back to article Irish priests told to stop bashing bishops

The annual general meeting of Ireland’s Catholic Priests has been told to ease up on attacking their seniors, amidst increasing concerns over the future of the Church in the country. At the same time, the Church is considering a confidential helpline for priests who feel bullied or depressed, as their faith communities melt …

  1. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Helpline for priests who feel bullied or depressed, as their faith communities melt away

    Is that the "boot on the other foot" helpline?

    1. NoneSuch
      Joke

      Careful now.

      Down with this sort of thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Tale from a Catholic

        A few years ago, here in the USA, I was thinking about joining the Freemasons. When I looked into them seriously I saw them as a group of intelligent people that liked to network with other intelligent people. So I wanted to network, personally and professionally, and make new friends. The only requirement was that I had to believe in God. They attended plays, went to movies, went to bars, had barbecues together. No weird rituals.

        I checked with my local Catholic church and was told by joining the Freemasons I was threatened by implied excommunication and exclusion from all Catholic sacraments. The written church regulations forbade it and read like something out of the middle ages

        But the scary part was to the priests, the Bishop, the Catholic laypeople I spoke to, were all sheeple on the issue. Despite how clearly out of date the regulation was, these sheeple all just did not give a shit. They all admitted that the Church regulation was ancient, and looked foolish, but they did not want to fight for what was right. Whenever I mentioned God or Jesus, it was like I was inconveniencing them.

        I hate to write this but for the priests, laypeople,even the Bishop they were just doing a job and didn't give a shit about right/wrong. I ended up not joining because there was the risk I would be denied a Catholic funeral, which would hurt the loved ones I leave behind.

        As a lapsed Catholic trying to reconnect with my faith, I found the experience very very depressing, very demotivating.

        It reminded me of the old joke - a priest goes to his Bishop and cries, "Father, I don't believe in God anymore, what should I do?" The Bishop whispers back to the Priest, "Fake it."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tale from a Catholic

          Considering what the Freemasons believe and what Christians believe are in opposition, this is reaction is not surprising. Freemasons are essentially Deists, which means that they do not believe that G-d or "the Divine Architect" actually intervenes in the world. This is a bit difficult to reconcile with a believe system that insists that G-d took flesh, was tortured and died, which looks a lot like intervening in the world.

          The irony is that Freemasonry was spread through Europe by the Catholic aristos fleeing Ireland after the usurpation of James VII by William of Orange and James' daughter Mary (who it seems was a virgin... and hence no issue).

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Tale from a Catholic

            Freemasons are essentially Deists, which means that they do not believe that G-d or "the Divine Architect" actually intervenes in the world

            Sounds more like old-fashioned Gnosticism to me..

            (Essentially the line went like this: God is good and matter is evil. Since evil cannot survive in the presence of God, it therefore follows that God is not able to interact with the world at all. See the Cathars for an examle of how well this all worked out.. It's also a good example of how logic fails when your starting premises are false.)

        2. Jim 59

          Re: Tale from a Catholic

          The last papal declaration on Freemasonry was made in 1985, with objections centering around the nature of Freemasonry as an alternative religion. I don't really think of Freemasonry as a religion, but it does seem to present itself as one.

          At about the same time in the UK, there was a series of scandals when it emerged that prominent Establishment and Govt figures were Freemasons. It was judged that Freemasons were favouring other Freemasons (eg. for promotion/advancement), which is a moral problem, and was helped by the organisation's strict secrecy rules. It's reputation, at least in the UK, ver really recovered.

          I think Freemasonry has reformed and modernised in the meantime, but who knows?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Helpline for priests who feel bullied or depressed, as their faith communities melt away

      Crowbars to the ready to enforce some separation.

    3. silverfern Bronze badge

      Re: Helpline for priests who feel bullied or depressed, as their faith communities melt away

      Let them turn Church of Ireland. You get a better class of bishop.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have they tried the Samaritans?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the things I love about El Reg is that this article has been posted for the sole purpose of the "bashing bishops" double entendre.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yep, it's one of the things I love about it too. Which makes it all the more odd when the censors start rejecting posts from long standing silver badge wearing commentards, who make equally harmless innuendo in a comment thread a few days ago. I would welcome consistency. It was like being policed by a member of the National Viewers and Listeners Association.

      1. Christoph

        I've had 2 or 3 posts rejected, and I have no idea at all why - they were perfectly innocent.

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        nick_rampart, could that have been a comment regarding something by Andrew Orlowski, he seems to have a greater demand to accept or reject comments than others at ElReg, or perhaps there are times when he sleeps or is at the bar as some of my comments are waiting and waiting for many hours.

        One rather funny rejection of one of my comments (and I cannot remember by who) was when I called Stephen Fry a fairy*. What I find sort of funny is that I did not know this "modern" twist to the word nor did I know him that well (nor do I give a shit about it). As it is now, for me, with all this additional information, all those wonderful fairy tales like the Tooth fairy and Noah, all of them shine in a different light and It disturbs me because it's so damned stupid.

