Fr Despard: Silent Protest Planned…

Fr Despard: Silent Protest Planned…

The short (around 15 minutes) protest will be held on 16 November, 12 noon, outside St Gerard’s Church, Fleming road. Bellshill, ML4 1NF


Manifestly, Fr Despard is being treated extremely unfairly, and for what reason?  For whistleblowing.  For seeking to expose the extent of homosexuality within the ranks of the priesthood in Scotland.  He was suspended from the active ministry and threatened with various law suits from individuals who did not follow through on their threats.  The then Bishop, Joseph Devine, promised a thorough investigation into Fr Despard’s claims about homosexual clergy but that has not materialised either.  

It is a disgrace that Fr Despard has been left for six years without a parish; at a time of acute priest shortages, he is not being allowed to live his vocation in service to the people of the Diocese of Motherwell.  Yet, at least one known “gay” activist priest in the same Diocese has been permitted to work with the LGBT+ lobby to ensure that children in Scottish schools are indoctrinated with the “diversity” agenda. 

Bloggers and readers are encouraged to join in the silent protest in support of Fr Despard, which is effectively challenging the Bishop to explain how, on earth, he can justify discriminating against this priest any longer.  

Comments (27)

  • editor

    Today is the Feast of All Saints, and a Holy Day of Obligation, so I recommend that we all remember Father Despard at Mass today, with prayers for his spiritual sustenance and perseverance as this testing time continues for him

    It is, without a shred of doubt, a disgrace that Fr Despard remains suspended for seeking to highlight the problem of homosexuality within the Church in Scotland while others, who openly cause scandal by actively promoting LGBT+ “rights” are counted among the “priests in good standing”. It’s yet another example of the diabolical disorientation foretold by Our Lady at Fatima.

    To mark the Feast, then, and as a prayer for Fr Despard, below enjoy the hymn “For All the Saints”…

    For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
    Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
    Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest—

    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
    Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
    And win with them the victor’s crown of gold—

    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
    Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
    Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—

    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    November 1, 2019 at 9:11 am
    • Nicky

      That’s a beautiful video / hymn. Happy Feast to all CT bloggers.

      Praying for Fr Despard especially today.

      November 1, 2019 at 12:17 pm
    • Laura

      I agree – that’s a beautiful video and hymn – a very happy Feast to all.

      Also, will pray especially for Fr Despard on this holy day.

      November 1, 2019 at 12:59 pm
  • Fidelis

    Happy Feast of All Saints everyone!

    I am appalled at the way Fr Despard is being treated. He has been singled out for punishment when he deserves praise for trying to expose the homosexual cabal within the Church in Scotland.

    I’ll certainly remember him at Mass today and I’ll spread the word about the protest meeting.

    November 1, 2019 at 9:45 am
  • Josephine

    It’s an absolute scandal that this priest is being left to languish without a parish when we are so short of priests. It seems obvious that this is vengeful. I don’t remember the Cambuslang priest who was splashed across the tabloids more than once being suspended once the investigations were complete. The bishop stood by him quite publicly, if my memory serves. Why is Fr Despard being treated differently, as if we didn’t know. The Cambuslang priest is pro-LGBT rights and Fr Despard is not. This then raises quite a few questions about the diocese, bishop etc.

    Yes, I will pray for Fr Despard today – I’m not really given to “protests” but I can spread the word and be with the group in spirit on 16 November. Well done them for their courage.

    November 1, 2019 at 9:53 am
  • editor

    Thank you to those who have commented so far – I’ve now emailed the link to this thread to the Chancellor the the Diocese of Motherwell, to let the Bishop know that we are discussing the matter.

    November 1, 2019 at 10:13 am
    • Laura


      That’s good that you did that – maybe the comments here will make the bishop realise that there is a big divide being noted between how Fr Despard is being treated, or should that be mis-treated, and how other priests are being allowed to go on as if they’ve done nothing wrong, even though they are known to be involved in the LGBT rights movement. It makes me wonder about this diocese.

