The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, February 25, 2012

archie and me

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin this week urged Irish people to forget their concerns about the Irish government's decision to close Ireland's embassy to the Vatican.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin spoke mollifyingly about the government decision and claimed the embassy would probably be reopened eventually anyway.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's soothing elequence seemed expressly intended to calm public outrage about the newest and most egregious attempt by Ireland's anti Catholic Fine Gael Labour government to end Catholicism in Ireland.
Curious and curiouser.
What can his motivation have been?
His remarks were of course reported with a fanfare of approval in the most virulently anti Catholic newspapers in Western Europe, namely The Irish Times and the Irish Independent.
Is it possible that newspaper groups that have spent forty years attempting to criminalise Catholicism actually like the supposedly Catholic Archbishop of Dublin?
But why would they like him?
How could they like him?
Unless he was one of them.
Makes you think, dunnit!
By the way folks, for those of you who just got here, I disagree profoundly with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's stated position on the closure of Ireland's embassy to the Vatican and just as profoundly with his stated positions on everything else.
I don't for a second believe he is what he says he is.
In any case, regardless of what anyone thinks of him, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin cannot be described by any stretch of the imagination as the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
He is certainly not entitled to present himself as such in the pages of the anti Catholic press.
Here is the news.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is a regional Archbishop.
Nothing more.
The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland is Cardinal Sean Brady.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has silenced Cardinal Sean Brady through a machiavellian campaign of malicious media sabotage directed against the Cardinal's reputation.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin unleashed his anti Catholic media allies against Cardinal Sean Brady after a meeting with the Pope in Rome two years ago when Cardinal Brady refused to back Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's attempts to remove every Bishop in Ireland and replace them with his hand picked supporters.
Up to that point Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Cardinal Sean Brady had appeared to be singing off the same hymn sheet.
But with the Pope chairing the meeting, Cardinal Sean Brady suddenly remembered himself and refused to take any further part in Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's power play.
This left Archbishop Diarmuid Martin isolated in his attempts to get every Bishop in Ireland fired.
Archie was not best pleased.
Immediately following the meeting with the Pope, media reports were circulated claiming that Cardinal Brady had concealed child abuse cases.
Similar reports were circulated in continental newspapers about the Pope no less.
Archie is a dangerous man when he's crossed.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for his part, having promised his fellow Bishops at the very Papal meeting which he himself had orchestrated but failed to manipulate, that he would now support those same fellow Bishops, immediately fled Rome, his abrupt departure being a considered insult both to the Pope and the aforementioned Bishops, and returned to Ireland to continue without any interruption whatsoever his media spin doctoring against those very Bishops to whom he had so recently and so falsely pledged his collegial loyalty.
You couldn't make it up.
His return to Ireland was followed by the storm of mendacious media criticism designed to destroy Cardinal Sean Brady.
These false reports successfully smashed Cardinal Brady as a leader of influence in Ireland.
They also fatally wounded his confidence.
The reports were based on a cruel and tendentious interpretation of the case of two victims.
As a young man the then Father Sean Brady had been clerk at a church hearing into the claims of the two victims.
As clerk at the hearing, Father Sean Brady supposedly swore the two victims to secrecy.
This is the sum total of wrong doing that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's media allies have sought to lay at the door of the now Cardinal now silent Sean Brady.
I say it again.
This allegation was introduced into the public domain specifically to coincide with Cardinal Brady's return from Rome following Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's failed putsch against the Bishops of Ireland.
Twas the vengeance of the little yellow god.
Fast forward.
This week Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is telling Irish people to desist in our campaign against the closure of the Vatican embassy.
Well surprise surprise.
I do disagree with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's unctious and presumptive advice to the Irish people re our ongoing attempts to let our government know that its invidious attacks upon our Church will not be allowed to continue unopposed.
