Wednesday, 21 February 2018

MAYNOOTH JUNGLE RUMBLINGS




A WELL PLACED SOURCE HAS TOLD US THAT THE IRISH CATHOLIC BISHOPS WERE RECENTLY PRESENTED WITH A SPECIAL REPORT THEY HAD COMMISSIONED INTO MAYNOOTH.

The report apparently was presented to the bishops at an extraordinary meeting in Maynooth last Monday, February 19th.

I have not been told who conducted the report on behalf of the bishops but I have been told that it involved interviews with current seminarians, former seminarians, and ordained priests.

The priests interviewed were both recently ordained and some were long termed ordained.

The extraordinary meeting meant that various bishops had to cancel longstanding commitments to attend Maynooth.

One such bishop was Noel Treanor of Down and Connor who had been due to preside at the Month's Mind Mass for Father Cormican in Glenavy parish in Antrim.

TREANOR

Apparently, the Vatican had asked the Irish Bishops to conduct the investigation into Maynooth after the Summer 2016 Grindr scandal.


Added to that a number of ex-seminarians had written to the Vatican and related Maynooth -centered stories to officials there about a culture of homosexuality between seminarians and seminarians and seminarians and priests.

One Vatican official who replied directly to an ex-seminarian expressed shock that the ex-seminarian had reported various matters to his bishop about the relationship of a seminarian and a priest and the bishop had taken no action.

It seems to me that some Vatican officials have become convinced that The Irish Bishops have not handled the Maynooth scandal well and that they have been too slow to believe complaints and investigate them.

I do know that a Northern Ireland ex-seminarian wrote a long letter to the Papal Nuncio and the Vatican but so far he has not received a reply. I saw the letter before it was posted but I was not given a copy.

I will bring readers any further update I get on these matters.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The other item that is causing much speculation this week is the rumour that the diocesan secretary of Cork and Ross - Father Tom Dennihan has resigned from his position with immediate effect.



Father Dennihan is not only the Cork and Ross bishop's secretary but is also heavily involved in the Catholic education scene in Ireland.

In spite of having good contacts in Cork and Ross, I was able to ascertain if the rumour of the resignation is true?

Maybe Father himself or some of his priestly colleagues in C&R can let us know?

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BLOG HAS HAD 4 MILLION VISITORS.

Today the blog has gone over 4 million visitors.












Tuesday, 20 February 2018


Can you explain what happens at ordination when the “ontological change” happens?
BY RICHARD G. MALLOY, SJ JANUARY 12, 2010




No! (LOL).  If I could explain it, it wouldn’t be what it is!  Seriously, “ontological change” is very meaningful in the context of St. Thomas Aquinas’ medieval theological synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy and Christian theology, a stunning intellectual achievement for both his time and, to some degree, ours.
But once we move out of the Thomistic formulation of questions and the meaning of words in his system, we can find it more than difficult to explain what he meant then, and what it means for us now.  Terms like “ontological change” and “Transubstantiation” need updating for the 21st century.  Jesuit Bernard Lonergan’s work is a great place to start with that task.  Yet, I fear most will find Lonergan quite deep and difficult.  One Jesuit once said to me, “Mugs! Lonergan?  Life is just too short!”
So, what does the idea of “ontological change” try to express?  The catechism states that ordination “confers an indelible spiritual character” which “cannot be “repeated or conferred temporarily” (CCC#1583).  “The vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently” (CCC#1583).  Ordination is done once and for all as are Baptism and Confirmation.  Holy Orders places one in another position (i.e., order or group) in the community, not a better or more privileged place, but a place from which one is called to spend one’s life exclusively in service of the people of God.




