Friday, May 24, 2024

CW : EDITORIAL

TO ALL,

On Friday 17th May 2024, the news broke that Patrick Buckley had died, and for many, there was a sense of shock and disbelief.

We here in CW then posted a piece which we feel has made a very restrained, but fair observation and insight of Patrick Buckley, and all of it based on fact and evidence.

Since that post went public, we here in CW have been staggered by the incoming communications from so many people, and if nothing else, it has vindicated our position in relation to him, and his behaviour towards so, so many people that he hurt in so, so many ways down through the years.

We have been lucky that we have had someone here in CW who has never failed to investigate and expose Patrick Buckley - the Buckley Bullet we have nicknamed him due to his tenacity - and he has continued to investigate any and all information pertinent to Patrick Buckley since the announcement of his death.

As part of his ongoing work, he has now been assigned two full time staff to assist him going forward, as we are only too well aware of how this is going to become something more than just a death notice of someone who happened to die last Friday.

Our colleague has been fielding telephone calls, emails and legal meetings since last weekend - alongside his own daytime job - and we can only but support him on a full time basis for as long as this takes.

What I mean by 'as long as this takes' will be better explained in the coming days, and made public here.

In the interim, as part of what we expect to come down the line to us here, and so as to streamline what is going to emerge, any and all future postings in relation to Patrick buckley will be filed under the 'Operation Truth' links list on the sidebar of this blogspot.

It only makes sense.... 

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AODHÁN DE FAOITE

Eagarthóir / Editor

CW : Public Apology

In my position as Editor of this blogspot, I must also take responsibility for any wrongdoings on the part of those who were in this position before I assumed it in recent times.

As a result of our posting about the death of Patrick Buckley, an email did come in to our colleague who brought it to my attention, but wished to personally take care of the matter himself.

Regrettably, back in 2017, this blogspot did post an article which had been carried in a national Irish newspaper, an article that had been fed to same said newspaper by Patrick Buckley, and contained no truth whatsoever.

My predecessor permitted the publishing of this article without doing the triple check, and in so doing, broke one of our own golden rules, and this article caused nothing but hurt and pain to the person concerned, and indeed only heaped further trouble on this person.

This article and situation I was unaware of until Wednesday afternoon, when the person concerned sent an email into us, and I forwarded it to our 'Buckley Bullet' colleague, and he made contact with the person concerned.

As the matter was being discussed, and with my full support, the offending article was fully removed.

I am well aware that our colleague offered his full, sincerest and heartfelt apologies to the person concerned, and I would now like to echo those same said apologies - in public via this notice.

You know who you are, as indeed do I and my colleague, and without reservation, we fully acknowledge our part in having contributed to a situation which was no doubt a challenging time for you, personally and indeed for your family and friends.

Any and all pain, upset, anger, and frustration that our posting of this article no doubt caused you - we apologise wholeheartedly and sincerely to you.

I am well aware that my colleague will be meeting with you in person to again apologise to you, and in so doing, he does it on our behalf here in CW.

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AODHÁN DE FAOITE

Eagarthóir / Editor

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Patrick Buckley, RIP (2)

On learning of the death of Patrick Buckley just before 1pm last Friday (17th May, 2024), we made sure to get it verified before we decided to publicly announce the news.

Notice of his passing was put up on his blogspot at the time, and not unlike Patrick Buckley himself, that posting, and indeed his blogspot, also became extinct.

There was very little reporting of his passing in the newspapers and on television, which was unusual considering his being more the headline than any other person, down through the years.

We ourselves were contacted by many, all wondering if the news was true, and we were in a position to confirm it for them, and it is perhaps telling of Patrick Buckley more than those on the other end of the telephone, when these people breathed a sigh of relief, as if a great weight had been taken off their shoulders.

And we understand why only too clearly.

In Ireland, there is a 'custom', 'tradition' or whatever you may wish to call it yourself, that we do not speak ill of the dead, and we can say - without fear of contradiction - that is something which we have observed on this site - until now.

Since this site began back in the mists of 2006, we have always been conscious of Patrick Buckley - amongst others - and his public persona, with his private persona and life becoming more known to us in the latter years.

He was someone we were always aware of, and not necessarily always in a positive light, and this became all the more evident in March 2022, when it became all the more personal for one of our colleagues here in CW.

And from that telephone call back then, right up to his passing, Patrick Buckley was indeed more than a (self-proclaimed) thorn in the side....

He was a prolific blogger, and regrettably in doing so, failed to do the most basic of basics when publishing a story - and that is check the facts, and check again, and again...before going to print.

Patrick Buckley failed to do so, on an ongoing basis, and this was very evident with each and every posting that made it on to his blog, on an almost daily basis.

Some stories managed to carry just a grain of truth, but that truth may have had nothing to do with the story to hand, but shur why let the truth get in the way in overall terms eh.

Patrick Buckley set out on a collision course with the Roman Catholic Church, its hierarchy and its faithful, and in many of his 'crusades', he was, in essence, correct to call out the double standards and hypocrisy.

It's down to how he done it, especially via his blogspots, that caused so much hurt, pain and sucidial ideation amongst his 'targets' that was such a concern that his initial blog was taken down, and he then set about publishing another on a different platform (WordPress).

