.
The younger generations are not continuing to engage with the church much beyond First Holy Communion. As our congregations age thet are missing the vitality support and activity of younger generations.
53% fall in the number of baptisms celebrated in our diocese between 2010 and 2019.
35 % fall in the number of people being confirmed in our diocese between 2010 and 2019.
40% fall in the number of marriages being celebrated in our diocese between 2010 and 2019.
32% fall in the number of priests in our diocese estimated between 2022 and 2042.
63% parishes were in overdraft or had other debts on the 31st August 2021.
41% of the estate requires major investment to fulfil the recommendations of the latest quinquennial inspections.
EGAN MUST RESIGN
I can see no way forward other than Egan to resign for all his damage to the diocese to be addressed by someone else.
How is he going to move forward and repair the damage he has caused to the relationship between priests and Bishop?
How can the lay faithful trust their bishop?
What hope does he have now of fulfilling any kind of plan for the future?
What will he do to address the dysfunctional relationship between the Curia offices and the priests? Heather Hauschild is a nasty piece of work and really should be dismissed.
These are questions that won’t affect me too much as I’m approaching the end of my time in ministry in the next few years. These are questions I suppose future generations will tackle.
However, I am grateful for this opportunity to make my concerns public via your excellent blog. My Lord.”
My dear Brother Priest, thank you for your thorough honesty.
I am sorry to see all your good work being ruined by Ayatollah Egan.
But you must remind yourself very strongly that you did all you did for The Lord, and He always sees, remembers, and rewards.
I know we live in very secular times, and that takes its own toll.
But you are right – blind, arrogant, and incompetent fools like Egan destroy people and communities.
He is as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.
Egan must and should go and take others with him.
The quality of seminarians, priests, and bishops has fallen greatly.
In the real world, people like Egan wouldn’t last as petrol pump operators.
Let’s keep our faith, try and say our prayers, and hope that the Lord has plans for his people.
Napoleon: “Your Eminence, I’m going to destroy the Church of Rome”.
Cardinal (smiling) replies: “Good luck. We priests and bishops have been trying to do that for hundreds of years.”