Motherwell Priest Facing Eviction…

ImageJun 28, 2014 — Hi, Just to inform everyone that on Monday 30th June at Hamilton Sheriff Court, the RT REV Joseph Toal will be pursuing a claim to EVICT Father Matthew Despard (pictured). I will be posting the above details on the FB page and the petition page at change.org hoping that people will come and show their support for Father Matthew. I feel this is the beginning of the end for Father Matthew…  Source

Comment

Only a couple of days ago, I was speaking to a reliable source who told me that, whatever we think of the wisdom of Fr Despard’s decision to publish, the information he published is “more of it true than not”.

Given that Bishop Devine has never denied the allegation made about him, and that none of the others either identified or alluded to have identified themselves to deny the claims about them (note: the priest who phoned me, but would not give his name, did deny the allegations but the failure to publicly do so, causes me to doubt – sorry, but that’s the truth of the matter. In their place, I think the majority of innocent people would want to remove all doubt and openly deny the claims.)  Thus, I’m afraid our sympathies have to remain with Fr Despard. He appears to be suffering unjust treatment, disproportionate to his decision to publish his book.  Indeed, Lady Vengeance appears to be in the driving seat in the way the diocese is pursuing this priest.  Or maybe you disagree? 

Letter from a Bishop…

Letter from a Bishop...

Parishioners from the parish of St John Ogilvie’s in Blantyre sent me a copy of the letter from Bishop Toal read out at Mass yesterday. Unfortunately, for technical reasons I cannot post it here but it is quoted in a report in Herald Scotland which you can read if you click on the photo of Bishop Toal.

Essentially, Bishop Toal is asking everyone to accept his decision to suspend Fr Despard.

As I have said repeatedly, I don’t know Fr Despard, but it does seem that there are some kind of double standards going on when a priest like Fr Despard can be suspended for what may be an ill-judged decision to write a “whistleblowing” book while Fr Lawlor in Glasgow, who hit the headlines for his involvement in a sex incident in front of his tabernacle, was not only not suspended, but is currently a popular speaker on Catholic premises all over the place, at the invitation of dissidents. Seems there’s an injustice here.

The question is, again, one of obedience. Is Fr Despard right to fight this suspension? Remember, Bishop Toal is administering the Diocese of Motherwell until a new Bishop is appointed. The previous Bishop (Joseph Devine) announced that there would be no further action against Fr Despard.* The parish is deeply divided. Is there anything we can say to help resolve the matter – I know there are parishioners keenly awaiting this thread. Can we help them?

* It seems that Bishop Devine announced only that he would not pursue the matter with the Diocesan Tribunal but did not rule out pursuing the matter with the National  Tribunal – see my comment below, 6 January, 2014, 9.19pm.