He was of course, according to himself, being persecuted by the Roman Church 'authorities' for having exposed (pardon the pun) the alleged Grinder clerical clique and their alleged behaviour in Maynooth (or Gaynooth as he referred to it).

Anyone who dared to have an alternative view to him was fair game (as far as he was concerned), and be damned the truth getting between him having a story that would get in the viewing numbers for his blogspot.

And that brings us here in CW to the following points we wish to make in relation to Patrick Buckley, all of which are factual, legally evidenced and verified, and now can go into the public domain due to the death of Patrick Buckley.

In the first instance, for a person who claimed to be so anti-Roman etc., his own hypocrisy became evident when he was 'consecrated' as a 'bishop' and immediately took on the regalia of a Roman bishop, including mitre, ring, crosier (over which there later was a row), pectoral cross, vestments and title (including a coat of arms).

He then went on to make a name for himself by using others, to get into the public psyche by 'ordaining' a female as a 'priest' for his Oratory Society, yet in the background, allowed 2 candidates who were then studying for the Oratory Society, to be ripped off by a con-artist in the UK who Patrick Buckley claimed he had himself vetted and had assured his students was trustworthy.

Yet, when the rip-off and fraud was brought to the attention of Patrick Buckley, he washed his hands quicker than Pontious Pilate of the whole matter.

In recent times, he focussed on us here in CW in a big way, and accused us of harassing him, and defaming him (without evidence of course) by our questioning him via Operation Latharna - and yet, up to the time of his death, Patrick Buckley never answered one single question we put to him on this blogspot.

He never took us up on our offers to meet with him - and others -  in our solicitors offices in Dublin, and indeed allowed others to publish rather denigrating comments and posts on his blogspot so as to try and discredit us here in CW - to no avail.

He slandered, defamed and denigrated at will, and he did not do this alone - but that person shall remain unnamed for now.

But what we can now publish is the following :

Operation Easpag : this was the culmination of so many men (47 to start, now 53) getting in touch with us to advise us that the hypocrisy of Patrick Buckley in relation to the sexual prowess of clergy needed to be known.

Indeed his sexual activities had led to 53 men (at last count) from different parts of the UK and Ireland getting in touch with us, and us then directing them to the necessary legal services and people for guidance and help.

When we started to publish this story back in August 2022, even we did not realise what was coming down the tracks once we had published, and despite never having made direct reference to, or naming who it was, this did not stop Patrick Buckley from ringing our own solicitor and in effect on the telephone, outing himself as the person at the centre of it all.

And yet, we never did name him...until now.

In that time, Patrick Buckley, for many weeks and months, refused to acknowledge or accept his responsibility for infecting so many men, and it was only when we signalled to him that his evasive tactics were not going to be tolerated, that he decided to engage.

He was still playing us for fools, so we told him - engage or be named!!

Many would call this blackmail - we would not.

It called him to face up to his behaviour, and indeed his hypocrisy.

He reluctantly engaged on a more formal level, and knew that the time would inevitably come when he would have to accept responsibility and over 200 pages of hard evidence certainly caused him to reflect and accept.

It took over a year to accomplish, and the whole matter was no longer formally reported here after that last posting in September 2023...until now.

But Patrick Buckley does not like someone to get one over him (as he perceived it) and went on a revenge mission, with no little help from a female down in the Mid-West, and decided to do a hatchet job.

More the pity that he did, as he soon became swamped with 15 seperate legal letters being served upon him rather quickly thereafter, a PSNI visit on foot of that post, and a further warning letter issued, so much so that the matter was due to proceed to the Courts in Northern Ireland in June 2024.

In the background however, was an investigation in which he was 1 suspect of 2, an investigation that involved 2 police forces, and had gone to the point of involving Interpol, such was the seriousness of the matter.

Of course, we are referring to Operation Ainmhian, and we will say no more of this for the moment as we are conscious of ongoing legal activitiy in relation to this.

But we can say this, Patrick Buckley claimed to be the upholder and bearer of the truth - and we can refute that in any court of any land.

Patrick Buckley made many, many false allegations against so many people, and never corrected the record when he got it wrong - even when the truth was presented to him - suffice to say that a telephone conversation and an email (to which we have had access and sight) would have totally undermined and destroyed any credibility he claimed to have in relation to a long running saga of lies (another female party to that certainly helped with the untruths).

Indeed, Bishop Fintan Monahan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe has some questions to answer in relation to the suppression of truth and the forging of signatures in relation to same said situation...and more of that anon.

In recent times, we had begun Operation Inis, an investigation into Patrick Buckley and his nastiness via text messages and telephone calls to those who dared to challenge him on his publishing lies about them.

Of course, Patrick Buckley could not be challenged (as he saw it) and tried again to make false accusations against others, and even got his female fag-hag in the Mid-West to make a false report to the Gardaí in Shannon, County Clare, and they duly got involved and made a disgrace of themselves in their 'handling' of the matters - issuing threats of their own - of which we have evidence.

But, Patrick Buckley was causing problems elsewhere, and we had also started Operation Truth, on foot of some further serious allegations against him - this time financial.

