- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
A Scottish bishop has defended the decision to suspend a priest who had written a controversial memoir claiming there was a culture of homosexual bullying in the Catholic Church in Scotland.
The Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Joseph Toal, who is also administrator of the Motherwell diocese, said in a letter read in all parishes last Sunday that the actions of Fr Matthew Despard of St John Ogilvie’s Church in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, had caused “concern and anxiety” to a significant number and that he saw no alternative to continuing the “penal judicial process” begun against Fr Despard by the Bishop Emeritus of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, who stood down from the diocese last year.
Some parishioners walked out of church when the news was announced in November that Fr Despard was being suspended.
It has left the diocese divided over the issue. Fr Despard’s book was published online and claimed a there was a “powerful gay mafia” running the Church in Scotland, and was released after the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien who stepped down following accusations of sexual misconduct.