Patrick Buckley (born 1952) is a former Irish Roman Catholic priest and convicted criminal who was excommunicated as a result of his ordination as a bishop in an independent church. As an illicitly ordained bishop he is not a member of the Irish episcopal conference and is not treated as a bishop by bishops in communion with Rome. Despite not being a member of the Roman Catholic Church he continues to have an unhealthy obsession with the organisation; writing about it on a daily basis.
Buckley, the eldest of 17 children, was born in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland and is now living at The Oratory, Larne, County Antrim, a house which used to belong to the Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor and which Buckley refused to leave following his suspension from the priesthood in 1986 by the then bishop, Cahal Daly. In 2012 Buckley reached an agreement with the diocese of Down and Connor about his residence in the house and that confidential agreement was lodged with the Belfast High Court. As part of this agreement the church embarked on a substantial renovation of the property.
Buckley studied at Clonliffe College and then at St. John's College, Waterford. He was ordained a Roman Catholic diocesan priest in 1976 in Waterford by the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Michael Russell, and subsequently ordained a bishop by Independent Catholic Bishop Michael Cox in the episcopal lineage of Archbishop Ngo Den Thuc (Vietnam and The Vatican) on 19 May 1998. He was co-consecrated by Bishop Peter Paul Brennan of New York in the Cardinal Rebiba lineage – a lineage shared by most of the current bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. These ceremonies were conducted without the approval of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope.
Buckley was granted a Master of Social Science (Irish Studies) degree in 1989 by The Queen's University of Belfast.
Buckley was elected to Larne Borough Council in 1989 as an independent, a seat he lost in 1993. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he wrote a column for the Belfast Sunday Telegraph. From 1994 he was the Irish columnist for the London based Sunday newspaper: "The News of the World". He was also a contributing columnist to "The Big Issues" a magazine for the homeless. For over 30 years he has been a regular contributor to the printed media, radio and television in Ireland, the UK and internationally.
Buckley has published three books: Faith and Fatherland - The Irish News, the Catholic Hierarch and the Management of Dissidents" 1989; Belfast."A Thorn In The Side" - 1994; O'Brien Press, Dublin; "A Sexual Life - a Spiritual Life" 2005; Liffey Press, Dublin. In 2014 these three books became available on Amazon Kindle as e books.
On 10 October 1999 he publicly confirmed his homosexuality. and takes a liberal stance on both moral issues and theology. In his autobiography, Buckley stated that he believes it may be possible for the Devil himself to be redeemed.
Buckley is actively involved in the gay and lesbian community in both Ireland and Great Britain. in 2016, despite a desperate plea from a young man, Buckley revealed the mans sexuality on his blog and later ridiculed the young man. It was later revealed the young man in question made an attempt to end his life. Buckley continues to 'name and shame' any homosexual men who do not publicly reveal their sexuality. His ministry involves giving same-sex blessings as well as holding spiritual seminars for LGB communities.
Buckley entered into a civil partnership with his Filipino boyfriend Eduardo Yango on 2 March 2010. This was despite an earlier attempt by Yango to forgo the marriage, as he felt pressurised.
Buckley was granted an episcopal coat of arms by the Chief Herald of Ireland in 2000.
On 9 February 2010, an article published in the Belfast Telegraph reported that Buckley's wedding was called off due to his boyfriend getting cold feet because of the presence of media but the civil partnership was celebrated a few days later. Buckley's partnership is still in place and his civil partner became an Irish citizen by naturalization on 22.9.2014
Buckley appeared in court on 10 January 2012 along with 15 other people in relation to a widespread police probe into alleged sham marriages, money laundering and fraud. Buckley is accused of conducting wedding ceremonies that have enabled foreign nationals to stay in the UK. He had not been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Home Secretary by facilitating foreign nationals to gain entry to the UK on dates between January 2004 and September 2009 but attended the Magistrates Court in Belfast to answer a complaint by the Public Prosecution Service. He is represented by the human rights solicitor Kevin R. Winters of Belfast who is currently petitioning the court for a preliminary hearing to have the case against Buckley struck out. The next hearing in Belfast was scheduled for 15 August 2012. Buckley went on trial accused of "conspiracy to defraud the British Home Secretary and the trial ended in a hung jury. A second trial was sought by the Belfast Public Prosecution Service but before the trial commenced the prosecution and Buckley came to an agreement whereby Buckley would plead guilty to a reduced number of charges and receive a suspended sentence. At the end of the trial the trial judge revealed that Buckley was HIV+. Buckley continues to be an "officiant" of marriages in Northern Ireland and a "solemniser" of marriages in the Republic of Ireland.
There is a site dedicated to documenting and supporting Pat Buckley’s victims:
- F. John Loughnan. Reply to Fr. Patrick Buckley a.k.a. Thucite Bishop Pat Buckley. Jloughnan.tripod.com.
- Irish Chiefs: Grant of Episcopal Arms to Bishop Pat Buckley. Homepage.eircom.net (3 November 2002).
- Renegade Catholic bishop Pat Buckley's wedding postponed. BelfastTelegraph.co.uk (9 February 2010).
- Charges over sham marriages are a plot to silence me, claims rebel priest Pat Buckley. BelfastTelegraph.co.uk (11 January 2012).
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