We were provided with evidence that Patrick Buckley was 'marrying' young Traveller couples, and charging them over 500 sterling per ceremony, and gave the impression to the couples that they were 'married' but yet when the couples went looking for their marriage certificates, they inevitably found that they had not been registered at all...and he had their money.

We were compiling a dossier for the PSNI, His Majesty Revenue & Customs and the General Registrar Office in Northern Ireland in relation to the matter, and would have, as heretofore, first asked Patrick Buckley for his response, before then sending the dossier to the above mentioned agencies of the Northern State for their attention.

Regrettably, that will not now happen.

Patrick Buckley was also earning a few more pounds by offering a 'healing ministry' for which he charged, at minimum, 1,000 pounds a session, and we know that he had no qualms or conscience about who he took the money from, no matter if they themselves were financially struggling.

So, after 72 years on this mortal coil, Patrick Buckley, what you have left behind is a trail of hurt, pain, deception, theft, fraud, anger, HIV-infected men, couples who thought they were married but were not, people who you scammed thousands from for 'healing sessions', and the list goes on.

Your blogspots disappeared - and no doubt WordPress are very glad of that.

No doubt, to some, maybe a few, you were kind, caring and compassionate, but they are but a few.

Did you get Rome to listen? That is for Rome to answer.

Did you make a difference?

We can say yes to that....

Wherever you may now be, Patrick Buckley, if there is just one good thing you have done for so many, many people, and that it may stand in your favour when you meet whomsoever your Maker to be, is that you died.

So many people against whom you were so unnecessarily nasty, against whom you bore false witness, against whom you slandered and defamed, those whom you knowingly infected with HIV, can now take comfort from your passing.

As indeed do we here in CW.

And that, Patrick Buckley, is the truth of you.

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AODHÁN DE FAOITE

Eagarthóir / Editor

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Controversial Church Of Ireland Motion on Baptism Proposed at General Synod : 10th May 2024

Proposed by Prof Patricia Barker (Dublin & Glendalough) and seconded by Lynn Wright (Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh) the Motion affirms the sanctity of marriage but called on Synod to acknowledge that it is a reality of modern life that infants are often born to single parents and/or to couples who are not married. 

The Motion asked Synod to affirm that, in accordance with Canons, Chapter 9 of the Constitution of the Church of Ireland, irrespective of the marital status of the parents of an infant, a minister must not refuse or, save for the purpose of preparing or instructing the parents or godparents, delay to baptise any child within his or her cure who is brought to be baptised, provided that due notice has been given and the provisions relating to sponsors and godparents are observed.

Before the motion was proposed, Archbishop John McDowell observed that the motion had no power to do what it sought to do. It could not impact the present or future practice of baptism by the Church of Ireland. He also said there had been a request for voting by orders.

Prof Barker said that the Motion followed on from last year’s General Synod when the matter of refusing to baptise and infant whose mother was not married was raised. A number of accounts of this practice had emerged in the intervening year, she said. She asked that members of Synod affirm what they believe is fundamentally already embedded in the Church’s Canon law.

“Canon law begins from that basic affirmation of consistency, equity and equality, for all who are members in the Body of Christ. And it seeks clarity about who may do what and who is answerable to whom,” she stated. “In relation to the practice of bringing infants to Church for Holy Baptism those two principles of consistency and clarity are being breached in some parishes in our island. Some clergy – indeed most clergy – will baptise an infant brought for baptism, without asking questions about the marital status of the mother of the infant. Our motion underpins our real concern that, in other cases, infants are refused Baptism by virtue only of the marital status of their mothers.”

She said the motion does not seek to change Canon law but to affirm that law must be applied consistently and with clear equality to all parishioners who find themselves in the same situation.

She outlined the principals of Canon law which were common to the churches of the Anglican Communion. She said that nowhere in the principals or in the Church of Ireland’s Canon 9 was there reference to the marital status of the mother of the child. “So this Motion this afternoon hinges around whether being the baby of a single parent is lawful cause to refuse Baptism to that baby. That is the issue on which you are being asked decide today,” she said.

She continued: “If this Synod believes that being a child of a single parent or of parents who are not married is lawful cause to refuse to baptise that child, the consequence of that decision is that, therefore, all children born outside of marriage should be refused in order to comply with our fundamental principles of consistency, equity and clarity.”

Seconding the motion, Lynn Wright, said she came to the podium with a heavy heart. She said she had a passion of concern for babies born out of wedlock simply because they are born to single parents. She said clergy were allowed to pick which infant is suitable for baptism and she asked if clergy were being true to Jesus.

Debating the motion, Dr Lucy Michael (Dublin and Glendalough) said the Church practices baptism for the cleansing of original sin and the initiation into the church community. She asked why anyone would refuse children baptism. “It is the child that we baptise and not the parents,” she commented. “The important thing is that the child knows they are part of us,” she added asking why the church would spend so much time on mission while turning people away from our community.

Joe Deverell (Meath and Kildare) supported the motion and pointed out that no one got to choose who their parents were.

Canon David Gillespie (Dublin) said he was troubled by the need for the motion. He said that a church that would refuse to baptise a child is not the Church of Ireland that I know. “We should welcome all families that come, no matter what shape that family takes,” he said.

