Sunday, 24 July 2011

Damn Church ! - so true !

Thought this was hilarious !
A crusty old man walks into the local Catholic church and says to the secretary, "I would like to join this damn church."

The astonished woman replies, "I beg your pardon, Sir. I must have misunderstood you. What did you say?"

"Listen up, damn it. I said I want to join this damn church!"

"I'm very sorry sir, but that kind of language is not tolerated in this church."

The secretary leaves her desk and goes into the priest's study to inform him of her situation.

The priest agrees that the secretary does not have to listen to that foul language.

They both return to her office and the priest asks the old geezer, "Sir, what seems to be the problem here?"

"There is no damn problem," the man says. "I just won 20 million dollars in the damn lottery and I want to join this damn church to get rid of some of this damn money."

"I see," said the priest. "And is this bitch giving you a hard time?

Friday, 22 July 2011

At last an association of Priests that has the courage to open their hearts and minds !

The Irish Association of Catholic Priests responds to the Taoiseach’s statement on the Cloyne report.
Maybe it needs someone like the Taoiseach and words of the force that he used to get through to them.

A PRIEST’S VIEW: PERSONALLY, I was happy with the Taoiseach’s statement on the Cloyne report. I presume not every member of our association was, but those who rang me about it were delighted.

Many of us priests are very frustrated with the way the Vatican conducts its business. To hear someone in the position of the Taoiseach speak so strongly, so eloquently, and with such dignity, in challenging the Vatican was good.

I know you could quibble with some of the points he made, and he could have acknowledged more fully all the progress that has been made towards better child protection systems in the Irish church. But the Vatican is a very entrenched institution, and it would appear increasingly to have an agenda of dismantling the progress of the Second Vatican Council, and returning to the authoritarianism of the Tridentine church.

Maybe it needs someone like the Taoiseach and words of the force that he used to get through to them. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Many reforms are needed in the church, and there is little or no discussion allowed at any level. It is clear that one of the big problems in Cloyne was the appointment of John Magee as bishop of the diocese. His appointment ignored the views of the priests (the lay people, of course, were not consulted at all), and he was put in there to suit some Vatican agenda that had nothing to do with the needs of the church in Co Cork.

When decisions like that are made it is not surprising that sometimes the consequences are serious. But there is no indication that the Vatican is learning, and beginning to rethink its method of episcopal appointments. Until it does, nothing very much will change in the Irish church, or I suspect, internationally.

We of the Association of Catholic Priests are almost a year in existence, and have over 500 members, but our efforts at having any worthwhile discussion or dialogue with the Irish bishops has been frustrated. They meet us, but ignore the points we bring up; we write to them and get a reply four months later that is patronising in the extreme. All of this is happening at a time when the church is going through the worst crisis at least since the Reformation. Unless all the different groups within the church in this country can come together and face our difficulties honestly and openly we will make no headway.

The recent developments raise serious questions about the proposed Eucharistic Congress next June. Would it be possible for the Irish bishops to make a decision that, in view of all that has occurred, this is not a suitable time for such an event, and inform Rome of their decision? Along with showing clearly that they realise the seriousness of the situation we are in, and the need for repentance for the wrong that was done, it would also show a degree of independence from Rome among the hierarchy.

This would be of great help in working out a better future for all of us. It would signal that they no longer need to look over their shoulder at Rome before they made decisions. If they cannot do that, and if the congress is to go ahead, it is crucial that there be no trace of triumphalism about it.

This will involve a very different style of celebration than the one that appears to be in planning. We cannot have any event dominated by a phalanx of mitre-wearing bishops surrounded by large groups of clergy. A gathering like that, even with the best will in the world, is going to look and sound triumphalist in the present climate in Ireland.

Whatever else you could say about the celebrations of the Eucharist in the early church, there was no trace of triumphalism in them. So, in this context, anything that can shake up the Vatican, and get them to begin to think in new and different ways is good. They cannot silence or remove a Taoiseach like they do theologians and bishops who speak out.

For those reasons I was glad to hear Enda Kenny say what he did, and in the way that he said it.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex in the Catholic Church

Richard Wagner writes .

For centuries homosexuals have been vilified and persecuted by the Catholic Church, but throughout all of its history the Church has had a very inconvenient secret. Many of its clergy and religious men and women, even those in the highest echelons of the Church, were and are homosexual. Little was known of the lives these religious people live until the publication, in 1981, of the groundbreaking, Gay Catholic Priests; A Study of Cognitive and Affective Dissonance.

I am  the author of that study and I am a gay priest. But the media firestorm that erupted after its publication and the backlash within my religious community because of its publication eventually destroyed my public priesthood. The story of my 13-year battle with the Church to save my ministry exemplifies the spiritual isolation, emotional distress and ecclesiastical reprisals every gay priest most fears.

A Brief Description


Secrecy, Sophistry And Gay Sex In The Catholic Church provides an intimate and disturbing look into the unseemly inner-workings the Catholic Church. It is primarily a story about how this institution deals with dissent in its midst, but it also shows to what lengths the Church will go to silence a whistle-blower. What I am about to recount happened between 1981 and 1994. It involves the highest levels of the Vatican bureaucracy, secret documents, corporate incompetence, canonical corruption, and institutionalized homophobia on an epic scale.

