Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh God please no....

Words fail me on what to make of the Courier's front page of the Tonbridge edition. Allegations about Monsignor Michael Smith, parish priest of Corpus Christi catholic church in Tonbridge, have led to his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a child. Nothing has been proven so we can't go condemning the man and I, for one, sincerely hope they are not true for the sake of the community. If you can't trust the people who are placed in influential positions to help guide us through our lives then who can you trust?...

361 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Fr Michael has been the much loved and respected Parish Priest for 20 years. In that time he's earned widespread admiration for his support and leadership of the parish. Speculation and comments such as yours are completely inappropriate. The time to comment will be when the full facts are known. Until then please keep your thoughts to yourself. Either remove the blog entry - or be prepared to publically apologise when Fr Michael is exonerated.

Tonbridge blogger said...

Hang on a minute what has Tonbridgeblog got to apologise for when all I am doing is pointing out what is on the FRONT PAGE of the local paper? The Courier highlighted the story not me; are you advocating that no one should buy this week's Courier also? In fact I was very careful not to fuel speculation about Father Michael. I'm quite sure that some of the comments here will be a damed sight more scathing than mine....

Anonymous said...

There is a world of difference between a newspaper reporting the facts and a blogger offering opinion and speculation. I repeat the time to comment will be when the facts are known and I would defend your right to do so then but only then.

Anonymous said...

Its a good thing that Tonbridge Blogger has brought this to our attention. No parent will wont their children to have any contact with this man until a case is proven either way, that's how it has to be with this kind of case. And in the meantime maybe others may come forward. The Catholic church does not have a good record over the last few decade for priests that abuse childen and then the church tries to cover it up by moving priest when thay get found out. Once again good work TB.
Just because the priest has given 20 years good service does not absolve him.

Delia said...

It would be interesting to know who the first anonymous is!
Tonbridgeblog is simply repeating the front page news in today's edition of The Courier and did so in a sensitive manner.

Anonymous said...

http://www.chris-uk.org/

families must be able to protect their children

hallum said...

Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge of the catholic discipline department worldwide for about 20 years until he became pope recently. As has exposed publicly, many cases of priests abusing children came before that department and were covered up.

If any priest in Kent has been abusing children in the past, it must be almost certain that (as in other cases in Britain and Ireland) other clergy were aware or had suspicions about that person.

Anger should therefore also be directed at those who preferred to endanger children by keeping silent, rather than risk the reputation of their organisation.

Martin said...

Anonymous 11:36...
Get off your high horse and come into the real world. This priest has been arrested and bailed. The Archdiocese has put the recommended procedures in place.
Child protection must be uppermost in our minds.
Read the following link about the terrible crimes perpetrated by the Dublin priest Fr. Walsh. www.clericalwhispers.blogspot.com
He flourished for years because those in high office chose to turn a blind eye. Because of that appalling practice more and more children were abused.
Thankfully today an accused priest is removed rapidly, best for his sake and ours.

Anonymous said...

The Courier, true to character, goes for sensationalism. The story is ‘exclusive’, yet the information reported was already in the public domain. They report it as a ‘sex scandal’, in their headline. There’s no scandal until the man is judged guilty by the courts, and not by the media.

Anonymous said...

We need to keep our children safe. It is only right that he has been removed. No smoke without fire!

Anonymous said...

Well this story was also in the Sunday Mail. At least the church had to do something on this occasion and have already removed the man rather than suspend him pending the case trial. Maybe this is the sensationsl part of the story, child buse cases are only too common. Many other RC priests have got away with it with the church protecting the priests rather than the victims.

Anonymous said...

Well, as somebody has already said, we can only wait the end of the investigations before forming a decent judgement. I have known Father Michael Smith for 6 years and can hardly believe this is true. We also live in a time of christian-phobia and so I would not be surprised if all this started with him kissing a child on the front as many adults legitimately do, in front of anti-catholic parents who jumped on the occasion to say he 'assaulted' their child. If instead this is a true assault, we have two victims to look after: an abused child and
a priest to be urgently cured. If it is not we have far more victims: the whole of us. And defamation is an equally serious crime I am not prepared to ignore when it comes to my faith. As for comments like " we need to protect our children etc.etc", may I suggest (and I am a parent, too) that the whole materialistic and media society has become a serious danger for children long ago. To those hypocrites that shout so easily at scandals all to be proved, may I suggest to get their children quite far from media, TV and Internet in a first place. That's where most abuses happen every day even under the eyes of their parents. Giovanni (a parisher and parent)

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Did I read that right? You just said 'if this is a true assult, there are two victims' By that logic, courts should now be closed then, as there are no perpetrators of crimes anymore.

Or did you mean the the crime of enforcing celibacy on impressionable young men when they join the catholic priesthood?

Anonymous said...

In the present climate within the church and bearing in mind all the child protection procedures in place. Whatever was a priest doing kissing a child???
Surely for his own sake a pat on the childs head would have done.
Do we seriously believe that the Police would use valuable resources arresting and bailing him if it were so simple?

Anonymous said...

We have had the same PP with us for 19 years. Although we and our children are all very fond of him. I have never seen him kissing a child. I don't think it would be appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Yes Sir, you have read it right. Two victims if this is true. Real Christians don't do human Courts' job and, for us, perpetrators and victims are victmis of the same Evil. Hope these accusations will turn in nothing but in any case a horrendous damage has been done already to our community. As for those who retain inappropriate the kissing of child...please, don't be ridiculous! You do it everyday in your life! What are you, aliens? Giovanni

Anonymous said...

I think you will find that real christians, as you say, do do courts, and have been behind many of the reforms to our legal system over the centuries. Thanks to them, we now have a more humane form of justice in this country, and one which does not exempt clergy.

Anonymous said...

This time I have to agree with you, Anonymus, and I really appreciate your intervention. But this is different from casting judgements on Father Michael before knowing what actually happened. May I invite people to wait the end of the investigations before setting up the sadly usual hanging trees. In the meantime I want to believe (and this is different from a judgement) that Father Michael is innocent. Our constitution guarantees and protects defendants until they are proven guilty. And, yes, you are right! This is at least a nice human thing. Giovanni

Anonymous said...

If Father was innocent why remove him from the church and put in a private address? Why not suspend him? The police don't arrest anyone unless they are certain, and people don't make allegations unless they are certain that they are right, knowing that the church will back him up and what they will be against!
Its a disgrace that father M used the funding from our pockets to live out his lies with his noncatholic mother.

Anonymous said...

There is definitely more to this story than meets the eye. ++Peter Smith would not have made an appearance unless it was serious that’s for sure.
Good point Anonymous December 23rd. Nobody is going to make an allegation like this lightly.
They know they will come up against the might of the Catholic Church. They have the power and the money and they readily close ranks and protect their priests.
The Truth will out!

Anonymous said...

Good to see that stupidity and bigotry are alive and kicking in Tonbridge. The Catholic church (given its track record) will now react more quickly to these situations, even if they believe the priest to be innocent, due to the way that some people choose to take the law into their own hands. Removal from the situation is for the protection of all parties.

Anonymous said...

You would not be throwing the words "stupidity and bigotry" around if a paedo priest got his hands on a child of yours!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when the case will be heard in the courts of Tonbridge or Maidstone? Can we find out and publish the date so we can hear/attend at first hand what this is all about as it won't be a private hearing.
Does anyone know how he supported his non catholic mother living in the church house and we beleive it was from the parishoners funding not his own and was this right?
Does anyone beleive he was on his own on this as he had a lot of non married/married ladies helping him in the office and they must have seen something or did this all happen in the nursery? 19years is a long time and expense for our hard worked money we put into that church.

Anonymous said...

Exactly how much office work was there for al those womwn to do? It was hardly the Cathedral office.

Anonymous said...

One would have thought that a Priest looking after an elderly parent, can only be praised for his act of charity.
Undoubtedly the local Ordinary would have been aware of Fr. Michael's circumstances with regards to his mother.

Margaret said...

What has happened to the Parish website????

Anonymous said...

Lets move on from this how about saving our Burton Store in Tonbridge which is going to close shortly!

Anonymous said...

Of course! Burtons closing down is far more important than having a paeo priest in our midst!

Anonymous said...

It would be very charitable for one to look after their mum, given that he was the only child and after all it was paid for by the parishoners. Who wouldn't love that free accomadation, free food etc,. all charity paid from the coffers of the catholic church - indeed. Whilst thousands of true practising catholics are homeless and starving. Father Micheal was receiving charity from us in thousands of pounds and where was it all going! He seemed to spend so much time preparing for his sermons but one wonders what he really did in his time given that he read from a sheet of paper every sermon and text. We often thought his delivery was fake and one wonders if he was a reporter in his past life.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally and would ask for an enquiry into the accounting. He had asked for all the workers in his office to have a CRB check done even though they were just helpers and volunteers not even working with children. We need to ask if he was CRB checked and did he have a criminal record. Does anyone know?
Worrying isn't.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael probably did have a CRB check. It would not show anything unless he had been arrested and charged for offenses before. It makes me sick to think he was in a position of trust and looked up to and respected. priests like this makes fools of us all.
He has let everyone down badly.

Anonymous said...

Difficult to believe that no other priests in Kent or in the Archdiocese at large, were not aware of Fr. Michaels'behaviour.

Tonbridge blogger said...

God let's not hang the man just yet! The case hasn't even been heard yet and I doubt whether more than a handful of people know much of the details....

Anonymous said...

We all must remember that he is a monsineur and therefore has to be a exemplary priest and i beleive he is one of the most unlikely priests to commit such as crime!

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of comments here and speculation and anger about Father Michael. All of which is understandable. here are some facts. Firstly, F Michael was arrested after a dawn raid on his house, Mrs Smith his elderly and invalid mother was taken to be cared for elsewhere together with the dog on the morning of the arrest. A team of forensics were in the house from early morning until late in the evening carrying out their investigations. Items were removed by the team. Video footage of the house and church was taken. Tripods and cameras were taken into the house. F Michael was bailed by the Church. His whereabouts are not known but it has been suggested that he could be with the Bishop. A private removal van was in place some days later and was filled with boxes and personal belongings from the house.
F Michale has been in Tonbridge for 19 years. He has been an excellent businessman. He converted to Catholiscism after having a short career in journalism. I believe he studied English or History at University. His mother has lived with him all these years. It has been her home too. She obviously has her own pension and probably has lived from this. The house was not filled with women, married or not. He did have a secretary who was female and a gentlemen who helped with the accounts. Father Michael performed all the usual duties of a parish priest and was often very busy with hospital visits, funerals, blessings, weddings, etc. He had a young male gardener who helped out too and a team of boys who would help at weekends doing odd jobs (maybe they were doing this as part of their Duke of Edinburgh commitments) The parishoners were very generous and weekly offering were over £1000. Priests are not allowed to take this. It went straight to the accountant and much was probably used in renovating the Church.
Father Michael did not spend time in the nursery.
Father Michael was well liked by his parishioners however he was not popular with his neighbours as they found him to be unapproachable. He was not a good listener. He not a charitable person. His neighbours have got to know a different man than the parishioners who come occasionally to mass. Maybe image was important to F Michael. He had been seen in his front garden in shorts and bare chested by his neighbours which was felt not to be approriate attire for a Catholic priest. It lacked dignity. He returned one year after his summer holiday with highlights in his hair. Again rather narcissistic for a Monsigneur. He was never seen to do any manual work i.e. mow the lawn, sweep the church steps, clean his car but rather had a group of young boys to do this. They seem to have disappeared. The new priest ,Father Tom, was out with a shovel working hard alone to clear the snow before Christmas services, eventually two parishioners came to help.
Father Tom is a breath of fresh air.
Sadly the Catholic church are not getting good press at present with the many cases coming to the fore regarding sexual abuse. It has been and still is easy to hide behind their closed doors. One can only hope that the truth does eventually come out. And if the accusations are true that an appropriate punishment is given. There are not two victims here. Only one. Who that is we do not know and will have to wait to find out.