When I say "invidious attacks," I am referring to the Fine Gael Labour Party government's attempts to intrude via legislation into the Confession Box; I am referring to the Fine Gael Labour Party government's attempt via atheistic Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to seize control of Catholic Secondary Schools. (Unsurprisingly Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has propagandised in favour of this putative government seizure of Catholic Schools.) I am referring to the Fine Gael Labour Party's grotesque unsubstantiated allegation in parliament when Prime Minister Enda Kenny, a weak vacuous vascillatory hairstyle of a Fine Gael man, easily overwhelmed by the Labour Party's more ruthless Marxian atheists, falsely claimed that the Vatican had obstructed child abuse enquiries in Ireland, and who when challenged to explain his lie, stated through a press release, that he hadn't been talking about any specific case. But it was a most specific and malicious lie that he had promoted in parliament look you. And only after excoriating our government over all these other invidious attacks on the Catholic Church gentle readers, only then, am I referring to the Fine Gael Labour Party government's latest invidious attack, its insulting, pompous, egregious and malign closure of the Vatican embassy.
It was the invidious attack that broke the camel's hump.
It awoke a sleeping giant.
For the first time in twenty years, Irish atheistic political pseudo elites are asking themselves if they must after all pay some heed to the Catholic peasantry they so cavalierly ride into the ground.
And what Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is saying to you all is this:
"Go back to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Trust in meeeeeeeeeee. Trust in your government. Sleeeeeeep. I am your master. I am your Lorrrrd. You need no other leader but meeeeeeeeeee. Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep ye little slices of death. How I loathe youuuuuuuuu."
I ask you again gentle readers to consider seriously what I have said previously  about Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is a Soviet era infiltrator of the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has lied time and time again about his attempts to force Bishops from office through the manipulation of reportage on sex abuse.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's own office exposed his lies regarding one particular Bishop whom he wished to hound from office, when a spokesman confirmed that contrary to what Archie had claimed to the media, the Archbishop had indeed received an offer in writing from that very Bishop to resign, had indeed read it, and had indeed ignored it.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has spent the past five years colluding with anti Catholic elements of Irish society in parliament, the judiciary and media, in an attempt to stampede a generation of Bishops out of office.
He has helped these shadowy figures in the media and judiciary contrive crimes against targeted Bishops maliciously alleging that these Bishops were concealing child abuse whenever they attempted to handle a child abuse case discreetly.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has broadened the notion of collective guilt even further.
It was not enough for him to see whole Orders of priests and nuns held collectively responsible in their old age if one of their number was accused of a sex abuse crime forty years ago, and then further reduced to penury by being forced to pay vast sums in compensation to supposed sex abuse victims and further vast sums to aggrandise the millionaire gutty lawyers of these same supposed victims.
This was not a broad enough perversion of law for Archie.
Bear in mind that he never once pointed out that the notion of collective guilt for priests and nuns was not being applied to other sectors of Irish society.
The Irish Times is paying no compensation to the children who were repeatedly raped by a Sports Writer at the Irish Times.
No notices have been put up in the foyer of the Irish Times warning the public that their children may be in danger from Irish Times employees and offering the phone numbers of the Police and Health Boards should a rape occur on the premises.
The name of the Irish Times child rapist has been kept out of the papers. There is no follow up reportage of his case. The courts and Judges have taken no action against him. And the police have abandoned their investigations claiming that every time they look into the case, the Irish Times child rapist in question attempts to kill himself.
We should note that the presence of many many many of the most serious and most violent child sex abusers within both the Police Force and the Health Boards themselves have not led to any mass media attacks, broad financial sanctions, silly little notices in the foyers, or ascribed collective guilt.
All these things are reserved for the Catholic Church.
Bear in mind that Archie never once mentioned the fact, until he read it on my blog, that the vast preponderance of sex abuse cases arise outside the Church at the hands of State employees, sports coaches, paedophile rings, school teachers and Irish Times feature writers.
I kid you not.
Archie remained silent about all of this while his media friends orchestrated a maelstromnic pogrom against the Catholic Church.
And Archie perverted the law further.
Oh he went well beyond the notion of collective guilt being manufactured for priests and nuns in spite of the fact that the vast majority of the most serious, violent and murderous sex abuse cases occurred at the hands of non Catholics who have been let off scot free.
Archie didn't care about any of that.
Archie went ahead and called on any Bishop who was mentioned in a government enquiry to resign.
Archie urged Bishops to resign who were mentioned by Judges in enquiries only to exonerate them.
In this Archbishop Diarmuid Martin finally showed his hand.
If it looks like a Soviet era infiltrator of the Church, quacks like a Soviet era infiltrator of the Church, ruins reputations like a Soviet era infiltrator of the Church, and colludes like a Soviet era infiltrator of the Church with the creeping Marxians of the Irish Times, Independent Newspapers and RTE, why then, call the Feds Ma Kettle... It's a Soviet era infiltrator of the Church.


