Some Irish churches have introduced shorter Masses, and parishioners have been advised to wear extra clothes in church as Catholic clergy grapple with rising energy bills.
Fr Andrew O’Sullivan, a parish priest in Dublin, said increased costs made it financially challenging for parishes to continue heating buildings, despite churches being ‘freezing’.
He has been forced to reduce the length of Mass from 50 to 30 minutes this winter to help with rising energy costs, which have increased by 25%. In terms of community centres, O’Sullivan said: “We are faced with the choice of charging more or closing our doors.”
The centres are used by worshippers, community groups and charities. He and other priests are advising parishioners to wear vests while preparing to cut down Mass lengths. Some priests have already started shortening their Masses to save on energy.
South Kerry priest Fr Patsy Lynch said: “I’ve been doing it in 30 minutes. That’s not a long time.” “I think every priest is being affected by rising energy bills. There is an energy crisis, and we all must pay due attention and take the necessary steps.”
The Catholic Church said its buildings should be included in the Government’s energy support schemes. Financial supports were announced for households and businesses in Budget 2023, but not for community facilities.
The bishops noted how “especially during winter, church buildings are frequented by the homeless and vulnerable to keep warm and to be safe.”
In the capital, Fr O’Sullivan is responsible for the Church of Mary Immaculate in Rathmines and the Church of the Three Patrons in Rathgar. These are both huge buildings and, therefore, difficult to keep warm. Fr O’Sullivan said: “The churches are colossal buildings. My great fear is that if bills keep rising, we may find ourselves in a position where we simply won’t be able to pay them.” “If we get bills of tens of thousands of euros, we’ll have to ask people to wear an extra layer of clothing, and then if that doesn’t work, we will just be forced to shorten things, or close doors if we have to.” Fr O’Sullivan said he fears for vulnerable community members such as “the homeless and most isolated in society” who rely on the church for warmth. “Our parish churches and our centres are buildings that are safe spaces for a lot of people, and even the homeless come here to keep warm and safe. It’s going to push a lot of parishes into a position where they just can’t afford to pay.” Fr O’Sullivan explained that while energy bills for both churches have already risen by 25%, he fears the ‘next batch’ of bills is going to be even higher.
The Irish taxpayer should not pay the heating and lighting bills of the RCC.
The RCC is, in fact, a FOR PROFIT organisation and is one of the richest enterprises in Ireland and internationally.
The RCC simply does not want to use their vast monies and property portfolios to finance their everyday running costs.
Covid church closures and the departure of many worshippers haveeaten into the RCC’s cash flow.
So be it.
But it’s not the Irish taxpayers job to replenish the RCC’s operating coffers.
Open Letter to An Taoiseach by Laura Murphy, Daughter of Mother & Baby Home Survivor
An Taoiseach Mr. Leo Varadkar, T.D. Government Buildings Merrion St. Upper Dublin 2
21st March 2023
Re: Mother and Baby Homes Redress
Dear Taoiseach, I am the daughter of a Mother and Baby Home survivor. I wrote an open letter to your predecessor, Micheál Martin, on 1st February 2021 calling for a retraction of the part of the State apology that blamed society for the atrocities, for survivors to be given justice and for Brigid’s Day to become a national holiday as a commitment to healing and equality.
The letter was covered across national media and the proposals put forward received widespread support across communities in Ireland and internationally. I was invited to read the letter publicly at the Abbey Theatre’s critically acclaimed ‘HOME: Part One’, a historic production that gave voice to survivors at a time when their stories were being suppressed by the government’s Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes (COI).
Today, I write this open letter concerning the exclusion of 24,000 survivors from the Mother and Baby Homes Redress Scheme. I speak for many survivors and for the people of Ireland who understand that the days of brushing trauma, mass abuse and genocide under the carpet are over. The purpose of the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes (2021) was to present an accurate account of how these institutions were run and what happened to the people in their care. However in a serious miscarriage of justice, the report misrepresented survivor’s statements, presented incorrect facts and omitted many examples of human rights violations that should have been investigated. Most pertinently, the report failed to recognise survivor’s testimony as legal evidence of abuse.
As a result, the ultimate finding of the COI was that there was “no evidence of systematic abuse”. This finding also claimed that it was society, families and fathers of the incarcerated women and children who were primarily responsible for what happened. The UN Committee for Human Rights and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties review of the report, including the verbatim testimony of survivors (which the COI tried to illegally destroy), found that there were significant breaches of constitutional and human rights including “abuse that could be considered torture, enforced disappearances and modern slavery”.