Peter Collins said...

Being a Mgr. does not automatically make any man an exemplary priest!

Thanks to Anonymous Jan 1st for that excellent factual and erudite piece delivered without malice.
It helps build a clearer picture for the reader and dispels some of the myths surrounding this case.
We can only hope that the truth will out, justice will be served and that the parish can overcome this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

The anon person to leave their last comment on January 1st is the only accurate statement I have read so far about this man. I have known him for 32 years and while I hate to disappoint all his loyal parishoners, this man is better off gone. He is sick and I have never trusted him near my children. He has always been vain and even when he was ordained he never showed an ounce of humility. Take it from one who has known him a very long time.

Anonymous said...

I Do agree Father Tom is a really nice person and so humble and caring. Where are the helpers who helped father M and the young boys.

I do agree that he protrayed a fake image to the congression and the neighbours knew him as his true self. But how can one state he was hard working when everything was done for him. And yes we see the women in tons helping out in the church and I beleive they must have known something was going on and should be questioned by the police too.

You omitted that Fr Michael insisted on his time off esp on Wed? He would never bend backwards or comprise to suit the parishoners and what did he exactly do to deserve the day off and it appears he was on a holiday throughout his 19yr in the parish paid for by the parishoners and the church - hard work indeed, the only hard work was to hide what his secret lifestyle, which I think most people were too brainwashed to admit.

Anonymous said...

Fr Michael has been replaced by a REAL priest! Father Tom is just what Tonbridge needs to rebuild a parish in shock. Fr Tom has shown the parish how a real priest can spiritually nourish his flock and has an extremely kind personable approach.Fr Michael for all his attributes AND failings is not a priest that inspires his congretation.

Anonymous said...

Reading all the comments regarding Fr Michael is very interesting. It is like blood thirsty hounds waiting to get to the truth. Nobody has mentioned what was originally stated, that this is a sex allegation involving a child! First and foremost a child that has suffered abuse, in the courts of law, will have protected identity. Secondly, this is a horrendous crime for a child to deal with. Deceit and betrayal is what Fr Michael has left behind! I really agree with an earlier blogger that mentioned his fake Homilies! I am a Christian that believes the Holy Spirit was missing from our church and parish. Father Tom has restored the Holy Spirit in our church. To the blogger that mentioned he/she had known Fr Michael for 32 and would not allow him near his/her children, if you felt something was wrong, why did you not have the courage to speak up before?

Anonymous said...

Whatever our opinions of Fr. Michael we are Catholics and we should show charity for his Mother. It cannot have been pleasant for her. She was taken out of the house, the only home she has known of many years.
The Police raid must have come as a terrible shock and being uprooted at her time of life is not good. We don't know if she was aware of Fr. Michael's other life. Nor do we know what kind of life she had with him. Good to know the boys are no longer around. Prayers of thanks for Fr. Tom.

Anonymous said...

So much of all that has been posted has missed the point. Fr Michael is NOT the victim. He was arrested because "an allegation was made against him concerning a young person". The Police do not arrest anyone on a whim or for no reason. All we read in these posts expresses concern for Fr Michael - but where is your concern for the young person involved - for the family of that young person - for the anguish, for the pain and suffering that they live with. We don't know whether this allegation refers to an incident that has happened recently or in years gone by. We simply know an allegation was made and he was arrested. Understandably people are in shock but understand this also - Fr Michael fully understood his actions would have consequences and those consequences would affect the Parish of Corpus Christi and his mother. Did he care - clearly not!
If anyone in the Parish, or reading this blogsite, has or knows of any information relevant to this case, please do telephone 0207 960 2504 - the Diocesan Safeguarding Office. You can be assured of total confidentiality.
I would also like to know why the blogger of Jan 3rd did not report Fr Michael if they thought he was too sick to allow near their children?
I believe the spiritual life of our Parish was woefully neglected and so I welcome Fr Tom with great joy and pray that he will guide and lead us out of the spiritual desert we have come to know.

Anonymous said...

We were horrified by the behaviour of both F Michael and his cronies when we arrived in this area. He deliberately surrounded himself with a group of people that would carry out his unpleasant instructions. I saw one man physically pushing woman holding a baby out of the way so that FM could get to the crib at Christmas. He was peculiarly obsessive, his homilies were ludicrous or offensive and he was a very unpleasant man. That said I hope he is innocent as there is at least one child who may have been very badly hurt. I hope the new priest can bring some Christian ethos to the church and some of those parishoners who have been behaving so badly towards their fellow worshippers.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with Anon 10th January. Fr Michael was a bully and dictator. He never made anything easy, his way or not at all. This man refused me and other women like me the Holy Sacrament because we were not married in the Catholic Church. He insisted we go to him for confession because of this - Ha, looks like we weren't the sinners after all Fr Michael!! I never "confessed" anything to him and voted with my feet, leaving Corpus Christi for another local Church where I am not judged. I have heard so many stories from people over the years of how cruel he could be. I for one am delighted he has left the Church. My prayers and thoughts are with the young person involved in this dreadful crime. May God protect you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:50am.
I agree in so far as that Fr. Michael is not the victim here.
However, in the present climate in the church today. Why were a group of boys going around to the house to do jobs for Fr. Michael?
A little late in the day to be banging the Child Protection drum.
Where were these boys parents and what were they thinking of?
I would not be happy for a child of mine to be hanging around with this priest without other adults present.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the Corpus Christi Parish and I am so glad that Father Michael has gone. He was so unapproachable, an almost pathological difficulty talking to women. An inability to embrace children (ironically) during Sunday services, where noise was just viewed as a nuisance and the families with young children were not welcomed.
Two members of my family were horribly abused by priests in Southern Ireland. I really really prayed that what happened with Father Michael was not true. It is such a shameful thing to demand that young adults put their faith in him and then go on to (allegedly) abuse it.
I know that he went on holidays with some young men. Who was letting this happen? I understand he may have been warned before? By whom? Why was he not removed earlier, all the signs were there.
He surrounded himself with rigid, impermeable older members of the congregation who provided a hostile buffer when members of the community wanted to talk to him.
I found him bigoted when I spoke to him and some of his comments were not appropriate for a parish priest.
I pray for the young person who has had to come forward with the allegation. I pray that they are comforted by God. Father Michael is not what God's love is about, the sooner we are restored with a proper priest the better.

I love Father Tom, he is humble and warm. Shame ihe is retiring and won't be staying.

If anything like this happens again, if we have suspicions we MUST voice them. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

Anonymous said...

Father Tom is not going to be with us long and we need to petition hard and fast for him to stay to the head of the diocese asap.

Another thing no one has noted is where is the Deacon, whichs he is getting paid by our money? He has done a disappearing act!!! The suspicous saintly lady helpers are keeping very stump as if they are guility of knowing and never said anything and protected FM!!!

The saintly ladies, are in and out of the office every day and was it one of their children who was the victim? But they must of known FM yet he allowed them access to private information held on the computer i.e address's of parishoners etc., and isn't this infringing data protection and a sacable offence. Worrying that these ladies have seen and viewed everyone's private information on the computer and now the police have this computer with our infor on it. Could these ladies have transferred this to their own private computers. For keeping very quiet and protecting FM are they guilty....

StuartD said...

It makes me very sad to say that I am glad that Father Michael has left our parish.

I pray that a child has not been hurt by him. I found him unapproachable, self obsessed, ignorant and secretive.

He made younger families feel unwelcome during Sunday morning mass, preferring to pander to the older members of the church who felt that there was no place for children.

I understand that he was warned before of his behaviour, but why was he not moved then? Perhaps then an innocent would not have to go through this.

His arrogance made him think that he was untouchable as "I am their parish priest and they should trust me".

Father Tom is what the parish is all about. Humble, unassuming and full of the word of God. He is warm, engages with the children during mass and will actually talk to you and give you eye contact!!

Father Michael was an accountant not a parish priest.

Lets hope that the new priest (as Father Tom is only temporary) can give us a fresh start.

His case goes to court in March and it will be interesting to see how the Church deals with this and how Father Michael defends himself.

Anonymous said...

Fr Michael had been warned about his behaviour before???!!!??? This beggers belief. If this is true then why was this not made public, he was a leading figure head at the local Catholic Primary school and was involved with lots of the childrens activities. Surely, we as parents had a right to know this??

Anonymous said...

I am really surprised, disappointed and distressed by the tone and level of comments that are being posted here. I expected better from parishioners at Corpus Christi. This case is not about a character assassination of Fr Michael and really as practising Catholics, one has to ask where is your charity and sense of propriety?
Suddenly everyone has become an expert on things they know nothing about.
So ... 1. Fr Michael officially employed one secretary in the office, who carries out her job with discretion and the confidentiality one would expect of someone in her position. Fr Michael also employed a lady to type the Newsletter. Of course they used the computer but this does not mean they had access to anything private or personal of Fr Michael's. No data protection was infringed and they have not committed any sackable offence. They just did their jobs.
2. The Deacon has not done a 'disappearing act'. Perhaps you are simply not around the Parish enough to see him (blogger of 13 Jan).
3. The boys who worked in the Presbytery and Church on Saturday morning were properly employed. They worked together as a group of three or four and you can be completely assured, they did so with the full knowlege and blessing of their parents. The boys carried out jobs around the Church property, keeping the car park tidy, the steps swept, the Narthex tidy, chairs put out when needed in Church and a whole host of other unseen jobs that were simply taken for granted.
4. As far as noise from the children at Sunday morning Mass is concerned, I have never heard any complaints from Fr Michael. Other parishioners - yes. Indeed, Fr Michael did not like to complain about the noise level in Church.
5. Fr Michael did not personally make up the rules of the Church. They are set by the Church as moral & spiritual guidelines by which practising Roman Catholics are expected to live their lives. If anyone felt Fr Michael was too rigid or over-zealous in his attitudes, one was/ is always at liberty to contact the Bishop or the Archbishop with your complaint.
All the above is actually irrelevant to the allegation that has been made against Fr Michael. But as people are letting their imaginations run away with them and making ridiculous statements that in themselves cause unnecessary distress, I thought it only right to put the record straight so that attention can focus on the matter under investigation. So, if anyone has any information relating to the original allegation, please do telephone the Diocesan Safguarding Office on 0207 960 2504. Your call will be treated with complete confidentiality.

