PAUL FARRER is now ex rector.

DAMIAN  CASSIDY is now ex vice-rector.

Over the past number of months, I have been contacted by a number of pass staff members and seminarians of the Royal English College at Valladolid in Spain.

Much of the comment was about Fr Paul Farrer of Middlesborough diocese – the former rector.

While Farrer was rector, a number of seminarians complained about Farrer to the OVERSEAS SEMINARY COMMITTEE of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

Seminarians accused him of being constantly grumpy, constantly sarcastic, and difficult to approach.

Farrer did not like seminarians who were conservative.

In general, conservative seminarians were accused of being “unchristian,” “hateful,”and “rigid” ond of “being barely Catholic.”

Seminarians were ordered to bring their books and laptops to Farrer’s office, where they were examined for “extreme material.”

One seminarian, in a letter to his bishop, said that he felt: “mentally and emotionally abused” by Farrer.

His bishop arranged counselling for the seminarian.

The seminarians are complimentary of the Overseas Seminary Committee for believing them and replacing Farrer as rector.

The seminarians also complained to Farrer’s bishop – Terence Drainey (74), who appointed Farrer as Cathedral Dean.


Seminarians are vulnerable adults.

Many of them have not reached full human maturity.

They need understanding, patience, and caring guidance.

The appointment of seminary staff should receive the utmost attention.

They should not be Little Hitlers of bullies. They should be particularly mature and intelligent and have a recognisable spirituality. They need skills with the young.

Of course, there is a tendency these days for seminarians to be immature and into lace and Latin Masses.

You can take it that 95 – 100 % of then will be gay.

These are problems , but problems to be sorted sensitively and kindly.

The last thing modern seminaries need are bulls in China shops.