Let me try and get at the deeper and more mysterious meanings of priesthood the idea of “ontological change” aims to reveal.  All of us who have been graced to serve the people of God as priests know there is often much more going on in a pastoral situation than we can understand or for which we can take credit.  Someone comes up after a homily and tells you that your words were just what they needed to hear.  And you realize you don’t think you said what they heard… but, hey the Holy Spirit works in ways wonderful and wacky.
A story may help.  When I was a Jesuit scholastic, in my 11th year of preparing for ordained priesthood (Why do Jesuits study for so many years?  Because we need it!), I was leading a parish youth group in confirmation preparation at St Pat’s on Blue Hill and Dudley Avenues in the Roxbury section of Boston.  The agenda for the night was having the group make a poster with symbols of all the sacraments.  The kids came up with a waterfall for baptism, bread and wine (and pizza and Pepsi) for Eucharist, an ambulance with flashing lights in the form of a cross for the sacrament of the sick, etc.  Lots of fun and ingenuity.  They really got stuck when it came to Holy Orders.  They looked at me, and I said, “Nope.  This is your project.  Put what you think being a priest means.”  Little 13 year old Egiberto piped up and said, “Draw an ear!”  We all looked at him like he was a little crazy (which he often was in a harmless 13 year old way).  “What do you mean an ear?  Why an Ear?” we all asked.  Egiberto replied, “Because priests listen.”  I’ve never forgotten that moment.  I think God was trying to teach me something that night.  As Sharon Parks-Daloz taught in her pastoral ministry course, “God gave us two ears and one mouth.  We should use these gifts in the proportion given.”

Getting people like me to shut up and listen is quite a change, ontological or whatever you want to call it.  Whatever happens on the day of ordination, I always remember what we were told by a wise, old Jesuit: “If you’re not a priest the day before ordination, you won’t be the day after.”  Ordination recognizes and brings to fruition a process that has been going on for some time in a person’s life.  That growth in listening to God and the people of God, while trying to facilitate conversations between God and people, continue all the days of a priest’s life.

PAT SAYS:

Those of us are Christians believe that we receive God's graces at different times in our lives and indeed through the sacraments.

Terms like "ontological" and "transubstantiation" were the attempts of philosophers and theologians to explain mysteries to us.

But of course, the essence of mysteries is that it cannot be explained in human terms.

In time the explanations of philosophers and theologians like Thomas Aquinas became doctrines or dogmas.  

In the context of the priesthood, it eventually became to be regarded as a superior state to the state of marriage or just being an ordinary Catholic.

This was one of the building blocks of clericalism and clerics being a superior form of Church life.

I like that saying of the old Jesuit: "If you are not a priest the day before your ordination you will not be a priest the day after it".

I told my mother when I was four that I wanted to be a priest and I have never wavered from that in the past 61 years.

Real priests know and behave like SERVANTS and not like SUPERIORS.



SHOULD RORY COYLE BE ALLOWED BACK TO MINISTRY?




YESTERDAY A COMMENT MAKER ON THE BLOG SET THE CAT AMONG THE PIDGEONS BY SUGGESTING THAT THREE 13-YEAR-OLDS TOLD THEM THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE FATHER RORY COYLE OF ARMAGH DIOCESE BACK IN MINISTRY.

Those of us who claim that we are trying to be Christians MUST answer this question with the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus in the forefront of our minds.

Rory has certainly caused a major scandal in the Irish RC Church and from the point of view of objective Catholic morality he has "sinned" and failed. He has also broken his promise of celibacy, which, whether we like it or not, demands that active Catholic priests maintain a high level of chastity as well as celibacy.

But Rory is not the biggest sinner that ever lived - nor has he indeed committed an UNFORGIVABLE SIN.

In fact, in God's eyes, there is no such a thing as a sin that God is not capable of forgiving.

Rory could have done many a worse thing. He could have taken the life of another person. He could have raped someone. He could have abused a minor etc., etc.

He is obviously a gay man and he found it hard or impossible to refrain from sexual intimacy. Unfortunately for him, he used the infamous Grindr app to talk to a young man and show him his face and his "bits and bobs".

That young man had been a student of Rory's when he was a school chaplain in a previous parish and the young man in question felt angry and scandalized by Rory. He contacted The Irish News newspaper and told them the story and gave them copies of the offending pictures. 

The Irish News decided not to publish these pictures but they did carry the story.

They also carried the story of the widespread support and sympathy that Rory was receiving in Armagh from parishioners and members of the GAA in which Rory was very involved.

Amy Martin sent Rory for some kind of therapy in a centre in the USA.


AMY


He later appeared at the back of Armagh Cathedral one morning at 10 am Mass sporting a bushy ginger beard.