Anonymous said...

I am really surprised, disappointed and distressed by the tone and level of comments that are being posted here. I expected better from parishioners at Corpus Christi. This case is not about a character assassination of Fr Michael and really as practising Catholics, one has to ask where is your charity and sense of propriety?
Suddenly everyone has become an expert on things they know nothing about.
So ... 1. Fr Michael officially employed one secretary in the office, who carries out her job with discretion and the confidentiality one would expect of someone in her position. Fr Michael also employed a lady to type the Newsletter. Of course they used the computer but this does not mean they had access to anything private or personal of Fr Michael's. No data protection was infringed and they have not committed any sackable offence. They just did their jobs.
2. The Deacon has not done a 'disappearing act'. Perhaps you are simply not around the Parish enough to see him (blogger of 13 Jan).
3. The boys who worked in the Presbytery and Church on Saturday morning were properly employed. They worked together as a group of three or four and you can be completely assured, they did so with the full knowlege and blessing of their parents. The boys carried out jobs around the Church property, keeping the car park tidy, the steps swept, the Narthex tidy, chairs put out when needed in Church and a whole host of other unseen jobs that were simply taken for granted.
4. As far as noise from the children at Sunday morning Mass is concerned, I have never heard any complaints from Fr Michael. Other parishioners - yes. Indeed, Fr Michael did not like to complain about the noise level in Church.
5. Fr Michael did not personally make up the rules of the Church. They are set by the Church as moral & spiritual guidelines by which practising Roman Catholics are expected to live their lives. If anyone felt Fr Michael was too rigid or over-zealous in his attitudes, one was/ is always at liberty to contact the Bishop or the Archbishop with your complaint.
All the above is actually irrelevant to the allegation that has been made against Fr Michael. But as people are letting their imaginations run away with them and making ridiculous statements that in themselves cause unnecessary distress, I thought it only right to put the record straight so that attention can focus on the matter under investigation. So, if anyone has any information relating to the original allegation, please do telephone the Diocesan Safguarding Office on 0207 960 2504. Your call will be treated with complete confidentiality.

? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anon 17th January - you have NOTHING to feel guilty or ashamed about. I hope justice is served now for you and any other people who's lives he has tried to ruin.

Anonymous said...

To the person who left the comments on the 14th January you have not read carefully or understood the comments made by people who were deeply upset and disturbed by F.Michael's unpleasant, bullying behaviour. Clearly you have some connection to the church given you have supplied the telephone number. You are simply adding to the belief's of many that the Catholic church and in this case Corpus Christi's regime refused to listen to the parishoners. Many people felt they could no longer attend the church which was deeply distressing as the church had been an 'exclusive club' for F.Michael's little elite group. I think it is worth pointing out that Christianity should be an inclusive religion and the church is available for the people not the people available for the church (very often not practiced but a cursory read of the New Testament should make this clear)F.Michael was not a man that preached inclusivity, the group of people that he surrounded himself with made life difficult for others and clearly felt superior and exclusive to the 'ordinary parishoners'. They regularly shouted at mother's picking up young children outside the nursery because they had to wait 5 minutes for the car park to clear after church, they passively agressively demanded money when instructed by F.M., older members of the parish regularly make it clear that children are not welcome at mass unless silent, and there is much more. F.M was more than capable of changing this point of view simply by using the eulogy to teach people but he did not want to. He knew full well who was being unpleasant and could have easily dealt with it gently but he CHOSE not to. He was very difficult with women and made them feel very uncomfortable. It is no coincidence that many parents refused to allow their children to be on the alter. Ask yourself why there were no girls on the alter? He was asked and his answer was perverse. So to the person on the 14th January - if you want there to be a Catholic church in a few years time it is time you started listening to other people because the people turning their backs on the church are parents and the young. If you think the church has never changed it's views look no further than the King James bible. Being a Christian is about listening and trying to understand others, it is about doing good not simply claiming to be good, it is about supporting the whole community (this includes outside of the church community) not simply the people in your close circle, it is about not judging others but above all it is inclusive. I hope he is not guilty because a false accusation would be dreadful. I hope to God he is not guilty for the sake of the children. However above all I am glad he has gone and I am sorry that this will upset a lot of his loyal parishoners but there are many who feel the same as me.

Ali walsh said...

Re Post Jan 14 4:16.

This is quite a sanctimonious lecture by someone who would like us to believe that they are very knowledgeable in this matter, probably holding high office within the diocese.
However, as we all know if this were the case they would not be posting their comments anonymously. Any comment from the diocese would have come from either the Press Office or the Curia and have been approved by the Bishop.
In such a sensitive matter the + is not going to put his head above the parapet!

For some reason- best known to yourself-you are trying to play down the allegation made about Fr. Michael. We are not stupid people, credit us with some intelligence. Fr. Michael was arrested and has been removed from the parish. Speaks for itself.
Quite frankly I see very little regret on this blog at his departure.
If you must lecture the rest of us, then have the decency to use your name and the office you hold within the diocese. Though I venture you are no more than one of Fr. Michael's busy body cronies.
As parents we are entitled to have concerns and to voice them! If you and the rest of Fr. Michaels clique don't like that well tough. Since you seem to know what was going on, perhaps you know far more about Fr. Michaels secret life than you are letting on!

Anonymous said...

I agree with so much of the blog dated 19th Jan. The church and the school are full of the hand picked clique chosen by Fr. Michael. He supported and turned a blind eye to many unchristian acts. We as christian should only be concerned with the glory of God not the glory of Fr. Michael. The church and school have a long way to go to wipe out all the insincerity. This is just the beginning, someone had the courage to take on Fr. Michael and have him removed. Now it's our chance to create the church and school that is truly inclusive.

Anonymous said...

The person who quotes the Diocesan Safeguarding number must be some kind of Child protection Officer. That person needs to find some humility and fast.
In respect of Fr. Michael, did He/She really do all they could to safeguard our children from this priest? If it is true and Fr. Michael was warned before, why was he allowed to continue working in a parish environment and come into contact with children?
As for directing our complaints to the Bishop and Archbishop…are you serious?
If those in office had done their jobs properly in the first instance none of this would have happened. There would not be an allegation to answer and somewhere out there a young person and their family would not be going through some kind of nightmare.
The only positive thing to come out of all this is the absence of Fr. Michael!
Legalistic priests like Fr.Michael are the worst kind. This is our chance to build a decent parish. One that is there for, and will welcome everyone not just the chosen few.

Anonymous said...

The vigilantes are out there and heaven forbid anyone who dares defend F Michael. Regardless of his right to innocence until proven guilty, an annoying but clearly irrelevant point of law to some people, its a good execuse to see the back of him.

The church has acted in the only way it possibly could to the news although clearly that is not good enough for many.

Anonymous said...

Anon 17 Jan - my heart goes out to you. I am so sad you have suffered for so long. You should feel neither guilt nor shame. I hope you will find peace in the knowledge that justice can now be carried out and will keep you in my prayers.
Anon 18 Jan & Ali Walsh 19 Jan - actually I think you have both missed the point. Anon 14 Jan was simply correcting some facts which had been misrepresented in earlier posts. What Anon 14 Jan writes is not biased and the facts given are widely known by parishioners. I doubt very much that anyone of 'high standing' in the Diocese would know this kind of detail - it is simply basic Parish information. Clearly people have all kinds of concerns but rudeness is not necessary.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is being sanctimonious here-just putting facts straight before people let stories run wild! The truth about secretaries,Deacon Jim,Saturday boys and 'children being children' at mass were never and should never be in dispute.The issue is that possibly and quite probably a young person has had to confide an unbearable truth to someone in confidence.However intolerable people found/find Fr Michael-that does not make his trusting servants a counterpart.It seems to me that the revelation of Fr Michaels apparent unpopularity may at least help someone that is wanting to come forward-as they will realise that Fr M is not respected and their words will be heard.

Anonymous said...

Complaints were made to the previous Bishop about F.M. about all sorts of things and nothing changed. So how could anyone complain about abuse in that climate? It's been a common theme for the Catholic Church - complaints are made and things are covered up, hidden and ignored - ask the Pope he knows all about it. Or perhaps we should ask the victims of the abuse in Ireland who were told that they were lying or were ignored. Is it a coincidence that Peter Smith (with his special role) arrives as the new Bishop and F.M. goes within 6 months? I agree there has been far too much sanctimoniousness and not enough humility and thought for the possible victims in this case. People just don't believe the church anymore.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Pope's recent reforms (in the light of unreported cases) the police involvement has moved things on. The church is so often put under criticism therefore those that protect the church also end up protecting the violaters. The police are in the business of catching and punishing offenders without restriction. I agree with a previous blogger-the school could do with a shake up too.Many in house rules and appointments.There is a definite lack of scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

There are obviously many people here who are no strangers to 'stepping out'. I would urge you to look at these two websites.

http://www.ccr.org.uk/index.html

http://www.emotionallyfree.org/dennis.htm

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you one good thing I did get from St.Margarets..A plastic bag dispenser at their summer fayre!

Anonymous said...

What eeactly does Charismatic Renewal rubbish have to do with this matter?

Anonymous said...

We still don't know if FM is going to court or the cps are going to take this further. We don't know if FM has admitted to his crimes and whether it was a 'young person' it could have been a man?

If it is going to court when is the case going to be heard? Wouldn't it be surprising if the office support staff are there in full support for FM and possibly giving evidence. Do you think they acted in confidence, never, after accessing all the data and watching FM daily they themselves committed a crime.

There is a shortage of priests and the bishop probably felt that FM would behave an that things would improve, which infact it didn't and noone monitored this. The bishop probably felt sorry for his mother, and FM used her as his staying power for sympathy at our cost.

For those who protected FM, and should be very guilty and should be charged along with him are actors quietly pretending to carry on regardless as if they didn't know anything about FM an these very people are the close people he kept in the office, the ladies who must have been aware of the goings on, yet how their conscience be clean now and carry on with their roles in the church is very unbelievable. They must be just as guilty.

The whole church scene for over 19years was a snobery of clicky people including the office staff and the ladies who managed it. The reason why they brought in FM was to fit in with the type of people that came to Mass.

