Galloway Priest Who Consigned to Hell All Involved With Catholic Truth Under Police Investigation (but not for that!)

Galloway Priest Who Consigned to Hell All Involved With Catholic Truth Under Police Investigation (but not for that!)

PoundSignSterlingShocked parishioners were told in a statement from their bishop that Father Graeme Bell, parish priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, was facing the probe after concerns came to light in recent days.

Statements were also read at neighbouring Catholic churches, St Peter in Chains in Ardrossan and St John the Evangelist in Stevenston, during services at the weekend.

It is understood the main focus of the probe had initially been funds set up for pilgrimages to Lourdes and missionary work in Guyana. It has since widened out to look at all parish finances.

One senior source in the church has said Fr Bell confessed to a problem with online gambling when confronted with the matter.

He had been due to effectively leave the church in the coming days for unrelated reasons after being given leave of absence by his bishop.

It is also understood a number of parishioners had contacted their new Bishop William Nolan’s office in the past fortnight with their concerns. At least one other notified the police.

The Diocese of Galloway’s head of finance was subsequently tasked with examining Our Lady’s parish funds ahead of the announcement on Saturday that Fr Bell was being investigated and had left the parish.

One parishioner said: “We’re utterly shocked. We knew something was up with Fr Graeme for a while but thought it was stress brought on by family issues.

“But on Saturday we were told he has now left and there’s an investigation into financial irregularities.

“The statement was in the name of Bishop Nolan but we’re told was prepared by the diocese lawyers.

“We were also told there wasn’t much could be said as the police were looking into it.”

Another said: “There are a lot of very stunned and angry people in the three parishes just now. People are in tears at mass and asking just what has been going on, to what extent and do how long. The only answers we’re being given is that the police are looking into it.

“This is money the people of the parish have given for their parish and for causes dear to their hearts.”

Bishop Nolan is currently out of the country, with the matter being dealt with by other senior clergy in the diocese.

It is understood others associated with the running of the parish financial affairs will also be asked about their understanding of how Fr Bell ran Our Lady’s in the coming days.

A statement on the website read simply: “As you will all be aware by now Father Graeme has now left our parish and Canon Poland has been appointed parish administrator.”

A specialist in church, or canon, law, Fr Bell has had a national profile on the Catholic church’s national body which deals with disputes between priests and their bishops as well as marriage annulments.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Galloway said: “Fr. Graeme Bell recently received permission from Bishop Nolan, to take a leave of absence and to resign his position as Parish Priest of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Saltcoats. This was due to begin on Monday 1st June.

“On Wednesday 27th May a report was passed to Police Scotland alleging financial irregularities in the parish. Police enquires are ongoing and Fr Bell has vacated the parish house. The Diocese of Galloway will continue to assist the police in their investigations.”   Source


Two readers, who attended the funeral Mass of the late Tony Fraser in Our Lady Star of the Sea, Saltcoats last year, were absolutely horrified to hear an elderly lady’s apostate comment on the Real Presence. On hearing the announcement that at this Mass Holy Communion would be given kneeling and receiving on the tongue, she turned to her friend and said aloud:  “I bet you we don’t get any wine either.”  Our readers remarked later that this was a clear reflection on the state of the parish when people cannot distinguish between wine and the Precious Blood. Well, obviously the PP, Fr Graeme Bell, was otherwise engaged, other things on his mind.

Let this be yet another lesson for those allegedly concerned (about the state  of the Church) Catholics who ask their priests if it’s OK to support Catholic Truth or attend SSPX Masses.  It would save us all time and angst if these priests simply responded with a “no comment” right away.  Might minimise the impact of any shocks to come later…

But, honestly – why can’t the diocesan Catholics see the rot? Why are they not all packing into SSPX chapels? Or, at the very least, searching out the few priests with a reputation for orthodoxy, who offer some Traditional Latin Masses at least some of the time? What’s WRONG with them?  Politely, please!

To read about Fr Graeme Bell’s disgraceful announcement at one of his week day Masses that “all who contribute to and read Catholic Truth are going to Hell” dig out our November 2011 edition, Issue No. 69 – article entitled “Oh I USED to like being beside the Seaside” page 3…  You will find a copy in our archive file on the Newsletter page of our website.Click here

Comments (136)

  • gabriel syme

    “Fr. Graeme Bell recently received permission from Bishop Nolan, to take a leave of absence”

    Well done to the Galloway Diocese – that must be the most flowery way of saying “thief punted out” I have ever heard!

    I can just imagine everyone’s jaw dropping to learn that an enemy of traditional Catholicism has been exposed as a thief and generally ropey character.

    June 1, 2015 at 8:08 pm
    • gabriel syme

      (I am of course joking with the ‘jaw dropping’ comment)

      June 1, 2015 at 8:08 pm
      • Michaela

        It really is jaw dropping but I don’t know why my jaw dropped. I should be used to these scandals by now. To think he thinks those associated with CT are going to Hell!

        June 1, 2015 at 9:04 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      I had meant to include the following quote in my Blue Comment, but it slipped my mind:

      “Another said: “There are a lot of very stunned and angry people in the three parishes just now. People are in tears at mass and asking just what has been going on, to what extent and [for] how long. The only answers we’re being given is that the police are looking into it.”

      So, it takes money – the human weakness/sin/crime of (allegedly) stealing – to anger these folks, who should have been angry YEARS ago at the way the Faith has been taken from them, by this priest and his negligent bishop(s).

      That’s what jumped out at me from the article, that these people (and I do mean “these people”) are “stunned and angry” years too late and about precisely the wrong thing.

      A new Mass, a new Rosary, a new Catechism, a new Evangelisation, even a new (Kasper/Francis-inspired) Morality, doesn’t “stun and anger” them. Allegedly pinching from the parish purse though – that’s a very different kettle of “stunning” activity.

      Gimme strength!

      Note, too, that he was to leave the ministry anyway for other, unspecified reasons. If it turns out to be a “relationship”, I hope the woman (taking that for granted, hope I’m not charged with homophobia) thinks twice. Being “married” to someone with a gambling problem is no picnic, I’m told. Then again, who gets married these days? Oops, I forgot, the “gays” do…

      Gimme more strength!

      June 1, 2015 at 9:12 pm
      • eamon1883

        I just read that Bishop Nolan is bringing in missionary priests from India as Scottish Catholics are,” in need of mission and the faith in Scotland is tired.”

        I admire those priests and wish them well. The SSPX chapel that I attend is vibrant and has plenty of youngsters. Also, the SSPX always has Rosaries, miraculous medals and sound Catholic literature for sale. Tradition is the answer, Bishop Nolan.

        June 28, 2015 at 8:23 pm
  • Eileenanne

    Shocking news…. human being succumbs to temptation and may have committed sin of theft. The devil attacks other people with different weaknesses and they spread the word of his assumed wrongdoing and crow about it. Most uplifting.

    June 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm
    • editor

      Not any old “human being” – a Catholic priest. YOUR standards appear to have slipped right down, not ours. It’s normal when a public figure is under police investigation to report it in the press. Never noticed you objecting to that – except when we discuss it on here. I wonder why that is, strictly rhetorical question.

      And it would be nice to think you disagreed with him in his publicly stated belief that Catholic Truth and all involved would go to Hell, but I’m sure you would have said so, if that were the case, so don’t let’s keep you. We’re the last people you will want to be associated with – we’re hot stuff, after all…

      June 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm
      • Eileenanne

        It’s normal when a public figure is under police investigation to report it in the press

        Yes, and when a Catholic priest is involved it’s a toss up whether the gutter press or Catholic Truth reprts it more gleefully.

        For the record, I had a letter printed in The Scotsman some time ago in which I stated that hell awaits only those who persist to the end in refusing God’s offer of forgiveness. That remains my belief, whether a person is guilty of theft, murder or ensuring a priest’s alleged wrongdoing is made known as widely as possible

        I’ll away now and leave you to enjoy your outrage.

        June 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm
      • editor

        You are very charitable about anybody and everybody except Catholic Truth.

        There is nothing “gleeful” in my report at all – not a single word.

        Like ALL of my personal critics and the critics of Catholic Truth in general, you throw out your accusations in all directions without a single quote to substantiate your claim(s). So, forgive me for not giving a toss.

        June 1, 2015 at 11:52 pm
      • westminsterfly

        It’s been my unfailing experience that whenever anyone attacks any aspect of traditional Catholicism, they have some issue in their lives that they are not proud of, but rather than address that with the help of God’s grace, they pick holes in the goodness they see being done by others.

        June 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm
      • Jobstears


        Your concern for preserving Fr. Graeme Bell’s reputation may be motivated by kindness, and if you can be kind, why could you not allow yourself to err on the side of kindness by assuming good intent on the part of CT in reporting the news on this priest? Why assume Editor is gleeful or gloating?

        To me, what was bothersome was not what the priest said about CT supporters, it was why he saw fit to say it. Lack of filters/restraint? Ill will? Kill the messenger if you don’t like the message?

        June 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm
  • Prognosticum

    The wise among us will immediately think, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Utterly horrible news coming out of Galloway Diocese today. I would like to think that all of this is a huge misunderstanding and that the priest in question will be found innocent, as before the law he is until proven guilty.

    Of course it is wrong to state that a priori that a person or group of people are destined to Hell. It seems to me that one goes to hell essentially for two reasons. In the case of the baptised, because one has died in a state of mortal sin. In the case of the unbaptised, because one has been unfaithful to one’s conscience (cf. the St. Paul’s “Letter to the Romans”).

    Only God knows who goes to Hell. While the Church can know infallibly who goes to heaven, it is simply not given to the Church to know who goes to Hell.

    The reason for this is that mortal sin is more than just the presence of grave matter. For a sin to be mortal requires that it be committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. Thus two people may commit murder. In both cases the matter of the sin is grave, but it could be that one committed a mortal sin while the other did not because his action was not informed as to knowledge and/or will. Thus it is impossible to say who goes to Hell and who does not because ultimately only God knows with certainty whether grave sins are informed by knowledge and/or will.

    While I will refrain from commenting on this particular case which is sub iudice, I do think that the Editor is right to be worried about priests generally. Now more than ever they need our prayers and they need our fidelity.

    There is so much in the world which is inimical to the Catholic priesthood, and this has always been the case and will be until Christ comes again. But today priests have to fight not just on the front that is the world (and which may have already vanquished them by the fact that a sub-Catholic theological formation may have led them to fail to see any intrinsic danger in the world at all), but also on the home front which is the Church. And that is a very bitter trial for the believing Catholic priest.

    June 1, 2015 at 9:38 pm
    • Josephine


      This is very sad new and I think it is right to keep the “allegedly” in there, as Fr Bell is innocent until proven guilty, as you say.

      However, I don’t think it’s true to say that the Church has never said a soul is in Hell. I thought this article from Rorate Caeli was very interesting, on the question of Judas Iscariot because the Church always taught that he was a lost soul.

      I do not think, though that Fr Bell should have said that everyone associated with Catholic Truth will go to Hell – that’s definitely wrong (I hope!)

      June 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm
      • Prognosticum


        While I personally tend to the view that Judas is in hell, and while many eminent and holy theologians are of the same view, including, apparently, Aquinas, I have seen nothing thus far which would induce me to think that this view is Church teaching as such.