Some people wondered if this was him and Amy testing the water for a Rory come back?

Since then the trail has gone silent.

If Rory really and sincerely wants a second chance at priesthood it's very hard, from the Christian perspective, to see why he does not deserve that second chance. 

Of course, it would mean some embarrassment for him as people have very long memories.

It would also put dear Amy in a difficult position.

And, of course, it would mean that Rory would have to be sure that celibacy was for him - especially now that he knows the price that is paid for living a double life and being found out.

I often quote my deceased Dad's sayings on this blog. One of those sayings was:

"ITS HARD TO GO IN YOUR BARE FEET WHEN YOU ARE USED TO WEARING SHOES".

If during Rory's absence he has experienced intimacy with others I think that reengaging with celibacy would be more difficult. But of course - not impossible.

What would I advise Rory if he spoke to me about it?

I would advise him to be absolutely open with himself about who he is and what his human needs are and be guided by that.

Celibacy is an "unnatural" state and it really suits a minority of people. 

Having been freed from those "chains" - albeit in a painful and public way - would Rory be wise to offer himself back to his chains again?

Rory IS a priest. He will ALWAYS be a priest. Even if he is "laicized" as a cleric he will still be a priest and under canon law will have the obligation to administer the Last Rites to those in danger of death.

He can exercise his priesthood is so many ways out in the world. And he can do that and still have a Beloved in his life. 

By all accounts, Rory is a likable man and a man of considerable talents.

Should he squander those talents on a celibate priesthood which has as much a future as the Titanic did after it hit the iceberg?




Grindr was Rory's iceberg.

But he has survived it.

He is a young man and I hope - whatever he decides - his future will bring him happiness.

He may even look back in the future and thank God and Providence for that iceberg.

It may have stopped him continuing to float in waters that would lead to hypocrisy, frustration and a profound sense of emptiness and waste.


-------------------------------------------------------


Monday, 19 February 2018

CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING PERSONS




I HAVE SERIOUS CONCERNS THAT CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING PERSONS IN DIOCESES MAY NOT BE AS PROFESSIONAL AND INDEPENDENT AS THEY SHOULD BE!

Personally, I believe that diocesan safeguarding persons SHOULD NOT be people who have previous and other associations with the Church, bishops, and clergy.

I think that such safeguarding persons should be TOTALLY INDEPENDENT of the Church and its personnel and organizations and that they should come from a government registered body of safeguarding officers.

I would like to see a body called something like THE IRISH (English etc) INSTITUTE OF SAFEGUARDING OFFICERS.

Like nurses and social workers, they should possess qualifications laid down by government regulations and legislation.

They should also have no conflict of interests - that is - having been previously employed by the Church.

Ideally, it would be good, in my view if Church safeguarding officers belonged to another church or religion on indeed were agnostics or atheists.

I think that their offices should not be in diocesan or parish properties.

A safeguarding officer should be 100% committed to the protection of children and vulnerable adults and I think it would be better if their thinking was not influenced by religion or by feeling that they had any moral obligation to any priest or bishop.

There will be a time in every good safeguarding officer's career when they will have to take on the Church authorities and champion a child or an adult against the bishop, the clergy and the Church's PR and financial interests. 




I think that it is particularly worrying when diocesan safeguarding officers are priests or nuns. These priests have the conflict, in my opinion, of having a promise of obedience to the bishop and in the case of a nun will have a solemn vow of obedience to her religious superiors.

We all know how some Catholics are in awe of priests and indeed more in awe of bishops. 

It's not so long ago since all Catholics were expected to call a bishop "MY LORD" and had to genuflect to him and kiss his ring.

Catholics are taught to believe that the Pope is infallible and that the bishops are the "successors of the Apostles".

Can a Catholic who believes that the Pope is infallible be truly independent if they receive a claim that the Pope abused someone in the past? Can a Catholic who reveres a bishop be truly independent if they receive a claim that the bishop abused someone in the past?

Maybe they can?

I have worked with victims who made complaints.

I ALWAYS tell them to bypass the diocesan safeguarding officer and go directly to the police and social services.

And if the diocese is paying for counseling I ALWAYS advise the victim to go to an independent counselor and not one recommended by the diocese.