We need a fresh injection of people and priest into the church now. We need honesty and integrity and a loving and open church to serve god and his values.

Anonymous said...

Well said Anonymous 21 Jan!
You are absolutely right. There has always been a terrible culture of cliques and snobbery at Corpus. Of course those women in the office knew what was going on with Fr. Michael they did not miss a thing!
It was difficult enough to get to Fr. Michael without having to first run the gauntlet of the prying office busy bodies.
They would have kept silent about Fr. Michael because it meant clinging on to that little bit of power they had, that power was all they cared about! Looking down their noses and lording it over the rest of the parish was what they did best.

There should be a clean sweep, those women should be removed.
The trust is gone and we all need a fresh start if the parish is to go from strength to strength.

Anonymous said...

Catholic Charismatic Renewal enjoys the strong support of the hierarchy, from the Pope to bishops of dioceses around the world, as an officially recognized ecclesial movement. Three popes have acknowledged the movement: Pope Paul VI , Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Pope John Paul II stated that the movement was integral to the renewal of the entire Catholic Church. At this moment in the Church's history, the Charismatic Renewal can play a significant role in promoting the much-needed defence of Christian life in societies where secularism and materialism have weakened many people's ability to respond to the Spirit and to discern God's loving call.
With all that has happened at Corpus Christi we need to be open minded to a fresh beginning.

Anonymous said...

Fr Michael is a complete disgrace. He was living a lie - a disgusting double life! And in the process of this horrific scandal, he has destroyed many young people's precious lives! There's no hiding from it; Fr Michael is a paedophile. And his horrendous ways have gone on for at least 30 years.

So let us ask ourselves, just how many young children's lives have been scarred by this appalling excuse for a priest?

As a priest, he was meant to set an example for his parish. But clearly its now been revealed that the "trustworthy priest" we had around our children, was just a scheming paedophile.

He makes me sick. I know for a fact a number of outrageous and disgusting crimes he has committed and anger boils inside of me, whenever the thought of him crosses my mind.

This man has most selfishly torn apart a number of young peoples lives. He is a filthy lying hypocrite. But now, thankfully, his abysmal secret is out in the open.

To the young people Michael has abused - you are never to blame. And of course, it will be painful and difficult to speak about, but please have courage! Keeping it in will only make it harder to let go. God bless your souls.

Anonymous said...

http://www.macsas.org.uk/
Minster and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS)

MACSAS Survey 2010
We want to find out the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse within UK Christian Churches. What happened, if and when allegations were reported or complaints were made to church authorities or other agencies, and what, if any, support was offered.
» Fill out the Survey online and it will be sent directly to us
» Download the MACSAS Survey 2010
[Word doc. New window will open]
Further information and return address is given with the Survey.
Thank you for taking part.

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree with the Jan 22nd blogger! You have said it exactly how it is!

Anonymous said...

Jan 22nd blogger seems to kno what they are talking about. If this is indeed true and Fr. Michael has been leading this life for 30 yers.
The qusetion we have to ask is, who has been responsible for covering his back?
How many Bishops, Archbishops were aware of the situation and turned a blind eye. They should be accountable and they should not be allowed to get away with this.

Anonymous said...

We all want to know the date of the hearing and which court its at. There is a lot of Chinese whispering but can someone confirm the date.

We should all set up a petition to have the ladies in the office and the groups that these ladies hold accountable for protecting FM and sacked to include the bishops as well. They must be a law that states that protecting an abuser is incorrect.

The priests and in particular the local ones like father Leo who stated that FM was innocent, is a liar and needs to justify his comments after he knew that FM was warned and had a history of abuse. Father Leo actually was FM's mentor and his tutor so are we seeing the catholic church as liars to protect their own - indeed this is the case. How sad and fake. We are all brainwashed and groomed by the church, yet we should have all seen it coming.

Anonymous said...

Where have you received information that FM had a history of abuse? Where have you heard that any clerical staff protected FM.
Why do you think anyone covered for him? If he could hoodwink a person into doing the unimagineable surely he could hoodwink anyone.
The focus lies on FM and if indeed anyone turned a blind eye it would be staggering but this case does not show such implications!?

Anonymous said...

The people posting accusations and fanning flames on this blog should be ashamed of themselves. I doubt there is a shred of fact, lots of supposition and even potentially libelous commentary. If people know so much then why are they not police witnesses? And don't tell me they are because I am sure that would be prejudicing any upcoming court case.

Anonymous said...

We don't need to hear about the clerical staff protecting FM, we saw it daily, and even today they say nothing like saints as if they know nothing - so pretentious.

No one is 'hoodwinked' into doing anything that they don't want to do, considering there were ample of witness's around, did they all turn a blind eye or were they in it as well.

Anonymous said...

The whole dirty thing about abuse is that it's a secret. The least likely person is guilty.The victim is too ashamed to tell and the abuser gets away with it. When someone finally tells years later-thats when all the nasty business comes to light.All the unpleasant behaviour in Tonbridge Parish undoubtedly assisted FM'S manner BUT surely this was unwittingly!He certainly had a way of keeping you at arm's length but this was always assumed to be due to his lack of people skills (bit of a joke as he was a parish priest) and busy schedule! There must be more victims that are too afraid to come forward because of stigmatism, blame,etc but these victims will have been cleverly groomed.

Anonymous said...

Same people-different priest and already Corpus Christi has improved!

Anonymous said...

The women in the office should be replaced. As long as those individuals remain we will never be rid of the culture of arrogance and unpleasantness.It was created by Fr. Michael to keep parishioners at bay. It pervaded the parish and caused much unhappiness.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely fed up with the victimisation of our Parish Secretary - and there is ONLY ONE secretary, not several, which clearly shows that bloggers just do NOT know what they are talking about. People are throwing blame left, right and centre and causing distress to so many people who are not in any way remotely involved in the case that has been brought against Fr Michael. This is neither fair nor kind.

Anonymous said...

Oh and Fr. Michael and his cronies that he had fawning over him and protecting him were fair and kind?

Anonymous said...

It is very sad that you feel so strongly yet can only express these views anonymously on a blog-site.

Anonymous said...

Whether his cronies protected FM or not is debatable - in truth they probably didn't know his sordid hidden life. One thing is sure though and this will come out he is guilty as hell

Anonymous said...

When a parent abuses a child-do the school know,do the neighbours know,do their freinds know? Of course not or they would help.This is the same-the only person that knew what FM was doing was FM. Secretaries and 'cronies' didn't live with the man!Stop going off on a tangent and missing what's staring you in the face.FM did it himself and you prefer to blame the ladies!!

Anonymous said...

Busy bodies, do-gooders, creeps, suckers-they’re everywhere. They’re not employed, they’re not always invited.

Anonymous said...

To the person on 27/01/11 that said fr m would of been the only person who knew what he was doing speaks a lot of nonsense. Without going into details i was abused as a child for many years until i had the courage to tell my parents, but i know for a FACT certain people around me at the time knew and turned the other way and i know that many abused people will say the same. nobody is saying the ladies in the office or the other clicky people from the parish knew but i bet the minium of 2 people knew and turned the other way. somebody i know had to sit whilst out for a meal listerning to a fr m follower defending him and cursing the abused !!!! there will always be those that defend fr m and they should be ashamed of them selves hiding behind their faith. i was abused as a child and now i have to look at photographs of a pervert holding my children at their baptism. the bishop is hiding fr m from us and that has been done before why??????????? convicted priests are hidden in parishes and they still go out on vists FACT.and before anyone jumps on the innocent till proven guilty band wagon does not wash with me as far as i am concerned a child can not make this up and if it is an adult speaking for something from his or her chilhood what would be gained from not telling the truth.fr m has broken my faith.

Anonymous said...

• How terrible that you were abused-I can’t imagine what that’s like and feel for you.
• I think people have actually implied that particular people knew of FM’s actions and I don’t believe these people did know.
• If someone was defending FM it’s likely that they will not accept his apparent guilt until it smacks them in the face.
• How they could curse the abused fails me??!!I don’t really understand that mentality.
• I too have pictures of FM with my children but I don’t look at them.
• I’m curious as to when FM has been hidden from us before?
• Priests have reportedly been protected before but I don’t think that is happening in this case?
• The Church is an important part of our faith and needs to be kept sacred.
• I’m sure these allegations are true but I won’t let FM destroy my faith.
• The percentage of catholic paedophile priest’s v’s paedophile men at large is actually half.
• Certainly previous reactions within the church towards sexual allegations have been sinful but I am hopeful that things are changing.
• Don’t give up on your faith or you let evil win! Instead react positively and find a priest you respect.

Anonymous said...

it is true that Fr M has being doing this for a long time. but we do not know who was responsible for hiding it all for him, or if any one (apart from the young people that were abused) knew about it!
we can't suddenly blame people for Fr M faults without proof. if somebody can produce proof that people were covering for him, then go ahead. However we DO have proof of Fr M abusing young people - There is no question that it is true, and no one can deny that!

Anonymous said...

Judge, jury and chief executioner. Good job we have people like you to determine the outcome. Have you suggested the elimination of the justice system?

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of fact and speculation written here and a blog should be a discussion not slander.

Father Leo stated that FM was NOT guilty, how can he verify this? Because he is priest and a catholic priest and FM tutor doesn't make FM innocent. If Father Leo cared for us wouldn't he speak the truth? But this is proof that again the church is protecting their own. Are we saying we can trust Father Leo now?

Yes, there must have been someone protecting FM whilst he was engaging with the youngsters, his mum, the secretary, the helpers the women's group, the unauthorized users of the church computers, the ladies again, and the accountant and the clicky set. What did they do, they continued to allow this to happen and are just as guilty. For them to get angry now is out of the question they must be gotten rid of for the safety of the church and we need fresh honest, people who care for all types of gender and creed.

What is the biggest question and a worrying one is how did FM come to the church nineteen years ago knowing he was not safe and the staff knew but 'licked his back side' and grovelled to him, so answer this.

Anonymous said...