        June 1, 2015 at 10:27 pm
    • gabriel syme

      You are right, Prognosticum, “There but for the grace of God go I.” would have been a better / more appropriate response than my initial one. My apologies.

      I guess I forgot myself amid the latest affirmation that the critics of tradition usually have some hidden matter/agenda – but no excuses for my uncharitable response.

      June 1, 2015 at 10:31 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        Allow me to disagree – a first, with you, I think! Prognosticum and others of an instinctively charitable disposition, yourself included, are very kind to say “there but for the grace of God go I” but while, technically, that may be true, I do not believe it can be applied to the likes of Fr Graeme Bell at this point in time.

        I once said to a priest (at that time “friend”) that I couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for younger priests since they have been sold short in their training etc. and grown up with the new Mass etc. The priest to whom I was speaking is a novus-ordo priest – I’ve lost touch with him now, so perhaps he’s learned the TLM, not sure, doubt it. He was on the career ladder and has climbed pretty high, one reason – no doubt – why we’ve lost touch. Associating with Catholic Truth may not (one hopes) take us to Hell but it certainly isn’t regarded by ambitious clergy as something they want on their CV 😀

        Anyway, that priest responded to my sympathy vote for younger priests by saying “no way!” He reminded me that I had had to educate myself, he had had to educate himself, as the crisis in the Church unfolded. He pointed out that these priests have the same access to libraries and the internet as we had, and so there is no excuse for their ignorance or refusal to do all in their power to resist the innovations being brought in by the revolutionaries.

        Taking that a step further, I would say that priests now are well aware of the multifarious scandals involving priests which have hit the headlines in the past 50 or so years, that the faithful are beleaguered and that the secular world is rightly scandalised and in “told you so” mode – how can the claims of the Catholic Church be true, with these villains for priests? they naturally enquire.

        Thus, bishops and priests should be doubly on their guard and aware of the temptations of the Devil, taking more care than usual to see to it that they do not add to the scandals abounding in the world – not least in Scotland since the shocking revelations about Cardinal O’Brien – praying themselves that they do not resist the graces God is sending them day and daily, simply BECAUSE they are priests.

        I hope you can follow my drift here because I do think it’s important that we stop making excuses for the bad priests and bishops in our midst, and before someone screams that it’s “judgmental” to use the word “bad”, allow me to repeat yet again, that as we can speak non-judgmentally about bad teachers, bad doctors, bad lawyers, bad shop assistants, without making any judgement on the souls of these bad professionals, so we can professionally assess priests and bishops who – to use the objective term used in the world of business – “bring the Church into disrepute.”

        No priest should be tempted to steal and that is a given. A small child, a teenager even, might be tempted to steal – not a priest.

        I won’t say more – won’t mention the fact that questions need to be asked about the fact that any priest would have the time (or inclination) to spend gambling online at all, let alone to the extent where he had to steal to fund the habit, if that is in fact the case. These are questions for another day. But I repeat: no priest should be tempted to steal – and that is a given.

        June 2, 2015 at 12:13 am
      • Prognosticum

        Editor, you say, among the other points you raise, that “No priest should be tempted to steal and that is a given. A small child, a teenager even, might be tempted to steal – not a priest.” But it is unclear to me what exactly you mean by this.

        If you are saying that in the general run of things a priest who has had a proper theological formation, who is living the life of grace and honestly fighting the fight which is the Christian life, including by being faithful to his priestly state of life and the obligations therein, should be able to handle the ordinary temptations which come the way of all Christians, I would agree with you that normally this should be the case.

        Trouble is, in the Christian, let alone the priestly, life there is no ‘normally’ as far as temptation is concerned, and for many reasons. To understand this we have to understand the source of temptation. It may come from within, from our fallen human nature, the “flesh”, so to speak, or it may come from without, ultimately from the devil. And most of the time it is impossible to distinguish between the flesh and the devil, and any attempt to do so may be utterly pointless.

        There may be moments in our lives when we are physically or mentally tired, or when, for example we have suffered a great loss or received a great tort, when we let our spiritual guard down. The devil, who is never tired and never lets his guard down, is there waiting for his opportunity and is apt to strike in such moments. And then there is the fact, confirmed again and again in the Christian tradition, that the devil tempts no where more willingly or effectively than at the foot of the altar. And this is a fact which applies not just to ordained ministers, but also to the laity.

        When seminarians, novices, ordained ministers or pious lay people are making real progress in the spiritual life, or when have receded in it to a degree through their inability to resist temptation, the devil is at their side in a flash and they have to exercise extreme caution. Trouble is that not everone is heroic in such moments. And not erveryone understands the danger.

        Editor, I think I get the gist of what you are trying to say, and I agree with you in so many ways. Scandals are … scandals, and the fact the have been so many of them over recent times does not dull the pain of good Catholics who fell embarassed to the point of shame by the conduct of their shepherds.

        And you are right to berate the contemporary Church for its many failings in regard to priests and the promotion of holiness in general. I have heard it said by several wise priests over the years that the liturgical rites as reformed after Vatican II fail to give expression to what the priest is ontologically. In too many regions of the world it is as if the sole reserve of the priest are the words of consecration at Holy Mass, or the formula of absolution at Confession, and everything else can be done by the laity. This is erroneous, to say the least, and has the effect of blocking the expression of the spiritual paternity which priests are called to exercise in relation to their flocks.

        Don’t get me wrong. Many priests welcome this ascendency of the laity as an excuse to do their own thing. This is especially true at the present time when exgremely few parishes have any more than one priest. But many others suffer in silence and, especially in their weaker moments, experience an overwhelming chasm between the Church’s teaching on priesthood and current pastoral practice.

        These are troubled times. The only way for us to get through them is by prayer and the sacramental life.

        One last remark concerning the mainstream mass media. Many good Catholics still treat the MMS with deference to the extent that they instinctively believe what is said in newspapers and television. This knee-jerk reaction stems from an age in which the press by and large shared the moral outlook of the country which was by and large Christian. This is no longer the case. The press is the ally anf the instrument of our liberal, secular establishment which will not rest until Christianity has been destroyed. Catholics must be aware of this and keep their distance. Otherwise they will find that frequenting the MMS has serious consequences for personal faith, hope and charity.

        June 2, 2015 at 5:02 am
      • editor


        “If you are saying that in the general run of things a priest who has had a proper theological formation, who is living the life of grace and honestly fighting the fight which is the Christian life, including by being faithful to his priestly state of life and the obligations therein, should be able to handle the ordinary temptations which come the way of all Christians, I would agree with you that normally this should be the case.

        Trouble is, in the Christian, let alone the priestly, life there is no ‘normally’ as far as temptation is concerned…”

        Your first paragraph hits on the fact that – as I was trying to say – priests have sufficient grace to keep them from certain temptations. You add “in the general run of things” and I understand the temptation (!) to make allowances for the crisis in the Church. That may be taken into account by God in the case of those who look to the priests and bishops as sheep look to their shepherds, but I’m not convinced that those who choose the priesthood, or accept episcopal office, are off the hook as a result of the crisis – they surely have a duty to know what it is they are taking on, what are their duties of state. Fatima, Quito, Akita should make any intelligent clergyman think twice about the world of modernist Catholicism.

        In your second paragraph “…there is no (longer) “normally” as far as temptation is concerned.”

        Well, I understand what you are saying, but how many of us would think of excusing a priest (or anyone else) “tempted” by paedophilia? We would see that as abnormal for anyone, priests included, if not especially. Thus, to this day, there are sins and crimes at which we draw the line in terms of compassion and empathy. Who can understand the desire to sexually exploit a baby or any other child?

        No, Prognosticum, what is happening is that – as you say “in the general run of things” – Catholics are more “liberal”, including those who consider themselves to be traditionalists, due to the duty we have to be always charitable especially if the sin is “merely” to do with money, adult “relationships” and such like, which are, after all, “normal” in our society.

        But, as I’m sure you know, “charity” doesn’t mean making excuses for sins. Scripture teaches that we all have the graces we need to avoid sin and Catholics are particularly graced through the Sacrament of Penance. An unintended consequence of the saying “There but for the grace of God go I” is that it may seem to suggest that perhaps Father Bell didn’t have the grace necessary to resist his temptations. That’s not being entirely fair to God 😯

        Now, I know that, to your eternal credit, you are seeking to be truly charitable and give the benefit of any doubt, which is laudable in this, as in any other, particular case.

        However, be assured, I’m not making any judgment on Father Bell, as I think you know, but I am looking objectively at what he has said in the past (in public) about others whom he consigned to Hell, and – without doing the same – considering the news about what he has been alleged to have done (yet another priestly scandal) in the context of the whole crisis in the Church, and wondering how it came to pass that he got himself into this situation without a light switching on in his head and thinking “I’m damaging Christ’s Church” After all, as we know, he was a Catholic Truth reader. So, it’s not that he didn’t know that there is a fight-back going on. He could have joined that instead of making things worse.

        Put simply, any priest reading this who is secretly engaging in activity which, if brought into the public domain would add to the disrepute of the Church, already very disreputable through priestly and episcopal scandals, should take speedy action to stop, repent, and begin to act like a real shepherd of souls.

        I’m not sure if I’ve made myself any clearer because I’m typing at a ridiculous speed, already late for an appointment, but let me know if I’m not clear and I’ll try again. I am, after all, as I’m often told, very trying indeed 😀

        June 2, 2015 at 11:30 am
      • Constantine

        A few years ago I once read an Anglican vicar said it was quite okay to shoplift if your benefits ran out. This Catholic priest maybe gambling to help the poor and the needy. Trips to Lourdes costs about £450.00 these days.

        June 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm
      • editor


        Let’s just hope that Anglican Vicar had some clout down there at the Crown Prosecution Service 😀

        June 2, 2015 at 11:56 pm
  • Prognosticum


    In these confusing times it is all too easy to lose the heid.

    June 1, 2015 at 10:42 pm
  • Prognosticum

    I wrote above that the Editor is right to worry about priests, and I confirm this. But I think we should all of us worry about the generality of the laity.

    It seems to be that so many of them adhere to the Church by sheer inertia. They have been hit by much over the past years which would have caused their forebears to turn in their graves. So few of them, especially those under fifty (or should I say sixty?), have been catechized that they are ill-prepared to deal with the infidelity, perceived or otherwise, of the clergy. Let us entrust them all to Our Lady.

    June 1, 2015 at 10:50 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Editor, please take it as a great compliment to your blog that I write this post at the precise moment when my nerves are strained to breaking point by the fact that I am in a cafe in a wild frontier town on the Cambodia/Thailand border. The location of the cafe is not what is causing the nervousness, but the realisation some minutes ago that said cafe is full of American “Christians” and the loud rock music I am being forced to listen to while I eat my breakfast is, so I have just been informed, “Christian music”. I responded by snapping that I would show them some “Christian music” and a few moments ago from my laptop the opening bars of John Taverner’s “Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas” blared out, courtesy of YouTube. Of course it made no impression whatever on these Yankee heathens. Oh, for an auto da fe or three. There should be one especially for loud American women. Why do they shriek all the time?