I often think that the Church and diocesan safeguarding and Catholic counseling are too "cozy" for my liking.

There is a clear conflict between championing the victim and the Church's desire to cover things up and not pay compensation.

My dad, God rest him, used to say:

"IF YOU INDICT THE DEVIL - MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HOLD THE COURT IN HELL"!




What do readers think?






Saturday, 17 February 2018



CARDINAL ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE PRIESTS BEFORE LAST SYNOD IN ROME.

Priests should not conduct a debate about the October Family Synod through the press, Cardinal Nichols has said, following the publication of a letter signed by hundreds of priests, urging the synod to issue a “clear and firm proclamation” upholding Church teaching on marriage.
THE TEXT OF THE PRIEST'S LETTER:
SIR – Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.
We commit ourselves anew to the task of presenting this teaching in all its fullness, while reaching out with the Lord’s compassion to those struggling to respond to the demands and challenges of the Gospel in an increasingly secular society. Furthermore we affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.
We urge all those who will participate in the second Synod in October 2015 to make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching, so that confusion may be removed, and faith confirmed.

Yours faithfully,

During his general audience today, Pope Francis called for prayer not “chatter” ahead of the Synod. He said: “So here is what I, with my collaborators, have thought to propose today: to renew the prayer for the Synod of the Bishops on the family. We are taking up this commitment again next October, when the ordinary Assembly of the Synod, dedicated to the family, will take place. I would like for this prayer, and the whole Synod journey, to be animated by the compassion of the Good Shepherd for His flock, especially for persons and families that, for different reasons, are ‘troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd’ (Mt 9:36).
“So, sustained and animated by the grace of God, the Church can be ever more committed, and ever more united, in the witness of the truth of the love of God and of His mercy for the families of the world, excluding none, whether within or outside the flock. I ask you, please, to not neglect your prayer. All of us – the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious, lay faithful – we are all called to pray for the Synod. There is need of this, not of chatter! I also invite those who feel far away, or who are not accustomed to do so, to pray. This prayer for the Synod on the Family is for the good of everyone. I know that this morning you were given a little prayer card, which you have in your hands. It might be a little wet. I invite you to hold on to it and keep it with you, so that in the coming months you can recite it often, with holy insistence, as Jesus has asked us.”
The prayer which the Pope distributed reads:
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
In you we contemplate
The splendour of true love,
We turn to you with confidence.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
Make our families, also,
Places of communion and cenacles of prayer,
Authentic schools of the Gospel,
And little domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth
May our families never more experience
Violence, isolation, and division:
May anyone who was wounded or scandalized
Rapidly experience consolation and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
May the upcoming Synod of Bishops
Re-awaken in all an awareness
Of the sacred character and inviolability of the family,
Its beauty in the project of God.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Hear and answer our prayer. Amen
PAT SAYS:

I think that it is regrettable that Cardinal Nichols of England wants to stop priests - or anybody else expressing their views about any matter.

As Christians and Catholics, we believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through all people and all things - especially through the community of the baptized.

When the bishops meet in Rome to discuss any matter they should be highly conscious of the sensus fidei - the sense of the faith among the whole people of God.

On one occasion Moses said: "WOULD THAT THE WHOLE PEOPLE OF GOD WERE PROPHETS".

God can speak to us through a little child in its innocence. God can speak to us through a prisoner in his cell - even a guilty one. 

God can speak to us through the two parties of a broken marriage. God can speak to us through a transgendered person who feels isolated and misunderstood.

For far too long, because of strange ideas in the early and later Church the pope and the bishops came to believe that God can only speak through them.

They have a teaching role. But a good teacher LISTENS as well as TEACHES.

We do not live in Putin's Russia. Priests and lay people should be free to say publicly what they believe without fear of condemnation or punishment. 

In fact priests on the ground, at the coal face of life often have a better idea of the needs of the People of God than those who live in palaces. 

One of the problems I had over 30 years ago is that I had things to say and there was no opportunity to say them WITHIN the Church and I had to go outside to say things.