Lay off Father Leo! He's great!
You are well out of order to slander Fr Leo. If he said anything about this case it would have been to calm people down and I doubt whether he would have categorically announced FM's innocence. You are anti-Catholic and dangerous!! I can’t read this blog site anymore because you're spoiling it with your unrequited slander!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment. This blog has been ruined by idiots who are looking to blame everyone and anyone. Michael Smith is at the heart of this, not his mother or "all" these women he surrounded himself with! If they are involved, the police will have interviewed them and if any wrong doing is uncovered I'm sure they will be arrested too. Stop writing RUBBISH on here, stick to the facts and I agree, lay off Fr Leo.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of anger here directed at the morals and history of the Catholic Church. This is completely understandable. It seems that this blog has given many an opportunity to air their grievances about Father Michael and the hierachy of the church. Again this is totally understandable. Some believe that it was about time that Father Michael was exposed for not being quite who he seemed to be. This does not make him guilty of the allegation but certainly does expose him for not having the social and Christian qualities one expects of a Parish priest. There are many parishioners who have been ostracised by this man. His unchristian attitude and fierce opinionated demeaner exposed a man who couldn't care less about others. He was unable to relate to his parishioners and their daily concerns. He was only able to relate to the circle he kept close to him and maybe protected himself by doing this. He was NOT the man who he seemed to be. He would rather ignore a number of parishioners rather than acknowledge them. Many left the church to go to mass elsewhere. He preached reconcilation and honesty but was unable to upkeep this himself. This does not make him guilty of the allegation but does show he was not who he seemed to be. However, the police did take this allegation seriously and Father Michael was arrested and bailed. Allegations of this nature do not happen everyday. One has to ask the question why would a child or a person make these allegations. It is a difficult and serious process to go throug for the person making the allegation and takes bravery if there is truth in it. As forensics were combing the presbytery for over 8 hours and removing items it seems the allegation has not been taken lightly by the police. The outcome remains to be seen. Whatever way it goes he will not be back in Tonbridge and the parish can be built on more solid ground and hopefully be inclusive to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Controversy and speculation surrounding this case are inevitable-I would also like to invite discussion about the lack of holiness within St Margaret Clitherow Primary School.
Following a conversation with a young Mum yesterday I learnt that she had two children at St. Margaret’s but her application for a place for her third child (to start in reception) was declined. She is not Catholic so did not qualify. Despite the fact that her other two children are also not Catholic-this third child was denied the PRIVILIDGE of a place with her brother and sister. The school seems to be somewhat disengaged from humility and seeks the riches of state rewards through vanity, aspiring to be something like a private school with affluent children, Catholic and non-Catholic, being tutored to raise performance statistics and in so doing, RESEMBLING a school of good standing.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with the previous blogger, but it’s not just Corpus Christi that needs to be built on solid ground, the school is also full with a long line of FM chosen ones!! They are full of hypocrisy and use the catholic faith to their own ends. I know a number of people that have fail to gain a place because they are not catholic, although they have a sibling in the school. I thought Catholic’s promote family unity and would want to educate families together. It’s interesting when children move on to senior school the Catholic comprehensive is not promoted or chosen by the catholic teachers at the school. The school governors along with the head teacher much intake decisions, how many of the governors are catholic.

Anonymous said...

Terrible!!! That school and church are an institution of their own!! I wouldnt be surprised if the young mum was single,with dyslexic children and on their way to St.Greggs? Such a disgrace!!

Anonymous said...

catholic schools are for catholic kids! of course they go to st.greggs-where else? are you saying that clever kids go to grammar school-i dont think so! my boy is clever and goes to st greggs. i bet all the kids from st.margarets go to st.greggs.

Anonymous said...

The Headteacher's children all went to Grammar School. The Head of Governor's children are catholic but never at church.Both the receptionists are divorced. If they want to be liberal then be liberal enough to allow a 4 year old to be at the same school as her siblings.

Anonymous said...

I do not hink the personal attacks on Fr Michael are appropriate. Because some of you think he does not have the required inter-personal skills does not implicate him in any of the allegations.
I believe Fr Michael is approachable, just somewhat introverted, I believe he is a good man and will be exonerated from these allegations.

Lets remember if found not guilty there is no reason he cannot hold his head up high and continue with his good work putting this unfortunate episode behind him.

We are all praying for him and the church parishoners.

Anonymous said...

What did fr michael do 19years ago and when did father leo say he was innocent? who knew what?

Anonymous said...

fuck you all. nobody knows anything for certain. all speculation. no one has any right to comment when they don't know the full story. it's shit really. all full of shit. basically, you're all little girls, gossiping about 'facts' or should i say, opinions! everyone here has based their conclusions on perceptions and their own opinion. the church may have been full of secrets, but i can assure you, if anything of the sort went on, it would have stayed with him. i mean, you wouldn't exactly tell anybody, oh i've been getting too close to someone i shouldn't have, knowing you'd get in shit for it... you can't trust anyone.

Anonymous said...

Keep your wig on!If you can't trust the people who are placed in influential positions to help guide us through our lives then who can you trust? That was the question and anyone can say what they like-its a blog site!

Anonymous said...

youre dead right-he's hardly gonna tell his bezzy mates! they probably wont tell and if they do no one will believe them anyway.lairy but scary street talking muvva!

Anonymous said...

Suppose he didnt do it.Where was he with the person/people making the allegation? Priests like teachers should always be aware that they are open to allegations.What could he have been doing that could lead to an allegation being made? No smoke without fire. He surely must have been in situations that dont fit unless it was in the confessional. Police need some kind of proof for an allegation to be taken seriously so he must have been doing something wrong but it doesnt necessarily make him a paedo unless he got caught in the act! If he wasnt a priest would it still be wrong? Is he a paedo or a priest that shouldnt be a priest? Either should provoke public from someone who appears to be someone that they are not! Is there enough supervision in the clergy or is it excused? Why such a free reign?

Anonymous said...

sexual allegation..derr! its a sexual allegation.....no more cover ups. either did it or didnt-- priest or no priest--wake up!!

Anonymous said...

To the foul mouthed individual - anonymous dated 31 Jan - has it not occurred to you by now that most if not all the detrimental comments made against FM are in fact true - certain individuals have remained anonymous for a very good reason - you will find out in good time in the meantime if you wish to converse via the blog keep it civil !

Anonymous said...

So all children from St Margarets go on to St Greg's? I think not! I suspect that, as is the case with all the other primary schools in Tonbridge, a proportion of children are coached up for & put into the 11+. It is handy for the Catholic population that they have a different sort of selective school to fall back on, though.

Anonymous said...

It is handy especially as these days you dont have to choose until after taking the 11+. However ideally catholics should send their children to catholic secondary schools in the first place.Often but not in all cases, catholic secondary schools are used these days to send children (catholic and otherwise)who are not such high achievers, hence lowering the bar for educational attainment.Why should catholic primary schools refuse non catholic children and then send catholic children to non catholic secondary schools.Scrap 11+ and send children where suits them best.High achievers and less high achievers mixed-better balance-like life outside school.Grammar schools promote school snobbery.

Anonymous said...

I agree - grammar schools are divisive. The problem is made worse by the number of prep schools whose raison d'etre is cramming for the 11+. Children are made miserable by being pushed into selective education which may not suit them. Pupils in Sussex comprehensive schools appear to do just as well in the long term as those across the border in Kent.

Anonymous said...

We don't feel sorry for the parents whose child didn't get into the catholic school because his or hers siblings are in there. Firstly how did the non catholic siblings get in? And catholic schools are a convenience for non Catholics, who don't fund our catholic schools, we never see them in the church on a regular basis, just, funnily enough, before the deadline for their entrance forms for the intake have to be submitted. For all those parents who come to church with their kids with this in mind are bigots who abuse our church and its funding. The parents and kids once they are accepted into the schools never return to the church on a regular basis, neither fund the church! So don't abuse our schools and ask for pity. You all should be shamed and named. The reason the catholic schools have such a bad name, is because they have to deal with undisciplined kids, who are often non catholic and whose parents have put them in there to presume that its the catholic school's job to refine them and ITS NOT. Discipline comes from the home and progress's.

As for the head teacher and the governor whose children don't attend the catholic schools, its no bodies business as they have a choice and probably get paid to put their kids from private education, passing their 11+ and attending the grammar schools, and there is nothing wrong in that.

Their not saying catholic schools are bad, what their saying is that they are making a choice for their children to gain from a more challenging environment and they are there, hopefully to offer the support.

99% of pupils getting into grammar schools are privately tutored and supposedly the pupils are supposed to be naturally talented not tutored and according to the people who set the papers state that what they learn in school is enough for them to pass the tests! So one asks if the people who set these tests could sit them themselves without being tutored. On the other hand, this becomes a high problem, when the child is tutored and pass's they then struggle in the grammar school and are a waste of space, but they are fulfilling their parents dream, which is what passing the +11 is about!

Anonymous said...

A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs. The predominant usage in modern English refers to persons hostile to those of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, various mental disorders, or religion.
Do you know anyone who fits this description?

Anonymous said...

Well done to Mr anonymous (dated 2nd Feb) for swallowing and digesting his/her dictionary this morning - we are all aware the true definition of a bigot - and your point is ?

Anonymous said...

Their point is to demonstrate that they suffer from compulsive competitive disorder, and that any forum or conversation is an opportunity to display this affliction.

Anonymous said...

I would like to think and at least hope that he (FM) has no access to this blog although having read through all the comments I think he should be made aware of how unpopular he really was !

Anonymous said...

From the person guilty of compulsive competitive disorder and digesting the dictionary:

Selection remains a significant factor in 2010. Popular with parents who can afford years of coaching for their children's entrance tests, it underpins a hierarchy of status, promotes snobbery and prevents many schools from gaining a fair share of able pupils. Surely it should have no place in a country wrestling with so many other inequalities?
Selection underpins the grammar and secondary modern divide established after the 1944 Education Act. It relies on three convictions: that children systematically vary in ability; that intelligence can be reliably measured; and that it is best to educate "differentiated" pupils in separate schools. Yet each conviction is questionable.
The Fifteen Thousand Hours research project, suggested that one of the key factors that made comprehensive schools more effective was a balanced intake. Schools could manage pupils who found learning difficult as long as they also had a fair proportion of those who found it relatively easy; a finding stressed by many later studies.
Suggest you contemplate the Christian’s relationship to the world, particularly the education system.

hallum said...

Hear Hear! Well said. I imagine local christians wrestle with their conscience on this one. We live in one of the few parts of the country left, where one child benefits from the disadvataging of others.

Anonymous said...

I agree with CCD.Good research by the way. There's a snobbery at that primary school similar to that at the church (before Fr Tom). Excellent service for those who are wealthy and/or influential-never mind about denomination. Hard-up or disadvantaged..Computer says NO!!

Anonymous said...

I have known Father Michael since he came to the parish in the early 1990s and have sat on the parish council with him for many years. I know him to be an intensely religious and moral man and at times I have discussed the whole issue of child protection with him and I know he has always been completely in favour of taking steps to ensure that children are safe within the church. Indeed he set up the system of protection that operates in the parish. I am sure that the allegations made against him are groundless.

The old adage 'there's no smoke without fire' is plain bunkum as this permits anyone to be smeared without proof. One only has to look at how many lonely old women were accused and burned as witches in the past when there never were such things as witches! No one should forget that, while it may be easy to make accusations against individuals, they prove nothing unless are backed up by proof and I firmly believe Father Michael's protestations of innocence.

Although protection of children and vulnerable adults is important we in this country are in danger of allowing the growing hysteria about these matters to put at risk other important issues, such as the presumption of innocence and the right of innocent people not to have their careers and lives ruined by false allegations. These days the debate is reminiscent of that concerning so called Un American activities in the USA during the late 40s and early 50s when many had their lives blighted by claims that they were Communists, or were associated with Communists, when there was not a scintilla of truth in the charges.

