Wednesday 14 June 2023

Utter Dismay?

A little over a month ago, when this executive summary was published, then the reaction from those who are now dancing in the streets was one of "utter dismay", and Pat Buckley was livid. That was not a summary of this. Read them. It is impossible. Something has changed since 3rd May. What is it? And where is the original report?

I urge you to do as I am doing. I may not, but I may, accept the present report when, and to the extent that, Bishop Robert Byrne CO had done so. His Lordship has yet to do so to any extent. At least while that remains the case, then I reject the whole thing out of hand, and so should you. The sum total of the charge sheet against Bishop Byrne is that he did not automatically do as he was told by the hired help. The next one will make no such mistake. If there ever is a next one. 

I do not resile from, but rather I reiterate every word of, this, this, this, this, this, this, thisthisthis, thisthis, this, thisthis, this, this, thisthisthis and this. There was no cathedral sex party. There was no allegation of sexual assault against Bishop Byrne. The move from the old Bishop's House to the new one made a profit. There has been a liberal coup in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. 

The Dominicans tried to have Timothy Gardner laicised, but Rome refused, which must have been for some reason, and he maintains his innocence, protesting that he pleaded guilty under duress. At least when it comes to convictions in this country, unless I personally witnessed the offence, then I believe in the innocence of almost anyone who professes it. Again, so should you.

Fr Gardner had not been sent to prison, which says a lot in itself, and he had to live somewhere. Bishop Byrne tried to find him work in the Diocese as an archivist, involving little contact with adults and none with children, and then a post at an overseas seminary, which is an entirely adult institution, and which is often located miles from anywhere. We think of Ushaw as remote, but in much of the world, the middle of nowhere really is the middle of nowhere. Living in the guestroom of a bishop's private quarters does not afford access to children. Indeed, it is hard to imagine anywhere less likely to do so. It is right up there with a seminary, or a diocesan archive.

Similarly, being Dean of the Cathedral did not give the late Canon McCoy any great access to children. It was not Bishop Byrne, but his predecessor, Bishop Séamus Cunningham, who made Fr McCoy a school chaplain, and the Youth Director of the Lourdes Pilgrimage for the 10 years before his appointment as Dean, giving him access to thousands of children. Bishop Byrne was here less than four years. Bishop Cunningham has been a priest of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle since 1966, including periods as Vicar General and as Diocesan Administrator, as well as the 10 years until 2019 as Bishop.

In August 1996, Fr McCoy "was facilitating underage drinking in local pubs", but that was not and is not illegal, at least if it was beer or wine, and provided that they were 16 or 17, that an adult was present and paying, and that they had so much as a scrap of food, such as a packet of crisps. These were obviously Sixth Formers, or action really would have been taken even then. But while that sort of thing probably would not happen now, let me tell you, as a Sixth Former of that generation, that it was far from unheard of, or even unusual, in those days. Fr McCoy seems to have kept it up after it had become unfashionable, although he did not break the law. As for supervised teenage drinking in private houses, the authors' private houses may be built of glass.

"A clergy friend spoke of being shocked that Canon McCoy allowed young people to refer to him by an abbreviated version of his Christian name, and he advised him that this was a breach of appropriate clergy-parishioner boundaries"? That is not an uncommon opinion, but it is far from a universal one. "Another member of clergy recalled attending Canon McCoy's presbytery to find the door answered by young people who used Canon McCoy's nickname when informing him that he was out"? The horror! Yet, "Canon McCoy displayed a clear pattern of grooming behaviour over the years"? Grooming for or into what?

Ah, yes, grooming for or into what? We are dealing here with a certain feminist generation's swivel-eyed hostility towards any independent social, intellectual or spiritual relationship between older and younger males, purely because it is beyond their control. And they well and truly control the Catholic Church in this country. Along with most other things. Major political projects have been brought down in no small measure for the same reason. But Canon McCoy coordinated school chaplaincy in this Diocese for many years, so is the safeguarding-industrial complex admitting that he was doing so while subject to one of its "plans"? There remains no suggestion that he was guilty of the allegation that was used to hound him to his death.

"In addition, a lack of information sharing between departments in the curia has resulted in the inappropriate appointment of school foundation governors. Failure to undertake due diligence in making these appointments further undermines safeguarding process"? Name them, complete with an explanation of how each of them was "inappropriate" and "undermined safeguarding process", or every governor appointed under Bishop Byrne should lawyer up, because that allegation is outrageous.

The safeguarding-industrial complex is trying to wrest control of the appointment of school foundation governors, so as to reserve them even further to a self-perpetuating oligarchy of generously salaried, if sometimes dubiously qualified, laywomen who used priests as errand boys, who spat the word "safeguarding" at anyone who dared to answer them back, and who actively preferred to have no bishops. Bishop Byrne resigned on 12th December. This significant Diocesan See has been vacant for six months, under an Administrator who is at least four hours away and who has more than enough to do as Archbishop of Liverpool. Who is really running things? Who do you think?

The coordinated resignations of lay trustees were professional politics. One of the many huge differences between the executive summary and the full report is that the latter makes no mention of academisation. In their shared historic fiefdoms, such as the North East of England, the liberal wing of the Catholic Church is symbiotically related to the right wings of the British Labour Party, of the American Democratic Party, of the Australian Labor Party, and so on. At least in Britain, those political machines' strongest powerbases are in the state-funded schools, meaning that the Catholic ones are dominated by liberals as a subset of Labour Rightists, and indeed vice versa. It is undeniably the case that academisation was and is an existential threat to all of that. So yes, they are well and truly taking back school governorships, even if they have to insinuate that the present governors are paedophiles. That is what we are up against. This is where we are.


  1. You've stung them into making an appointment, I'm not kidding. They hate you but they can't ignore you.