      November 1, 2019 at 9:37 pm
  • Nicky

    This is one of the worst cases I’ve ever heard of, a priest being suspended as a punishment for trying to protect people from homosexual priests. You’d think that with the scandals in the USA, with McCarrick and the revelations from Archbishop Vigano, that the Bishop of Motherwell would tread with caution, but no, I agree, they are looking for revenge.

    Why is the press not following this up and demanding a public investigation, as was promised six years ago?

    The old saying “there’s no smoke without fire” comes to mind.

    November 1, 2019 at 12:16 pm
  • Laura

    I would love to know who the 24% are who voted “no” to Fr Despard being reinstated as PP. What are they on?

    Maybe he should think about looking into other possibilities – can a priest who is suspended for such an obviously unjust reason, not apply, e.g. to a religious Order?

    Also, I know someone said on the blog a while back that he was not “into” the traditional Faith and Mass but maybe he will re-think that now, between his own experience of injustice and the scandal of pagan idol-worship in the Vatican. There is a definite link between the creating of a new Mass and the scandals to follow.

    I’ll certainly pray for him, in the hope that he begins to join up the dots connecting his own situation with the rise of modernism in the post-Vatican II Church.

    This short video gives a quick overview of the damage done by the changed Mass –

    November 1, 2019 at 12:52 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      I agree about the new Mass – that’s where the smoke of Satan got a foothold and we are reaping the consequences now. As is Fr Despard, even if he doesn’t realise it yet. I pray that he does come to realise it.

      November 1, 2019 at 3:19 pm
    • RCAVictor


      I’m guessing the 24% are homosexual priests and their supporters who are trying to cause trouble here.

      November 1, 2019 at 9:00 pm
      • Laura

        RCA Victor,

        LOL! Yes, I think you’re probably right, the 24% could be the homosexual priests he’s helped to “out” – although I’d have thought the figure was higher!

        November 1, 2019 at 9:30 pm
  • gabriel syme

    It is disgraceful that Fr Despard is being kept in limbo like this. Especially, as others have noted, when we are told there is a shortage of priests.

    The matter should be been brought to a head asap, rather than allowed to fester for years. It reflects very badly on Bishop Toal.

    One is tempted to wonder if he has something to hide himself, or are the levers of power in his diocese in fact controlled by others?

    Is there nothing Fr Despard can do to end this situation? I know priests take their vows to their diocese seriously but – in this circumstance – could Fr not perhaps ask to be incardinated into another diocese and return to ministry that way? Might that not be a solution?

    I can think of an example of a priest in the Archdiocese of Glasgow who is also kept “on ice” in a similar fashion, though I do not know the reasons for that (nor are they my business).

    However, safe to say – no wonder there is a shortage of priests when Bishops do not let the few clergy they have function.

    In both these diocese, the inactive men both seem to be reliable priests yet both dioceses have, shall we say, rather flamboyant clergy mincing around at will.

    November 1, 2019 at 12:52 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Gabriel Syme,

      I guess another bishop wouldn’t be too willing to incardinae a suspended priest. I remember reading about the hassle which Fr Gruner had and in the end he managed to get a bishop in India to incardinate him. That was another major injustice.

      November 1, 2019 at 3:21 pm
    • Michaela

      Gabriel Syme,

      Personally, I think both Bishops Devine and Toal have “something to hide” – otherwise there would have been publication of the investigation promised by Bishop Devine where we’ve had silence. To me, it’s that simple.

      November 1, 2019 at 9:46 pm
  • Laura

    I meant to say that I always think it is ironic that Pope Paul VI said that “from somewhere, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church” when he is the pope who gave us the new Mass! Did he really not see the connection? A new Mass after centuries of a Mass which gave us saints and martyrs and then almost right away, a new Mass that brings us what we saw in that video, plus scandals galore? I can’t believe he didn’t see the connection.

