The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests


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The colourful priest, who used to play Gaelic football, trained five times a week in preparation, and last month also took part in another local charity dancing event. While the event was purely to raise money for charity, Pepper said it also gave him an opportunity to meet the local community outside of church.

Theodore McCarrick will continue to be a Catholic priest

Although the judges awarded victory to Pepper after the three two-minute rounds, the parish priest was up to celebrate the am mass the morning after. God loves everyone the same so he couldn't just be on my side. Mobile version. Sign Up Login. Lebanon Middle East World. Comment 0.

Why Are Paedophile Priests Not Being Prosecuted In Ireland? (2013)

And despite the obvious links, he said God was a neutral during the match. Source Agence France Presse. Comments 0.

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Comments Top Rated Latest s. I doubt any of them understood how, as they preached love and practised hatred, they blighted my youth and the youth of people like me, leading to the most unhealthy and troubling relationships once I became sexually active. Problems I have suffered in my life with depression — which have been ongoing and multitudinous and chemically alleviated — I put down to the fact that my priests and educators made me feel worthless, and disparaged and humiliated me at every turn.

Which is ironic, considering that in all other facets of my life I had an extremely happy childhood. Throughout my youth, as Pope John Paul II travelled the world in luxury, playing on his popularity to reinforce concepts that were not only outdated but also destructive and harmful, he basked in the applause of young people while making sure to cover up every single crime that was committed against them. Where is their compassion?

Where is their humanity? And the more scandals that came to light over the years, the more I grew convinced that there was not a single good man to be found among their number and the sooner they disappeared from our lives, the better it would be for all.

Theodore McCarrick will continue to be a Catholic priest

And then one day a relation told me that he had seen a young priest lying prostrate before the grotto of Inchicore church, weeping hysterically, while a woman — apparently his mother — sat nearby in equal distress. Why he was there, I do not know, but I found myself greatly affected by the image. Was he a criminal, I asked myself? But how had he suffered when he was young? What had brought him to this place of personal devastation? And to my astonishment, I began to feel something that I had never expected to feel towards a priest: empathy. It would be very easy to write a novel with a monster at the centre of it, an unremitting paedophile who preys on the vulnerable without remorse.

The challenge for me was to write a novel about the other priest, the genuine priest, the one who has given his life over to good works and finds himself betrayed by the institution to which he has given everything. In doing so, I was trying to uncover goodness where I had spent a lifetime finding evil.


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I interviewed many priests who will not venture out while wearing their habits in case they are spat at; others who are terrified of finding themselves alone with a child in case they are wrongfully accused. Their pain, and their compassion for the victims of abuse, moved me and forced me to confront my own prejudices. In writing this novel I hoped that those who blindly defend the church against all critics might recognise the crimes that the institution has committed, while those who condemn it ceaselessly might accept that there are many decent people who have lived good lives within it.

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The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests
The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests
The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests
The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests
The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests

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