The Revd Sam Johnston (Down) said the motion was well intentioned but said it had the potential to upset the balance of the pastoral care and theological care. He said the need for pastoral sensitivity was never greater. He said that parents had the opportunity to apply to the bishop if they did not agree with the decision of their rector. He said the motion removed the opportunity for the clergy and parents to engage in meaningful dialogue. He urged the synod to reject the motion and rather mandate clergy and bishops to navigate these complex times.

Gillian Purser (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory) said that children were presented for baptism for a variety of reasons. But she asked if that mattered. If a child is baptised they are welcomed into our communities and even if the parents have no faith and the child is admitted to a school where faith is taught, then that was a good thing.

The Revd Mark Lennox (Dromore) said the motion raised questions in his mind about his ordination vows and suggested the motion caused conflict between the outworking of ordination vows and what the motion wished to achieve.

Susan Compton (Elphin and Ardagh) said she could not believe that there were areas of the Church of Ireland where children were denied baptism. She asked if it was an open and welcoming church and wondered if the Church could afford not to be.

Archdeacon Robert Miller said that the Canons were shaped to trust the clergy and the motion suggested that the clergy were not trusted. He said baptism is a sacrament and God was a prime mover in it. He said everything that was necessary for generosity was already enshrined in the Canons of the Church.

Janet Bray (Tuam, Limerick and Killoe) spoke personally and said her mother had her baptised before giving her up for adoption. She said she had been an active member of her church and could not imagine a church that would refuse baptism.

Joy Little (Elphin and Ardagh) spoke of her grandchildren and she said if anyone had judged her grandchildren differently, none of them would be in church now.

The Revd Catherine Simpson (Down) said her parents taught her to read the Bible, pray and brought her to church each week. She said baptism was administered to infants in the understanding that they would be brought up in the fellowship of the church. She said that the liturgy of baptism had potency. She said she was concerned that the church needed to be clear about what the motion was asking. She said the church must not miss the opportunity of nurturing the infant and their family. The parents must model a faith and the parents’ witness and connection to church is part of this. “The motion’s intent is welcome but its outworking is impossible,” she stated.

Phyllis Grothier (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory) said there was nothing in the motion that stopped the discussion between the rector and the parents. She said baptism was an opportunity for outreach. When someone brought an infant to church she asked people to use the opportunity to build that faith.

In response Prof Barker thanked all who spoke and said she respected the dignity and sincerity with which people made their points. She said they were talking about babies who were refused holy baptism by virtue only of the marital status of their mother. She said she was a counsellor with the Rape Crisis Centre and recalled working with a woman who had been raped. She realised she was pregnant and carried the baby to full term. After the baby was delivered she asked Prof Barker if she would go with her to speak to her Rector about baptism. Her Rector welcomed her and her baby with open arms. She said the Rector was supportive and non judgemental and accepted her and her baby.

The vote was taken by orders with the result:

Clergy for: 69. Clergy against: 72.

Lay for: 144. Lay against: 83.

The motion fell.

Priest says Newry worshippers have lost faith in council as unholy row over car park continues

A senior Catholic priest has said many of his parishioners have “lost faith” in Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) after they were excluded from a meeting on city centre re-development.

Newry Cathedral Parish and council are at loggerheads over plans to build a new £20m civic centre on a car park used by mass-goers.

A petition with over 2,500 objections to the plan was recently handed in by the church.

The council is understood to have invited all the original participants involved in Newry City Centre Regeneration (NCCR) to a new working group.

The group, set up to oversee the Council’s “ambitious programme of works planned for the historic core of the City”, previously saw stakeholders such as businesses and Newry Cathedral Parish take part in meetings.

However, the latest invite has excluded the Parish — prompting a furious reaction from the church. 

Parish administrator, Canon Francis Brown said: “Once again, NMDDC has shown complete disregard for Newry Cathedral Parish and the thousands of parishioners we represent by excluding us from the new Newry City Centre Regeneration stakeholder working group.

“A number of parishioners feel this is an act of discrimination against our community on the basis of religious beliefs and they intend to take legal advice on the matter.

“Sadly, this is just the latest incident in a long line of disrespectful behaviour by the council towards our historic cathedral and parish community.”

The Council plans to build its new headquarters at Abbey Way in the centre of Newry, but the site currently provides off-street parking, including a multi-storey car park that the Catholic Church says is needed for worshippers at its Grade A listed building.

However, the local authority states that its new designs will provide more spaces for parishioners following an engineer’s survey of the car park.

NMDDC has previously referred to a parking survey of the Abbey Way site and has amended its HQ plans to provide 138 car park spaces at the site, which it says is above the maximum occupancy rates recorded for Cathedral users.

Following a media query, the council revealed it has been engaging with the Department for Communities (DfC) to lease nearby lands at North Street, 150 yards away, to potentially develop a major pay and park facility.

The site is currently a free parking zone used by city centre business employees.

Canon Brown added: “Although I am urging restraint for now, many parishioners have lost faith in this council’s ability to act with transparency and integrity, and calls are growing for more direct actions such as marches and pickets.

“Our cathedral has stood as a spiritual and cultural anchor of Newry for centuries. We will continue standing firm to ‘Save Our Cathedral’ from short-sighted decisions that prioritise bureaucratic vanity projects over community interests.

