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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 - - 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!


  1. Why, oh, why has Bishop Toal chosen to escalate this matter ? He will do Fr Despard no good, he will do himself no good, he will do the Church no good. Madness.

    For, by my reckoning, Father Despard is more or less correct in his account of the bullying gay culture that exists in various parts of the Church. As he is about an actively gay culture within certain groups of priests. Why do I say this ? Well, I happen to know a lot about one area Fr Despard talks about in his book, and by my reckoning he is pretty much spot on. It has to do with his time in the Army as a chaplain, and I believe, in fact I know, that the vast majority of what he recounts, including names, is correct. He is not making it up. It happened. Take it from me, and from my experience of chaplaincy in the military. It doesn't make for comfortable reading, I know, but he is pretty much spot on in his recounting of and assessment of the culture which existed there - and to a certain degree still does, though some of the weightier and powerful characters are now elsewhere having moved on or died, and the extreme gay culture which Fr Despard recounts has diminished somewhat. But, make no mistake, there still is a large gay sub-culture which exists in that ministry, and some of it acted upon sexually by a number of individuals.

    If Father Despard is not telling the truth, then why have those priests who think they have been maligned not sued ? Because they know that if the matter were investigated closely it would show that father Despard is telling the truth !

    So, I reckon that if he is right about that bit of his experience and life, I think he is probably telling it as it was / is about other areas. Uncomfortable truth, I know, but don't shoot the messenger or try to silence him because it will all come back to bite you in the ass, Bishop Toal. Better to listen carefully to what is being said and address the issues constructively rather than punitively, as you currently appear to be doing.

    Now, I'm not sure if Father Despard should have written his book and published it. I think I would have preferred if he had not done so. But he has. What really sticks in my throat is the scurrying around to attempt to discredit and silence him rather than address the issues he raises.

  2. We only have the word of M Despard for so much of this. Did he write to either the Nuncio or his Bishop? Is it the case that in all three parishes where he served that every priest who worked thee before, with or after him was openly gay or buying ladies underwear. Also, as it happens it was legal moves that led to thee book being withdrawn from Amazon.
    It's my view he has serious mental health issues and needs to be received form ministry so that these can be addressed.

    1. Yes he contacted both bishop and nuncio many times and was ignored. Even Pope Francis has urged bishops to answer their priests concerns. The book is only banned in the UK

  3. Why is it impossible to buy this book in the UK, what is the Catholic church afraid of?

    1. No idea but I suspect high 'forces' stopped if from being sold but you can get it in every other country! The church can't keep hiding things - now a Swiss guard claims he was propositioned many times by clergy including cardinals. This was on the Daily Mail website 2 days ago.

  4. Why is it impossible to buy this book in Scotland, what are the Catholic church afraid of?

  5. I have tried searching the internet to get it from abroad with no joy. To be honest I was only mildly interested in reading this book when the news broke last year, however after reading the letter from Bishop Toal which was handed out at masses on Sunday I have become more intrigued, as I said what is the Church afraid of?. The priesthood is no different from any other profession you will always get the few who give the profession a bad name... deal with them do not pretend they do not exsist.

  6. Sadly this is a microcosm of the church in the West. The church can't keep hiding this homosexual bullying in the priesthood. Various priests have now written similar accounts to Fr Despard - one in Rome and one in Poland. The problem exists at cardinal level too - cardinal O'Brien etc. I am ashamed of the way my church is behaving. We need good priests like Fr Despard. But maybe some good will come out of this. The bishop has attracted a lot of attention to this and perhaps this has to happen in order for the hierarchy to wake up!!!

  7. Speaking from personal experience as a parishoner, the mandate of Motherwell Diocese is: Protect the bully and punish the victim. As an adult I was the victimized by another parishoner. My complaint about this woman was ignored not only by the parish priest but the diocese too. The Catholic church is no longer a place for decent people.

    1. Oscar Wilde famously said the C of E was for decent people (respectable) and the RC church for villains and saints alike. Sorry to hear about your experience. Rather common in parishes I think.

  8. As a follow up to all of the support received for Father Despard, we intend to gather in the church grounds on Saturday the 26th of April 2014, after the 16.30 Vigil Mass to show added support for Father. We feel that Father continues to be psychologically abused by his fellow clergy and in response we ask all supporters of our petition to turn up to show extended and ongoing support for Father. The gathering will be held in St John Ogilvie Parish grounds and we ask all who are able to come to reply to us via the email addresses below.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. It is totally evil to promote homosexual priests and "kick out" the ones who tell on them. How low can the Church go? Homosexual priests and bishops will eventually empty the pews. That is not is the rule of God and the rule of the commandment that speaks to sex outside of the marriage and between a man and a woman. Whatever folks want to do outside the will of God will land them in a very hot place one day.

  11. Update (14/08/2014):

    He is off his chomp!?!

  12. Dominie,
    Have you met Fr Despard? Have you attended any Holy Mass that he has celebrated? I have and I don't think you would be impressed by his celebration of the Liturgy or the "pub" style of speaking and language that he uses. I'm from the Diocese of Motherwell and the picture that he paints of the Diocese and its priest is one that I do not recognise.
    It's interesting that in his book, while he is pointing out all the alleged failures of others, he fails to inform the readers that he was expelled from senior seminary because he was arrested and spent some time in the cells for being drunk and fighting with a fellow student in a pub in Glasgow. If he is exposing the alleged faults of others is it not only right and proper that he should first confess his own faults? I'm sure Bishop Devine greatly regrets having compassion for Matthew Despard and, against the advice of the staff, taking him back as a student for the priesthood.
    If Fr Despard cannot be honest about himself, what else is he being dishonest about. The on-going courtcase is exposing the rather bizarre behaviour of Fr Despard. Despite being ordered by the court to allow the Administrator access to the parish house, Fr Despard barricaded and sabotaged the doors. He placed a tin of curry powder at the top of the door so that it would fall on anyone who tried to enter. A visiting African priest was asked by the Bishop to stay in St John Ogilvie's and celebrate Holy Mass in the Parish but Fr Despard entered the room allocated to the visiting priest and put his bags out. I do not think these are the actions of a rational person.

  13. Whoever HectorPector67 is.
    No I am not Mrs X and I have no idea who she is.
    I live in Sussex
    I have never met Fr Despard
    I only read his book as advertised on The Vortex


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