    November 1, 2019 at 12:57 pm
  • RCAVictor

    I wonder if future Church historians will call this Vatican II era “the era of persecuted priests.” Persecuted for telling the truth, that is, persecuted by their own shepherds, persecuted for being faithful to their vocation (in other words, for more than just being whistle-blowers about homosexual clergy) – and NOT persecuted by the state, as in the Roman Empire or under Julian the Apostate.

    And since the election of Pope Francis, they are also being verbally persecuted – endlessly brow-beaten, and, I would speculate, threatened behind the scenes – for their fidelity, by the Vicar of Christ!

    The LesFemmes blog has an entire section on “Persecuted Priests,” all of the above variety:

    (look in left column)

    November 1, 2019 at 2:55 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      RCA Victor,

      I copied that page directly – it’s really very interesting, but shocking

      You are probably right about future Church historians singling out the treatment of faithful priests for particular mention – it’s beyond the pale that Fr Despard is suspended but the other priests he exposed in his book are still in post, without any of the promised investigation having been carried out. That is a total disgrace..

      He’s in exactly the same position as Archbishop Vigano who has had to go into hiding because of his whistleblowing which led to the defrocking of Cardinal McCarrick, now plain Mr McCarrick. It’s the faithful priests/bishops who are being persecuted while the guilty ones continue as before.

      A happy Feast of All Saints to everyone at CT, although it’s not so easy to celebrate a feast when such injustice is going on.

      November 1, 2019 at 3:18 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    A happy Feast of All Saints everyone. It is indeed terrible that Father Despard is suspended, a total disgrace. It makes me angry about this injustice.

    When you see things like this priest dancing around the Sanctuary – no respect at all for Our Lord present in the Tabernacle.

    November 1, 2019 at 8:49 pm
    • Josephine

      Theresa Rose

      That is shocking – if you watch until the end, the Blessed Sacrament (if the consecration was valid, which I do wonder about) wasn’t in the tabernacle, but in the exposition monstrance on the altar/table!

      Looking at the young altar boys was depressing; they looked bewildered at first and then some (only some) joined in. I can imagine them not wanting to serve any more. If only that priest knew how stupid he looks.

      November 1, 2019 at 9:27 pm
      • Laura


        They all look stupid dancing around. Have they never heard the saying “a time and a place”? They’re so busy trying to make the Mass “fun” that they don’t realise how ridiculous they look and how ridiculous is the idea of making Mass “fun”. It’s like trying to make a funeral “fun” – but then again, they do that these days, don’t they. I can never understand the idea that people have to enjoy a religious service in a fun way. It doesn’t make sense to me.

        November 1, 2019 at 9:33 pm
  • Michaela

    I’d like to suggest a “not so silent protest” on 16 November.

    I think the bishop will not see a silent protest as any kind of threat and I think he needs to feel threatened (not, I hasten to add, in the sense of physical aggression) because if nothing is going to happen except a group, small, medium or large, standing outside a church in silence, I can’t see how that will change his mind.

    It’s definitely a disgrace that he remains suspended 6 years on, and still not a mention of the investigation promised by Bishop Devine. We all waited for that with bated breath, but nothing came of it, which suggests a cover-up.

    It’ll all come out in the end and it won’t be good for Bishop Toal.

    November 1, 2019 at 9:43 pm
  • Michaela

    Happy Feast of All Saints everyone!

    November 1, 2019 at 9:44 pm
  • editor

    I’ve read all the comments now and I am very impressed with the “joined up thinking”. I don’t know Fr Despard personally but I am led to believe that he’s not (to date anyway) been a fan of what we now call “Tradition” (whereas previously there was no need for the inverted commas!)

    I suspect that Fr Despard is young enough not to have recognised the lack of sound seminary teaching about Tradition, having been led to believe in “living tradition” as per the modernist interpretation which, loosely goes along the lines of “all doctrinal changes welcome!” Hence, ordained for the novus ordo, he, like many if not most other priests of his generation, won’t question it. They’ll have been taught to see it as progress and a harking back to the “old” Mass as being backward-looking. Add to that mindset, the fact that they’ve never known anything but the new Mass, whereas the saints and martyrs whom we celebrate today, on the Feast of All Saints, did not know anything but the traditional Mass.