Footnote: For those of you who like your crackpot theories served with a little circumstantial evidence, consider this. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is a brother of the atheistic Marxist Seamus Martin. Seamus Martin was the famously pro Soviet political editor of the Irish Times who spent the Cold War rooting for the Russians before retiring to Paris to live in inexplicably palatial splendour. More recently Seamus Martin has begun contributing fresh articles to the Irish Times from retirement, articles whose broad thrust is that President Putin isn't such a bad fellow. The Phoenix Magazine has openly repeated my allegations that substantial elements within the Irish Times management and editorial departments were working for the KGB during the 1960's, 70's and 80's. The Phoenix Magazine went so far as to name an Irish Times journalist and feature writer (not Seamus Martin) whom it said had provided the KGB with a list of journalists to be rounded up when the Russians took over Ireland. Lovely lovely people. Closed the Vatican embassy don't ya know. And they want us all to calm down...


Walking through Dublin in the night time cold.
"What are you going to do for me Lord?"
"What do you want me to do?"
"I want you to let me truly believe in you. At last I recognise that to truly live, I must truly believe."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

considerations re claimed apparitions of the blessed virgin mary at medjugorje

(Preface: I am James Healy. I am a sinful man and a scoundrel. I may not be an entirely objective judge of anything to do with religion in general or the Catholic faith in particular. I do admit that truth is the highest thing in the universe. I believe that I believe this because Jesus is the truth and will admit no lie in his kingdom and has in some measure allowed me to believe in him. I believe that in his mercy Jesus has permitted me to know his name and to experience some intellectual smidgen of the reality about who he is. My profoundest hope is that Jesus is real and that he commissioned the Catholic Church to serve himself in human history. Now you the reader must decide if someone with my bon fides can offer any valid insight into claims of mystical apparitions at Medjugorje or anywhere else.)


1. The now deceased Bishop of Mostar, Pavao Zanic, was among the most forthright speakers against claims by six individuals that they were receiving apparitions of the Virgin Mary and messages from her at Medjugorje. The claims began in June 1981 and have continued to the present day. If the visonaries' claims are true, thousands of apparitions of the Blessed Mother have taken place and are still taking place at Medjugorje. Two other individuals were alleged to have seen the apparition, apparently on the first and second day respectively, but never saw it subsequently.

2. Speaking and writing in the 1980's, Bishop Pavao Zanic asserted forcefully that the claimed apparitions were not genuine.

3. Bishop Pavao Zanic stated openly and formally that he believed the apparitions at Medjugorje had been faked.

4. Bishop Pavao Zanic stated that those responsible for faking the apparitions and for formulating the messages which the visionaries claimed to be receiving from the Blessed Virgin Mary, were Father Tomas Vlasic (now no longer a priest) and Father Jozo Zovko. Bishop Zanic explicitly referred to Father Tomas Vlasic as a "charismatic wizard."

5. Bishop Pavao Zanic claimed to suspect that a broader conspiracy was at play in staging the apparitions, a conspiracy he suggested might involve internationally known members of a popular movement within both Protestant and Catholic Christianity which occasionally styles itself, and is known as, the Charismatic movement.

6. Bishop Pavao Zanic has been subjected to intense criticism from advocates of the genuineness of the apparitions at Medjugorje. The criticism has continued after his death.

7. I do not believe Bishop Pavao Zanic was a dishonorable man.

8. I do not believe Bishop Pavao Zanic was a Soviet era infiltrator of the Catholic Church.

9. I do not believe that the conduct and conclusions of Bishop Pavao Zanic are explained by assertions that he was a snob or that he had a particular distaste for "peasants" claiming to have visions.

10. I believe Bishop Pavao Zanic acted with some integrity in seeking the truth about the claims of apparitions at Medjugorje.

11. I believe that at every step of the way, advocates asserting the visions were genuine, subjected Bishop Pavao Zanic to all manner of pressures, moral, spiritual, religious, patriotic and intellectual, to declare the visions genuine.

12. I believe that Bishop Pavao Zanic showed courage in refusing to bow to these pressures.

13. I believe that Bishop Pavao Zanic's legitimate concerns about inconsistencies in the claims of the supposed visionaries have not been adequately addressed by advocates of the genuineness of the claimed visions at Medjugorje or by anyone else.