        As I remember Orlowski seems to have some "problems" with the Wikipedia, so I looked him up and there he is and hardly without his own input, or how does the thing work. What caught my curiosity is that he has left out date of birth and place of birth. And yes, the Wiki is not perfect, that would be impossible, and the more it's about religion or politics the more one should question it, but on more technical stuff rather valuable. It's also quite fun to compare the same topic in different languages. A topic for some other day.

        * referring to Jeeves and the author a fairy in his own right.

        1. Shugyosha

          "One rather funny rejection of one of my comments (and I cannot remember by who) was when I called Stephen Fry a fairy*."

          You can't even call Stephen Fry a fairy?!? Next you'll be telling me you can't even smear racial slurs on someone's car in excrement without someone taking offense! It's political correctness gone mad!

          Fucking hell mate, get yourself into the 21st Century. If that's the kind of bigoted shite that's being moderated, then El Reg is doing a good job as far as I'm concerned.

          1. Toni the terrible Bronze badge
            Happy

            Fairy's?

            Quite right, Mr Fry is one of the Fae not a flighty flower fairy of modern usage. you know this is true after all on QI he had a bunch of elves backing him up.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Calling great people things seems a bit stupid and immature. Not to mention homophobic, in this case.

  4. Mattjimf

    Wonder if they will go down the Father Ted route https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pGcE7IvCTs

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Here's the link for those who don't like to copy and paste:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pGcE7IvCTs

  5. Chris Miller

    Chapeau for whichever sub wrote that headline!

  6. bluefin333
    Angel

    Carry on Father Ted

    They've had a hotline since 1996

    Dial: 0898 333201

    Welcome to Priest Chatback – if you're under 18 or not a priest, please hang up now…

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Carry on Father Ted

      Well darn it, you beat me to it. Have an upvote.

      And I wonder if priests who call the hotline will have to listen to a nun's endless recitation of "Ave Maria"?

      The icon is Father Jack. YES! THAT WOULD BE AN ECUMENICAL MATTER!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They could try..

    ....joining the 19th Century? Progress is progress after all.

  8. Tigra 07
    Stop

    Boo!

    Down with those sort of thing!

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Boo!

      Careful now

  9. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Happy

    Perhaps what they need is lawyers?

    Then priests might start getting automated phone calls saying, "Have you been bullied by the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells? If so, simply press 5 and we can help you with getting compensation. Where there's blame, there's a claim."

    Or did they not mean that kind of helpline?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Perhaps what they need is lawyers?

      Bend over Sparticus, its poker time!!!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBhTIoIXoTI

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps what they need is lawyers?

      baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells

      Due to my early exposure to that sketch, I now find it extremely hard to not pre-pend it to any phrase that involves the word "bishop". Unless "stinking" is also mentioned.

  10. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Calgary.

    Essentially this is the plot of Calgary, a fine film with Brendan and Domhall Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Aiden Gillen amongst others. Not bashing bishops, I hasten to add, but the erosion of respect for the catholic church in Ireland. Well worth a watch

    1. Flip

      Re: Calgary.

      That would be Calvary

      1. Nolveys
        Thumb Up

        Re: Calgary.

        Re: Calgary. That would be Calvary

        Yeah, the movie "Calgary" is about a snow storm causing a city-wide epidemic of bro-dozer fender benders.

      2. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Calgary.

        That would be Calvary

        No, you're thinking of the movie Cavalry, about horse-mounted soldiers.

      3. Toni the terrible Bronze badge

        Re: Calgary.

        Yee hah!

  11. ukgnome

    no helpline required

    Sending thoughts and prayers

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: no helpline required

      Oh dear... are you seriously suggesting that they should do something constructive instead of "sending thoughts and prayers"? Many cults/churches/religions/faiths (delete as applicable) rely on "sending thoughts and prayers" and if these aren't working then where, or when, will it all end?

      Please note: the only acceptable responses to this post are "Amen" and a repost or link.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Flame

        Re: no helpline required

        Please note: the only acceptable responses to this post are "Amen" and a repost or link.

        What about: Burn the heretic!

        1. Aladdin Sane

          Re: no helpline required

          BURN THE HERETIC

          KILL THE MUTANT

          PURGE THE UNCLEAN

          1. EarthDog

            Re: no helpline required

            Burma shave

          2. Muscleguy Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: no helpline required

            Don't kill the mutants, science has learned a heap from mutants, they are natures found experiments. My entire PhD was on a natural mutant mouse.

            Don't kill the mutants, round them up, put them in carefully designed and uniform housing isolated from the environment*, with controlled lighting and provided food and water. Mutants should expect to be mated with a sibling.