Furthermore, an alternative report written by 25 academic and legal experts using the same evidence as the COI found that “mass abuses” were perpetrated by these State- sponsored, Catholic Church-run institutions. The consequence of this false finding of “no evidence of systematic abuse” by the COI was a legal loophole whereby the Catholic Church cannot be held morally, ethically, legally or financially accountable for the crimes against humanity that were perpetrated by their representatives and institutions. The people of Ireland who have collectively suffered because of this regime, are now being forced to pay full reparations for abuses and crimes committed by the Catholic Church in this State-sponsored multi-generational system of abuse. Considering the irrefutable evidence of the abuses committed by the Catholic Church and the profits made from human trafficking, forced unpaid labour, illegal adoptions, illegal vaccine trials and stipends from the State for every ‘offender’ (mother) and ‘illegitimate’ (child) in their ‘care’, it is outrageous that they are absolved of their responsibility to give back what they took from the Irish people.
Instead, the full burden of responsibility is being placed on the Irish taxpayer for harm that was perpetrated by Church and State. As a result, 40% of survivors are being retraumatised and excluded from the very scheme that was set up to ensure “Survivor-led Restorative Recognition and Reparation”. Your claim that the €800 million for redress is money that ‘could otherwise be spent meeting the needs of today or trying to build a better future’, demonstrates a lack of understanding of the impact of unresolved past trauma on people’s lives today and into the future. Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. defines trauma as “not the story of something that happened back then, but the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear living inside (the individual).” Recent scientific advances in the fields of epigenetics and neuroscience tell us that unresolved trauma has lifelong and multi-generational impact – psychologically, biologically and sociologically. In the words of Gabor Maté, M.D. “The chain of transmission goes from parent to child, stretching from the past into the future”. The two groups of survivors you plan on excluding from reparations are those who were separated from their mothers before 6 months of age and those who were ‘boarded out’ to families. You offer no defined criteria for this exclusion other than perpetuating a disturbing false narrative that early mother-child separation causes no harm. The assertion by Minister O’Gorman that survivors who were separated from their mothers before 6 months of age should not receive redress because they “will not remember their experiences” is not only a blatant dismissal of survivor’s testimony and lived experiences, it is a denial of science. ‘Loss of the Mother-Child Relationship’ was cited by the government-
ommissioned Oak Report as the primary harm experienced by Mother and Baby Home survivors. According to the report this loss “has led to lifelong trauma and mental health issues for many, both mothers and their children and to difficulties forming lasting relationships accompanied by negative consequences for survivors.” There is no ambiguity about who should be included in the redress scheme. The Oak Report states, “all mothers and children who experienced coercive family separation should be included regardless of the setting.” Countless survivors have spoken to me about the ‘primal wound’ of being separated from their mother and the entrenched lifelong pain that comes from this. They describe feelings of ‘not belonging’, ‘low self-worth’, ‘acute shame’, ‘inferiority’, ‘fear of abandonment’ and the ‘inability to love and be loved’ infiltrating their lives. The trauma that endures as a direct result of early mother-child separation is not only an accepted emotional and psychological phenomenon but also an empirically measurable biological fact, as one of the most cited epigenetic studies demonstrates. Dr. Moshe Szyfe, in a study on Maternal Programming (2005) found that the quality of early maternal care, specifically the nurturing contact from mothers has a causal impact on the offspring’s biochemical capacity to respond to stress in a healthy way for the rest of their lives. In turn, the offspring passed on to their own infants the type of mothering they had received. Strikingly, the study also found that the quality of maternal care affects oestrogen in daughters with ramifications for mothering patterns down through the generations. I am the daughter of a Mother and Baby Home survivor. I was not born in a Mother and Baby Home, nor was I separated from my mother at birth. Yet, the psychological, physical and emotional impact of her traumatic experiences have been severe and long lasting for both of us.