“The people of Newry Cathedral Parish demand better from their elected leaders. We urge the community to join us in demanding an end to this marginalisation of our historic parish.”

NMDDC has been contacted for comment.

'I think it's unfair' - Priest denied pension due to missionary work

An Irish priest has been denied a pension because of his decades of service working as a missionary overseas. 

Fr Patsy Lynch was ordained in 1974 and then spent 31 years in Ghana working for the Society of African Missions.

He returned back to Ireland in 2005 and was eventually appointed a parish priest in Kerry. 

In 2015, he reached State pension age but was surprised to learn he did not have enough PRSI contributions to qualify for the benefit

“Eight years later, it is the same situation,” he told Lunchtime Live

“I applied for the State pension contributory and I was told that to qualify for State pension contributory I must have at least 520 fully paid social insurance contributions before the 66th birthday. 

“They said according to all records I have 416 - I am 104 short.” 

'31 years in Ghana doesn’t come into it at all'

Revenue has no records of contributions made by Fr Patsy prior to 2007; his time working in Ghana does not count towards an Irish pension and he will not be entitled to any other form of social welfare while he continues to work

“The way I see it now, I will continue working maybe for a few more years but as long as I work and I am getting the salary for a parish priest of €32,600 and that is above the rate at which I am being assessed,” he said. 

“The 31 years in Ghana doesn’t come into it at all - which I think is unfair.” 

Fr Patsy believes previously there was an exception for priests working as missionaries abroad but believes is doubtful he personally will ever receive a pension.  

“It seems the time when I applied in ‘66, there were some loopholes and it seems that [since then] they were tightened up and that was the reason I was unsuccessful,” he said. 

“A lot of people told me, a lot of politicians, that they would follow it up because [I should] get it. 

“But my accountant told me, ‘No, there’s no point, Patsy.’”

To qualify for an Irish pension, you need a minimum of 520 PRSI contributions - which works out as equivalent to 10 years as a taxpayer in the State.

Golden Scottish church spire refurbished in £400k overhaul

West Lothian church spire worth its weight in gold after £400k revamp -  Daily Record

A 16th-century Church of Scotland's spire has been revitalised, now shining in its original golden splendour after a £400,000 refurbishment.

This prominent feature of St Michael’s Parish Church in Linlithgow, visible from both the M9 and the Edinburgh-Glasgow train line, has undergone extensive renovation to prevent its potential collapse.

According to Brian Lightbody, the retired architect who spearheaded the restoration effort, the Crown of Thorns spire, a public sculpture first installed in 1964, has been restored with new bronze alloy cladding to revive its "traditional golden hue". Advanced sealing techniques have been applied to the cladding to protect against the Scottish weather for years ahead, while significant repairs were made to the spire’s structural timbers which had suffered extensive rot.

In an interview with The Scotsman, Lightbody remarked on the severity of water damage discovered during the project: “The extent of the damage uncovered as all the old cladding was removed has demonstrated that the only alternative to major restoration would have been the removal of the entire Crown." he said.

The restoration project was challenging due to its unique location, design, and materials involved – from crafting a bespoke scaffolding structure to replacing timber sections without destabilising the whole structure. Lightbody expressed confidence that their efforts would ensure the spire's longevity for future generations.

St Michael’s Parish Church has a rich history dating back to its initial construction in 1138, with the current building completed in 1540. It has served as a worship site for Scottish monarchs, including Mary Queen of Scots.

Public donations contributed significantly to the restoration budget, with additional funding from Historic Environment Scotland, the Church of Scotland General Trustees, the Scottish Landfill Trust, and the Pilgrim Trust.

Rev Dr Liam Fraser from St Michael’s expressed his enthusiasm about the local excitement surrounding the spire's renewal.

“Sixty years on from the installation of the spire...the excitement this project has generated locally is astonishing," he said in a statement to the Church of Scotland.

He also reflected on how perceptions of the spire have evolved over time from controversy to admiration as a "masterful marriage of modern design to historic architecture.”

Successive bishops covered up abuse in German diocese

An independent sexual abuse inquiry in the Diocese of Trier concluded that successive bishops covered up the actions of a notorious abuser priest for decades.

Local prosecutors in the region, next to the Luxembourg border, also did little to punish the late Fr Edmund Dillinger, who the inquiry said had abused 19 people from 1961 until 2018.

In addition, he possessed “very many people” photographed in sexual scenes or “exposed to touchings in all areas of the body”, the report by two retired senior prosecutors said.

The diocese reported Dillinger to the police in 2012 and barred him from celebrating Mass in public and contacting youths.

“It is hard to understand that someone like Dillinger could remain in Church service for decades, despite all the knowledge about his transgressions and acts of abuse,” the report said.

“He lived out his (homo)sexuality, which he outwardly strongly disapproved of, uninhibitedly and in a way that was sometimes criminally relevant and appeared power-obsessed, self-centered, narcissistic and egotistical.”

When the priest died in 2022, a nephew found thousands of compromising photos and indications of abuse of minors among his papers. He presented them to the authorities, but judicial officials in the state capital Saarbrücken destroyed thousands of the pictures last year, prompting the report to say they “largely thwarted this review”.  