At the time I said:

"IF THE CHURCH WILL NOT PROVIDE US WITH A LAUNDRY ROOM WE WILL BE FORCED TO WASH OUR DIRTY LINEN IN PUBLIC DOWN BY THE RIVER"




LET PRIESTS AND PEOPLE SPEAK FREELY. THEY TOO ARE THE CHURCH!



Friday, 16 February 2018

DROMORE PRIESTS ORDERED TO BE SILENT ABOUT MALACHY FINNEGAN

JOHN MC AREAVEY


Last night I received the following message from a Dromore priest:

"DROMORE CLERGY RECEIVED A LETTER TODAY ( MID AFTERNOON IN RURAL PARTS ) NOT TO SPEAK TO THE MEDIA RE TUESDAY NIGHT'S SPOTLIGHT PROGRAMME ON MALACHY FINNEGAN - AND MORE IMPORTANTLY NOT TO SPEAK TO PAT BUCKLEY ABOUT IT AND TO REFER EVERYTHING TO PATRICIA CARVILLE.

SO MUCH FOR TRANSPARENCY"


JOHN AMD PATRICIA


FROM DROMORE DIOCESE WEBSITE

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults        

Designated Person and Director: Mrs. Patricia Carville

Tel: 077 8991 7741

Email: carvillepat@yahoo.co.uk 

c/o Diocesan Office, Bishop’s House, Armagh Road, Newry, Co. Down BT35 6PN
Tel: 028 3026 2444


Why does John McAreavey not want any of his priests speaking to the media or to me on this Blog about the Father Malachy Finnegan abuse case?

I thought he had made it clear that he was sorry for hiding things in the past and that he was going to be 100% transparent from now on?

Was that statement of his true or was it just a "church politics" statement and another attempt to cover up?

Are there things that priests in Dromore know about the Father Finnegan case, Bishop McAreavey, other cases or child safeguarding in the diocese that John McAreavey does not want appearing in the media or on this Blog?

What is he seeking to hide?

After the Finnegan disaster is it not VITAL that McAreavey and Co come clean and tell us all there is to know?


AND ANOTHER THING?

I thought that Patricia Carville and people like her who are being paid £90,000 a year are there to protect children and vulnerable adults???

They are not there to protect bishop reputations. Are they?

They are not there to handle episcopal and diocesan PR. Is that not the job of the diocesan press officer?

The Press Officer for Dromore diocese is Mr. Martin Long of the Bishop's Press Conference in Maynooth.


MARTIN LONG - McAREAVY'S PRESS OFFICER


Why is John McAreavey telling the priests to refer press inquiries to the diocesan safeguarding officer Patricia Carville?



PATRICIA CARVILLE

Thursday, 15 February 2018

IRISH ABUSE TAINTED BISHOPS

We should not allow ourselves to views the recent scandal with JOHN MC AREAVEY and Dromore out of context.

These things need to viewed in the context of what has been happening in Ireland (and worldwide) for a number of decades now.

Let us reflect today on those Irish Roman Catholic bishops who have been tainted with sexual abuse.

It makes for an interesting - and disturbing reflection:


THE CARDINALS:



BRADY


CARDINAL SEAN BRADY was involved in the cover-up of the BRENDAN SMYTH abuse as he interviewed victims in locked rooms, keeping their parents outside, swearing them to secrecy and failing to report the abuse to the civil authorities.

DALY


CARDINAL CAHAL DALY was the bishop of Down and Connor when Smyth was abusing in Belfast and who tried to pass all the blame over to Smyth's religious order.


CONNELL
CARDINAL DESMOND CONNELL Connell covered up abuse and refused to hand over the files of abusing priests to the Garda and the courts.


THE ARCHBISHOPS:

FOUR Dublin archbishops, including Connell above,  were accused in the reports of abuse in Dublin of having covered up abuse.

ARCHBISHOP JOHN CHARLES MC QUAID


MC QUAID


ARCHBISHOP KEVIN MC NAMARA


MC NAMARA


ARCHBISHOP DERMOT RYAN

RYAN


*******There were further allegations that Archbishop McQuaid himself was reported for sexual abuse and the Garda files on the case went missing.


THE BISHOPS:


BISHOP BRENDAN COMISKEY


COMISKEY
Comiskey resigned over his handling of the Ferns abuses - particularly the case of Father Sean Fortune. His carelessness was worsened by his alcoholism.