            *yet the mice still knew when it was spring. Litter numbers and sizes went up. Best idea was they sensed pollen coming in through the aircon or on our clothes even though we wore scrubs with hairnets etc.

            1. Aladdin Sane

              Re: Mutants should expect to be mated with a sibling.

              So, a bit like Bridgwater then?

              1. Toni the terrible Bronze badge

                Re: Mutants should expect to be mated with a sibling.

                or like Bristol (or any part of the southwest, or Norfolk in the east)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: no helpline required

          What about: Feck!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: no helpline required

          You mean the bishops? You will have to get in line for that.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: no helpline required

        "sending thoughts and prayers"

        Having grown up in N.I during the troubles, saw this message too much.

        One lunacy or the other, there was little else to do but 'appeal for calm', another favourite, in the hopes of preventing another round of tit-for-tat.

        Both phrases over-used, while meant well, are a clear sign of a robotic automatic response. Something that should never be, has become a part of everyday life.

      3. Kane Silver badge

        Re: no helpline required

        "Many cults/churches/religions/faiths (delete as applicable) rely on "sending thoughts and prayers" and if these aren't working then where, or when, will it all end?"

        Don't you mean "Send me your cheques and pay packets"?

        "Please note: the only acceptable responses to this post are "Amen" and a repost or link."

        Whooops! Amen!

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: no helpline required

          Don't you mean "Send me your cheques and pay packets"?

          I thought that was a proprietary line used by American televangelists?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: no helpline required

            I thought that was a proprietary line used by American televangelists?

            No - it's been used through the ages by other varieties of evil men..

      4. Roj Blake

        Re: no helpline required

        Is there anything to be said for saying another Mass?

  12. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Perhaps there are ways of sorting it out.

    Put them all in a massive ladies lingerie department (either interpretation!) with some covert cameras and call it "Big Brothers". Everyone will be too busy laughing to care about anything else!

  13. Martin 66

    That would be

    an ecumenical matter

    1. Jim 59

      Re: That would be

      @Martin 66 - What comments have you on the issue of Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals befriending each other and negotiating their theological differenes to come to a closer understanding ?

      an ecumenical matter

  14. Jim 59

    Some mix up, surely?

    Thank you for these lovely words Miss Doyle, but I think you have accidentally sent our encryption / Stephen Fry stories to the Catholic Herald.

  15. Muscleguy Silver badge
    Pint

    Hic!

    Did they ever solve the drink driving problem? Due to falling congregations. Left over communion wine (not all drunk, fewer people) has to be drunk by the priest because it has been blessed.

    Yet also because of falling attendances many rural priests had to cover more than one parish. Meaning they were driving drunk.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hic!

      but once it's blessed it turns into blood of zombie - so they wouldn't be drunk

      Of course they might overdose and so be surrounded by hoards of walking lame and healed lepers

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

        Re: Hic!

        Did they ever solve the drink driving problem?

        Would you rather just have a cup of tea? Ah...go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on.....

    2. DontFeedTheTrolls
      Joke

      Re: Hic!

      Wasn't there something about the drunk priest on the bicycle claiming he had Jesus with him, so they did him for two on a bike as well?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hic!

      If extraordinary ministers (I am one) are used, we consume what's left in our chalice. But in a small congregation they might not need extraordinary ministers.

  16. Christoph

    "an erosion of deference"

    People not being properly grovellingly respectful of the catholic church in Ireland? Whyever could that be I wonder?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How do you know you have become a man ?

      You walk past a catholic priest and they didn't even look twice

  17. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    From what I've

    seen of elderly catholic priests, the only answers they should be giving the younger less senior ones is

    DRINK!

    GIRLS!

    FEK OFF!

  18. Sam Therapy
    Windows

    Gobshite!

  19. Youngone Silver badge

    Serious Matter

    You're all being very flippant about a serious matter.

    I have even seen a documentary on TV about Irish priests where one of them kicked the bishop up the arse!

    Terrible behavior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious Matter

      Probably not. Most of the bishops need a literal and figurative kick up the arse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious Matter

      That would be considering the original idiom was "... kick in the pants"

  20. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Sceptical Deplorable is Sceptical

    Those worried for the church as a whole might take some comfort from the fact that priests seem to be in great demand in other parts of the world.

    Definitely not in the Middle East and other countries ravaged by a series of invade-the-world/invite-the-world US presidents allied to NATO allied to batshit crazed Sunni from Hell out of Saudi Barbaria.

    I hear adherents of The Christ on refugee boats may even be considered excessively diverse, beaten up, then thrown overboard to feed the fish (the converse of using fish to feed the flock).

  21. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    “Calling the bishops spineless nerds and sycophantic half-wits is not going to encourage them to adopt your point of view.”

    Even if it's true?

  22. JustWondering
    Meh

    So ...

    ... prayer isn't working? Imagine that.

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