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Scottish priest sentenced by Church tribunal for book charging 'gay Mafia' influence

April 20, 2015

A Catholic Church tribunal in Scotland has sentenced a priest to three months of penance, after finding him guilty of damaging the reputations of others with a book in which he complained of a “powerful gay Mafia” in the Scottish Church.

Father Matthew Despard, who has been suspended from ministry since November 2013, will appeal the tribunal’s verdict. Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell said that the priest “had injured the good reputation of a number of people, both lay and clergy.”

In his book Priesthood in Crisis, which he self-published on the internet, Father Despard charged that homosexual priests intimidate others in the clergy. The book—which appeared just as Cardinal Keith O’Brien resigned, having admitted to homosexual misconduct—prompted further speculation about the influence of homosexuals within the Scottish clergy.

Priesthood in Crisis was originally made available through Amazon. It was withdrawn from sale by Amazon in the United Kingdom (although it remains available in the US) because of lawsuits threatened by individuals who were named in the book.


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  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Apr. 21, 2015 11:25 AM ET USA

    "In the majority of cases, the tribunal ruled that Father Despard had injured the good reputation of a number of people, both lay and clergy." - Bishop Toal. The bishop means that Fr Despard blew the whistle on all the gay interlopers in his diocesan clergy. In the Catholic Church, blowing the whistle is most definitely a no-no, especially if it involves a criticism of the gays in the clergy. These untouchables must be protected from exposure, even if we say good-bye to all good men.

  • Posted by: sarsok8679 - Apr. 20, 2015 8:19 PM ET USA

    Meanwhile the homosexuals go scot free?!

  • Posted by: Leopardi - Apr. 20, 2015 8:06 PM ET USA

    There's a difference between "not proven" and "not true". It would be a devastation to the Church if this issue were to be revealed as the next pedophilia crisis. I pray that this "Church Tribunal" has given the accusation proper scrutiny!