BISHOP SEAMUS HEGARTY


HEGARTY
Hegarty presided over abuse in two dioceses - Raphoe and Derry. He resigned on health grounds but remains remarkable well???

BISHOP PADDY WALSH


WALSH
Walsh too ten years to act against one of his favourites Father James Donaghy. He also presided over other cases

BISHOP EAMON CASEY


CASEY
Casey abused a vulnerable Annie Murphy, disowned his son and took Euro 70,000 from Galway diocese as hush money

BISHOP DONAL MURRAY


MURRAY
Murray resigned over severe criticism of him in the Dublin abuse report,

BISHOP MARTIN DRENNAN


DRENNAN
The Murphy Report (November 2009) mentions Bishop Drennan's name in connection with only one case. In that case suspicions and concerns (not allegations of child sexual abuse) about a certain Fr Guido were brought to Bishop Drennan's attention as a time when the latter was an Auxialiary Bishop of Dublin.

The Murphy Report concludes about that particular case: "The archdiocese acted correctly in immediately addressing the concerns and suspicions in this case. It did everything possible to assist Fr Guido to address the issues of concern and, when it was clear that a limited ministry was not possible, it helped him to get started on another career." (Murphy Report, p620)
Nevertheless there were demands in the media that Bishop Drennan resign. The current Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin was conspicuous by his lack of support for Bishop Drennan.


BISHOP EAMON WALSH


WALSH
Walsh was heavily criticised in the Dublin abuse report, offered his resignation to the Vatican and the Vatican declined.

BISHOP RAYMOND FIELD


FIELD
Field was criticised in the Dublin abuse report, offered his resignation to the Vatican which was declined. 

BISHOP DERMOT O'MAHONY


O MAHONY
O Mahoney was criticised in the Dublin abuse report and resigned.



BISHOP JOHN MAGEE


MAGEE
Magee resigned over abuse in Cloyne and for kissing a young man on the forehead,

BISHOP JOHN MCAREAVEY

MC AREAVEY
McAreavey knew about the Finnegan abuse and still offered a funeral Mass for him and issued a waffled apology.


BISHOP JOE DUFFY - RECOMMENDED INCLUSION BY CLOGHER CURATE 5:26


DUFFY




I WONDER WHAT READERS THINK OF OUR "HOLY ROGUES GALLERY" ABOVE?

You can be 100% sure that there are other Irish dioceses and bishops whose mishandling of abuse has not yet come to light.

There are various types of cases that have yet to come to light in places like Dublin, Cloyne, Waterford, and Derry.

What about the canon who has lived free of reporting on the grounds of the bishop's house in Waterford.

What about the little girl who was discovered naked in a curate's bed in Xxxxxxxx diocese and was dressed by the pp, let out the presbytery window and told to run home to her mammy?

And these men want us to believe that they are THE IRISH SUCCESSORS OF THE APOSTLES!!!

Jesus wept!





Wednesday, 14 February 2018

VICTIM OF PAEDOPHILE PRIEST SECURES BIGGEST EVER PAY-OUT


The Irish News. Allison Morris. 14 February 2018.




A victim of a paedophile priest who taught at Co Down school has secured what is thought to be the biggest ever pay-out in a historical abuse case in Northern Ireland.

Fr Malachy Finnegan worked as a teacher in St Colman's College in Newry from 1967 to 1976 and was president of the grammar school from 1976 until 1987.

The victim, who was 11 years old at the time of his abuse, secured a six-figure compensation sum, a letter of acknowledgment from Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey and an agreement that the Church pay for ongoing therapy sessions.


MC AREAVEY


Also included is an opportunity for the victim to attend the school in an attempt to "exorcise his demons".

Dr McAreavey has said he made an "error of judgment" by officiating at Fr Finnegan's funeral and revealed there were a total of 12 allegations made against the priest.

The first came to light in 1994, the second was made in 1988 and was not related to his tenure at St Colman's, while the others emerged after his death in 2002.

An elaborate headstone placed on his grave paid for by the Catholic Church, has since been removed.

The boy, a boarding pupil at St Colman's College when the abuse took place, was said to have suffered "violent sexual and emotional" abuse which "caused him to be permanently scarred".