For Christians in particular it is important that each person is responsible for his actions, not forced to accept blame because others in his racial group or profession may have committed crimes. Not all men are rapists, not all adults are pedophiles and certainly not all priests are child molesters.

I am horrified by many of the comments posted on this blog attacking a good man who has done much to make the parish one I felt proud to belong. I trust that when Father Michael is cleared he will return to Corpus Christi to continue the good work he has done for so long in the parish.

Anonymous said...

What a relief if it would be if it all turns out to be false. What about the allegation though-was it a dream?

Anonymous said...

In response to the posting at 2:59 p.m. Have you never heard of false accusations, based perhaps on malicious intent?

have some faith!! said...

what happened to treat others as t=you would want to be treated. If some one accused you of doing something that you hadn't done you would want those kind of thing to be said about u !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:47.

Are you aerious? You can rant all you please. But Fr. Michael was arrested. SOCO spent much time at his home, he has been removed from the Prsbytery and his parish. He has been bailed by the church.
Would this not indicate to you that there is a case to answer?
Even if Fr. Michael by some miracle-were guiltless do you really think he would be welcomed back to Corpus...no way!

Anonymous said...

As you have known Father Michael since the early 1990s and know he has always been completely in favour of taking steps to ensure that children are safe within the church. I am interested to know the system of protection that operates in the parish-please put our minds at rest. Unfortunately,I am not so sure that the allegations made against him are groundless.

Anonymous said...

In response to posting at 6:15 p.m.

Since when has an accusation been proof of guilt? I would not trust the police to get anything right these days anyway but in the current climate they could not ignore an allegation, however baseless. Their actions prove nothing about guilt or innocence.

May I point out that Dreyfuss was innocent, despite all the allegations and supposed proofs!

In response to the posting at 7:36 p.m.

On what do you base your statement that you do not accept that the allegation is groundless? I base my belief in Father Michael on the fact that I have known him well for nearly 20 years.

I am amazed that a blog like this is allowed on a public forum as many of the postings are libellous and would render those responsible for legal action, were they not hiding behind an anonymous label.

B R C

Anonymous said...

In a further response to the posting at 6:15. Yes, Father Michael will be welcome back to Corpus Christi by all those parishioners who know him and anything less would be a betrayal by the Church of a good an innocent man.

B R C

Anonymous said...

Dreyfuss!! Fredom of speech is something this country has fought for long and hard! Undoudtedly many things you say-anonymous or otherwise would get you into some sticky situations!!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 2 Feb 2.59 pm blogger - I am so sorry you were so completely taken in by FM. Clearly you still hold him in high regard. Unfortunately and equally clearly, you really did not know the man at all. If you have read this blog from beginning to end, how can you think he will ever return to CC? You are very much in a minority. 19years was quite long enough. Watch what is happening in Egypt - I would think the same might just happen in CC if there was the remotest suggestion that he could return !

Anonymous said...

Those of you who think he is so very innocent are going to have to eat an awful lot of humble pie.

Anonymous said...

Ah, finally the quiet secretary and her cootes speak for FM. By protecting FM you are all guilty!!!

Where are the comments from the parents who put their non catholic children into our catholic schools and why should they.

Where are the comments from the parents who we never see for Mass after they get their forms signed prior to the intake into our catholic school!!!!!

Our catholic schools are funded by the rich diocese and why should these non catholic pupils benifit when they put a penny into our church.

As for the comments on selective education, the fact is that ALL children are clever, but its the support from their parents and the encouragement they get that determines their progress and ability.

Anonymous said...

Re posting at 9:35.

Clearly you have no idea who Dreyfuss was. Freedom of speech does not involve the right to make unsubstantiated allegations against whomsoever you wish, accusing by them of any crime you happen to decide they have committed.

As far as the person who said that anyone who defends Father Michael is guilty themselves - this is a comment worthy of a supporter of Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. To assert that one believes a man, or woman, is innocent, based on one's knowledge of that person, is a perfectly legitimate position and implies no culpability on the part of the person making it.

B R C

Anonymous said...

SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THEIR KIDS.I GUESS YOU MEAN BRIBERY AND NON STOP REVISION-HAPPY DAYS.
PERSONALLY I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST GRAMMAR SCHOOLS BUT I DO THINK THINK THE ANTI 'ANYTHING BUT CATHOLIC' IN SCHOOLS IS IMMORAL.IF THE SCHOOL WAS TO ONLY HAVE CATHOLIC ADMISSIONS IT WOULD BE HALF FULL AND YOUR KIND OF ATTITUDE IS A SURE DETERENT TO SPREADING THE WORD!PERHAPS YOU'D BE MORE WELCOMING TO RICH JEWS BUT AS FOR POOR CHRISTIANS!

Anonymous said...

BRC....you'd be better known as BSC.
Mad Cow incase you didnt realise!
So admirable is your loyalty to Fr Michael yet many people feel a loyalty to the victim. He's not charged but the probability is that someone else is going through a nightmare!I hope you'll be there for him if/when he's found guilty.

Anonymous said...

B R C
I think you are missing a point here. No one can assume anything in regard to this serious allegation, we must all allow the appropriate authorities to finish investigation and should not express support for either outcome. This blog however has shown that there is a division within the parish of Corpus Christi.
Many parishioners felt some what ostracised by FM and an 'inner circle' which is a disgraceful situation to happen in a Catholic Church which should be all welcoming. Clearly there were problems within the parish that needed addressing and this dreadful accusation has led to parishioners feeling that they needed to raise such concerns here, on this blog, as they felt unable to approach anyone within the Church itself. The new Parish Priest, Fr Tom, has clearly been welcomed as a breath of fresh air, and this can be seen not only at Mass, but in the atmosphere that exists around the Church such as coffee mornings and children's classes. Divisions have been broken down within the parish and everyone now appears to be more welcoming to others within the Church, especially on Sunday morning 'Family Mass".
Finger pointing and lecturing from high can be very dangerous, and I remind you that you do not speak for all within the parish, and nor should you demand that all agree with your point of view, which none the less deserves respect, but you must show respect for differing opinions within the Church. Personally I am not concerned for opinions outside the Church, including non Catholics whose children attend St Margaret's School, even though it is here. However I cannot agree with whole hearted support for a man who has not only created such huge divisions in a small parish, but has allowed OUR Church's good name to be dragged through the mud. I find OUR Church much more welcoming and I have seen people return to OUR Church, which can only be a good thing. We all know what Catholic Doctrine is, but we live in a more diverse society today and there has to be some adaptability, which clearly there was not; to say a couple are not married if they did not marry in a Catholic Church is a disgraceful attitude to take as people all come from different background and due respect should be given, not just demanded by one man's approach.
Irrespective of the outcome of this case I hope that FM does not return to OUR Church and we are allowed to move forward with a Priest who not only shows great piety and tolerance, but also shares the Love of God with everyone, rather than preaches it at everyone.
Some of the comments here I find not only ridiculous and blasphemous but scaremongering of the worst order; un-educated and ill- informed. Please do not fan these ridiculous flames that are quickly turning to hate against not only FM but also the Church and School, and those within it including our children. I am not belittling your point of view, but I ask that you remember that you are not a fair representative for the whole parish, just part of the status quo that appears to resent change, which maybe needs to look at the needs of others.

Anonymous said...

I have only just come upon this blog and although I have no knowledge of the specific case I think that a lifetime career in education enables me to make a relevant comment. It may come as a surprise to many who have added postings here but false accusations are rife within the school system. I know of a number of colleagues whose lives have been disrupted thanks to pupils making groundless allegations and who have spent weeks or months under great stress before being cleared. Even then they have not always been able to resume their career as if nothing had happened, a clear breach of human rights.

It seems to me that there are a number of reasons for this:

Firstly there are insufficient punishments to deter those who are actually child abusers so its incidence is bound to rise.

Secondly there are no sanctions being applied against those who make false claims. A woman who falsely cries rape can now be sent to prison but no consequences seem to attach to those who lie about child abuse. If they were to face prosecution for wasting police time and a civil action for slander then there would be fewer such instances.

Thirdly there are clear advantages to be gained for those lying in this way as organisations are now so cowed by the current climate of opinion among those in authority that they may be willing to pay compensation even when there is no case to answer.

Lastly children are far more knowing these days and can revenge themselves on a teacher who try to impose discipline by making such accusations.

I know that many in the teaching profession cannot wait to leave rather than continue working in such an atmosphere and that good people are now deterred from volunteering to help with children's organisations, such as the scouts, from fear of falling victim to such false claims. It is already the case that the vast majority of primary school teachers are female as males are only too aware of the dangers of working with youngsters.

If this continues the real losers will be children themselves, who will find that adults are disinclined to have anything to do with them and, as a consequence, will lose access to many groups previously run by volunteers.

I suspect that these problems affect all professions whose work requires them to come into contact worth children so I would hesitate before condemning anyone on the basis of such accusations.

J Staines

Anonymous said...

I will not bother to respond to the moron who accused me of being BSC as I think his or her posting shows just what sort of idiot he or she is.

As far as the posting at 8:31 is concerned there are two points which I would like to take up:

Catholic doctrine is not a case of pick and mix but is determined by the highest authority in the Church and a priest is not therefore at liberty to revoke it at will. Divorcees with living ex partners are not permitted to take communion or marry in a Catholic church because one cannot take vows containing the words 'till death us do part' to an eternal and omniscient deity twice if they have been broken the first time (even if the person is not responsible for the rift). Also the Church has a perfect right to say that only marriages celebrated within a Catholic church are considered valid by that Church. If one wishes to be a Catholic one must adhere to its doctrines or leave to seek a different denomination which has less rigid standards.

I take exception to the claim that I represent a minority view within the parish. I know of many parishioners who are horrified by what has happened to Father Michael, a number of whom have written to the Archbishop concerning the matter. Without a poll of regular attendees, of whom I am one, it is not possible to ascertain the view of the parish as a whole. The point is not whether one agrees with Father Michael's style but rather is he innocent? I believe he is

B R C

Anonymous said...

To J Staines,Did the teachers that had allegations made against them have a dawn raid at their homes and items removed?

Anonymous said...

To the question about the whether teachers suffered dawn raids the answer is yes, some did

J Staines

Anonymous said...

BRC, are you really Fr Michael?!!

Anonymous said...

Please read, I did write minority, but not a fair representation for the whole parish. I too know of many parishioners horrified by recent events, but relieved of FM's absence. As I said initially, it is not about the belief of innocence or guilt but of piety, reverence and as you say style, as the new priest as shown.

As for opinions on Catholic Doctrine, I had no idea that sectarianism was so rife in this town.

Anonymous said...