My mother has had the heart-breaking experiences of losing a child through adoption and through death. For her, adoption was a more difficult cross to bear. In her words; “It is difficult to comprehend the heartbreak that ensues when a girl gives up her baby to another. That heartbreak never eases. I have experienced the loss of a baby through death and through adoption. I can state clearly that it was somewhat easier for me to accept and carry the loss of David, because in death, a parent has some idea of where their Little One is. Even with a little faith, they can hope their baby is safe, happy and looked after. But, with adoption a parent worries their baby may be unhappy, unsafe, uncared for and most importantly unloved. I spent most of my life dipping in and out of these fears.” Like many survivors, my mother’s experience also resulted in her carrying a deep sense of debilitating guilt and shame for most of her life. In her words; “Until recently, I always walked behind people. I realised I did this because I did not feel worthy enough to walk beside them. I carried a deep sense of shame that I could not name but that weighed me down for most of my life.” As well as the negative psychological and biological impacts of early mother-child separation on mother, child and subsequent generations, there are now many studies connecting trauma with ill-health, particularly inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Multiple Sclerosis in particular is a condition for which the influence of stress, adversity and trauma has been extensively studied. In 2009, my mother was diagnosed with MS. She became paralyzed for a time and developed debilitating Chronic Fatigue. In 2015, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and in 2020, with Chronic Lyme Disease. I was bed-ridden for one year and unable to work for three years.
My personal experience and that of my mother’s is testament to the impact of past trauma on the lives of many survivors and their families today. The messages I received from hundreds of first- and second-generation survivors in response to my previous letter affirmed that there are many people in Ireland who share similar experiences. Again, your statement that the budget for redress ‘could otherwise be spent meeting the needs of today or trying to build a better future’ belies the irrefutable truth that past trauma is causing huge suffering in our society today. Until it is appropriately addressed, it will continue to be perpetuated through future generations. The collective trauma from the Mother and Baby Homes system cannot be resolved until all past harms are accepted and addressed. The proposed redress scheme is both a denial and a perpetuation of past harms. The two specific groups of survivors your government plans on excluding have not only been significantly harmed, they have experienced and are continuing to experience significant violations of their human and constitutional rights. Children who were in a home for less than six months before 1982 were legally classed as ‘illegitimate’, resulting in breaches of rights including loss of parental protection, family separation, loss of identity and loss of medical history. These children were not ‘cherished equally’ as the Proclamation of Independence promised, but were discriminated against, stigmatised and shamed. Children born after 1982 experienced the societal legacy of their so-called ‘illegitimacy’. Many children were also subjected to illegal pharmaceutical trials, illegal adoptions, violence, abuse, and neglect. Children who were ‘boarded out’ experienced some of the worst abuses and breaches of their human rights including forced unpaid labour, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, neglect, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture. The government failed to include these survivors in the State apology and is again excluding them from reparation.
It is unthinkable, unconstitutional, and cruelly ironic that the survivors who were denied their most fundamental human rights to parental and State protection then are the ones who are being denied their right to reparation now. The children who were most vulnerable and most severely harmed by this god-forsaken system are the ones who are being unconscionably failed and harmed by the State again. Your government’s exclusion of these survivors from redress is discriminating,dehumanising and delegitimises (again) the very people you should be minding. In 2021, Minister O’Gorman rightly said “The State failed, time and time again and for decades, to protect some of its most vulnerable citizens, and failed to uphold some of their most fundamental rights”. This redress scheme is a perpetration of that very failure. Where there should be reparation, there is re-traumatization. Where there should be accountability, there is abdication. Where there should be justice, there is injustice. As Taoiseach, you represent the people of Ireland. As a woman who has been impacted by this multigenerational system of Church-State abuse, I speak for many when I say you do not have our mandate to continue this vicious cycle of harm. 1. We call on you to ensure that all Mother and Baby Home survivors receive the ‘Restorative Recognition and Reparation’ that is rightfully theirs. This includes redress for all survivors and a State apology to those who were boarded out. Your support for boarded out survivors was unequivocal in your address to the Dáil as Tánaiste in 2021. You have the opportunity now, as Taoiseach, to deliver where Micheál Martin failed. In your words; “The thing that really struck me reading it (the report) was how much that the people who were boarded out suffered. I think this is something that we, the government can’t ignore.”
2. We call on you to stand apart from each one of your predecessors who failed to make the Catholic Church accountable for the crimes against humanity perpetrated on the people of Ireland. Ensure that the Church contributes to redress costs on a 50:50 basis with the State. It is essential for the healing and future of this nation that the Catholic Church is brought into a meaningful process of truth, reconciliation, and redress – not as a matter of charity but by way of reparation for crimes committed.
