His parishioners are up in arms against a Parish priest who came out with the extraordinary statement that Jesus wants the mosque in his parish of St. John’s in Kilkenny.
Fr. Frank Purcell has been parish priest of St. John’s, Kilkenny, for 16 years. He is the son of a potato farmer from Owning, County Kilkenny.
He actually went so far as to slate his own parishioners as “racists” in the “Mail on Sunday” newspaper, doing this without warning to anybody.
They are now on to the Kilkenny Journal saying that they are going to petition the new Bishop of Ossory, Dermot Farrell, to remove this insulting priest from their midst.
This storm blew up out of the blue. Purcell told nobody that he was going to the papers. he never gave his parishioners an inkling that he was going to denounce them in a mass circulation Sunday newspaper that circulates all over Ireland and the UK.
There was no consultation whatsoever, not even with his own local diocesan authorities. Fr. Purcell’s inflammatory statements came right out of the blue, taking the hierarchy unawares and sowing seeds of bitter discontent in the local catholic community.
There was also talk of large bottles of Scotch being bought in for the St. John’s priests’ house every evening from the local Dunnes Stores and some people attributed the priest’s outburst to the newspaper to that.
Whatever, it is felt that Fr. Purcell deserves a rest. People are still shattered from his outburst. And in fact they are never racists but 1300 local parishioners who signed an objection to a proposed mosque for their estates based on traffic problems mostly.
And though Fr. Purcell forces religion into the issue, declaring that Jesus supports the mosque, none of the objectors have ever said anything about religion at all. Nobody has breathed a word about race either – except Fr. Purcell himself.
Father Frank Purcell, St. John’s, Kilkenny city, pictured here on the right.