14. I personally find it disconcerting that the then priest Tomas Vlasic did indeed attend an international Charismatic conference a few weeks before the supposed visions began at Medjugorje in 1981. At the conference he is alleged to have received a prophecy from a well known and much respected supposed healer called Sister Breege McKenna, to wit, that she could see him sitting on a chair and that water was pouring from beneath the chair. A priest at the same conference Father Emil Tardif is said to have prophesied that the blessed Virgin Mary would shortly be present in Medjugorje. Father Tardif's reported words were: "I am sending my mother to you." The tradition among Charismatics would be that Father Tardif was passing on a message from Jesus, and not speaking for himself. Bishop Pavao Zanic in my view wrongly interpreted Father Tardif's use of these words, as representing a decision by Father Tardif to send the Blessed Mother to Medugorje. In any case the apparitions at Medjugorje supposedly started within weeks of this Charismatic Conference which was indeed attended by the then Father Tomas Vlasic. Sister Breege McKenna was more recently in the news endorsing the claims of an American woman living in Ireland who calls herself  The Lay Apostle Ann, and who maintains she has received messages from God, the Virgin Mary, and a host of saints. Ann also claims to have visited heaven, hell and purgatory. The full identity of Ann has not been revealed. Her claims seem dubious to me. Sister Breege McKenna late last year, disassociated herself from Ann. Father Rene Laurentin who in association with Professor Henri Joyeux wrote the landmark 1985 book Etudes Scientifiques Et Medicales which is positively disposed to Medjugorje from a purportedly scientific point of view, was also positively disposed towards visionaries of dubious reputation in other countries, most famously towards Christina Gallagher in Ireland. All this may have implications for the credibility, discernment and judgement of Sister Breege McKenna, Father Laurentin and of other advocates of the genuineness of the claims of visions at Medjugorje.

15. Tomas Vlasic is no longer a priest. It is unclear whether his departure from the priesthood came at his own request or through a decision by the Pope or some other senior prelate. There have been conflicting claims and reports.

16. There have been substantial rumours about Tomas Vlasic's behaviour over the years, including the suggestion that he fathered a child with a nun. These rumours would not deter me from believing that God could use him as a servant of truth. Negative rumours have also been disseminated about Father Jozo. I do not accept that these rumours, even if true, would necessarily discredit either man or their claims.

17. Since the laicisation of Tomas Vlasic and for a period of years before it, as negative rumours became increasingly prevalent about him, advocates of the genuineness of the apparitions at Medjurgorje, have been claiming Tomas Vlasic was never a significant figure at Medjugorje.

18. My finding is that within days of the first claimed apparition at Medjurgorje, Tomas Vlasic was present in the town as a priest and from that point onwards had ongoing close associations with the supposed visionaries.

19. The assertion that Tomas Vlasic was serving as priest far away from Medjugorje when the visions began is unconvincing. He was serving twenty miles away. It's not that far.

20. Tomas Vlasic is depicted in various 1980's writings about Medugorje by advocates of the genuineness of the apparitions, as an "heroic and saintly" figure.

21. Tomas Vlasic is depicted in various 1980's writings about Medjugorje by advocates of the genuineness of the apparations, as a significant figure associated with the visionaries.

22. At one stage Tomas Vlasic had a particularly close interaction with the visionary Marija Pavlovic.

23. As Tomas Vlasic's reputation came under attack, Marija Pavlovic released a statement disacciating herself from him and from a religious community he had founded in Italy. Prior to her statement, which reads like a legally framed document, Marija Pavlovic had a close association with Tomas Vlasic and his religious community.

24. Father Jozo Zovko was Parish Priest of Medjugorje in 1981 when the visions are supposed to have commenced. Advocates of the genuineness of the apparitions at Medjugorje claim that  Father Jozo was initially opposed to the visionaries. This assertion is not particularly impressive. If Father Jozo was capable of conspiring to fake apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we might expect him to be clever enough to dissociate himself from the visions initially, and then to stage a change of heart.

25. Writings during the 1980's from advocates of the genuineness of the Medjugorje apparitions, include a claim by one priest that Father Jozo himself was receiving daily apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This claim seems to have been let go cold. I have heard no reference to it in over a decade.

26. Father Jozo appears to have suffered imprisonment and persecution from the communist authorities in what was then Yugoslavia during the first years of the supposed apparitions in the 1980's. I would suggest that not everyone who is persecuted by communists is on the side of the angels.