    Passing to the subject of this thread, I myself do not see how any Catholic can have anything whatever to do with the mainstream Church, except to pray for it. Scripture forbids us from associating with heretics and similar types. I mean this seriously: why would anyone wanting to follow the integral Catholic Faith have any contact with what is increasingly clear is a schismatic/heretical sect? The eternal Church, the one protected by the Holy Ghost, is buried under mounds of rubble and is almost invisible. And the mounds of rubble are infected with various strains of bacteria, and they are catching. It’s like a demonic form of biological warfare. I think it’s best to stay away until the Lord saves His Church from these evil so-called clerics.

    I made a gross error when I first arrived in Bangkok two months ago: I assisted at a Novus Ordo Mass. I am glad to report that after twenty minutes I walked out, a few moments after one of the hordes of lay people doing their public thing gave a Bidding prayer that homosexuals have integrity to live their lifestyle.

    Look, this is not religion, it’s a mad circus. And one at which the devil is the ringmaster. Have nothing whatever to do with the Novus Ordo Church!

    June 2, 2015 at 2:45 am
    • editor


      “Editor, please take it as a great compliment to your blog that I write this post at the precise moment when my nerves are strained to breaking point by the fact that I am in a cafe in a wild frontier town on the Cambodia/Thailand border…”

      I do! And you can take it as a great compliment that I said “I do” at last 😀 and especially when I’m dashing out to keep an appointment !

      June 2, 2015 at 11:31 am
  • sixupman

    Is gloating a sin?

    By all means report that priests ‘downfall’ and his attitude to CT, SSPX and those of Traditional leanings. But, much like ‘drink’, gambling is a sort of medical problem.

    [Charlie Kennedy RIP, pray for his soul.]

    June 2, 2015 at 8:14 am
    • Constantine

      I am also vexed to hear about Charles.

      June 2, 2015 at 8:54 am
    • editor


      Let’s pray very hard for Charles Kennedy, RIP, a very pleasant character by all accounts and whom I’ve heard described this morning in news broadcasts as a man who had strong beliefs and placed the concerns of his constituents above party politics.

      Sadly, however, while always happy to be introduced or identified as a Catholic, he did not hold strongly to Catholic teaching on the divine mandate of the Church to teach in Christ’s name and to guard the natural moral law, for he voted, consistently in favour of abortion and “gay” rights.

      I met him briefly at the end of the Big Questions (BBCTV) and asked him if his priest had told him to refrain from receiving Holy Communion as required in Canon Law, # 915. He said “no” and didn’t like my description of his “bad” (that word again) priest. I couldn’t swear to his exact words in response but I think they were along the lines of “who made you pope?”!

      So, we pray for the repose of his soul, and reflect on the need to always be prepared for sudden death.

      June 2, 2015 at 11:38 am
      • Prognosticum

        I am not a great television man, having long ago decided that it is a beast which has to be chained within a certain radius otherwise it is apt to take over one’s mind, inurring one to a mindset which is utterly pagan.

        Last night, however, I broke my quasi rule to see what was being said about poor Charles Kennedy, not least in the light of Editor’s assertion concerning his voting record on abortion.

        They were all there: Cameron, Clegg, Menzies Campbell, Alistair (“We don’t do God”) Campbell (interviewed by no less than Adam Boulton), all paid up members of the liberal elite which, regardless of party, we allow to govern us with an iron fist.

        I do no know what scandalized me more: having to wait through the coverage given over to the President of FIFA’s resignation (indicative of what football has become, the panis et circenses of our pagan culture) or the exaltation of the late, former MP’s demons.

        Our’s is a culture which is schizophrenic about free will. We exalt freedom continually–the freedom to abort, to take drugs, to change sex, to divorce, etc.– but we rarely seem to want to own up to the consequences of our actions. So habitual users of drugs (and alcohol is a drug) who fall foul of their addictions are described as “having demons” to the obscurancy of the fact that they were engaging, especially at the beginning of their addiction paths, in acts of free will. Ours is the culture of anything and everything, bar taking responsibility for one’s personal actions. So that it’s never my fault, but always the fault of others: my background, my parents, my schooling, the state generally, or, dare I even say it, the Church. Hence the demons, fruit of our pelagian mindset.

        It’s like when one reads those articles in the press about pretty young things in their teens who succumb to pills of this or that in corners of the dark places of this world. They are always exalted–quite naturally–by their loved ones as great, good and true, and, had they but lived, with fantastic futures ahead of them. But this is often belied by the accompanying photograph which denotes them as fully paid up members of pagandom, fully re-created, consciously or unconsciously, in the image and likeness of their father below. The father in question must rejoice when the obituary states that the funeral will be a humanist celebration or requires the wearing of “bright colours only” at the family’s request.

        I remember a few years ago being particularly struck by an obituary in this vein in the online version of my local newspaper: bright young thing struck down in her teens, humanist funeral, bright colous only to be worn at the funeral. The paper in question allowed for the lighting of virtual candles and for the bereaved to leave messages. Well, the mother of the deceased (a graduate no less) for months after left messages addressed to her daughter ad if she were still alive. But if she thought her to be still “alive”, why the humanist funeral? But I digress.

        Actions have consequences. Sin leads to sin, and ultimately to death. But it doesn’t have to be like that. There is another way: Christ and the life of grace.

        Charles Kennedy needs our prayers. He was a Catholic, at least in name. He was by all accounts a very likeable chap, very human. But his humanity, while extended liberally to his constituents and fellow politicians, did not seem to extend to the unborn as he condoned that the innocent be variously hacked or sucked out of their mothers’ wombs in the name of freedom of choice? He was also described as being a very loving father. But what loving father can look a child in the face and tell him that he loves him when he was quite prepared to contemplate that the mother of said child, as a matter of choice enshrined by laws which said father did nothing to limit or overturn, could have had him hacked or sucked from her womb?

        In a word, just what love are we talking about?

        June 3, 2015 at 5:47 am
      • editor

        Here’s the press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office, on the death of Charles Kennedy:

        2 June 2015

        Reacting to the news of Charles Kennedy’s death, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said;

        “Charles Kennedy’s death at the tragically premature age of 55 is a great loss not only to politics in our country but to the principles of civic and civilised engagement. His wisdom and courtesy were a mark of his highland upbringing, his political skill grew from his sharp intellect and his humility and concern for others was testament to his deeply held beliefs.

        He will be mourned by his family, by many in the world of politics and within the church, by the parishioners of St. John’s Parish in Caol and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this time.” ENDS

        Well, that’ll tell ’em! Nobody reading that can doubt that any Catholic who defies God’s law, is in spiritual jeopardy, she said with uncharacteristic sarcasm.

        Now watch for the “Catholic” funeral. To the best of my knowledge, the only attempt to prevent a Catholic funeral by the hierarchy in recent years took place in Ireland when the family of an elderly lady who’d attended SSPX Masses tried to arrange the use of the church, with an SSPX priest officiating, and were refused at the last minute. We reported it in our newsletter. The priest initially agreed and the arrangements were made, then he thought he’d better check with his bishop who refused “permission”. The funeral was held on the beach with the help of a local hotelier who supplied chairs etc.

        Who was that who said: “crisis? what crisis?” Oh yes, Sepp Blatter… And look what happened to him in the end!

        June 3, 2015 at 11:31 am
      • sixupman

        B y and large, the righteous have no need of our prayers, manifest sinners otherwise.

        The Irish case was a travesty of justice and the two situations not comparable, the bishop, whatever his stripe could hardly intervene. That said, the UK hierarchy, with certainly two exceptions and possibly one or two more, are Modernist to a man. My own diocesan bishop, certainly is.

        June 3, 2015 at 12:31 pm
      • editor


        I’m not following you. If you refer to the Irish case where the bishop – at the very last minute – forbade the use of a parish church for the funeral of an elderly Catholic lady of his diocese because she wanted an SSPX priest to officiate, there’s no excuse for the bishop whatsoever.

        The arrangements had been made, as the priest had given permission (and didn’t need to make an idiot of himself by belatedly seeking permission from the bishop – the priest who allowed the openly “gay” funeral of the pop star whose name escapes me at the moment, and who repeatedly referred to the man’s homosexual “partner” didn’t worry about his bishop – Archbishop Martin of Dublin – refusing permission which, of course, he wouldn’t and didn’t. that church was packed and the whole debacle published around the world, thanks to the journalists who reported it all word for word. We juxtaposed that disgraceful scandal with the SSPX TLM on the beach, at the time, in our newsletter. Scandalous.

        So, I’m lost. Nobody who is a “manifest public sinner” – which includes pro-abortion/’gay’ rights politicians – is permitted a Catholic funeral, under Canon Law. Church law is Ignored of course by everybody including Archbishop Tartaglia, but that doesn’t change the fact of the matter.

        So, if I’m misunderstanding your comment, please enlighten me.

        PS there are NO exceptions in Scotland – ALL of the bishops here are Modernists.

        June 3, 2015 at 9:21 pm
      • sixupman

        Madam Editor
        It is a great burden to me that I am not possessed of your erudition, learning and incisiveness of mind, not to mention your ‘Padre Pio-like’ powers of being able to see into the minds and souls of individuals. I am a mere ineffectual Catholic, but I come from a Mother Church which was packed to the rafters with lax and ineffectual Catholics – bit The Church prospered.

        It is reported that, of late, Kennedy had become disturbed as to his past life and the break-up of his marriage [due to ‘the drink’] , therefore, it is incumbent, upon you and all, to give him the benefit of the doubt. The type of funeral is another matter.

        As to bishops: an e-mail from Post Falls, Idaho, tells me that one “sixupman” has something published in the 15th.
        May (?) Remnant. Unfortunately, the same also somewhat relates to a contribution [here]which resulted in much unsound and uncharitable opprobrium heaped upon my head. Fortunately, I am fairly thick-skinned, unlike the City of Durham dolt of a cleric.

        BTW: I note that no own has seek fit to enlighten me as to whether or not “Gloating is a sin”. .

        June 6, 2015 at 10:08 am
      • Fidelis


        I’ve no idea what your post is about but I feel obliged to say that I’ve never known anyone on this blog to claim to “see into the minds and souls of individuals.” In fact, editor repeatedly says that this is one thing nobody must ever do.

        I don’t know what the rest of your message refers to, although I scrolled up to see if I could find out, but I’m afraid I can’t see what the issue is. If it’s Charles Kennedy, then I think it’s fair to say he should not get a Catholic funeral because he was a known pro-abortionist and supporter of homosexual rights, although nobody can or should judge his state of soul and we all hope he repented before his death. May he rest in peace.

        June 6, 2015 at 12:21 pm
      • Fidelis

        I forgot to say that I don’t know what you mean by “gloating” so I don’t know if it’s a sin or not.

        June 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm
      • Jobstears


        I would think gloating is definitely wrong, if it’s not a sin,it is at least an imperfection. Taking pleasure or enjoying someone else’s misfortune goes against charity. To then express this satisfaction or enjoyment is definitely wrong.

        Which is why I don’t see how Editor reporting this incident with Fr. Bell could be construed as gloating.