Oh lol !!! FM masquerading as BRC ? That is hilarious !!!

Anonymous said...

That's great that Fr Michael has his support group who have written to the Archbishop, but remember, despite what J Staines may write, there are parishioners and at least one young person, possibly young people, who are suffering intolerably because of the damage he has wreaked in their lives, and even moreso because of the hurtful things that are being put on this blog.

Anonymous said...

BRC. It is my understanding that the catholic faith is a very forgiving faith so as for your speech on rigid standards-you need to try and find some humility and fast.
You represent the fold at Corpus Christi beautifully.Well done!!Intellectual snobbery at its finest.

Anonymous said...

To all those so loudly proclaiming your support for FM - could you just stop and ask yourselves seriously what he really did for your faith ? The ONLY Service we ever had in our Parish was Mass and even that he managed to cut down on whenever he could. Maybe that was enough for you? But we have not had any other form of worship in our Church since BFM (before Fr M! ) .. no Benediction, no Novena, no Days of Retreat, no visiting speakers, no Services for the sick, nothing whatsoever for our young people, nothing special for Our Lady in May or October - indeed he never, ever spoke or preached about Our Lady or the Holy Spirit- they never got a mention let alone a passing reference. Corpus Christi has sadly been a spiritual desert for too long . Thankfully, at long last, we now have a Priest who lives his Faith and hopefully can see for himself how sadly lacking we have been.

Anonymous said...

So BRC is FM ??? !

B T M E said...

its fascinating how many people are pulling out the knives. it smacks of cowardice that people did not say anything about the community before and even now hide behind "annonymous" comments

Anonymous said...

What makes you so sure those of us with concerns didn,t speak ??? FM just didn't listen and had his own agenda. Everyone thinks they know so much, when really they simply don,t.

B T M E said...

you could have spoken to others such as parish councillors maybe?

B T M E said...

but why do you still choose to remain hidden?

Anonymous said...

They had no say or control over anything. FM was Chair of the Parish Council.

B T M E said...

i cant help but disagree.
still why are you unprepared to reveal yourelves? where is this need for anonymity now? if fr M was the problem why not reveal yourself?

Anonymous said...

BTME you reveal yourself

Benjamin elks said...

My name is Benjamin elks, I was born and raised in tonbridge. Attended corpus christi for as long as I can remember. I was baptised under fr laurie Hobbs. I attended both st Margaret clitheroe Primary school and st gregs Currently at Wolverhampton uni. I have no fear of letting people know who I am. I stand by my comments in both public and private. Are you prepared to do the same?

Anonymous said...

revealing oneself will only allow the blame and shame crew to get into action.Funny how those asking for no anon dont give their names.More hypocrisy!

Anonymous said...

Oh how Satan must be loving this and God must be very saddened - and I am not referring to the allegations against FM but rather what this we are allowing this to do to our community - such hatred, such animosity, such slander amongst fellow citizens, Christians, and it seems Catholics from the same Parish! It is all starting to feel a little like mass hysteria getting out of control to me - the last thing we need in ordinary Tonbridge is reputational lynchings and religious genocide in the midst of us. Let's stop the divide and destruction, unite, put our faith in God, pray and show some patience and tolerance until we know the outcome of the investigations.

Anonymous said...

like the parish council would listen-youre not listening now to over 150 comments!! bury your head in the sand ! anonymous or not these people have real concerns and lucky you - they are all shown on this site-for you to help-as you say would like.

Benjamin elks said...

You "youre not listening" thats because im not a parish councillor and theyre certainly not going to listen to this kind of whispering campaign from anonymous people out to smear them.

Anonymous said...

True, but people are none the less someone is listening.

Anonymous said...

Benjamin Elks you are clearly missing a point. Your fellow parishioners feel so isolated and ignored by many others in the church that they feel they need a site like this to air their views, for fear of reprehension. Remember that many have joined the Church from outside and should be made to feel welcome. Longevity within the parish should not automatically bestow autonomy above newer members. I don't think anyone is out to smear the parish council or anyone else. Grievances are aired because people feel the need, and a fear of lectures is what creates anonymity.

benjamin elks said...

alas i think youre missing my point.
anonymous whispers such as this will not do anything. if people dont come out of the shadows then nothing will change. will this conversation change anything? no it wont because people dont listen to whisper campaigns.
stand up for what you believe in.

to say there have been no smears on this site just shows you have not read what has been posted. people actually taking digs at the parish secretary or the lady who types up the newsletter is an utter disgrace! where is your christian spirit?

on the issue of the local catholic schools which was raised earlier, i am proud to say that i attended both these institutions, and can say that they most definately instill a catholic ethos in what they do.

Anonymous said...

Young man if and when you become a parent yourself you will learn the importance of keeping council for the sake of your children even in adversity. My first comment was at 8.31 this morning. I did not smear anyone, did not ridicule or judge FM, did not besmirch the school, which my children attend, and showed disgust at articles which do so on this site. I do understand some of the comments on this site by people who have not been made welcome in the parish, and I choose to stand behind anonymity as I do not wish for my children to be singled out, which I know they will. I will make this my final comment and allow you the last word.

benjamin elks said...

im afraid that with all the anonymity it becomes hard to keep track of who you are responding to. my comments about the school were in response to comments made previously that were undermining the good efforts of the schools.

there are posts on this site which are clearly smears against good people and this is unacceptable. unfortunately i do not know who made the comments due to them hiding behind "anonymity".

in all honesty i simply dont see how people think they can change while remaining anonymous. and to imply that other people would respond with negativity is to prejudge their reaction. when you sit down and talk to people openly you generally find they are willing to change to improve situations.

Anonymous said...

Well done Ben!

Anonymous said...

Ben elks, who cares if you went to the catholic schools and give your name. Do you and your family come to church on a regular basis? Are you a catholic? Please don't humble yourself by what you think is some godly act.

And for the person who states that Tonbridge, is a quiet nice town, which has been disrupted, that's a false statement if ever I saw one. I think little ol Tonbridge has been very tolerant and ignorant and in the dark and snob era!! Tonbridge let me tell is filled with snobs who are so ignorant, and its not until the real people from London have invaded the place, have they finally realised three is an outside world of very nice people!!! Any outsider who meets a Tonbridgean is met with ignorance and snobbery. And of course there are so many private schools which dictate the environment and the posh arrogant fake unnecessary accent!

Look at Humphries, the pubs galore and the Emos from the public schools who think they are so hip, they put Tonbridge to shame. Why do people want to move there from London, well, its fresh air, its got private schools and posh voices, and no distractions for clubbing and so forth.

The reality check is that Tonbridge is made up of snobs who shun the poor and needy. So Elks get of your high horse and the rest of you and come down a peg and make the place a more human one.

Anonymous said...

This is the last posting I will make to this site.

Friends told me that it was a waste of time attempting to use blogs for reasonable discussion and so it proves to be. Many contributors seem incapable of spelling, using grammar correctly or having the least understanding of what constitutes a debate. They ignore the points made by others, answer points they have not made and constantly attack the person rather than the argument. It is clearly a myth that blogs increase democratic accountability as they rather provide a platform for some to pour out their hatred of others. I see we even have some anti semitic remarks on this site.

I leave with two hopes:

That when Father Michael is cleared all those who have condemned him without any proof will feel ashamed of themselves, although I suspect this is unlikely.

That each and every one who has so behaved will themselves fall victim to the politically correct regime being imposed on this country by those who call themselves liberals but are in fact just intolerant fascists. Let them know what being trapped in a nightmare worthy of Kafka feels like.

Goodbye

B R C

Anonymous said...

I could put any name I like to this blog and you wouldnt know the difference-I could even use the BRC title.However, BRC this is not a site for grammar and spell checks-its a site for each of us to learn about other peoples views.

Benjamin elks said...

@post 9.53 if you think tonbridge is so bad why are you here?
I posted about the local catholic schools because others had posted negative comments about them so I sought to correct them.
Apparently you've not been with corpus christi as long as I have... If you had you would realise the priest who baptised me was father laurie Hobbs who was the priest before fr Michael. I am a catholic and attended mass every Sunday until I moved to Wolverhampton in September 2010. And just in case you're wondering I still attend the local catholic church in Wolverhampton.

Anonymous said...

I would like to bring to the attention of the so called Catholics of tonbridge you are all the biggest hypocrits of all time.
look at yourselves before judging others.
none of you are squeeky clean.
there is the latest rumour going round by Jodie and Declan tucker.
if you have heard then donot believe jodie as she is the biggest prefabricator of the truth I have ever come across. They have both been financially supported by Father Michael for many years and she is upset that her financial blanket has come tumbling down.
I could tell you all of many home truths of Jodie and declan but that would put me on the same level as most of you so called catholics.
Secondly how dare any of you can pass judgement on Father Michael or any of his Staff who have tiredlessly for years to bring corpus christi church to the standard you see today.
None of you certainly donot understand catholicism and seem to support it in a way that is totally destructive.
Gain the facts from the case before you make a judgement.
If you are a parent I would look closer to home regarding child abuse as this seems to be where it originates from and not from Catholic priests.

Benjamin elks said...

@post 11.42 here here

Benjamin elks said...

Sorry I meant @11.40

Benjamin elks said...

On a 3rd revision yes I do mean the original post lol.

Anonymous said...

Quote:
February 1, 2011 10:18 PM
On the other hand, this becomes a high problem, when the child is tutored and pass's they then struggle in the grammar school and are a waste of space, but they are fulfilling their parents dream, which is what passing the +11 is about!
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT A CATHOLIC PERSON WROTE THIS ABOUT CHILDren who underperform.DISGRACEFUL-GOOD JOB YOURE ANONYMOUS AS YOUD BE LYNCHED.
NEARLY EVERYONE ON THIS SITE INCLUDING MYSELF SHOULD REMEMBER HOW JESUS WOULD ACT IF HE WERE TO WALK INTO TONBRIDGE!FATHER TOM IS THE ONLY PERSON TO COME CLOSE.MANY PEOPLE THINK THEIR INTELLIGENCE MAKES THEM MORE FIT TO MAKE JUDGEMENT AND OTHERS THEIR OWN GOOD EXPERIENCES AND CATHOLIC FAITH.THIS PARISH WHICH INCLUDES THE PRIMARY SCHOOL NEEDS AN OVERHAUL!

Anonymous said...

11.43 yesterday-youre poisonous.creating aspersions on a couple whom you decide to name and then suggesting that parents abuse their kids.really are you practising the sort of behaviour you expect from everyone else?
This debate over the allegation just goes to show how much influence the person placed in charge of the church (Fm) actually has over so many facets within the parish.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, the earlier witer who said that Jesus would be spinning in his grave is quite right. It started with Constantine taking the ethical and moral teachings of a great man and turning them into a hierarchical organisation that people are 'born' into catholics, just as islamic families are 'born' as muslims. It strikes me that christianity is some thing that flourished more purely in the very early church or under communism in russia. In both those situations, because of the dangers, only adults who had really thought through and accepted jesus's morality, became christians. I would like to hear more from the Christians among Tonbridge catholics, and less from the 'law not love' brigade who seem to run the organisation.