The report said Bishop Stephan Ackermann, appointed in 2009, took a tough line on Dillinger but also made some decisions that indirectly aided him. Ackermann was the German bishops’ conference spokesman for abuse issues from 2010 to 2022.

“Only in 2012 did one begin to correct the situation as far as one could,” Gerhard Robbers, one of the two report’s authors, said.

The report did not name Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, who has admitted to co-responsibility in the German Church’s abuse scandal while he was Bishop Trier from 2002 to 2008. 

Marx, whose 2021 offer to resign was rejected by Pope Francis, has expressed regret at following looser disclosure guidelines and turned down Germany’s Order of Merit award because of this.  

Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, the current president of the bishops’ conference, was vicar-general in Trier from 2012 to 2016.

Trier was historically one of the most powerful dioceses in the Holy Roman Empire, but after Napoleon annexed the left bank of the Rhine in 1801 he had its boundaries redrawn. This smaller diocese was eventually made a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cologne. 

New Bishop of Iceland Says Church Failed LGBTQ+ People

Guðrún Karls Helgudóttir, who was recently elected the new bishop of Iceland, said that the Church of Iceland’s attitude towards homosexuality was at a time based on denial.

“The church failed”, she told Morgunblaðið in an interview this weekend. “Therefore it owes a debt to the LGBTQ+ community. The church should have opened its arms to diversity. A majority of priests were on the community’s side, for the record, even if the church itself didn’t come around formally until it was too late.”

Family experience

One of Guðrún’s two daughters is trans. “It was very surprising to us when she told us, the autumn after her confirmation. We don’t choose what we face as parents and our job is first and foremost to love, help, and support our children,” Guðrún said.

“I’ve always had an open mind for how human beings can be of all stripes, but this caused me to feel even more strongly about how important it is that we accept all people the way they are and respect diversity,” she added. “I think the new generation is teaching us a lot when it comes to this.”

Membership decline

Guðrún was elected as bishop on 7 May in an election among 2286 registered voters of the church electorate, which includes priests, deacons, and lay members. 

She was ordained in 2011 and has served a number of parishes, most recently the Grafarvogur neighbourhood of Reykjavík.

She takes over from current bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir on 1 September. 

The church, known officially as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, has around 220,000 members, just over 60% of the population. Membership is down from since the turn of the century, when the church’s membership was 90% of the population.

Paddy Keegan praises Tusla but blames Catholic Church for delays


A NAVAN man who has spent a lifetime searching for information on his mother, finally believes that he has all the information possible.

Patrick Keegan of St Patrick's Tce, Navan, who grew up in St Vincent’s Orphanage in Drogheda and the notorious Artane Industrial school, says although he is unlikely to find out who his father is, he has finally received all the information available on his mother.

In the last few weeks, he has received a wealth of documents detailing the time of birth, the date of his baptism, his godparents and grandparents, as well as similar details for his late brother, John, who had also spent many years searching for information on his history.

"Tusla did everything in their power to get the information on me, but I blame the church for the delays I experienced over the decades,"he said.

Now happy with the information he has received, Paddy is sharing the details with his brother's family in Australia.

Paddy's biggest regret is that while he finally got to meet his brother more than 20 years ago, he believes if the religious authorities he had sought information from had been honest with him he might have had a much longer time to get to know his brother, who was 17 years older than him.

Paddy (76) first began his search for his mother's identity in the 1970s.

Paddy was born in the Sean Ross Abbey mother and baby home in Co Tipperary on 16th March 1948. His mother was Mary Ann Keegan of Morele, Emo, Co Laois, where her family had a farm. She had been admitted to the home in 1947.

Documents show mother and baby got to spend a few weeks together until 9th July 1948, when Paddy was fostered to a Mrs O’Sullivan in Offaly and Mary Ann was admitted to the Magdalene Laundry in Sean McDermott Street, in Dublin where she remained until the day she died, just ten years later at the age of 47 from TB.

Paddy was fostered by Mrs O’Sullivan until he was four, then spent six years in St Vincent’s Orphanage in Drogheda until he was 10-years-old, when he went to Artane Industrial School where his experiences were so awful, he still finds it hard to talk about.

When he began his search, unlike, an adopted child, Paddy was able to find out who his mother was and where she was from, only to discover she had died.

He spoke to a nun called Sr Sarto, who gave him the information about his mother, along with a photo.

He found his mother’s brother and sister-in-law who initially denied the connection but later acknowledged the family ties. It was only when he attended the funeral of his aunt in the 1990s that he discovered he had a brother.

“A priest told me that 12 or 13 years earlier another man had come looking for information about his mother.

“He told me he was my brother and had a letter from Sr Sarto.

“She never mentioned him to me. If she did, we might have met a lot earlier and been able to spend longer together,” he says.

Paddy eventually tracked down his brother in Australia.

“It was wonderful to have so much family around. I had nieces and nephews calling me Uncle Paddy.” he said. “It felt great.”

Sadly John has since died, but Paddy is still in contact with his nieces and nephews in Australia.

"I have shared all the additional information I received about John, with his family in Australia."

Paddy (76), has since lived a happy and successful life, but his extremely difficult childhood is something that will always haunt him.

“It was difficult growing up without anyone - I never had anybody that cared about me as a child,” he recalls.