        I agree with you that gambling like alcoholism is definitely a disease. The parishioners at Fr. Bell’s parish must be a very special lot to have missed the signs that this priest was struggling with something.

        June 7, 2015 at 1:33 pm
      • sixupman

        The (my) instant impression was one of CT “gloating” in relation to the said priest. Thank you for responding.

        Regarding Charles Kennedy: I took objection to the Editor implying that Kennedy should not have been afforded a Catholic Funeral Mass because he had been a manifest sinner. The Editor was in no position to know the state of his mind and soul vis a vis Mother Church, Magisterium, et at at the time and during the period leading up to his death. I can only rely on reports, but it appears he had been reflecting upon his past life. As I said, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

        In the first instant I only sought prayers, which was then extended, by the Editor to issue of bishops non-enforcement of Canon Law. I have already stated. elsewhere, they resort to Canon Law only when it is convenient to them…

        June 7, 2015 at 2:12 pm
      • Jobstears


        I think the case of not giving “manifest” or “public” sinners a (public) Catholic funeral has more to do with giving scandal or confusing the Faithful than making a judgment on the state of the soul.

        I had the same reservations about denying a Catholic funeral to those committing suicide – until a priest explained to me that if the person (in this case a troubled young man) did commit suicide, God judged his soul, but we could not risk condoning the action by giving him a public funeral I guess it is to avoid giving the impression that Tom, Jane and Harry could now ease themselves out of their present troubles into heaven at the moment of their choice. So maybe that is the reason for withholding a public funeral for a public sinner? Not as a judgment on the state of the soul but simply to avoid giving scandal.

        June 7, 2015 at 2:32 pm
      • sixupman

        Actually, I qualified my statement as to the funeral arrangements. As it is, it will be a “private” affair. So the issue of W”example” does not apply. How many people within his home area know how he voted in The Commons – so ‘maifest’ may well not apply.

        June 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm
      • Irish Eyes


        You are surely right, no one can be sure how a person is before God on the day they die, including the person themselves.

        I suspect, too this Holy Year, was called to challenge us all to err on the side of mercy, and not that of judgement or condemnation.

        Likewise id speedy canonisations are wrong so too, surely, must be the rush to deny a Christian Funeral to one who may be closer to God than the person presuming to make a God like judgement

        Edward Leigh, MP, said in The House of Commons than he personally knew that Mr Kennedy regularly took part in the celebration of Holy Mass.

        Let God do the judging, and let their be no rush to deny what God himself might readily grant, and, indeed, desire..

        June 7, 2015 at 5:50 pm
      • editor

        Irish Eyes,

        It gets very wearing having to keep repeating that nobody is “judging” anyone’s soul. I try not to be rude but there are times when I have to admit thinking “is this person/blogger/idiot stupid? Or just thick?” I do confess to that thought sometimes – oh never about you, don’t take that remark personally, Irish Eyes. NEVER you. Just a general thought that I sometimes have when someone comes on saying we mustn’t judge any soul, again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and… You’ll get my drift.

        What we need to do, you see, Irish Eyes, Sixupman and all the other ever so charitable and non-judgmental folks who come on here to put us right, is get that pesky Canon Law updated to remove those rules about manifest public sinners. That has got to go. Pope John Paul II remember, tightened up Canon Law (Ad Tuendam Fidem) and said that Canon Law by its very nature, must be obeyed. Wonder why he said that, when we’re not supposed to “judge” anybody…

        And with all due respect to Edward Leigh MP who has, I believe, a very good voting record on moral issues, he is in no better position than any of the rest of us to “judge” the state of Charles Kennedy’s soul at his death and it would be highly uncharitable to fail to pray for him, on the grounds that he regularly attended Mass. So do I. No big deal. That’s an elementary duty. A bit like saying he was a great MP because he paid regular visits to his constituency office.

        No, we mustn’t judge anybody’s soul – that’s a given But if we see a guy beating up his wife, we really can’t refuse to call the cops on the grounds that it wouldn’t be “charitable” – or that he attends Mass regularly 😀

        June 7, 2015 at 6:55 pm
      • Irish Eyes


        Regardless of what Canon Law says it is unlikely anyone who writes here is called, chosen, or appointed, to make a judgement on its application.

        I believe it is the same Code of Canon Law that says the local Ordinary, alone, can grant publishers, of any kind of publication, to claim to be “Catholic”.

        That same Code says a Papal Mandate ir required before anyone ordains another person as a Bishop.

        In both of the cases cited there is no room for a person, or group, to make a subjective judgement independent of the lawful authority.

        Just saying, but a thick, or blinkered, person might miss the point.

        June 7, 2015 at 7:10 pm
      • Therese

        Sixupman and Irish Eyes

        By your reasoning,shouldn’t Hitler have been given a Catholic funeral? He was a Catholic, and we can’t know the state of his soul at the precise moment of his death, so in charity we should assume the best We should therefore leave it to God to judge. Yes?

        June 7, 2015 at 9:45 pm
      • sixupman

        Now he was a Manifest sinner, par excellence.

        Do you seriously place Kennedy in the same category – really?

        I seem to recall an instant on the Continent where the local diocese refused a funeral mass for a “reputed” Nazi. SSPX stepped-in and afforded the unfortunate a proper Requiem and burial. I trust in the judgement of SSPX in that matter – presumably they were able to assess the facts.

        The point regarding Kennedy’s son, is very well made.

        June 8, 2015 at 6:30 am
      • editor

        Irish Eyes,

        There are various principles in play in the matter of the application of Canon Law, and certainly we can’t always take a situation at face value. There have been cases of “manifest public sinners” asking for a priest at the end (Pavarotti springs to mind).

        In the case of sudden and un-provided death, however, while we can hope and pray that there was an act or expression of contrition at the end, we cannot be sure. In the end, the permission for a Catholic funeral is not left to yours truly – you are correct about that.

        As for the rest of your post – you appear to be unaware of one of the key principles of Canon Law which is that the salvation of souls is the supreme law and thus, while the Church is in a state of major crisis, the normal laws do not always apply. Hence, your argument is quite wrong that “…there is no room for a person, or group, to make a subjective judgement independent of the lawful authority.”


        Interesting point. Hitler is the one case where it appears to be universally accepted that we can all be as “judgmental” as we like, it’s “cool” to be “judgmental” about Hitler. I look forward to the responses of the ~”Who am I to judge” brigade, to your observation.

        June 8, 2015 at 12:36 am
      • editor


        If only those people, like yourself, so anxious to (be seen to) allow the benefit of any doubt, so keen to be (seen to be) charitable to every sinner under the sun, would extend the same generous indulgence to the Catholic Truth team and bloggers. However, the very opposite is true. We are guilty until proven innocent every time.

        No objective reader of my blue comment at the end of the newspaper report about Fr Graeme Bell could possibly detect any “gloating”. There is no “gloating” there. Perhaps someone longing to find a bit of “gloating” will be able to tear it apart word for word and find something to substantiate the claim, but I can’t, for the life of me, see any “gloating”. And if you think I FEEL like gloating at these shocking scandals, coming at us thick and fast, then there is, frankly, something wrong with you. Oh, I know what it is. You don’t know me or any other member of our team of volunteers. That just might explain it. That and the need to look for faults in the messengers just because you hate the message. The Church is in crisis. We have a bad pope, too many terrible bishops and a decadent priesthood. Not our fault. We’re just the messengers.

        By “gloating” I take it you mean delighting in the sin of others – in this case Fr Bell. If that is what you mean…

        How very uncharitable to dwell on such an uncharitable and judgmental thought, let alone put it into words on this blog. Note, in passing, that you wouldn’t be given any cyberspace on just about any other Catholic blog out there to accuse your hosts thus – certainly not the likes of Fr Z would have blacklisted you on your first criticism.

        We, on the other hand, have waited to see if your initial lack of charity, perhaps a knee-jerk reaction for whatever reason, were followed by a more considered response and, perhaps, (who knows, it must happen some day, surely) an apology for your rash judgment about us – or should that be “me”. It’s not clear from your comments if you are criticising the entirety of our humble blogging community of just moi. Not that moi gives a toss, be assured.

        Allow me to refresh your memory about our original report on Fr Bell’s disgraceful, and inexcusable, remarks about us,in the November 2011 edition of our newsletter. Read the following and then accuse us of “gloating” if you dare:

        Oh I USED to like being beside the sea-side…

        A shocked reader rang us on 4th August to tell us that a priest of Galloway Diocese, ministering in one of the seaside resorts that had, hitherto, been my favourite haunt on the Ayrshire coast, had publicly stated during Mass that morning that all who contribute to and read Catholic Truth are going to Hell.

        Wasn’t he aware that he had Catholic Truth readers in his congregation? If not, he soon found out because our equally shocked researcher rang him for a comment. He declined to offer any explanation or to acknowledge that (thanks be to God) this definitive judgment is not his to make.

        However, in a rare bout of humanity, I began to feel sorry for him, thinking that he may have given vent to a momentary anger over some nugget in the August newsletter and may now be tearing himself apart with remorse.

        Hence, while the sympathy coursed through my weary bones, so to speak, I asked our researcher to ring him again, this time to offer to withhold publication of his name on the understanding that he would publicly retract his terrifying prophesy that everyone associated with this newsletter is going to Hell. I mean, steady on. If a pope can pray with pagans, surely a body can read Catholic Truth without risking his eternal salvation?

        Our researcher left this “deal or no deal” message on the priest’s answering machine but he has not returned our call, so, (drum roll), Fr Graeme Bell of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Saltcoats (also known as St Mary’s), take a bow. The good news is, of course, that now we know of at least one diocesan priest in Scotland who believes in Hell. END.
        Published in Catholic Truth, Issue No. 69, November, 2011

        No, Sixupman. We don’t “gloat” over the sins of others and certainly we are not “gloating” over the public disgrace of Father Bell. As you can see from the above report, we tried to spare him publicity on a matter very definitely much more serious than pinching a few quid from the parish coffers. For a priest to publicly consign souls to Hell, and refuse to retract the judgement, is, I believe St Thomas Aquinas would agree, a tad more offensive to God than the human weaknesses for which he is now on public record.

        There is a difference, you see, between “gloating” and commenting in an unsurprised manner which indicates a connection between a priest’s pastoral and moral (mis)behaviour .

        We frequently pointed out that there has to be something wrong in Cardinal O’Brien’s life for him to ignore and even defend the activities of several of his dissenting priests. We were, sadly, proven to be right in the end. And what an end. How sad – we didn’t “gloat” then and we are not “gloating” now. Merely acknowledging, frankly, the same connection between a priest’s negligence in religious and pastoral matters, with (possible) immoral behaviour.

        Now, I’ve taken the time to respond in some detail to your accusations, and I’m leaving it there. If you persist in your uncharitable (mis)judgement then that’s your problem. The matter is closed as far as I’m concerned, although I will, of course, acknowledge with gratitude, any apology you see fit to offer. It’ll be a first – a critic of this blog offering an apology – so you’d be guaranteed a place in the Catholic Truth Book of Records 😀

        June 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm
      • Irish Eyes

        I believe at least one “Bishop” denies The Holocaust…….

