“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.


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.”


The journey into priesthood is varied because people are different Of course in the day the cups of tea and protection from the real world were all part of the story for many. The chosen are called by God and supposedly ratified via formation process. Does the church/es know the difference between a mixture and a solution. Many are called but some resist the resist the urge to be chosen


Is Egan any different from or worse than any other diocesan bishop in England and Wales ? My sense is that they are all second rate, and just holding the fort and doing very little to address realistically the issues confronting parishes and the faithful, preferring to wait out until their retirement and leave it somebody else. + Nichols needs to let go his grip and his need for control, and move in to retirement. He is well past the age. +McMahon is just an over confident great lump. + Longley is innocent and nice, but doesn’t do effectiveness or decisiveness. Gauleiter Herr Arnold is just a frigging fascist, and Stock is an angry insomniac depressive. We already know about Bobby Byrne. + Wilson of Southwark is really a fat bullyboy and desperate to move across the Thames. The others ? Well, somebody tell me who shines ?. Except perhaps one or two in the backwaters who are simple pastoral men of prayer, like Swarbrick in Lancaster. I guess Collins in East Anglia won’t do too much harm with his Dick Emery fireside chat impersonations. Not much good, either. Really, there is nobody to inspire or lead. And, even if there were, he wouldn’t be able to implement what is really needed in the Church, and which people want. Which is, not more culture wars loins obsessed morality, not more clerical culture misogyny, not more homophobia and transphobia, not more moralising about marriage and divorce, not more coverup of the egregious crimes and toxic nasty culture of their clerics, not more abuse of the vulnerable, not more getting your end away in a gay sauna or lay-by………. and not more thinking they are so, so special that they don’t have to listen to what the rest of us think or want. Who says God / Holy Spirit only speaks to and through them ? And not to the rest of us ?


+ Dick Emery will be an unmitigated disaster. He is already thinking of opening an Oratory and shipping in his Cardiff mates. He thinks Cambridge has enough young fogeys into tweed and Latin to support a new Oratory.


Pat, aside from your simple response, woven with insult to the Bishop, we must all realise by now, including your good self, that a trend has long and well begun with the downward spiral of a collapsing institutional church. The covid pandemic has speeded up this process by at least ten years whereby all western attachment to religious faith, Christianity in particular, is becoming less important to people. All priests in parishes see huge changes in attitude to their local church community. Pre covid numbers have not returned, our own parish being 400 + down weekly since covid. Even at Christmas instead of 7 masses pre covid, 4 was sufficient, with all of them reasonably full. But, we must adjust to even newer realities, thiugh we all seem adrift. No big headline programmes or initiatives are impacting as expected. We are in a rapidly changing era where religious faith is changing. People no longer carry a sense of sin, shame or guilt placed on them by a once unquestioned Church. The evolution of thought, philosophy, science and arts has given us greater insights into the meaning of life, not always favouring a religious perspective. This along with the consequences of the sexual abuse scandals and cover ups with unaccountable leaders have all seriously damaged credibility in religious institutions and in the very concepts of God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Virgin Mary, priesthood, celibacy, ministry and the necessity of religion. Times are changed and changing for all churches, particularly for the Catholic Church. I value my Christian faith very deeply. I am struggling now with the relevance of priesthood in the midst of all changes, even though I do not regret my decision all those years ago. Being close to 70 my expectations are pragmatic and realistic now that I have some health issues. Having a good Bishop makes a huge difference. Sadly, they too seem burdened with the challenges. My strength now comes from prayer, however poorly expressed to God. I despair at the foolishness of bishops like Bishop Egan.


@11:18. Your comment shows good awareness of the rapidly diminishing relevance of religion.
Leaving aside the beneficial aspects of your own pastoral/social care efforts, to what extent can you acknowledge that much of your church, and your own role, in terms of advocating observance of a particular form of religion has been a waste of time?


’twill take a truly insightful and honest man to admit even a smidgen of that Thomas: hardly likely to be found among RC clergy?


6.49. I think there’s a big truth there.
I believe there’s a majority of RC priests, especially those 60+ who now realise that their “religion”, and all its professions & requirements, are a total load of codswallop. It will not be absolutely clear to them in black and white terms, but an increasing majority will know and feel the reality of how little objective truth there is in the religious claptrap they’ve subscribed to for so long.
But clearly they can’t admit or acknowledge this. Practically., they’re dependent financially on the RCC/bishops, and on a personal human level, it would be very hard to admit your “lifeswork” has been a load of cobblers. And of course, giving up the prestige, power and privilege……now that would be a verrrry big step.