First Orthodox Metropolitan in Ireland enthroned

The Christian Orthodox Church in Ireland has officially ordained its first Metropolitan (head of a large city or diocese).

The enthronement ceremony also marks the reopening of the Greek Orthodox Church in Stoneybatter, Dublin, which closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The appointment of a Metropolitan is in response to an increase in the number of Orthodox Christians in Ireland.

According to Census 2022, the Orthodox Religion accounted for over 100,000 people, which is an increase of 65% in six years and of 128% in the 11 years since Census 2011.

Over half of the Orthodox grouping were aged between 25 and 49 years in the recent census.

While the Dublin 7 church proudly displays a Greek flag, the Christian Orthodox Church comprises many nationalities, including Russians, Ukrainians, Palestinians, Moldovans, Romanians, Serbs, Bulgarians and Ethiopians.

These nationalities are represented in Orthodox Church in Ireland, which felt the need to support its community in Ireland.

The enthronement also means the carbon footprint associated with sending priests from the UK on a weekly or monthly basis for the Divine Liturgy will be reduced.

Metropolitan Iakovos, who was born in Greece and grew up in Germany, got news of his transfer to Dublin after spending 13 years in Canada.

He said that he likes Dublin city and is not perturbed by the Irish weather.

"It’s ok, I’m used to the cold after Canada. You don’t get to the same minus figures here", he said.

Asked how he feels about moving to Ireland, he said that while he does not know a lot of Irish people but those that he has met so far have been welcoming.

"So yesterday, you know, I was sweeping outside and there was like, this man who said 'so do you have time for my garden?’.

"It’s something I like because it develops a relationship between people, and you don’t feel like a stranger".

A Metropolitan holds a similar ranking to an Archbishop, so there is no denying that it is a significant moment for the Orthodox Church in Ireland.

Friends of Metropolitan Iakovos from Greece, Canada and Germany have travelled for the "historic event".

Following his ordination, it will be time for the new Metropolitan to get to work.

Metropolitan Iakovos plans to work with leaders from other Christian faiths in Ireland.

There is now a large cohort of Ukrainian Christian Orthodox in Ireland, so one of his first meetings will be with the Ukrainian Ambassador.

He acknowledged that his wish is to expand the community.

"We have a lot of Greek Orthodox people here, like young people who came to work and study, but also other Orthodox people.

"I want to extend that community here on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and make people see that there's a different way in life to approach life.

"Everybody's equal before Christ. So, we try to embrace everybody."

There were no Orthodox parishes in Ireland before the late 1960s according to the Irish Council of Churches.

A small number of Russian emigrés arrived shortly after the 1917 Revolution, among them Nicholas Couriss, later to be Ireland's first resident Orthodox priest.

By the early 1950s, several hundred Orthodox including Greek and Greek Cypriots had settled in the country.

The church site on Arbour Hill is believed to have been a former national school built by the military.

It was the site of an Amateur Boxing and Physical Culture Club for a time, before it became a sewing factory in 1950.

The Greek Orthodox Church was consecrated in 1994.

Singer Dana receives Papal honour at Catholic ceremony in Galway


Singer and former MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon has been conferred with a Papal honour, in recognition of her service to the Catholic Church.

The Derry born entertainer was formally made a Dame of the Order of Saint Gregory, at a ceremony in Baile Chláir, Co Galway, last Thursday evening.

The award is given by Pope Francis, following a detailed nomination process.

Less than 100 others living in Ireland have been similarly honoured, with Dana becoming only the 14th Dame to be conferred in Ireland, after her investiture.

Bishop of Galway and Clonfert Michael Duignan, was the chief celebrant at the mass, during which he conferred the honour.

In his homily he said that it recognised a lifetime of "faith filled service" to the Catholic Church by the 72-year-old.

Bishop Duignan said this was no easy task, in an Ireland that "tends to relegate faith to the margins of life".

The singer said she was humbled to receive the award, which she wanted to share with many people who had inspired and supported her through her life.

She made particular reference to her mother, describing her as an "incredible woman".

Now living in Co Galway, Dana was Ireland’s first Eurovision Song Contest winner in 1971.

She contested Presidential elections in 1997 and 2011 as an Independent candidate, and served a five year term as an MEP for the former Connacht / Ulster constituency between 1999 and 2004.

The Order, of which she’s been made a Dame, was established by Pope Gregory XVI, to acknowledge "personal character, reputation and notable accomplishment" on behalf of the church and society, regardless of the recipient’s religious affiliation.

Catholic Church child abuse joke made in DUP WhatsApp group

The Catholic Church and its child abuse scandal was the butt of a joke in WhatsApp messages between senior DUP figures, it has emerged.

The messages have been published online after they were handed over to the Covid-19 Inquiry sitting in Belfast by Assembly Speaker and former Stormont Executive minister Edwin Poots.

The messages, which were sent throughout 2020, were shared in a DUP WhatsApp group of Executive ministers and other senior party figures, including special advisors.

The 63 pages of message logs have now been published on the Covid Inquiry website, with some of the names redacted.

Among the messages, which also contain comments about Sinn Féin ministers, was an exchange in March 2020 involving then-education minister Peter Weir.

He referred to the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, who was writing to urge him to close schools as fears over the spread of Covid deepened.