The modus operandi for the government; one that puts understanding of trauma, compassion, and the wellbeing of its citizens at the heart of everything. As you informed us, it was a heart-felt poem by then Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, that convinced the government to provide redress for Mother and Baby Home survivors. Ms. Zappone’s poem activated the humanity of our government, which in turninitiated a process of right action. I offer this haiku, written in 2021 in the hope that my words will carry the voice of survivors into your heart and into the hearts of every member of the government, so that right understanding, right speech, and right action can be achieved for our people now and into the future. Going with the flow Into our dark history To heal the future We the people, the poets and the politicians can work together to right the wrongs of the past and to ensure a bright future for generations to come. What is the highest ideal for Ireland if not to demonstrate to a world in crisis that not only is healing possible after the devastation of invasion, famine, emigration, war, genocide, and poverty, but so too is growth. In 1896, as our war-weary, traumatised nation moved towards freedom, luminary GeorgeWilliam Russell (AE) wrote in a letter to W.B. Yeats “Out of Ireland will arise a light to transform many ages and peoples.” May we have the resilience, courage and resolve to shine the light of post traumatic growth into our world so that instead of leaving a legacy of enduring trauma, we open possibilities for evolutionary love. It is not too late to turn the whitewashing of trauma into a watershed of healing.
Is mise le meas,
EVERY MOTHER AND CHILD whosufferedabove way should receive compensation.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH should be made to pay their share of this compensation.
If the Church and religious orders refuse to pay then the government should introduce legislation to seize their monies and properties.
A former seminarian is alleging that he received pressure and threats from Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, a close friend of Pope Francis, after he complained about abuse he received from a priest in Zanchetta’s diocese. The young man also provided testimony against Zanchetta during the March 2022 trial of the Argentinian bishop, who was given a prison sentence of four and a half years.
The case of Kevin Montes
On May 15, the trial of Father Carlos Fernando Páez will be heard in Argentina’s northwestern province of Salta. An ex-seminarian for the Diocese of Orán, using the alias Kevin Montes, has alleged that Fr. Páez manipulated and sexually abused him when Montes was a seminarian for the diocese.
Montes, now 26, was an Orán seminarian from February 28, 2015 through 2019. He claims that Páez abused him during his time in the seminary and while on parish placement, and that Zanchetta turned a blind eye at first.
Speaking after Zanchetta was himself sentenced last spring, Montes stated that Páez began abusing him from the start of his time in seminary. However, the bishop was not receptive of Montes’ reports about the priest: “I entered the seminary in 2015, I was a seminarian, and then I had a problem with Zanchetta in August and he took me out of the seminary.”
Montes stated that Zanchetta “persecuted me because I did not accept that he [Páez][held] my genitals and hugged me from behind. He began to tell me that I was an emotional orphan, that I had not received affection from my parents, and that is why it was difficult for me to receive this type of affection.”
Zanchetta encouraged Montes to develop a better relationship with Páez, the ex-seminarian said.
“Everyone in the diocese knew what Zanchetta was like: it was rumored that Zanchetta was homosexual, but no one dared to say so. There was a lot of secrecy about it,” Montes added.
Indeed, it was in 2015, after pornographic images of “homosexual sex,” along with “nude selfies” of Zanchetta himself were found on his phone, that Zanchetta was summoned to Rome. He excused himself as having been the victim of a phone hack, an excuse which Pope Francis accepted.
Next, Montes was sent by the bishop to his home parish, the parish of the Holy Cross in Tartagal. Here he was actually to live at the parish with Páez, who had been sent there in March 2015 – just after Montes entered the seminary
Citing examples of Páez’s “attractive personality” at work in the parish, Montes argued the priest “managed to make me emotionally dependent on him, because after Zanchetta took me out of the seminary, Páez made me come back and always reminded me that I had come back because of him. He made me feel that my priestly vocation depended on him.”
Páez reportedly began to implement controls on Montes – distancing the seminarian from his friends and checking his use of internet devices – warning that that if the protocols were not kept, then Montes “would not be able to be a priest or return to the formation house.”
First, he used seduction, showing himself to be “cool” … learned and intelligent. Then he flattered me. He let me make decisions in the parish where … decisions were made only by the priests. Finally, he took advantage of me.
A just trial?
Montes is now warning that Páez’s trial might not be conducted properly. The seminarian has even asked for guarantees for his safety. The original prosecutor in the case was in fact Páez’s catechist: when she was removed she was replaced by her husband, leading Montes to doubt the impartiality of the prosecution.