See, you all continually moan that there’s nothing positive on the blog but this post is full of good news. 👍


The now Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, Kieran O’Reilly did few if any confirmations when he arrived from Africa to the role of Bishop of Killaloe. Parishioners were informed that he was instead focussing on getting to know the clergy in the various parishes.


Agreed. The once mighty diocese of Hexham and Newcastle published some revealing statistics some years ago. Between 1980 and 2013, Mass attendance dropped from 100,000 to 37,000. The graph of this decline was an almost straight line. It suggests a generational decline. Those who were Mass goers as adults in 1980 largely kept going. But as the pensioners quietly died off there were few youngsters who stayed faithfull and filled the emptying pews. The number of priests in H+N also slid quietly, from 300+ in 1980 to 100+ in 2013. That was 10 years and one pandemic ago. How many pew warmers or active clergy remain?


I love how “priests” like this (and I doubt this was actually written by a real Portsmouth priest) always neglect the key fact: the precipitous decline happened under Emery and Hollis, and on THEIR watch. If this is a real priest, it’s a whingeing cry-baby who has spent decades wrecking the church and watching his parishes dwindle in size and is upset that Egan is trying to repair the damage he’s done! It’s just sad!
“Priests” like this are pissed that the curia are reigning in their expensive spending habits – watch how they squeal when they can’t spaff money up the wall any more!


97 year old Nazi tried to skip the start of her trial in September 2021 but was later picked up by police and placed in detention. She was convicted in December 2022 for aiding and abetting those in charge of the concentration camp. Defence lawyers had asked for her to be acquitted but the verdict and sentence were handed down in line with prosecutors demands. Another 5 cases are currently pending with German prosecutors.


Your email address isn’t working. So many people trying to contact you and your email address is filtering them. You should use gmail as it doesn’t censor emails.


You should listen to this one! Paul Farrar notorious bully – had to be yanked out of control at Valladolid halfway through the year to stop an mote dmage being done!


The stats are much the same for every English diocese. At least Egan has had the courage to declare what things are going to be like in the fairly near future, instead of saying ‘Just hold on”. The parish system is going to collapse nationwide. There are already lots of zombie parishes with elderly priests ministering to elderly people singing Seventies rubbish in churches with leaky roofs, no young folk, a suspicion of strangers, anxiety over social status and sometimes bone-headed racism.


Egan won’t resign for incompetence or being an arrogant twat – that’s pretty standard surely and most if not all bishops are universally loathed by their clergy.
They only resign if there is not just a whiff but a decent stench of sexual assault or something to do with child abuse. Simply being a rubbish bishop, promoted way above level of incompetence is positively de rigour.


All over the news today is the C of E bishops looking as though they are not going to approve / support gay marriage in the C of E (which happens in many of its sister churches, in Wales and Scotland, and perhaps in the Church of Ireland ?). The good news is that the mood music coming out of the bishops is one of welcome and a facility for blessing gay relationships in church, for example after a civil partnership. But, no full on sacramental marriage. Yet. I know that on these pages must fun is poked at the Anglicans and its sister churches. However, I have a lot of time for them, because they at least face and talk about seemingly intractable issues without completely breaking themselves apart. And, in time, as will happen with same sex sacramental marriage, they will come to a consensus which will touch as many bases as possible with inclusion, affirmation and love. What’s not to like about that ? In contrast, I find the Roman Catholic Church sticks its head in the sand and digs its heels in to concrete, usually with appeals to tradition and doctrine, and largely refuses to face such issues. At the best you will get some saccharine mutterings from some Pope or bishop about being ‘nice’ to the gays. But, essentially, dig down and you still find the condemnatory substrata of ‘intrinsically disordered nature and acts’. It’s difficult to have a conversation with that. The RCC adopts the same stance on a number of issues which are alive and kicking, and are frequently aired on these pages – not just sexuality, but marriage and relationships, the role of women and sacramental priestly orders, the clericalism of the old boys’ club of priests etc. etc. What happens is that, for the most part, people like me who want to discuss these matters fraternally and openly and come to a new understanding, hang on for a bit, and then give up in frustration, and so we are lost to the Church. Which reduces down to a rather odd bunch of people who see hardline moralism and doctrine as some kind of virtue. We are seeing this clearly in the USA, not just among its culture wars bishops intent on fighting a social and religious civil war just so long as they don’t have to make any concessions, as well as in the parishes themselves, and where there are really two or three RC church traditions. The looser will be the RCC. People like me can go elsewhere and do and find what speaks to us and find inclusion, love, acceptance, new challenges. I’ve already done that. You have lost me. I have found new things. You are going to loose lots more like me. Just so long as you are happy in your moral and doctrinal rigidity, I guess, it’s a price worth paying ?