The publication of my dissertation broke the seal on the Vatican’s gay secret. The press dubbed me “The Gay Priest,” but my research and what it implies made patently clear that I wasn’t the only gay priest. In fact, there is a sizable segment of the clergy population that is gay and these men are forced to live duplicitous lives of repression in secret.

The Church’s single-minded effort to quash the emerging story and silence me showed that I needed to be “dealt with” in the most severe fashion; an example had to be made of me. If other priests started coming out of the closet, demanding to be treated with dignity and respect it would certainly undercut the entirety of Catholic sexual moral theology—there is no place for non-reproductive sexuality in that paradigm.

The irony is that at the same time my story was unfolding an unimaginable scandal, involving hundreds of Catholic priests across the globe, was also brewing. Cardinals, bishops and provincials worldwide were, and still are, furtively shuffling pedophile priest from one crime scene to another. They were, and still are, involved in a massive corporate cover up of their own crimes and those of their brother clergy.

While I am being singled out for 13 years of Church vitriol, public character assassination and communal shunning—my superiors claim that they are simply trying to protect the Church from scandal—these same Church leaders and others are lying, prevaricating and sabotaging any effort to uncover the burgeoning clergy sexual abuse scandal that would soon rock the front pages of newspapers all over the world.

The public panic, among Church officials, exhibited toward me—a single up-front gay priest in their midst—is in stark contrast to their apathetic and anemic response to the systemic clergy sexual abuse that engulfs them.

I am confident making the comparison between my struggle and the clergy sex abuse scandal, because I have first-hand knowledge of this abuse criminality. I was repeatedly sexually molested as a 14-year-old boy in an Oblate seminary in southern Illinois.

My story is the story of a Church that will go to any length, even to violate its core principles—Gospel values that form the fundamental tenets of faith—to protect its public image. In other words, this is a story of a Church out of control.

Secrecy, Sophistry And Gay Sex In The Catholic Church: The Systematic Destruction Of An Oblate Priest, is presented in two distinct parts.
■Part 1 is a detailed account of my 13-year struggle with the religious community I once belonged to, The Missionary Oblates Of Mary Immaculate, to preserve my priesthood. It reads like an ecclesiastical who-done-it.

■Part 2 is my complete doctoral thesis, Gay Catholic Priests; A Study of Cognitive and Affective Dissonance. I included it in this volume, because this is precisely what set this controversy in motion. It illustrates and reveals the plight of gay Catholic clergy and the fierce repression the Vatican imposes upon them. It is also the 30th anniversary of its limited publication as a monograph before the Vatican silenced me. It’s been out of print for well over 25 years.

Brief Bio


Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS — Psychotherapist, Clinical Sexologist in private practice in Seattle, WA. I’ve been a practitioner of Sex Therapy and Relationship Counseling for 30 years.

I am the only Catholic priest in the world with a doctorate in Human Sexuality. My practice has included a special outreach to survivors of clergy sex abuse and I’ve had many opportunities to work with clergy offenders. I am available to clergy abuse survivors and their advocates as a consultant, expert witness and/or therapist.

I design, develop and produce long and short-term seminars and workshops for healing and helping professionals including religious leaders. And I’ve have facilitated support groups for gay clergy of numerous denominations for many years.

I’m involved in numerous sex education and sexual enrichment projects. One such outlet is my online sex advice column that I’ve been writing for the past 15 years. During that time it’s been syndicated on a number of sites. Now my column and weekly podcasts has a home of their own: I am also a guest columnist on several other websites.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Popes War : Matthew Fox

I’m half way through reading Matthew Foxes book “The Popes War”. It’s makes extremely uncomfortable reading but offers great hope for the future of the (Roman) Catholic Church. The way in which Cardinal Ratzinger dealt with theology he ‘disagreed’ with (as head of the inquisition) is an indictment on him as Pope Benedict XVI. No effort was made to understand other theologians views or theology or recognise the suffering they had gone through in order to live the gospel under persecution, but, rather condemn perceived errors !

A case in point is liberation theology. The hundreds of priest’s, religious and lay people killed during the 1970s and 80s in South America have been completely ignored by the Vatican. The Vatican prefers to focus upon making the church in South America conform to Roman Dogmatism. It has canonised Jose Maria Escriva before the martyr Oscar Romero, placing fidelity to the Pope way ahead of fidelity to the teaching of Jesus in the Gospel. It completely refused to begin to understand Liberation theology.

More and more I’m beginning to see the holes in the Vaticans position. It appears to be running out of credibility. It argues about translation of the Liturgy, Extraordinary and ordinary forms, female altar servers, refuses to discuss women priests, married priests, closes parishes, pensions off Bishops who dare challenge, sacks priests who have opinions etc etc etc . . . . . It seems to have it’s eyes shut, fingers in it’s ears and shouting nah nah nah nah nah ! ! ! ! Thankyou Matthew Fox . . . . So looking forward to the rest of the book and finding out more about Liberation Theology, Creation Spirituality . . . . . .Bring it on !  Don't get annoyed with me whatever you do.  Buy the book yourself and read it, then come back to me . . . .