Anonymous said...

To blogger of 10.05. Well said!

Anonymous said...

Abusers rely on deceit to achieve their goals in approaching and seducing their victims.
Read the 15 commonly used lures to learn more about how you can proactively protect
your children.

Affection Lure
Most acts of molestation are committed by a person known and trusted by the child.

Assistance Lure
The methods are unlimited and are meant to entice children away from safety. The offender may pretend to be disabled and in need of a helping hand, which children are usually too willing to offer.

Authority Lure
Children are taught to respect and obey adults. The offender takes advantage of that respect and obedience by using their positions as coaches, clergy, parents, scout leaders, etc. to intimidate or force children into sexual exploitation or abduction.

Bribery Lure
Bribes such as candy, money, and drugs are used to entice or manipulate children into situations and/or settings where sexual contact and activity can be initiated.

Ego/Fame Lure
Molesters use compliments and offers to fame and fortune to lure children into abuse or abduction. Children may be offered private auditions and told to keep it a secret from their parents.

Emergency Lure
This is used by abductors to confuse or worry the child. The child is then easily manipulated due to their anxiety and fear.

Fun and Games Lure
Offenders may suggest innocent body contact games such as tickling or wrestling to facilitate sexual contact.

Hero Lure
Molesters may abuse a child’s adoration for them, using it to molest and/or abduct them.

Job Lure
The offer of a short-term job or errand may be used to molest or abduct a child. Adolescents and even college students may be attracted by promises of high paying or interesting jobs.

Name Recognition Lure
Marking clothes and other belongings with the child’s name enables the offender to call the child by name, creating a false sense of familiarity and security.

Playmate/Companion Lure
The victim may be encouraged or coerced by the offender to usher other children into an abusive setting.

Pornography Lure
Many child molesters routinely expose their intended victims to pornography thus “normalizing” sexual activity and setting the stage for seduction.

Threats and Fear Lure
Molesters may blackmail or threaten children into cooperation or silence. They may even confront the child with an actual weapon (i.e. “Get in the car or I’ll shoot you/your family”).

Drug Lure
Molesters will often use drugs, especially alcohol to incapacitate or seduce children. The lure of drugs is often used in conjunction with pornography.

Computer/On-Line Lure
Some molesters spend hours online chatting with thousands of children, ultimately luring some into dangerous situations.

Anonymous said...

To: Anonymous Feb 3rd. 11:42.

It is very interesting that you claim that Fr. Michael has financially supported Jodie and Declan Tucker.
We have to ask ourselves why a parish priest would do this? Highly irregular. priests do not earn a great deal of money so what was behind this? Could it have been blackmail? And more importantly are Thie Police aware of this?

Anonymous said...

to the person defending fm and his staff on the grounds they have tirelessly brought corpus christi to the standard we see today asking us how we dare judge fm-Answer: you answered it yourself in the question...the standard it is in today..thats why!

Anonymous said...

Who are the couple you have just feed to the lions?? (very Christian of you, by the way!!). What an odd thing for a priest to do. Maybe you should have informed FM that this Country has a system in place for people who are on low incomes, it's called Social Services! I had no idea we could have gone to CC to tap FM for some spare cash! Where was FM getting this money from? I don't imagine it was his wages he was handing out? You need to explain your comments.

Anonymous said...

fm did not come across as a generous man so why on earth was he giving people money.who else did he have depending on him?

Anonymous said...

did the couple sell their souls?

Anonymous said...

Benjamin Elkes-As a mother I would advise you to continue your blogging anonymously as you may not see the danger of your bravery.I dont agree with your views but youre a nice lad and I think youre setting yourself up.

Anonymous said...

Close enough to FM to know about his finances but the calibre of person to publicise a young couples deprivation. NICE! Speaks volumes about the people he surrounded himself with.

Benjamin elks said...

@post 1.49 thankyou for your concern. I am now making my last post on this site as I still fail to see just how things will change the way people want them to merely by using this blog. To the person stating that Jodie and Declan were financially supported by fr m is that is false. Declan was paid when he did the gardening that is all. For clarity I feel I need to reassert some of the points I've made during my posts. At no stage have I defended or judged fr m, I am waiting for the full facts before I pass judgement. I started posting on here as I was appalled by some of the character assassination taking place and some quite blatant smears against members of our parish. I fear that comments made on this site actually risk exacerbating the problem. As our church i supposedly universal I feel that if people have issues they need to air them publicly in order to bring about change. Take care all I'm going back to twitter : )

Anonymous said...

Just Came across this site: sell the school or turn into a camp site, re-elect parish council, introduce some irish dancing,keep father tom (he sounds neat),introduce some sort of satisfaction supervision and any bigots get-them to sweep the steps!

Anonymous said...

What i dont get is if these priests have yernings, why dont thay get help.Why dont thay just take the back door. Thers to much on offer and to much to loose.

Anonymous said...

If these priests have yearnings for children, then they are far better off putting a millstone around their necks and heading for the nearest lake!

hallum said...

When I was a young man in the 1970s, I used to go to a large famous church in central London. I was always struck by the way folk there were welcoming and inclusive to people who would have been socially rejected in the outside world, because they were odd, strange, and downright weird.

It is good to see Tonbridge blog continuing this kind practise.

Anonymous said...

Well said Hallum! It seems the closer you get to London the more of a real person you are likely to meet. It doesn’t matter what they look like, sound like, smell like. This town needs some diversity and also some people to speak up for what is right. I think this blog site makes uncomfortable reading but I like it because people can say what they’ve been dying to say without discrimination. Anonymous means that nobody is put into a box and therefore dismissed. The nearer to London the bigger the area, the better the experience of true life. Tonbridge is sheltered which reduces suffering but also reduces learning. I think the only way forward from this agonising situation is that we stand up and be counted in a given situation, because we know we’re right and also to never give up informing our leaders (world,church,school ,etc..) who need to know the human suffering in their midst and hope that they will LISTEN. The catholic leaders who ultimately oversee our parish may instigate some change in the light of current events and if not we should see to it that they do!

Anonymous said...

to whom is the school and church answerable? they are responsible for our religious education. its not just about the front line ie teachers,priests, headmistress. those in ultimate charege should be monitoring performance. in a 'catholic world' this should not be equated to results and financial income but on the experience of its people. there should never be the issue of 'its not what you know but who you know'in the substantiation of schools or church.

Anonymous said...

To Tonbrige blogger,
you can see for yourelf the issues in our parish and I wonder if you would take it upon yourself to forward the details of this blog to our Archbishop-as an independant party who has an obvious interest and hence, it would speek volumes-coming from you, who has stumbled across such findings.

Have included email address below:
aps@rcsouthwark.co.uk

Anonymous said...

FM was a convert and yet he decided to identify a lovely old lady to me as a non-catholic even though she attends mass weekly and reverently (I didnt need to know this fact).

That doesnt make him a criminal but next time I get the shivers I'll take more notice.

He was different to what you would hope to find, but then again so are many people.

What makes a priest?

Anonymous said...

No point forwarding anything to The Archbishop. He does not care and he will do nothing. bad things happened while he was in charge in Cardiff he did nothing. He was breaking his neck to get out of there as soon as he arrived!
He will do nothing except cover Fr. M's back because he does not want a scandal so close to home, just in case anybody goes digging about in his past and coming up with things that he would rather not have broadcasted.

Anonymous said...

Our family don't feel comfortable coming to church anymore. We pray at home and if we add up all the money we put into the bag in Mass every year, we could give that to a worthy cause of our choice. We need to sue the church for giving us such stress and nasty priest including his staff, who act like angels but are deadly knights. FM relied on his protection and it came from his secretary and staff who were in his inner sanctuary.

We have been devastated by what has happened and feel so let down by the integrity and honesty of everyone who ran it.

you should all ask yourselves why did this happen, and the truth lies in the fact that our priests cannot marry to fulfill their natural urges can they? So did our lord put the evil in the priests deliberately, knowing that he fathered a baby too and it was one of his apostles!

Well, all who attend mass are hypocrites who are groomed into thinking that they are christens children, but in reality we are doing this for money!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I started reading this blog in December and am amazed at the more recent comments.

I have Children at SMC and have no problem with the school as a whole, if I did I would move them!

I am one of the hated non catholics (by all accounts) using your school. I am a christian and attend church regularly and all of my children were accepted on that basis - as I understand faith schools have to have a percentage of different faiths

I have attend CC for school events but don't know FM and am sorry that your church community and (I'd like to say our) school has been put through this dreadful ordeal.

I must say that when at school mass or christmas at CC I have often thought what a beautiful faith you have .... reading some of these comments I'm now not so sure. Such hatred and horrible comments about so many people - what did the school receptionist do wrong! What a shame that one bad person (if correct) has created such mean behaviour.

I'm sure I'm in for a barrage of abuse too now but just felt I needed to comment.

oh and as for the comment about 'must be a single mum with a dyslexic child at st greggs' or words to that effect, what was that all about, if meant as I read it then OMG shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Please faith schools have to adhere to their criteria not 'having a certain percentage of different faith' where did you get this info from. Did you even read the brochure of CMC and their criteria?

The criteria, and correct me if I am wrong, is that all placements are for Catholics and if ANY places are left then they are given to non catholic who have to adhere and respect to our faith?

How did you get your form signed before each child's application was submitted by the priest? Did you attend church at that very point, like most parents.

Well, its good to have your comments but comments are a bit short now that a warning has been issued by the bishop not write untruths and 'its a sin' - is he really living in the real world. I dare say we are all going to shivering in our pants. Has he not heard of freedom of speech and the right to be heard.

lucky said...

FM owns a property that he conned a widow out of, he gets a regular income from this, does this money go into the church or his pocket? He rents this place out!!!!

tonbridgeperson said...

re. Lucky's comment.

This is absolutely correct. F. Michael was left the estate of an elderly lady parishioner. The house is I believe in Hildenborough. The question I would like to raise is:

Are priests able to personally benefit from property or investments that are bequeathed to them from a parishioner whilst serving in the one and the same parish where the deceased lived? Or does the estate become the property of the church?

This has no bearing on the sexual abuse allegations in place concerning F. Michael.

Anonymous said...

YOU'RE ALL PATHETIC


You've completely gone off the point!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9.39

What point are you trying to make?

Anonymous said...

The church should be all welcoming.
Schools should be for the benefit of its children.
Each should nurture.
Both should support and treat all people as equal regardless of gender, race, colour, or creed.
Prayerfully we should ask that our leaders consider ALL as children of God.

Also don't throw stones!!

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