        June 8, 2015 at 5:29 am
      • sixupman

        SSPX do not deny The Holocaust, he was expelled from SSPX, albeit eventually. He was probably Msgr. Lefebvre’s only mistake.

        Arguing about the validity of SSPX’s Orders is a puerile exercise – in view of the state of Mother Church prevailing in Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries, et al.

        June 8, 2015 at 12:10 pm
      • Irish Eyes

        Comment removed

        Your latest post – in moderation (oops, now in the junk folder) reveals you to be one of our idiotic trolls who come on here from time to time under various identities, for no other purpose than to cause trouble. Please go away. Take your obsession with Catholic Truth and put it where Catholic Truth puts your submitted comments – in the bin.

        June 8, 2015 at 9:08 am
      • Margaret Mary

        Irish Eyes,

        I’ve been reading through this whole thread and can’t see you referring to the topic at all, the topic being Fr Graeme Bell, not Charles Kennedy.

        You don’t seem to understand that Canon Law is a human law and that divine law is more important and so the way the law is applied can vary.

        I have no problem with the SSPX at all. I see priests who are flouting Canon Law all the time and nothing is said or done about it.

        June 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Irish Eyes,

        “I believe at least one “Bishop” denies the Holocaust”.

        Well, there are several bishops who are denying Catholic teachings, for example, on marriage, and that’s a lot more important than denying a historical event. Anyway, I presume the “Bishop” you refer to is the ex-Bishop Williamson, who was expelled from the SSPX and has now excommunicated himself by unnecessarily consecrating another bishop. All this confusion because of the evils coming from Vatican II, causing dissent and a widespread loss of faith.

        June 8, 2015 at 12:05 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        My last two posts, replying to Irish Eyes, have disappeared, with a message saying they are in moderation. Would you release, please?

        Editor: Unfortunately, I have to moderate all posts from Irish Eyes, so anyone who uses his name will go into moderation. I’ll not be releasing any more of his posts, since, as you highlight for us – for which thanks – he is not on topic, and focusing on other secondary issues. I MAY, later, if I have more time, answer one of two of the comments on Charles Kennedy, but that’s an end to it. This thread is about the Galloway priest, Fr Bell, NOT Charles Kennedy / Canon Law re. funerals etc. I should have halted that conversation sooner but, better late than never, take this as a polite request to return to the topic and stay there, please and thank you.

        June 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm
      • editor

        Charles Kennedy openly stated many times, e.g. on Question Time, BBC 1, Thursdays, that he was a Catholic but a “liberal” one, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual rights. “Manifest public sinner” is any Catholic known to espouse such views and thus live at odds – in counter-witness to the Gospel – with the Church’s moral teaching.

        Canon Law (not Catholic Truth) states that no manifest public sinners are to be given a public Catholic funeral – as Jobstears rightly says, to avoid scandal and causing confusion.

        There have been at least two such scandalous funerals in the Archdiocese of Glasgow in recent years, with the full support of the Archbishop, so it’s not a law which is applied.

        Yet Pope John Paul II stated clearly in Ad Tuendam Fidem that Canon law by its very nature must be obeyed.

        Still, what matters these days is what goes down well with the new breed of Catholics who prefer the false charity of sentimentalism to “moralising” – they just KNOW that God doesn’t mind the odd bit of dissent, and as Pope Francis once said, we shouldn’t be obsessed with abortion and who are we to JUDGE “gays” blah blah.

        People like us are just the spoilsports at the party. Sorry about that…

        June 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm
      • Santiago

        Madam Editor,

        I would ask you please to remember that Charles Kennedy leaves a 10 yr old son grieving for the loss of his father. The last thing this young lad needs is to be told that his beloved father was a “manifest public sinner”, so please leave it alone and let Charles Kennedy rest in peace.

        Recall, for a moment, how you felt when you lost your beloved mother earlier this year and please extend consideration and compassion to Charles Kennedy’s loved ones.

        None of us are without sin.

        June 7, 2015 at 9:37 pm
      • editor


        I think the 10 year old to whom you refer has about as much chance of reading this blog as he has of reading his father’s voting record although both are publicly available to him.

        As for your rather arrogant attempt to use my own recent bereavement to attack me for participating in a discussion about the possible application of Canon Law in the matter of a funeral for someone KNOWN to be publicly at odds with the teaching of the Church, allow me to disabuse you…

        A) my mother was not a public figure

        B) my mother adhered to each and every teaching of the Church and God’s moral law and

        C) had my mother publicly rejected the teachings of the Church, she would not have publicly announced herself to be a Catholic, using the adjective “liberal” to cause further scandal in an already scandal-ridden Church.

        Your attempt to turn an objective discussion about Canon Law as it applies to “manifest public sinners” (the Church’s term, not ours) into a personal attack on me, using my recently deceased mother, is shameful.

        None of us on this blog lack consideration or compassion for Charles Kennedy’s family. Only the most jaundiced reading of the comments here would lead anyone to think otherwise.

        And yet again, yawn, yawn, nobody here has claimed to be without sin. That self-righteous, smug nonsense implying judgmentalism, really is now at the “boring with a capital B” stage. Give it a rest.

        Note to one & all: all future comments on Charles Kennedy RIP or anyone else except the subject under discussion, will be deleted. Don’t waste your time.

        June 8, 2015 at 12:14 am
      • Irish Eyes

        Comment removed

        June 8, 2015 at 8:39 am
      • Spudeater


        I wish you wouldn’t publish items such as Archbishop Tartaglia’s statement without at least prefacing it with a suitable warning such as ‘Not to be read by anyone suffering from high blood pressure.’ I nearly spat out my Courvoisier all over my beer mat collection.

        In fairness to the Archbishop though, he had never seen or heard of Charles Kennedy before his death was announced yesterday and the statement itself had only arrived at his residence by motorcycle courier an hour earlier (from the home of a Mr.D.Steel).

        June 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm
      • editor


        Apologies! I’ll remember next time!

        June 3, 2015 at 9:22 pm
      • Spudeater

        Menzies Campbell was quoted yesterday as saying, “You couldn’t fall out with Charles Kennedy.” Well,Ed.,it appears as if you may have achieved the impossible with that pertinent enquiry at the end of that ‘Big Questions’ broadcast. (May have been a ‘Big Question’ too far?)

        June 3, 2015 at 8:47 pm
      • editor


        Yes, he certainly wasn’t going to include me in any group hug, that’s for sure!

        June 3, 2015 at 9:23 pm
  • anne

    Our Lord told us to watch and pray at all times. There is an abundance of information on the internet of the state of the church, if people are interested enough to find out. We have to “watch” – educate ourselves as there has been no catechism in the past 50yrs. Priests and the laity have never had so much information, but there has to be a desire to seek the truth. St Augustine tells us that those who do not pray will not be saved. Our Lady warned us at Fatima that most souls wind up in hell because of sins of the flesh.
    Editor, I don’t know if our readers have read about the blogger threatened to be sued by “correcting a priest” who said the Holy spirit was feminine – Web-site –
    You couldn’t make it up!
    The line has been drawn, pick your side.
    God bless,

    June 2, 2015 at 9:45 am
    • editor


      yes, I saw that yesterday, about the priest who threatened the blog author with legal action for correcting his heresy although he later climbed down. Arrogance, beyond belief.

      You are 100% correct in throwing down the gauntlet. As you so rightly say “the line has been drawn, pick your side.” Love it!

      June 2, 2015 at 11:40 am
  • Helen

    Ooooooh! I’m afraid to blog in case I go to Hell……………….

    June 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm
    • editor


      Don’t blog and go to the E & A Department nearest hospital. Hobson’s Choice!

      June 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm
  • crouchback

    I think Fr Bell has a point….I’m very slightly involved with Catholic Truth….my comments get slapped down on a regular basis….whilst I’m not quite in Hell, I have spent an inordinate amount of time in Oil rigs….coal mines…steel works…and now nuclear power stations…..shurely Hell would be a merciful release. ….???

    June 2, 2015 at 11:04 pm
    • editor


      Ouch! You’re comments are only slapped down when they contain language more suited to the oil rigs and coal mines (not that I’m condoning bad language on oil rigs or coal mines, but you’ll get my drift)

      And now your dodgy theology – or should that be “hellology” has to be slapped down, because, as for Hell being a “merciful release” … don’t let’s go there, so to speak, she said ambiguously 😀

      June 3, 2015 at 12:00 am
  • Frankier


    I had to “chide” ProgNASTYcum last week for unchristian remarks about navvies using bad language now it is the miners and oil rig workers. Or to put it simply, the uneducated.

    Talk about stereotypes.

    I don’t suppose you’ll hear much worse than jings, crivvens or help ma flamin’ boab among the educated classes do you?

    June 3, 2015 at 3:37 pm
    • editor


      You misread my comment, which was not intended to insult oil rig workers or miners. Crouchback had intimated that he worked in both – I was merely pointing out that his jibe about being “slapped down” on this blog was unfair, that his “colourful” language, shall we say, was “slapped down” because it was more suited to his workplace than to a Catholic blog. Had he indicated that he worked in a hospital as a Consultant Surgeon, or in a university as a Professor of Classics, I’d have said his (bad) language was more suited to those places of employment.

      I would have thought you knew us all well enough by now to know that we are not snobbish – in my own case, brought up in a working class family in a working class area and very proud of the fact, I’ve got nothing to be “snobbish” about. In fact, I detest snobs and snobbery. Both kinds. I detest inverted snobbery as much as I detest middle-upper class snobbery.

      I wouldn’t know about “the educated classes” so can’t answer your concluding question but I would hope (forlornly, of course because I know it’s not true) that we would only hear “jings, crivvens and the other stuff on your list on a Catholic blog. Catholics, however, are as bad as everyone else when it comes to morals. I once met a man who told me he was a Protestant, interested in the Catholic Church, reading up about it. He worked beside a Catholic man who used the very worst of language all day long and of course, was less than impressed. Some people may think it’s a small matter but given that we profess to be trying to follow Christ’s exhortation to “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”, it’s not really.

      Anyway, please try not to take offence at this sort of thing – in the great scheme of things, it’s not important. You can take a pop at teachers or secretaries (I’ve been both) and I won’t take offence. Not important. And taking offence at such comments based on jobs/careers blah blah, is usually – or, at least, can be – a sign of one of the two snobberies. As I say, I dislike both. I hope you do, as well.

      June 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm
      • Frankier


        The only problem with what you say is that I’ve never heard anyone taking a pop at teachers or secretaries in this regard. It is invariably the “navvies” and the miners who are credited with using bad language as if it was the only words they could find to enable them to finish a sentence.

        June 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm
      • crofterlady

        You are absolutely correct, Frankier. Last summer we had 2 female Cambridge graduates and a local electrician playing Monopoly with our daughters in our sitting room. I was told the 2 graduates were using vile language and eventually, the electrician asked them to desist.

        Such assumptions are also made about “navvies'” tastes in food, clothes, films etc. In my experience, the navvies and the miners usually are just as erudite as anybody else, with some exceptions on every side.