With the trial taking place in Tartagal – Montes’ home town and Páez’s former parish – the former seminarian has moved house in order to escape “revictimization” from locals.
Tartagal is a town with a small-town mentality,” he said. Páez “has a lot of influence in Tartagal with people in power… I’m afraid that if it takes place here in Tartagal the truth will not be found and justice will not be done. The truth is that I am afraid, and I don’t feel safe with the people who took the case
This story from South America has been repeated and continues to be repeated all over the RC world to the present day.
Popes protect their bishop friends.
Bishops protects their bishop and priest friends.
Priests protect their priest and seminarian friends…
And so ad infinitum.
As I was taught in seminary:
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
When institutions are old enough and corrupt enough, the evil in them becomesself-replicating.
There are just 20 seminarians studying to become Catholic priests for Ireland’s 26 dioceses at the national seminary in Maynooth.
The seminary, which was founded in 1795, at one time accommodated as many as 500 seminarians. But that number has been in steep decline since the 1970s.
Rector Fr Tomás Surlis revealed the figures at a conference on vocations today. Addressing more than 100 delegates, including bishops, priests, vocations directors and seminarians, Fr Surlis acknowledged that fixating on numbers when “we have so few” is “a human reaction” and “one of the dangers” associated with the work of priestly formation today in Ireland.
He described the 20 seminarians as “good men” who are “doing their very best” and expressed the hope that “many young men in this country today will hear that call” and “not be afraid” to become priests.
RESPONSE TO REPORT BY A HIGHLY PLACED IRISH PRIEST;
“There are vocations in Ireland but nobody wants to enter Fanny’s Poofter Paradise.
Church is finished in Ireland. Bishops are totally useless every single one of them. Some are malign. “
Of the 20 seminarians, there just now, somewhere between 6 and 11, might finish.
Six to eleven for 26 dioceses – and over six or seven years!
0.42 priest per diocese.
Why would any young man in his right mind want to become another Phonsie Cullinan? Lugs Monahan? Ger Fitzgerald? JP Lyttle? Rory Coyle etc, etc.
What normal young manwould want to enter a college where e would become a sexual plaything for fellow students and older clerics?
The RC priesthood is now a gay job – and a gay job for men with little intelligence and no morals.
It is a place for effeminate and permanently immature men to hide from real life but stillbe “worshipped” by the blind and those addicted to idols.
The pedestal is still there , but it’s not made any more from granite. It’s now made from papier mache.
Apart from the homosexualisation of the priesthood being one of the main forces destroying it, there are other factors:
1. The medieval teachings of the RCC on scientific, social and sexual matters.
2. The inability to truly integrate over 50 % of the world’s population – women.
3. The RCC’c monarchical and hierarchical structure – facilitating and allowing all forms of corruption, abuse, and injustice– leading to its universal reputation as one of the most evil forces on earth.
4. The RCC’s failure to produce an authentic androbust theology and spirituality that fires the imagination of the men and women of the third millennium and beyond.
“A recent conversation with two very disenfranchised teachers in Post Primary schools in the Mid Ulster Area again highlight the corruption that continues in CCMS schools in the North of Ireland.
What started out as a discussion on recruitment of staff – anyone connected in any way with education in this region knows extremely well that nepotism and favouritism still exist. Indeed, in one of these schools, blatant disregard for employment law continues as a substitute teacher is covering for a teacher out on secondment, without the post being advertised. Is this not illegal?
However, talk soon turned to a newly established facility in one of these schools. A teacher was employed with no additional qualifications and experience in this specialist field.
It is no coincidence that when the job was advertised, teachers with 12-15 years’ experience applied and were subsequently turned down for this specialised post, only for this inexperienced 20 + -year-old to get the job. Alarm bells rang throughout the school and local community, leaving everyone involved shocked and in dismay that such a newly established facility had been jeopardised by providing a job ’for the boys’.
Decisions pertaining to the future education of the children of this area are in the hands of an ageing, narrow-minded, and biased Board of Governors whose only concern is the advancement of the GAA within the school. It is worth noting that in one school of approximately 1100 pupils, approximately 75% of the pupils are in no way involved in GAA sports, yet the school was able to pay a £9000 fee to a high-profile trainer to work with the current losing MacRory Cup team. Where did this money come from? Given that at least one current Tyrone senior player teaches in the school and several of the management are ex-players, they would have enough knowledge, collectively, to train a team to play school football.