27. Scientific studies were conducted on the visionaries in 1984 and 1985 by Professor Henri Joyeux in tandem with Father Rene Laurentin, a French expert on Marian apparitions. I find the account of the results of these studies authored jointly by Professor Joyeux and Father Laurentin dissatisfying.

28. The tests were conducted over short periods. Real tests should have been conducted continuously over weeks and months.

29. Father Laurentin writes of the patience of Marija in allowing herself to be inconvenienced for a short period before, during and after one of her visions, by having the electro encephalogram equipment attached to her head. It didn't sound like too much of an inconvenience. Father Laurentin notes that the attachment of apparatus to her head must have been hard for Marija since she had recently qualified with a diploma in hairdressing. The apologetic tone of Father Laurentin in this matter does not inspire confidence in his skills as an investigator, nor does his apparent deference to the visionaries.

30. The only time a simultaneous electro encephelogram was taken from two visionaries at once during an apparition, the reading for Marija was deemed unusable and so could not be compared with that taken from Ivan. Professor Joyeux and Father Laurentin in their book claim that one of their apparatuses for taking electro encephelograms had been damaged in transit to Medjugorje. They further claimed that the readings from Marija were an "usuable smudge." I am disconerted by these claims.

31. On one occasion three of the visionaries were unable to attend the scientific tests organised by Professor Joyeux due to illness or other reasons. Since so few tests had been scheduled, this non attendence meant comparative readings were never taken of the five visionaries together during an apparition. It seems Professor Joyeux and Father Laurentin were only in a position to take a maximum of two electro encephelograms at once. And according to their own book they never managed to do this, as one of their apparatuses was damaged. The sixth visionary Mirjana was not included in any tests as she was nowhere to be seen during the various investigatory periods. She may indeed have been elsewhere on legitimate business. But such an excuse is useless for a scientific investigation of SIX people who are claiming to receive messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

32. On one occasion referred to by Professor Joyeux and Father Laurentin, the visionary Vicka was to be monitored with an electrode on her larynx during an apparition. At this vision she was supposed to receive a message from the Blessed Virgin Mary. The vision ended after twenty seconds. The message was not received. Vicka claimed the Virgin Mary arrived and left immediately.

33. Professor Joyeux and Father Laurentin suggest that the visionaries eyes did not react to a piece of card placed in front of their eyes during a vision. They suggest that this lack of responsiveness in the eyes meant the visionaries were completely unaware of the card. Their conclusion is in my view not scientific.

34. I believe that the scientific tests conducted by Professor Joyeux in association with Father Rene Laurentin are not scientifically demonstrable of anything. The tests were not conducted in an atmosphere of objectivity, never mind scepticism. There were no attempts made to take simultaneous readings from the visionaries during EXTENDED visions. One visionary attended no tests. Two visionaries failed to show up due to illness at another. The visionary Jacov, then aged 13 and referred to by Father Laurentin as "little Jacov," simply refused to undergo any tests. Advocates of the genuineness of the visions at Medjugorje should now drop these tests from their precis of evidence.

35. During the past thirty one years of continuous apparitions at Medjugorje, it seems that at no time has there been precise clarification about the manner in which the many messages were given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the visionaries. It also seems that at no time did the visionaries immediately following a vision write down, under objective supervision, and without consulting each other, what had supposedly transpired and what the apparition had supposedly said. The messages were published afterwards. There is no clear provenance for them. It seems that the simplest of tests, the comparison of separate accounts by different visionaries of the same visions, taken over a long period of time, has not been made.

36. Advocates of the genuineness of the apparitions at Medjugorje often point to a Christian formula, namely: "That by their fruits you shall know them." These advocates claim that the fruits of Medjugorje have been universally good and that something produced either falsely through human chicanery, or maliciously through satanic influence, could not produce such positive results. I would note that even in the earthly hell of the concentration camps, God was active. There are people who claim to have received the most profound and beautiful experience of God while enduring the satanic tortures of the Nazis. Similar claims exist from those tortured by atheistic communists. The positive fruits of Medjugorje are a point in its favour. They may even amount to millions of points in its favour. But they are not conclusive. Those of us who have some religious pretensions, might reasonably postulate that wherever people turn to God, he answers them.

37. The accounts of those claiming to have experienced miraculous healings at Medjugorje, along with the much more numerous accounts of those claiming to have seen the sun spinning, must be looked at individually and assessed individually.

