Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Fr Matthew Despard - suspended for telling the truth! Please sign on-line petition to re-instate him
The Catholic Church in Scotland is going through a turbulent period at the moment. Just before Pope Francis was elected, the most senior Catholic cleric - Cardinal Keith O'Brien stood down after revelations of sexual misconduct with priests and seminarians (1 former, as he had to leave lest he compromise his purity with Cardinal O'Brien!). But this is just the tip of a rather large iceberg. Next came revelations from former pupils at the Catholic monastery in the Highlands - Fort Augustus Abbey School, where pupils were beaten and sexually abused by monks - all covered up by the powers that be! Oh dear - when is all this going to end. I am so FED UP with the cover-ups in my church I want to get those senior bishops and bang their heads together. Those responsible for the cover-ups should at least apologise and humbly resign. One abused man - former pupil at Fort Augustus told me via Twitter that he has never got over his abuse. Very sadly, many of these victims lose their faith.
One very brave and holy priest - Fr Matthew Despard, who alerted the correct channels in the Catholic hierarchy about the sexual bullying in his seminary and within the priesthood itself - was 'sent to Coventry' - they didn't want to know. He contacted the papal nuncio and his own Bishop Devine. All ignored the allegations and swept eveything under the carpet. So - in his desperation he wrote an e-book about his appalling time in seminary and as a priest. This book, called "Priesthood in Crisis" became a global best-seller - I believe it made postion 119 out of millions of books. I was fortunate to get my copy before Amazon banned it in the UK. You can get a copy if you leave the UK from whichever country you go to. I asked an English priest what he made of Fr Despard's book. He said it was a "depressing but important book".
I was so upset when I read the book BUT I personally feel it needed writing as this sexual misconduct cannot go on forever and be continually ignored. His own bishop Joseph Devine decided no charges would be brought aganist Fr Despard and soon after tended his resignation. That speaks volumes.
Why was Fr Despard persecuted in seminary and within the priesthood? According to him, many other good orthodox priests are 'hounded out' because they actually believe what the Church teaches! Oh my! The persecutors it seems - were men, who clearly had no vocation themselves and 'infiltrated' the priesthood, so as to change the Church from within. I know this is true as 2 friends of mine - both mothers of priests have told me the same happened to their sons. Purely because they were orthodox and believed in Humanae Vitae etc.
Shockingly last Saturday 23rd November - just before mass was to begin, Bishop Toal came into Fr Despard's church - St John Ogilvie, and told the parishioners that thier priest was suspended. There was outrage apparently and one lady said it was as "close to a riot" as it could possibly get. Now I only know one fact about Bishop Toal - apparently he doesn't like people kneeling very much.
The support behind Fr Despard has been tremendous, and a paper petition was organised immediatley by 40 year old Helen Ann Hawkins. She says it was Fr Despard who brought her back to the Church after being lapsed. This paper petiton got over 500 signatures alone. She has also set up an on-line petiton and this got over 500 signatures in a day. The petition asks Bishop Toal to re-instate their parish priest as he has done nothing wrong - all he did was tell it how it is!
The on-line petiton is found at - change.org - and put "Matthew Despard" in the search engine.
I was so upset myself that I wrote to Bishop Hugh Gilbert (Bishop of Aberdeen) - I used to visit his mother when she was at Holy Cross Priory in East Sussex. He answered my last letter so I know he reads them!
Good often comes out of evil - the evil in this case is the suspension of a good orthodox priest. The good may be that the church in Scotland has to to wake up out of its comfy cronysim and take seriously the allegations in this book. I think the laity has also woken up - the scandal of the Keith O'Brien has upset parishioners - the Fort Augustus child abuse has been another knock-back. The revelations in Fr Despard's book are eye-popping. The sexual misconduct seems to be happening amongst all levels of clergy. Even Pope Francis acknowledged there are gay lobbies and masonic lobbies within the Vatican!
Pray that Fr Matthew is re-instated!
His parish is holding rosary vigils for this intention every week.
I recommend the following book about infiltration of homosexuality in the Catholic Church. To date - not a single fact has been challenged by the Vatican!