Malachy Finnegan was a Latin teacher at the school at the time. He was later appointed parish priest in Dromore and held the position of parish priest in Clonduff until 1995.

Bishop McAreavey said earlier this month he had asked the National Board for Safeguarding Children to review the case of Fr Finnegan when it conducted an independent audit of all allegations against priests in the diocese in 2011.


FINNEGAN


He described his actions as “abhorrent, inexcusable and indefensible”.

However, Claire McKeegan, a partner with KRW Law, last night criticised the Church for its response following allegations made against Fr Finnegan.

She said no call was ever made for victims to come forward and he was "buried as a priest in good standing with a bishop presiding over his requiem Mass".

"Our clients have called for a public inquiry once and for all into clerical abuse in Northern Ireland and for the Church to surrender its documents and records for the scrutiny of a judge-led investigation which has the powers to get to the truth."

The Diocese of Dromore last night rejected the criticism and said the practice of safeguarding procedures "has been to report all allegations of abuse by any priest in the diocese including that of Fr Finnegan".

"The believability of the testimonies and stories of victims has always been accepted by the diocesan authorities immaterial of whether victims made a decision to engage with the police or not," it said.

"The records show that in relation to the first allegation that the then bishop and his legal advisor both recognized and were aware of their duty to report the matter. The practice of the then bishop in other cases at that time was also to report the allegations.


THE HUNTING GROUND


"The second reported incident came to the diocese after it was known to social services and the police. All subsequent allegations were also reported to the civil authorities including the police.

"The diocese has a victim-centered approach and has always taken account of the competing desires of victims to go public or maintain their privacy."


PAT SAYS:

Tuesday evening's SPOTLIGHT programme on BBC N. Ireland is one of the most shocking revelations to date about the Catholic Church in Ireland.

The priest-president of a diocesan college used the boys there as his own sexual playthings over many years.

The sexual abuse by Father Malachy Finnegan was an abuse of the worst kind.

The boys felt helpless and had no one to turn to.

Malachy Finnegan continued to abuse the boys in his car, a sacristy, and presbytery when he was made a parish priest.

Even when he was sent to a centre in England for rehabilitation he remained in contact on a weekly basis with one of his victims and got a Catholic lady to give the victim £10 a week to keep him silent.

JOHN MC AREAVEY was involved counseling one of the victims in the mid 90s - years before he became the Bishop of Dromore - so Mc Areavy cannot say he did not know of the abuse.

Knowing of the abuse he still proceeded in 2002 in presiding over Finnegan's funeral.

After the burial, the Catholic Church erected a massive Celtic cross over Finnegan's grave a grave and monument victims had to pass on their way to visit family graves. 

And now we learn that McAreavey & Co have secretly paid out one of the largest settlements to at least one of the victims - reputed to be a six figure sum.

Those payouts are not known to the people of Dromore diocese in whose name McAreavy & Co hold diocesan monies in trust. 


AND on the Spotlight programme, we were treated to the appearance of the Dromore "Safeguarding" officer coming on to defend McAreavey & Co who were blatantly absent!

Are these safeguarding people being paid £90,000 a year to protect bishops and clergy or to protect children and vulnerable adults?

We are now told that the big Celtic cross erected to Finnegan has been "removed".


This is now a major issue not only in Dromore but for the Catholic Church across Ireland.

It is quite obvious that McAreavey was a bad appointment in the first place - a bishop who had to publicly apologize for the way he treated his priests and who disappeared for a whole year on a so-called "sabbatical".

He got his job in the first place because he was a useful cover-up merchant.

Now his cover-up activities have been publicly exposed in an explosive manner.

If McAreavey had any decency he would resign.

But he will not because that would set a precedent for a lot of his colleagues.

These guys are answerable to no one.

People should walk away from McAreavey when he approaches them.

People should walk out of any Mass he presides at.

People should not allow him to confirm their children.

People should stop paying money into these guys coffers.

The parents of his schools should reject his chairmanship.


How many more of these incidents is it going to take Irish Catholics to realize that these guys are fooling them when they claim to represent God and Jesus?

They are quite simply the NEW PHARISEES who know they can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time.