        June 5, 2015 at 5:46 pm
      • editor


        I didn’t make ANY assumptions. Not one. I merely responded to a post from Crouchback, writing at top speed and taking “oil rigs” and whatever else caused offence, from HIS post, about HIS workplace. I tend not to analyse every word for fear of offending anybody and their sensitive great Granny because I don’t take offence myself (just as well if you could see some of the nasty emails I get) but I’ll finish this before I cause any more unintended offence.

        As for your observations about “navvies” tastes in food, clothes, films etc.I’ll take your word for it. I don’t know any.

        June 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm
      • Frankier


        Absolutely correct.

        It used to be men in dirty raincoats who abused children. This mindset paved the way for men with clean raincoats but dirty minds to get away with it for years.

        June 6, 2015 at 1:30 am
      • editor


        There’s no such “problem with that” – I wasn’t saying that teachers and secretaries use bad language, I said that if CROUCHBACK had said he worked in those jobs, I’d have said the same thing about his occasional language on this blog being more suited to his workplace than a Catholic blog. Perhaps you have misread my comment but if you read it again, I think you will see that I am correct. You seemed to imply that I was being snobbish by mentioning oil workers etc. I was merely pointing out that it was Crouchback who mentioned his co-workers in the oil industry etc.

        You really ought to direct your annoyance at Crouchback who works in the listed jobs. I don’t know any oil workers etc. except him. So, I’ve no idea whether or not they deserve criticism for their bad language etc. No idea whatsoever. I presumed he knew what he was talking about. Won’t make that mistake again. Now perhaps we can return to, and stick with, the topic – please and thank you.

        June 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm
  • Helen

    I was told that “jings and crivens” is a corruption of Jesus Christ which I don’t think is very suitable language to use.

    June 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm
    • editor


      These claims drive me nuts and I ignore them. I say “Jings” and it means nothing – it is an exclamation of surprise, I never use “crivens” but if I did, likewise.

      People who have the time to pick up on every word and analyse it to death, reading “corruptions” into it, need help.

      Jings, there I go again! Lecturing folk! What am I LIKE?!

      June 3, 2015 at 5:16 pm
  • crofterlady

    Well it’s a terrible time for the church in Scotland and everywhere else it seems. Corrupt and apostate priests? It’s like the middle ages all over again. But think, WE, the people in the pews are financing them!! We must be mad! I say, stop putting money in the plate.We have.

    June 4, 2015 at 10:48 pm
  • Frankier

    I know I won`t be popular for saying this but I am genuinely sorry not only for Fr. Bell but also for his family

    I know as well that I will be included in his alleged statement about going to hell but in the grand scheme of things, as some say, does it really matter what he may have said in a probably half-empty church during a weekday Mass? When the General Belgrano was sunk I said the same about Margaret Thatcher but it was only angry rhetoric.

    To get back to my sorrow, I may be biased because Fr Bell was a curate in my (country) parish when he was newly ordained and while he was still being treated for cancer. He was a good priest and his family were so happy for him and I am truly sad to hear this news.

    If it was online gambling that got him into trouble then I feel he should have been treated in the same way as, say, an alcoholic. Surely he is as much entitled to a “sabbatical” or “gardening leave” as much as others (thieves in my book) in the Catholic Church who are now being judge and jury on him.

    I hope all ends well for him as I have witnessed him going through enough trauma at an early age without this added burden.

    I hope the parishioner who was so keen to run to the police doesn`t have the worry of what his family
    is up to behind closed doors.

    As my mother, God rest her, used to say, God Bless the unfortunate.

    As Someone also once said, “Let he who casts the first stone, etc.”

    Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Blessed Lady help him and his family at this difficult time.

    June 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm
    • leprechaun


      Well spoken.

      There is no knowing what went on in this priest’s mind as the years passed. It is easy to say with hindsight that he ought to have realised this or that and to have done something about it. Actually succeeding in doing something about it is another matter.

      May he finally receive the professional help and the spiritual support that he needs in order to turn his life around.

      And may the late Charles Kennedy rest in peace after failing to win his battle.

      June 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm
      • Frankier


        A really nice Christian answer.

        June 6, 2015 at 11:38 pm
      • Santiago


        “And may the late Charles Kennedy rest in peace after failing to win his battle.”

        Well said. Surely that’s what anyone with decency and compassion would wish.

        June 7, 2015 at 12:26 am
  • Spero


    I would say your prayer too, to the Lord, for Father Bell and his family.

    I just read a book, Gilead, and the writer, in the person of an American minister, says:

    “To say a thief is a brother man and is beloved of God, is true. To say the thief is not therefore a thief, is an error.”

    I am sorry, we all of us are, for this priest; you more so, only in that you knew him personally.

    We are all accountable.

    Mercy and justice are two sides of the same coin.

    Mercy becomes worthless if it does not ask of the offender that he recognise, and repent of the offence.

    Condemnation is the domain of God.

    But If it is to be said that we, or the Church itself, cannot ever say something is wrong, and therefore the wrongdoer must admit this/ repent; if we cannot say this,then where do we go? We are denied the dignity as people of God, to assert the difference between right and wrong, for fear of offending the wrongdoer.

    If priests do wrong : they do wrong. They have to acknowledge this just as parents do, sons do:
    daughters do: all of us. End of.

    June 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm
    • Nicky


      Hear, hear. What a great post.

      It’s easy to go all sentimental and want to be non-judgmental in these cases but if people knew the damage done by priests who go off the rails, they wouldn’t be so cavalier about it. Nobody’s saying they are damned or anything, but they do have a bigger responsibility than others and if they fall from grace so publicly, they can actually ruin the faith in others, especially young people. Causing scandal like that keeps people away from the Church so it’s very serious. Young people today are so used to seeing priests leaving the priesthood and being on the front page of tabloids that they have no idea what a really good priest looks like. So, I’m going to risk being called “judgemental” by admitting that have limited sympathy for the likes of Fr Bell.

      June 6, 2015 at 8:33 pm
    • Frankier

      If condemnation is the domain of God then maybe you should let Him condemn.

      June 6, 2015 at 11:44 pm
  • Prognosticum

    Some quite interesting posts out there. But what an appalling mess we are in. It is as if we are caught up in a train crash. We know the train is leaving the track, but there is nothing we can do about it except count the seconds until impact.

    I am not a natural pessimist, but I find it hard to garner solace for the present let alone contrive optimism about the future. The Church is in denial, and this makes solutions that bit harder to find.

    June 6, 2015 at 11:19 pm
  • Frankier


    What do you mean by cavalier?

    Is there any mention in my post which says that he should get off scot free?

    Gambling can be an addiction, an illness even, what makes you and others feel that getting your pound of flesh is the answer?

    There has been a lot worse offences carried out in the Church and the punishment has been a
    few months prayer and penance in nice comfortable monasteries, some of them in places like “The Eternal City” and some even finish up with houses that ordinary hard working people could only dream of owning.

    I don’t I go in for revenge, to do so is unchristian, I believe the likes of Fr Bell who may have an addiction, like an alcoholic, of which he was unaware until it was too late, should be helped.

    This, I may add, should go for anyone unfortunate to be in this position, not just for someone I know.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat and, equally, there is more than one way to do thieving.

    This other type of thieving is rife in the Church at the present time with so many churches closing but, like the child abuse, none of the smart guys seem to notice despite it happening right before their eyes.

    And by the way, you are judgemental.

    June 6, 2015 at 11:34 pm
    • Therese

      We’re definitely through the looking glass here. Apparently to acknowledge the evil that men do is to be judgemental, and wrong, but it’s OK to accuse someone of being judgemental for stating what is a public fact?

      God give me patience.

      June 7, 2015 at 10:03 pm
      • editor


        You have hit the nail squarely on the head. Absolutely crazy times in which we are living. Everything’s upside down.

        Anyway, well said. With bells on 😀

        June 8, 2015 at 12:22 am
  • Prognosticum

    I get the impression that some bloggers here seem to be speaking at cross purposes.

    Two things immediately spring to mind. First, up to Vatican II and well into its aftermath until the clergy sexual abuse scandals broke, when the Church was, as it were, very much living on the inheritance of the pre-Council, faithful priests were much more prevalent. As the pre-Conciliar generation passed the baton on to the post-Conciliar one, things began to change at an ever increasing pace. What we are now seeing is the collapse of the old system, but with nothing put in its place.

    Second, while still maintaing a strict innocent–until–proved–guilty stance in relation to the particular case which gave rise to this thread, I do think that some understanding of modern addiction theory could help us in trying to make sense of this and other cases.

    I am no expert, but I remember talking with a medical doctor friend of mine about a well known case which was not about gambling, but about internet pornography. What I could not get my head around in this case was that the accused had downloaded literally thousands of paedo-pornographic images to his computer. The sheer number was simply staggering and such as to make me wonder when he would have had the time to watch them all, if ever. My friend explained to me about dopamine and the neurological reward pathway in the brain which is, I understand, implicated not just in drug addiction, but in other forms of addiction and depression. My firiend thought that each of these images would have provided a dopamine hit to the brain of the perpretator, and the more hits he had the more he would have wanted, and so the thing takes off like a snowball going down a mountain. My doctor friend, a good Catholic, thinks people who engage in such activity get to a point where they simply cannot help themselves as moral responsability becomes blurred.

    If this is right, all of us, not just the clergy, need to be defended, especially the young. Internet gambling, like internet pornography should be banned. Trouble is, our liberal society, in this as in much else, wants to have its cake and eat it.

    Priests, like the rest of us, have to face up to the fact that they are living in a world world which not only hostile, but dangerous. They and we need to protect ourselves. Hence the need for a Catholic lifestyle which is aware of evil and how to combat it.

    June 7, 2015 at 5:26 am
    • editor


      Great post. You concluded with these words, which I endorse absolutely:

      “Hence the need for a Catholic lifestyle which is aware of evil and how to combat it.”

      That is it in a nutshell. Unfortunately, from what I’ve learned about seminaries over the years, at least in Scotland, where, unsurprisingly, we have none left, the lifestyle followed over the past fifty years was very much that of any secular institute with any “pious” (in the best sense) students finding themselves laughed at and generally mocked. Devotion to Our Lady was a particular target. No wonder they all ended up wearing For Sale signs.

      The restoration will come and when it does, the kind of seminary regime that forms sound priests and strong men, will be restored along with the Mass and everything else.

      Roll on!

      June 7, 2015 at 7:04 pm
  • Spero


    When we say even to a child ” That was rude. Do not do that again. ” That is a judgement.
    We make judgements every hour of the day, in elementary ways, and also in making very important decisions.
    The Lord said to the woman” Neither do I condemn you.” But He also said, “Go and sin no more”
    Was that not a judgement?

    When I say to my child,” Do not do that again.” I am not condemning my child: I am saying to him
    ” You are better than this. We both know it.”

    The same holds in later life, even in addictions, heartbreaking as they are; and in all of our lives, at some point.

    We ourselves, or someone with our best interests at heart (for Catholics God) have to recognise the sin ( dare I say the word?) repent and try to “be all we can be” ; for ourselves, our loved ones, and for God.

    June 7, 2015 at 7:37 am
    • editor


      As I said to Therese, you have hit the nail on the head.

      Personally I’m sick and tired of these people who come on here sanctimoniously telling us all how “judgemental” we are for, as you essentially say, doing nothing more than stating the blankety blank obvious.