“Wasn’t aware of his qualifications in virology,” Mr Weir wrote.

In a response, a member of the WhatApp group whose name was redacted, wrote: “Write back and tell him we don’t live in the South and that his institution hasn’t the best track record of looking out for the welfare of kids.”

In a later message that same evening, Mr Weir wrote he had seen the letter from Archbishop Martin.

“Unsurprisingly, no coherent or convincing arguments and reminds me a little of a letter that would bet written on behalf of a constituent when you feel you have to but know they have no case.”

It emerged last week in published WhatsApp messages that Mr Weir believed only “nut jobs and ardent nationalists on Twitter” thought schools should close in the early stages of the pandemic.

Speaking at the Inquiry last week, Mr Weir said he regrets the “level of division” in the debate over closing schools.

An exorcist is needed to sort out Eurovision 2024 and Ireland’s troubled contestant (Opinion)

Myopia has plagued my family as far back as can be traced. The family vault holds images from the end of the 1800s of women in their forties all wearing glasses. My grandparents’ 10 children and 39 grandchildren all wear glasses. My own children wear glasses. My brother went out with a girl who dumped him once she found out he wore glasses: “I don’t like any weakness,” she declared, before finding herself a job with the Humanists.

It’s likely that the weak genes of my ancestors will be eliminated at some point in the future, and if not the genes, then the people, whose corrective lenses will cost more than an armful of barbiturates; perhaps also because even with myopia, you can still be capable of seeing what is really going on.

In a society which legitimises eugenics under cuddly names like planned parenthood and medical assistance in dying, what we really need is exorcists to wheedle out generational evil spirits.

As Bambie Thug, who is also known as the Goth, Gremlin, Goblin Witch, is given a platform to act out her adolescent rebellion for the Oh-so-daring Republic of Ireland on stage at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest tonight, some will be shocked, while others will see it as final confirmation of the existence of, not so much an intellectual dark web, rather a Dunces Dark Web.

The Dunces are called so because they firmly believe they are transgressive whilst fitting predictably into a pattern laid long before them. My home country  of Ireland has become an embarrassment, like the ghetto blaster pumping out Michael Bolton from the corner of a tired old café in 2024, the poor eijits think they are cool kids on the block as they try to shock the world with ideas inherited from some of the saddest and most broken people of yesteryear. 

Ireland’s 2024 Eurovision entry is a self-described “queer, Ouija popstar” who – yawn – “uses non-binary personal pronouns”. Perhaps she was influenced by watching the Disney show “Little Demon” about a single mom attempting to live a normal life with her anti-Christ daughter, whilst being constantly thwarted by monstrous forces including Satan who yearns for custody of his daughter’s soul.

In her 2023 book The End of Woman: How Smashing the Patriarchy Destroyed Us, Carrie Gress writes: “The satanic, the occult and the esoteric have been swirling in our culture for a long time”. In the 1980’s Madonna (everyone’s favourite grandmother, last seen prancing around in her underwear on Copacabana beach) was at the forefront of the occult trend. As Gress notes, Madonna “introduced iconoclastic pop paganism that desecrated the Virgin Mary, Christ, the saints and the priesthood”, while “her songs such as Like a Virgin and Like a Prayer, profaned the sacred”. Her 2012 Superbowl half-time show was riddled with satanic imagery. 

Poor little broken Bambie Thug is the inevitable consequence of a movement stretching back centuries; there is nothing especially daring about her. What she does helpfully do is to conflate feminism, satanism and trans ideology in the public consciousness. 

Feminism as a movement is rooted in ideals to recreate and reshape society in a world without God, as explained by Carrie Gress when she writes: “What emerged from the social rubble of the French revolution were new fault lines of conflict where the older questions informed by sacred ideals were attacked and replaced under a new desacralised order. The French revolution was the first major break with the sacred order around which western society and culture had been arranged for centuries in the Judaeo Christian tradition.”

Out of this rupture burst new narratives focused on power relations: the oppressor and the oppressed, the bourgeois and the proletariat, men and women.  It opened the door for the (oftentimes) damaged and depraved loudmouths to set the agenda for the rest of us. 

Calls were made to rise up and smash the boundaries that prevented our freedom. Free love, sadism, masochism, polyamory, spiritualism, were all encouraged as ways to demonstrate the smashing of boundaries that apparently enslave us. According to such narratives we should be free to have sex with whoever we want, at whatever age we want. 

The origins of Bambi Thug go way back to such figures as Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, who left a trail of used up women and dead children in their wake; the self-described sexologists Dr John Money, who coined the term gender identity, and Alfred Kinsey, who interviewed paedophilic men who sexually abused children and infants, then argued the cries of protest and pain were “orgasm”; Simone de Beauvoir who, influenced by the Marquis de Sade’s politics of rebellion and torture, claimed that “one is not born a woman, but rather becomes one”.

There is nothing radical or transgressive about any of this guff in 2024.  What would be radical and transgressive would be a return to the Sacred Order and recognition that without the coherence that it brings, we can never truly be free.

For all young women who have been fed the feminist propaganda, believing it to be a movement in their best interests, look at Bambi Thug’s performance at Eurovision this evening, then look at the Virgin Mary and consider whether you haven’t in fact been fed a pack of lies.