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PRIEST RAPS CHURCH 'DOUBLE STANDARDS' Outrage over funeral ban.

Outspoken priest Fr Pat Buckley has attacked the Catholic Church for showing more compassion to sex-shame priests than his grieving family.

The outburst comes after he was refused use of a church to bury his nephew who committed suicide.

He claims the Church is guilty of double standards by accommodating pervert priest Brendan Smyth and romeo Bishop Eamon Casey.

Yet it had denied his tragic nephew a funeral mass.

Defiant Fr Buckley went ahead with a service anyway.

And he is now threatening to establish a rival Catholic church in Dublin.

His latest outburst follows a clash with the Catholic hierarchy because he was marrying divorcees. It came in a letter to Archbishop of Dublin Desmond O'Connell yesterday.

Fr Buckley said: "You have hurt my family and myself at one of the lowest moments of our family life and caused grave scandal and held the Church up to ridicule.

"With your fellow bishops you allowed Bishop Casey to take a family funeral and Brendan Smyth to have a Catholic funeral (quite rightly). But you refused permission to celebrate my nephew's funeral."

He has also threatened, with his mother's backing, to conduct her funeral outside the archbishop's Dublin palace.

Archbishop O'Connell told Fr Buckley last week he could not assure him he would be allowed to conduct her funeral.

Fr Buckley said: "I have obviously committed the greatest sin of all - I have challenged your power."

The Larne-based priest questioned the archbishops' right to refuse use of Church buildings.

"They have all been built by donations from the laity... Having helped pay for all these churches am I not entitled to use them? If not it is time to open a 'People's Chapel' in Dublin for all to use."

Fr Buckley claims to have the backing of many churchmen for his stance.

He told the archbishop: "I feel no bitterness about your lack of Christianity. I have come to expect it from many bishops."
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Author:Leslie, Neil
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 30, 1997
Words:323
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