Would not the world think it utter madness were the people of Ukraine to begin to agitate for union with Russia in the wake of the horrendous campaign of slaughter that Putin’s Russia has carried out for the last three weeks against that country, resulting in the slaughter of innumerable men, women and children in their homes and as they sought to flee the butchery?
Yes it undoubtedly would, asking the question ‘Why are they seeking union with those who are bent on their destruction?’
Well, may it not be asked with equally justifiable incredulity why Ulster Protestantism is seeking union with Rome, as its three main denominations daily are doing with little or no protest from their members, while from our newspapers the voice of Rome’s latest victims cry out in distress and tell of what they suffered at the hands of this vile system of corruption?
That is the enigma created by the ‘Ecumenical Movement’ and its drive to reunite the ‘Churches of the Reformation’ with that religious organisation which was uniformly seen by the Reformers and those who followed in their footsteps as an Antichristian religion!
Here is the latest of hundreds of reports which have appeared in our press of late, all of which testified to the corruption found within Rome and which corruption was denied and concealed by it until forced to offer what can only be seen as false and counterfeit apologies!
In today’s Belfast Telegraph, we read:
Clerical abuse at St Colman’s: ‘The fear was constant, never knowing when the next beating would be’
Allison Morris: Belfast Telegraph, March 18 2022 06:00 AM
Many of the pupils had close links to the Church, priests, nuns and even bishops were common among the extended families of the boys who boarded at St Colman’s College in Newry.
And yet despite this the school is now as known for the abuse that took place there as it is for educating the crème of Irish society that passed through its gates.
Given the the cypher FS by the courts, one of the victims of the school’s predator priests has spoken to the Belfast Telegraph for the first time about what life was like in the Co Down boarding school.
“One day I will stand up and speak with my identity known, but right now I’m still protecting my family, who suffer with me every day because of what I experienced in St Colman’s,” he said.
Fr Malachy Finegan, who died in 2002, has been accused of sexually abusing 13 boys in his care and brutalising dozens more.
Finegan was ordained as a priest in 1953 and worked as a teacher in St Colman’s College from 1967 to 1976, he was later made President of the school.
Along with other boys at the prestigious college FS was subjected to canings and beatings, he said each priest carried a different weapon, some preferred a leather strap and others a cane, that they would produce from under their priest’s robes.
Only the boys who excelled at Gaelic football were protected from their brutality.
The names of three priests appear in almost every statement made to police by former pupils at the school, among them Father Malachy Finegan.
FS said, one of the priests carried a cane with a brass tip and would hit the backs of boy’s hands for greater impact.
He recalls how one beating left him with split fingernails and bleeding fingers “the pain was unbearable”.
A second priest carried a curved cane or a leather strap that he would regularly beat the young boys in his care with for the slightest perceived infraction.
Both were questioned by the PSNI and files sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS), but a decision was taken not to prosecute.
After being beaten with a wooden rod FS was taken to Daisy Hill hospital for treatment when the nurse in the school’s infirmary expressed concern at the seriousness of the injury.
However, most of the beatings suffered by the young pupils were treated in the school’s infirmary well away from any adult who might come to their aid or report the abuse.
“It was a hopeless, cold, uncaring place,” said FS.
“I wanted to be a boarder because I wanted to be like my father, but after the first term I went home and asked could I be a day pupil but my father said, ‘you started as a boarder and that’s how you’ll finish’.
“The priests controlled everything, the fear was constant, never knowing what going to happen next, when the next beating was due.
“Watching other boys be beaten, knowing you could well be next in line.”
As bad as life was for FS at St Colman’s things were set to get so much worse.
In 1979, he stole a set of keys used by the cleaners for carrying out their duties on the college premises, the master set of keys could be used to unlock almost any door. His plan was to open the tuck shop and stationary cupboard, so serious an infraction he was sure he would be expelled from the school and finally escape the terror.
But after panicking about the potential consequences, he abandoned the plan and instead told a teacher that he’d found the keys close to the college chapel.
Later that evening he was told that Fr Finegan wanted to see him in his private rooms.
Finegan accused him of stealing the keys and using “God’s house” to cover for his crime, he was caned across the palms of his hands until they bled.
He was then told to bend over a desk and loosen and drop his trousers, he was raped while Finegan crushed his injured hands at the same time.
The ordeal lasted for around 10 minutes, after the assault Fr Finegan told FS to clean himself up and to return to his rooms.
He limped away in agony, Finegan ordered him to attend his rooms for two more nights, on the second night he was beaten and there was an attempt to rape him, on the third night he was caned but there was no sexual assault.
While other boys said Finegan groomed them, taking them to play golf or buying them presents, FS believes that Fr Finegan raped him as a form of punishment.
At the end of his fifth year at the school FS was informed he wouldn’t be coming back for his A Levels. Despite being an intelligent boy his treatment at the school impacted on his education and he later left Northern Ireland.
FS said he felt there was no one he could tell, his family steeped in the hierarchy of Catholic Church and Down GAA, Finegan would often play golf with close family members.
Years later when he did tell members of his family, he realised that hierarchy still exists, two of his once close relatives have not spoken to him since.
He is now taking civil action against the Diocese of Dromore, he says with Finegan now dead it’s the only way to have his abuse acknowledged.
Adding that he wants to use any settlement for charitable purposes, “the Church could do so much good with their money at a time when people are struggling, but they don’t, so if I get any of their money I’m going to do with it what they should have been doing all along and help others”.
“That’s my plan,” he said.
FS has had intensive counselling and credits this with keeping him alive in the darkest of days, such is the anguish left by the abuse.
FS’s solicitor Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law has been working on the Colman’s abuse allegations for over 10 years, with the first settlement to a victim by the Diocese of Dromore in 2017.
“The accounts of others corroborate what happened to FS and more importantly, show a systemic pattern of physical and sexual abuse over three decades which the Church failed to detect or prevent.
“We still act for 18 survivors of Malachy Finegan and more survivors continue to come forward.”
To date 33 victims have come forward to PSNI to report crimes perpetrated on them by Fr Finegan.
The PSNI originally said there were 10,000 documents linked to the case, but months after they were ordered by the High Court to hand over the material, FS’s solicitor has received just 1,972 pages.
When asked about the disclosure PSNI Detective Inspector Ailish McCrissican said: “Following a court order, a review of material held by police was carried out and all relevant material has now been disclosed.”
Claire McKeegan said her client had to go to the court to seek PSNI disclosure in the case.
“This was successful but in a highly unusual move, the PSNI then sought to overturn the order of the High Court and refused to comply with their disclosure obligations.
“The Court again ruled in our client’s favour in November 2021 and ordered the 10,000 documents be shared.
“Only in February we received what we believe to be incomplete investigative files.
“Our client is now going back to court to insist that the PSNI let him have the missing papers.
“Every single page of the investigation file is relevant to the ongoing cases before the court.”
The Diocese of Dromore were contacted for comment.
The pages of history will add millions of other examples of Rome’s satanic wickedness against all she considered worthy of death and torture.
WHY THEN DO ULSTER PROTESTANTS PERSIST IN SEEKING REUNION WITH HER VIA THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT?
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Galatians 3:1.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” Galatians 5:1.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
Friday 18th March 2022.