      Let them go, let them tarry, as the song goes. I’m done with explaining the difference between “judging” actions and words and “judging” the disposition of a soul. If they can’t tell the difference by now, after all the times it’s been explained on this blog, over a period of years, no less, then they’re either maliciously playing games or downright thick. Right now I don’t care which. I have had enough – I’m finito with them.

      There, you didn’t know I could speak French did you? 😀

      June 8, 2015 at 12:27 am
  • sixupman

    You mean that no one is entitled to an opinion except your charming self?

    Do you wish that I “tarr” no longer? Clearly, my skim is a great deal thicker than your own, but just say the word and I will be gone.

    June 8, 2015 at 6:37 am
  • Benedict Carter


    “What we are now seeing is the collapse of the old system, but with nothing put in its place.”

    It is clearly evident now, with the benefit of time, that the old system was dead before the end of the 1960s.

    June 8, 2015 at 9:06 am
    • leprechaun


      It isn’t that the old system was dead before the end of the 1960s.

      Tradition continues,and, thanks to the foresight and devotion of Archbishop Lefebvre and the provisions he made for an on-going flow of priests to uphold Tradition, it will continue.

      We have Our Lord’s promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail.

      Was HAS changed is the number of souls who love Our Lord sufficiently to seek out where the faith is still practised according to Tradition, and to devote themselves to the self-denial, to the penances,to the wealth of spiritual reading, to the disciplines that are required for them to obtain God’s graces. Those who take these steps can be identified by the the joy their souls exude and the peace of mind they enjoy as a result of contributing to and sharing in the Kingship of Christ.

      It is a source of great sadness to me to see my many former friends who adopted without question the lighter burdens (if any remain) of the conciliar Church and who close their eyes and their ears to my efforts to share with them the joy my soul has discovered since returning to Tradition.

      As the Redemptorists used to say: “You have only one soul to save, and one lifetime in which to save it. After that comes death, judgement, and either heaven or hell for all eternity” – but even this spine-tingling blandishment is not enough to stir their case-hardened consciences.

      May God have mercy on them and open their eyes while there is still time to seek Him out.

      June 8, 2015 at 9:34 am
      • editor


        As I said in my editorial in the current, June, newsletter. I cannot fathom why every informed Catholic in the world is not packing into SSPX chapels, assuming they have one within reasonably easy reach; be that as it may, there’s just no excuse for any Catholic to continue to prop up the diocesan structures which are in fact, destroying the Church, eroding the Faith and causing massive confusion in both world and Church.

        The quote in your penultimate paragraph, really says it all.

        June 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm
      • Jobstears


        there’s just no excuse for any Catholic to continue to prop up the diocesan structures which are in fact, destroying the Church, eroding the Faith and causing massive confusion in both world and Church

        I agree wholeheartedly! In order to arrive at that conclusion, Catholics will have to think. People don’t seem to want to think about anything past their immediate satisfactions. It really is very disheartening. Maybe we need The Year of Penance more than the Year of Mercy.

        June 8, 2015 at 1:32 pm
      • editor


        A Year of Penance would more than likely take the form of Catholics running marathons and indulging in “chocolate-fests” (count me in!) – any penance of the “pre-Vatican II” stripe would send the Modernists into a frenzy of panic that Vatican II was being undermined – 😀

        June 8, 2015 at 1:56 pm
  • Nicky

    In this report it says that Fr Bell has been arrested, released and due to appear in court later.

    As far as I know, in Scotland nobody can be arrested without being charged, so putting that together with his court appearance due soon, I presume he has been charged with something to do with the parish finances.

    I always feel sorry for anyone who has a major fall from grace like this, as they lose their standing in the community, probably self respect etc. I recommend we pray for him.

    I do agree that a Year of Penance would be a very good thing given all these scandals in the Church. I also agree that it’s not fashionable to talk about Penance so is unlikely to take place.

    June 8, 2015 at 2:15 pm
    • sixupman

      Because I am not quick witted, it has only occurred to me why CT should be interested in the downfall of any priest, diocesan or otherwise. Of course, it was all in ‘the headline’ and that is where the “gloating” came in, not within the text of the ‘report’. Or so it appeared to me, as previously stated at the first instance.

      Where serving clergy give witness against the Magisterium of Mother Church, that is an entirely different matter!

      June 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm
      • Lily


        Do you not think it is very much against the Magisterium to announce at Mass that certain people in the congregation (and others) are going to Hell?

        I thought we weren’t supposed to judge the souls of others? Would you like your PP to make that announcement?

        As for why CT should be interested in “the downfall” of any priest – the whole of the crisis in the Church is caused by priests, so of course CT will report on what is going on among priests. Why are you reading and participating in this blog if you disapprove of that?

        June 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm
      • sixupman

        I support CT because of the excellent work that it does through the publication of the bi-monthly newsletter. The current issue [88] being a good example.

        The “Blog”, whilst it may have a wider readership, appears to be a discussion within, essentially, a closed-group of self-satisfied like-thinking people talking to oneanother and anyone with a contrary view is attacked. There appears to be little, if any, benefit in that situation to the undecided.

        The priest in question made an asinine statement, he misled his flock. For the first part, so what! As to the second, such should have been dealt with at the time. But to take any satisfaction from that priest’s failure, to my mind is wrong.

        For the record: I merely commented upon Kennedy;s demise with an RIP. It was Madam Editor who saw fit to dwell upon that
        [alcoholic] MPs failure and the rest is history.

        Where on earth is common Charity in all this? Of course, those who err are nor worthy of Charity!

        June 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm
      • editor


        I am very disappointed to read your latest comment.

        I did NOT dwell on Charles Kennedy’s alcoholism – in fact I don’t think I mentioned it at all. I should have deleted your post immediately since you broke our in-house rule of sticking to the topic, but I’m so busy right now I don’t know whether I’m on foot or on horseback half the time, so I fell into the trap of commenting, but NOT on any personal failings – I mentioned ONLY his public dissent from Catholic moral teaching which was very serious indeed during his lifetime, and I pray, very sincerely, that he did, indeed repent before his death. I would be absolutely delighted if that were the case. It’s a pity all the “charity” gurus never credit me with even that minimal level of Christian charity. Just as well I don’t give a toss about anyone’s opinion – I’d have been in deep depression a long time ago!

        As for these rather silly statements that we get from time to time about “this blog” and anyone who disagrees being “attacked” – blatant rubbish. If you want everyone to be nice and friendly and tolerate your every error, this, I agree is NOT the blog for you. However, it is disingenuous to describe such corrections as “attacks”. Crackers.

        Our apostolate is all ABOUT correcting error in the current crisis in the Church. These errors abound at every level. Most notably, in the context of this thread, I see that if a person, especially either a family member of a celebrity of some hue, is involved, then suddenly all the theory about the need to keep the Ten Commandments goes right out of the window. If Johnny Smith or Jimmy Jones has broken each and every one, and tells the world that he doesn’t think it matters, it’s uncharitable to correct him and say that he is in the wrong, according to these types.

        This false charity is mind-boggling. You can praise our newsletter – in which I’ve torn the Irish bishops to shreds, (while at the same time praying to their Guardian Angels to enable a light switch to go on somewhere in their hearts and souls when their copy arrives) and meant every word of it, wishing I had at least another page to add more, and yet you get annoyed at a conversation about this Galloway priest who unthinkably did what we are being constantly and unjustly accused of doing – consigning souls to Hell, and yet somehow, it the convoluted mindset of our enemies, we are found to be the guilty ones. And then, thanks to you taking us off topic and my inefficiency in not deleting your comment, we end up discussing Canon Law on funerals for public dissenters/manifest public sinners. Not MY personal opinion about Catholic funerals and who should be eligible – CHURCH LAW …

        Look, blogging here is not mandatory. There are other blogs out there that may be more to your liking, but if you choose to come on here, do NOT insult us, do NOT describe our excellent group of regular bloggers as “a closed-group of self-satisfied like-thinking people talking to one another …” Do NOT, please and thank you, DO that!

        Blog if you wish to participate in our discussions. If you’re looking for a fight, go somewhere else. Please and thank you.

        June 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm
      • sixupman

        I suggest, Madam Editor, you take steps to block my access to the “Blog” and therefore prevent me from succumbing to temptation of having to disagree with you and offending your sensibilities.

        Matter closed.

        June 8, 2015 at 10:20 pm
      • editor


        No offence taken against my perceived “sensibilities”. I don’t have any. What I do have are character defects and, believe me, I’m not afraid to use them!

        I do agree about “matter closed”- see, I’m allowing you to have the last word… 😀

        June 8, 2015 at 11:28 pm
  • Helen

    Editor, don’t you never get tired of all the trolls who disrupt this blog? Satan finds work for idle hands to do, springs to mind! Why don’t you just ignore them as they do cause an interruption of the flow, so to speak?

    June 9, 2015 at 4:51 pm
    • editor


      I’m about to post a notice on the General Discussion thread, which refers to one of our trolls who comes on here under various guises, so your question is timeous. It’s not really easy to ignore them, as you understandably suggest, because they are persistent and nasty in the comments they submit once moderated, and prior to being moderated we’re round and round in circles sometimes for days before it strikes me that I should really take action. By then the committed bloggers are emailing me expressing their (understandable) annoyance. I find it all very wearing in the extreme. From the list of young, glamorous, witty, intelligent, etc. strike “young” (and replace with “youngish”!)

      In fact, I’m afraid I get so fed up with constantly have to explain to critics and trolls why we are not being “uncharitable” or “judgmental” by discussing various aspects of the Church crisis that I’ve had a number of lengthy conversations with the immediate executive Catholic Truth team and a number of our extended team members. And that’s led us to a decision, which I cannot imagine being overturned now. Basis for the decision: our work is to alert fellow Catholics to the crisis in the Church. We’ve been doing that via our newsletter since 1999, and via this blog for a good few years now (can’t remember our exact launch date off the top of my head but it feels like forever!) Any Catholic in Scotland who is not aware by now of the gravity of the crisis in the Church, is unlikely to be influenced by us at this late stage and, perhaps more to the point, those who are aware but who remain inactive and are jogging along, are clearly not going to allow themselves to be influenced by Catholic Truth at this late stage when they haven’t been influenced to date. A waste, in other words, of our time, money and effort, notwithstanding the spiritual fruits which will result from the efforts of one and all to use the blog as a contribution to the restoration of the traditional Catholic religion in Scotland and beyond. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to “shake the dust” and move on…

      There’s a lot of work involved in the blog and although we don’t mind putting in the time and the effort, it gets pretty dispiriting when there are tantrums from certain bloggers who periodically throw their rattles out of the pram, and it is dispiriting with bells on, when the critics and trolls appear and re-appear with their combination of idiocy and ignorance. By “critics” I do not mean those with a different viewpoint or take on the topic. That’s what makes for a good discussion. I mean those who come on here simply to criticise US – Catholic Truth, our bloggers and myself, personally, just for the sake of it. Drum roll.

      Hence our decision – will, we, we discussed in April, or won’t we, we discussed in April pay the annual WordPress fee for the blog when it was due in early July. We decided to pay it for 2015-16 but not thereafter – we’ll let it lapse next year which means it closes down.

