Following the release of Bishop Joseph Toal's letter to the clergy regarding Fr. Matthew Despard, in which, amongst other things, the bishop claims that Fr. Despard is not accepting the situation of his suspension etc., I can confirm that the reality is that Fr. Matthew has and is not seeking any publicity, is not saying public Mass, is not - in any way - involving himself in the public life of the Church in Motherwell, or anywhere.
In fact, he is keeping an ultra-low profile, completely away from any activity; in no way obstructing the bishop. It may well be that Fr. Despard feels grieved by the actions, perhaps he feels they are unjust - but such sentiments do not in any way constitute an active, open and public rebellion - as suggested by the letter.
Bishop Toal also speaks about Bishop Joseph Devine and his investigations into Fr. Despard. May I remind Bishop Toal that Bishop Devine is part of the problem. Let us not forget that it was Bishop Devine who called Pat McEwan a "fantasist" when Mr. McEwan stated that he suffered homosexual abuse at the Carfin Grotto, sacred to Scottish Catholics. The "problem" of Fr. Despard is really a diversionary tactic; to throw people off the real issue. And it is not the allegations of choir directors and others who take umbrage to what may or may not be true, or what is in Fr. Despard's book. The issue is NOT Fr. Despard's book! The issue is: and I will restate it again for those who seem to have difficulty in understanding: it is the sexual abuse of young people, and active homosexual activity by priests. That is the issue. Fr. Despard's book just helped blow the lid off the boil! The evil that is in the Church in Scotland is exemplified by the lying and covering up of horrible sexual crimes and behaviours. It is exemplified in the continued pastoral activity and even promotion of Fr. Paul Milarvie, who was caught out in a drunken homosexual incident.
All of this deeply grieves me. I remember the local Church of Canon Taylor; even being blessed to serve him at Mass - to even see him levitate! May the Church in Scotland return to the days of the holy Canon. Others may be silent, I will not be silent!