38. The most significant factors militating in favour of the genuineness of the apparitions, for any investigator studying the phenomena at Medjugorje, remain the multiple positive claims by those visiting the area, of supernatural healings, miracles, cures from drug addiction, and deliverance from mental oppressions.

39. I think there are two main possibilities to explain the Medjugorje phenomenon. The visionaries are either lying or telling the truth. A third possibility, ie the possibility that the visionaries were being manipulated without knowing of the manipulation, by Tomas Vlasic, Father Jozo or others, through hypnosis, allied to the administration of hallucinogenic drugs, or some other process of manipulation, I now bracket with the possibility that they are lying. It is the general possibility that a lie is being told, and whoever originated that lie, the visionaries would have at this stage knowingly played a part in its propagation. That is to say, I no longer believe they could have been hypnotised continuously for the past thirty years. At some stage they themselves would have suspected something was going on. I suggest the third possibility (that Tomas Vlasic and/or Father Jozo hypnotised and/or drugged them) would still involve a willingness by the visionaries to lie. Even if they were being manipulated, I am suggesting that after thirty years, they would have become aware of some aspect of the manipulation. For instance if Tomas Vlasic was at one stage continuously composing messages supposedly given to Marija by the Virgin Mary, I am suggesting Marija would at some stage of the process have realised that these messages did not come from the Virgin Mary. I seriously doubt it is possible to keep someone hypnotised for thirty years although it is conceivable they could have been kept cowed with drugs or through black magic. We might consult with David Blaine or Derren Brown on this matter. For me it now boils down to an either or situation. The visionaries are either lying or telling the truth.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

mystic pizza

"Are you trying to convert me to Christianity?" wondered Miss Arabia eyes wide and round.
I spluttered briefly and self righteously into my tiffin.
"No, no, no," I cried, "well yes."
She inclined her head regally.
"I thought so," she murmured, "but why?"
My famous fleeting grin flashed at her in the half light of the cafe.
"It's nothing personal against the peace loving religion of Islam," I told her. "But in 2000 years of Christianity, ain't no one ever converted because of me. Plenty of people went the other direction because of me. But no one ever converted. After all these years, Miss Arabia, I gotta admit I'd like to win one for the gipper. Just one. Anyone. Even you."


Sunday, February 19, 2012

at the divine mercy conference in dublin

I have never seen so many religious maniacs per square inch in my entire life.
And that's just in my car on the way up.
My travelling companions are Sarah Coote who is the wife of a police sergeant, and Cistercian Brother Aladocius, who hails from the west of Ireland and is considerably madder than a brush.
He's also considerably more politically incorrect than your average brush.
Sarah gushes informative spiritual insights as we drive.
Brother Aladocius replies with unholy remarks.
When Sarah's gets bored holding forth about the Deity in a manner surely designed to turn me into an atheist, she gets her jollies by bombarding me with questions about my life, my family, my living arrangements, my income, and my social activities.
Obviously her police officer husband was attracted to her for her abilities as an interrogator.
Freud would have a field day.
We make merry progress.
As our car turns into the conference centre, Brother Aladocius leans over and addresses the Indonesian man at the gate who is there to collect our parking fee.
"I know what you want," cries Brother Aladocius. "You're just after money."
My handsome preraphaelite features take on a mildly gothic look.
"That's his job," I hiss.
The Indonesian guy smiles warmly.
A prince among religious maniacs.
I park my car in the designated zone.
Another car pulls in beside us.
A pleasant looking couple emerge from the adjacent vehicle and greet us in warm Northern accents.
"Where are you from?" enquires Brother Aladocius.
"Armagh," answers the woman sunnily.
"Awful place," exlaims Brother Aladocius. "All that terrorism."
"We've come a long way," says the woman on the defensive. "Things are getting better."
The woman's husband hasn't said a word but is looking a bit shook.
I interpose myself between the northerners and the Cistercian looper.
"Where I'm from has had its troubles too," I tell the woman kindly. "I'm from Kildare. Our football team hasn't won an All Ireland in a hundred years."
At the door of the centre I announce that I'm going to check out the book stalls.
Sarah Coote tells me that she and Brother A are going into the main hall to hear the first speaker and will be sitting in the left aisle near the front.
This is important information.
It means I won't see them again until ten o'clock that night when we're going home.
Now that's what I call divine mercy...

heelers he say

The truth is democratic. But it is not elected.