      That announcement we were holding up our sleeves until nearer the time, but since you ask, what the heck, makes no difference. Let’s try to enjoy it while we have it online, and look forward to the rest and relaxation when its gone!

      June 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm
      • sixupman

        Not the last word:

        Why not identify the “trolls”?

        June 9, 2015 at 5:22 pm
      • editor


        If the troll(s) persist, I will publish all of the information available about him. But again I’ve broken the rule about off topic, by responding to naughty Helen. I’ve now posted my comment about trolls on the General Discussion thread so you can read more there.

        I’ve forgotten the date of the court hearing for Fr Bell so I think that will be when we learn of the precise charges against him – I’ll try to remember to check it and post it here later. In the meantime, let’s remember to pray for him at this difficult time.

        June 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm
      • sixupman

        What a sexist remark?

        June 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm
      • Nicky

        ????? I don’t see any “sexist remark” ????

        June 9, 2015 at 7:25 pm
      • sixupman

        Madam Editor, when referring to “Troll(s)”, stated she would unmask HIM! Thereby excluding womankind from such conduct.

        “Person” might have been more appropriate.

        My computer skills precluded me from adding a ‘smiley’ to the comment.

        June 9, 2015 at 11:11 pm
      • editor


        You’re a case for the High Court, trying to catch me out but I have good reason for believing that Irish Eyes and his other guises is a member of the male species. More than that I cannot say, at least at the present time, nudge, nudge, wink, wink 😀

        One of our former bloggers from the USA (SHE! disappeared into thin air some time ago) taught us all how to do the smiley faces. Here’s the drill…

        Just type a colon = : then type the word grin and then type another colon = : without leaving any spaces. then press enter (not sure if that’s really essential but I always do it to make sure it “takes”.)

        So, when I type a colon = : then the word GRIN (or SHOCK) in small case, followed by another colon = : without leaving any spaces, I get this…

        😀 😯 – But only when I submit the post. You will only see the colon, word, colon, until you submit the post.*

        Catholic Truth
        at your service!

        * PS – feel free to do some test posts until you get it right. I’ll delete the ones that don’t work, when I see them.

        June 9, 2015 at 11:39 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        The reports only say that Fr Bell is due in court this month – doesn’t give a date, but it will probably be near the end of the month now.

        I agree about praying for him. It must be very humiliating to be charged with such a crime, or any crime.

        June 9, 2015 at 5:41 pm
      • leprechaun

        Madame Editor

        It was my pleasure to create the first Catholic Truth Scotland web site on 24th August 2000 and to register that domain name. I handed over control of the web site to you on 7th December 2006 so that you could enhance its capabilities, including the addition of the WordPress blog facility – just for the record.

        May I venture to add that I have a great affection for CT and its blog, especially as I personally learned so much from it in the days when the emphasis was on education in the faith, rather than on the exchange of views which is what has encouraged the trolls to fly their kites these days.

        I shall ever have cause to be grateful to Athanasius and his ilk, not forgetting yourself, for all that I learned, and for the answering of all the questions I raised.

        Speaking personally, I should be very very dismayed were the blog to cease. You cannot know who reads it and benefits from it without ever making their presence known, nor how widely the contents are cited all over the world.

        To close it down would be a cause of great rejoicing for Satan and all his wicked spirits who wander the world seeking the ruin of souls, so, for what my humble opinion is worth, and for the spiritual advancement of all those out there who are still outside the Fold, I earnestly urge you and your dedicated team, to continue to make the blog available.

        It is so easy to tear down what has been built up over the years, and so awfully difficult to build it up again.

        Madame Editor, as a corner stone, a sometimes financial supporter and an occasional contributor to the blog, I urge you to dismiss from your heid any further thoughts of closure.

        God bless the work.


        Ps: Let us not forget that doughty warrior Daphne McLeod and her Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Newsletter with which she continued to needle the bishops on their lack of provision of Catholic education until she was well into her 80s. God bless her.

        June 10, 2015 at 8:38 am
      • editor


        Into her 80’s? I’d forgotten Daphne was that young but if you think I’m hanging around here for another 40 years (!) think again!

        Thank you for your encouraging comment, Leprechaun. I will take it to the next meeting of the Board of Directors 😀

        June 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm
  • Nicky

    I think the charge is “embezzlement” – there isn’t a definite date given, just that he is due in court later this month.

    Definitely, we should pray for him, his family and parishioners. It must be a terrible blow to a lot of people.

    June 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm
  • crofterlady

    I’d be very sad if the blog closed as it is the only source I know of that exposes church abuses etc., in Scotland. I understand that, by now, most people who read the blog should be up in arms against the way Our Lord’s vineyard is not being tended. However, there are others who don’t yet know and how would they find out? It must be very hard work and at times demoralising to see the way the people sleep walk into heresy even though they have been warned but, please don’t close wur blog :((((

    June 9, 2015 at 11:37 pm
    • editor


      You are very kind and encouraging – same to those good souls on the General Discussion thread who have commented on this. I laughed out loud at “wur blog”! You’ll make a great Glaswegian some day 😀

      Perhaps I shouldn’t have said anything at this stage – Helen caught me in a weak moment when she asked me whether I get tired of the trolls – so forget about it. Think of it like this: it’s unlikely that we’ll be in need of a blog by the time we reach July 2016 – more like a couple of months in a sanatorium, to recover from the crisis we’ve just been through for the past 50 odd years but by that time will be well under control and just about resolved under the longed for leadership of Pope Pius XIII …

      Well, a gal can dream, surely?

      June 9, 2015 at 11:49 pm
    • westminsterfly

      Yes, ditto, I would be sorry if the blog closed as well, although I know it must take a lot of hard work. It’s not just that it would be a loss of a valuable teaching resource – even if it helped just ONE soul towards the truth and eternal salvation then it would be worth keeping it going for that reason, as even one soul is infinitely precious in the sight of God – I think it’s also important to have a meeting place for like-minded traditional Catholics to let off steam and generally support each other. A lot of trad Catholics often feel isolated and the good blogs are closing down one by one, while the bad ones seem to proliferate.

      June 10, 2015 at 9:35 am
  • crofterlady


    June 9, 2015 at 11:55 pm
  • crofterlady

    Didna work!

    June 9, 2015 at 11:56 pm
    • editor


      That’s because you used the = sign. That’s not part of the plan, dopey. I was showing Sixupman that the word colon = : just in case he used a semi colon (=; )! as someone once did.

      So, try this

      colongrincolon which turns out like this 😀

      June 10, 2015 at 12:07 am
  • Jobstears


    June 9, 2015 at 11:59 pm
    • editor

      100% – well done Jobstears!

      June 10, 2015 at 12:08 am
  • Jobstears


    Try colon grin colon

    June 10, 2015 at 12:00 am
    • editor


      If you knew CL like I know CL, you’d know that she will now type


      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

      You have to laugh! 😀

      June 10, 2015 at 12:09 am
  • christiana

    As a very recent contributor to the blog, I agree that it probably reaches many people who do not actually post anything but gain from it. I read it for ages before I decided to join in. It would be a shame to see it close but as you say anything could happen between now and then!

    June 10, 2015 at 12:02 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for your kind comments. I’ve just heard today about another reader who doesn’t comment but has now “seen the light” with regard to the Mass/Traditional Catholicism, so be assured, I will take your comments to the next meeting of the Board of Directors. And I have to admit, I’d miss your avatar – big time! 😀

      June 10, 2015 at 4:16 pm
  • crofterlady

    Editor, who are you calling dopey? Me? I’ll dock my 50p standing order if you don’t retract your calumny asap!


    June 10, 2015 at 4:32 pm
    • editor


      Oh don’t! We can’t survive without that SO – especially since you are constantly promising to put a £2,000 in front of the 50p!

      PS I should have included you in the list of blackmailers which I posted another thread (GD I think) – along with Christina and Jobstears. Scoundrels, one and all 😯

      June 10, 2015 at 4:42 pm
  • crofterlady


    June 10, 2015 at 8:45 pm
  • Paulus

    Sadly when reading previous comments about the seminaries I was reminded of my own time in Scotus in the 90’s. In the entire time I was there the “community” never once prayed the rosary or met as a group for any traditional devotions. The Devil truly did walk the corridors of that evil place. I also remember a fellow student being condemned by one of the priests on the staff because he chose a guardian angels hymn…to be told “we don’t believe in that stuff anymore”

    July 5, 2015 at 2:21 am
    • editor


      Some years ago, I had contact with seminarians at Scotus, very concerned at the lack of Catholicity there, to put it mildly. I attended one of their Open Days, saw the ugly cruciform, a blasphemy – no other name for it – and sat in court when one of their (by then) former students was sentenced for child abuse. Truly, a “thriving” Catholic community in Scotland, wouldn’t you way?

      As for that priest’s comment about angels – what monumental ignorance. Angels are an article of Faith.

      Here’s an extract from Part One of the CCC:

      The existence of angels – a truth of faith

      328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition. END.

      No wonder we have no seminaries left, a dwindling number of priests, even more dwindling congregations and the bishops announcing, shamelessly, that we are now mission territory. Not so long ago we, at Catholic Truth, were being insulted and lambasted for saying the very same thing. Laugh? I thought I’d never start.

      Thing is, they’re cheekily trying to put a gloss on this scandal, as if it’s actually a good thing and not an indictment of their apostate running of the Church for decades. Seldom have I looked forward to writing an editorial as I’m looking forward to writing the next one. We’ll be giving a few timely reminders about how we got to be mission territory in the 21st century after over 50 years of “renewal”.

      Gimme strength 😯

      July 5, 2015 at 4:15 pm
  • crofterlady

    Excuse my ignorance but what is the difference between Scotus and the Scots’ College in Rome? Also, where is Scotus?

    I heard that there is a Polish seminarian studying (presumably there?) for a Scottish diocese. The mind boggles as to how he’ll turn out!

    July 5, 2015 at 6:09 pm
    • editor


      Scotus was the name of the seminary in Glasgow before they closed it down a few years ago. Terrible place. Miss McMoneypenny and I went along to one of their Open Days and could not find a single priest or student/seminarian who understood the Church’s teaching on the Mass as Sacrifice of Calvary. When we asked them what they understood by the Mass as “sacrifice” we got a variety of replies, including one priest who looked quizzically at us and asked “sacrifice of service?”

      Too bad if he was being smart. We checked that he knew and meant what he was saying at the time, and he appeared so to do. I – therefore – without a qualm of conscience – quote it at every opportunity. The last laugh, so to speak, is on him.

      The Scots College is Rome is now the only seminary training priests for Scotland and I doubt very much if you’d want your sons and grandsons (when they start arriving!) signing up there. Just a feeling… 😀

      July 5, 2015 at 7:21 pm
  • shedrack

    This is a shocking story when I read it , the congregation would not believe this was going to happen to their parish . Fr bell shouldn’t have done this

    July 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      Did the congregation not see signs that he was not the best of priests, through his teaching in homilies, reverence at Mass, or lack of it? I can’t believe there weren’t some clues about him.

      July 11, 2015 at 6:50 pm

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