Bizarrely, the Chair of this Board is also a member of another Board for a school in a rural area and is also a highly paid education official. He and another BOG member attend all sorts of meetings to do with Board of Governor business, during school hours including, but not limited to, fundraising initiatives where local companies are being bullied into donating up to £50k, mostly to set up a state-of-the-art GAA facility on site. The breakdown of donations is readily available to be perused on the college website. An audit is required immediately.
In this same school, bullying is rife among the principal and staff. This Principal has waged a lengthy campaign of bullying with many teachers with years of expertise in their field, leaving them with no option but to take time off with WRS. The moral is extremely low in this school. The staff and pupils have lost all confidence and respect for this principal. The Catholic ethos projected by the CCMS is certainly in evidence in this school. Instead, discipline problems continue to spill over, day in day out, with the local PSNI repeatedly calling at this so-called school of excellence.
This Principal has been told on more than one occasion that she will be sued for staff victimisation, but she continues regardless.
Meanwhile in another CCMS school in the area, some very strange goings-on are plain to all staff and the disquiet among them regarding these shady practises is growing daily. Image temporary staff being paid cash from school fund (we hope).
He also has a penchant to bully staff when it suits him, but any new appointees have all been from his native locality.
Another scandalous affair from the same school has been brushed under the carpet, but such is the gravity of the Child Protection issue is that it should be highlighted. At a recent school formal, which was supervised by teachers, the pupils were allowed to disembark the buses – in which they had been freely drinking copious amounts of alcohol en route to the venue in-front of the staff- once they reached their destination normally disembarking takes place at the school gates, but no, not this time. Leaving kids off in the centre of the town meant they did not have far to walk to their after-party venue.
I have photographic evidence that at 12.55am 4 female teachers entered this bar to the shouts and roars of the students, whilst there these “teachers” themselves behaved as though they were “celebrities” drinking and having their pictures taken with already very drunk students. Surely this is a breach of child protection laws and should be investigated as such. To be clear, all four are still teaching in the school. I wonder what would have happened if four young male teachers did the same thing.? That is a disciplinary matter, and I will watch closely to see what happens next, I may have to inform Bishop Mc Keown, top man in CCMS to gauge his opinion on these shucking developments.
I would value members of this profession to comment below on the current state of play in their school. So that we can try to collate all the issues out there to strengthen our case that CCMS is not working for the teaching staff of any school, and they could not care less about the education of the children we are entrusting to care for and educate. The time has come to blow this red herring of an organisation out of the water, finally. “
I have had personal experience of the CCMS and Chairman McKeown.
In the early 80s, I was alsosecretary of the board of governors of 5 primary schools.
I certainly saw nepotism and favouritism running rampant.
In my opinion, the CCMS should be immediately disbanded and sectarian education brought to an end in Northern Ireland.
We need to keep RC bishops and priests and their lay hench men and women totally away from all children – and indeed teachers.
ALL SCHOOLS SHOULD BE NON SECTARIAN STATE SCHOOLS.
The RCC should be confined to its own business – religion- and not allowed near state institutions – except as private citizens.
THE STATE SECTOR
The state education sector in Northern Ireland is corrupt too.
We need a whole raft of new education legislation and a very strict overseeing government body.
I hope you are well and that you have had a pleasant Easter. I have been following your blog posts about Hexham and Newcastle with great interest. Very well done to you on bringing everyone this information.
Pat, when you bloged about the scandal in the Royal English College in Valladolid back in January, one person in the comments section said that former Vice Rector Damian Cassidy is a good friend of former Bishop Robert Byrne and that Cassidy is now in Hexham and Newcastle.
Of course I acknowledge that the part about Cassidy and Byrne being friends could just be rumour, however a quick Google search reveals that Cassidy is indeed in Hexham and Newcastle working between the three parishes of St. Patrick, St. Joseph, and Sacred Heart.
Pat, this to me begs a number of questions.
1) Are Cassidy and Byrne really good friends? If so then how?
2) Why did Robert Byrne allow Cassidy, a Carmelite, to work in his diocese?
3) Why did the Carmelites allow Cassidy to work in a diocese?
4) Was there safeguarding measurements put in place considering the Paul Farrer fiasco in Valladolid?
I hope that this information can be of some use to you as you continue to investigate.