@ 9:24am
You wont be missed, you’ll not be happy for long before you want more licence for every aberration. With you lot it’s a case of give an inch and you want a mile. However the mile is never long enough and you want more. So it is a price worth paying to be rid of you, Bye! Bye!


Just to correct one point of fact: most fun on this blog is poked at the church of Rome, albeit the sort of gallows humour you find in the constabulary.


Added to the above, new recruits are more interested in their online dating apps and Gaydar pursuits and other self interests so are not mentally engaged or genuinely interested in congregations apart from targetting conquests from same. A delinquent organisation.


I asked a monk who studied here if he was attending, and he said that he would rather clean out the latrines in a Turkish army barracks while wearing a kilt.


11:56 Knowing the English Benedictine Congregation he’s probably describing their normal fetish night…


The Church gets what the Church wants. Good luck with that:
Abuse of Power ax the world. Only yourselves to blame – in terms of agreeing to your ‘vocations’. Pat’s support & humour looks good to read. Support for truth is hard to find.
We are conditioned from babies, by themselves, conditioned parents. The decline is good because it shows that people know.
Celibacy, lies, cheating & subterfuge, good married priests forced to leave their vocation. Good gay priests the same. Its not about sexuality. Its about degredation, class & power. Anglican ministers welcomed with their spouses & children, whilst our priests are often forced into fornicating due to celibacy ‘laws’, they, are adulterers and promiscuous – whist they insult us by preaching to abused people who have left marriages, often after years of enduring daily bullying and abuse, that we are still married to our tormenters, We made mistakes. We escaped. You are hypocrites. Canon Law is evil towards women, gay people, children and young people. Its over and a new shape will take place over communities. The Church will be left behind – it already is. Mark 3: 19-27.
“Jesus wept” – when he saw his friend was dead. Amen ✝️🙏🙏🙏✝️

Liked by 1 person

10:23 Thank you Father for confirming that Canon Law is evil toward women, gay people, children and young people. Unfortunately that is the experience of many victims and survivors of church related abuse on this blog and elsewhere.


Staff at St Flannans College in Ennis have objected to the planning application on school land that Killaloe are selling to the HSE stating that the development would have a “seriously negative impact” on the student population that has had the highest enrolment figures in its long history for the past two years. They already have so much demand for sports facilities that a Rota is updated regularly to facilitate the already high demand. They have also stated pointed out the environmental impact and that significant incredible generational/statement trees that are on the grounds of St Flannans College would be removed altogether if this development went ahead. They have also pointed out several other suitable sites where the proposed new geriatric hospital could be sited in Ennis. They pointed out the extra influx of traffic in the school vicinity which is already suffering from traffic congestion. Local residents and a former principal of St Flannan’s, Mr Colm McDonagh, have already objected to the proposed development. The planning application is subject to a further information request from Clare County Council who have also expressed concern about the impact of the project.


This is great to see. Finally the sheep are waking up. Sale of this kand is the cash Fintan needs to pay the bills and keep paying all his mia priests. This land was left for educational purposes not Fintan slush fund


Another priest, who sounds perfectly reasonable, tells us that Egan is a very poor Bishop indeed. How on earth (literally) do you get rid of him. It is simply not fair for priests to have to put up with Egan, who is basically unsuited to be a Bishop


What was Tony Emery like as a bishop?

He liked his fags and G&Ts and was ex-military if I’m not mistaken – but was he a good or bad bishop?

Hollis was urbane and sophisticated he used to say how lonely priests living on their own in central London invariably fldrank a lot. He was on the liberal wing but a player and related to a soy master and MI5 etc.

Nobody’s mentioned the nemesis of Worlock a Warlock and familiar with the dark arts of church politics – loathed Hume, Hume listed him but both banged on about Vatican Ii and Warlock big into Liverpool Pastoral Congress and Easter People bollox – a repressed homosexual and tge hots for Vinny/Elsie hence rapid promotion.

The rot has been in Portsmouth for a long time!!


Stock is an incurable insomniac depressive – what a joy he is and will surely light up the sky should he progress further up the greasy pole.

Wilson yes garnishing a solid reputation as a fat bully who’s greedy for power.

Wonder how he and Elsie get on?


Have you read the 10 year plan? It’s on the diocesan website. It’s a business plan. Egan has handed the diocese over to suits. All masked to save money etc but it is actually just a way for the bishop and his chief operating officer to spend, spend, spend. EGAN needs to reduce his spending, especially those paid disgusting amounts of money.


The Chief Operating Officer of Portsmouth diocese is allegedly paid £100,000 a year. Once you add on all the invisible extras (employer share of National Insurance, pension, travelling, office facilities and IT equipment, support staff, etc) you are probably talking £200,000. Is this lady going to earn or save £200,000 every year just to break even and justify her existence? One very obvious economy measure which won’t be taken.


The Vatican city state made sure of permanently torpedoing the catholic church in England by its vetoing the four good chapters of the two “Easter People” books 42 years ago. Some of the present management in charge were in primary school then and have only ever been fed illogical propaganda and therefore lack grounding to lead the pews in objective criteria for assessing sensible options.

Frequent supplicating for the nation’s people and for all children ought to be taught, as main practice. Our Fathers and Glory Be’s are the best prayers (because not sentimental) and needn’t be / ought not to be counted. Benedictions are of greater value than is consuming confected transubstantiations. Seminarians ought to be employed as semi-permanent deacons for five years so they will find out what ministry needs are.

Counties like Somerset (which gets complained about) managed without any masses for hundreds of years at a trot. Priests of Rome disgruntled at losing their raison d’etre of confecting should have seen this coming in 1980.

Liked by 1 person

@ 12:29pm
Oh! get a grip, “Easter People” was a load of illogical heretical propaganda foisted on people by the likes of ultra liberals like Warlock. Suppressing it was one of the only things The Holy See got right during that turbulant time. As for Somerset managing for hundreds of years without The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, they didn’t manage, it was because the heretics at that time had suppressed it under pain of death.


The job of most bishops in the Western World is to manage decline. They develop programmes such as “Faith in the Future”(or any similar vacuous title) to manage the decline. But that and managing errant priests is a large part of the job spec.

Liked by 1 person

Some people instead of being outraged by Fr. Tom Deenihan’s morally reprehensible treatment of Dom Benedict Andersen, the true Prior of Silverstream, are outraged that people are outraged by Fr. Tom Deenihan’s scandalous behaviour.
“Egan must and should go and take others with him.”
Fr. Tom Deenihan and the entire diocesan delegation of deception must resign. Their positions must be untenable?


Tom clearly has minions here who leave comments. It shows that Seamus’s comments hit a nerve in Mullingar.


I wonder how Bishop Tom feels, having sacrificed his credibility as a leader in getting the likes of Mark Kirby off the hook?


The salaries of senior personnel is a cause of scandal – Westminster, Liverpool and Birmingham all pay huge remuneration to desk jockeys whose job description unbeknown to them includes taking the inevitable bullet for their ecclesiastical master.
And no CEO could or would be able to generate a surplus through trading or something commercial and community based – their go to is to flog the Crown Jewels the property portfolio and rake it in that way – oh and by raiding the priest’s retirement fund and throwing the clergy under the bus by relying on the state pension and no clerical pension. Classy!!


CEOs sound as though they have authority and decision making power. Not true. The bishop and his trustees (all clergy) are the ones who decided, the CEO only advises, and I guess for the most part whatever sensible suggestions a CEO makes are met with ‘oh, we can’t do that, what will happen about Mass’ or some other inane objection. Dioceses are not interested in running themselves along sensible business lines, and prefer to just toddle along without too much inconvenience and discomfort. Their vision is very limited, and usually revolves around their own comfort and convenience, that of their clergy and protecting their privileges, and generally seeing anyone who is not a priest as not knowing what they are doing. What do you expect of an instant wisdom all knowing clerical mindset ?


I have just ran a Google search on Hauschild. Turns out she has great credentials! She is more than capable! She was running the NHS!!!! what a track-record. There are also few people she fell out with in her previous job. I wonder who checked her references? Or is she a friend of EGAN? Looking at the state of the NHS, we can guess where poor old Portsmouth is heading!


Running the NHS that’s funny – striking nurses, underperforming trusts, massive losses, waiting lists fiascos, huge retention of staff, pay and conditions and lots of fat cat leeches draining the wamp, on the gravy train, milking it dry but hey Portsmouth CEO used to run the NHS but is now running Portsmouth Diocese.
Ah bless her – Portsmouth are mightily blessed and long may she prosper


Lord, a former NHS manager, is leading a diocese. A disaster is waiting to happen. I remember Sir Gerry Robinson’s TV programme which disparaged NHS management.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s