    Moreover, we can take it as read that they would reject outright, a Mass created for the express purpose of removing anything offensive to Protestants, indeed, calling on the assistance of six Protestant ministers to help create it… Below, the six ministers, photographed with Pope Paul VI

    In normal times, this one fact alone would alert priests to the fact that this new Mass does not come from God. However, we’re not living in normal times, as we know: pagan worship in the Vatican, being the most recent evidence of this… There is a certain logic to it, though, if you think about it. Create a new Mass to please Protestants, and then, that done, move on to pleasing Pagans. Here’s a link to Fr Gruner’s book Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul, in which he explains what it means to be a Catholic, and the true definition of Tradition

    Anyway, thanks to all who promised prayers for Fr Despard. I would also encourage everyone who can make it to Bellshill on 16th November to do so – I am hoping to be present myself, so let’s do our best to support Fr Despard’s former parishioners and others who are trying their best to end the injustice to which he is being subjected by his continuing suspension from the active ministry.

    I’ll check out all the comments again in the next couple of days in case I’ve missed something that requires a reply. For now, I need my beauty sleep… Say nothing!–cant-sleep-quotes-sleep-deprivation.jpg

    November 1, 2019 at 11:32 pm
  • Fidelis

    I’ve told a few friends about the protest and one or two said they would try to go along.

    November 4, 2019 at 4:37 pm
  • editor

    Just a wee reminder that the silent protest is still planned for Saturday next, 16 November, to mark the shocking fact that it is six years now since Fr Despard was suspended from his active priestly ministry, for the crime of seeking to expose the extent of homosexuality within the Church in Scotland in his book Priesthood in Crisis.

    Those implicated in his book continue without the promised investigation which never did materialise, and at least one priests continues in post as Parish Priest despite his very public promotion of “gay rights”.

    So, if you can spare the time it takes to get to [outside of] St Gerard’s church in Bellshill [address given in the introduction, top of the page], in order to participate in the silent protest – a small attempt to keep the injustice perpetrated against Fr Despard at the forefront of the Bishop’s mind – then it will be good to see you there, 12 noon.

    November 14, 2019 at 8:37 pm
  • editor

    R e p o r t . . .

    I attended the silent protest today, to mark the 6 years since Father Despard (Motherwell) was suspended from the active ministry for writing his book exposing homosexuality within the Church in Scotland.

    The organisers had brought along posters to hold up and they handed in a letter addressed to Bishop Toal, who is responsible for suspending Fr Despard (and for leaving another – “gay” rights activist priest – in post, despite our several approaches to him on the subject.)

    There was a very good attendance – I’d say between 50-60 gathered outside the church of St Gerard’s, where the Bishop resides.

    I’d received permission to hand out a few copies of the current newsletter which were left over from the distribution, so at the end of the fifteen minutes of silent protest, I approached some individuals to ask if they had heard of us and when (except in one case) the reply was in the negative, I then asked if they had heard or read about the Amazon Synod, and the Pope’s praying before a pagan goddess. 100%, the replies were negative. None of the people to whom I spoke knew anything about this scandal, and in several instances, when I further asked if they were aware that the Church is in crisis, the replies were equally negative.

    One lady, member of the older generation, clearly didn’t want to know. Her friend, who had seemed interested and had taken the newsletter willingly, offered to let her read it first, but she declined. Brings to mind the rebuke of Jeremiah about bad priests, how “my people love it”. These bad priests/false prophets make no demands on the people and so they continue on their way to a terrible judgment.
    Still, there were a few (one young lady in particular) who willingly took the newsletter and so – as was our aim at launch way back in 1999 – we continue to try to alert our fellow Catholics, one at a time, as we meet them.

    And there is a bit more good news. One of our readers had also sought and been given permission to distribute literature – Fatima materials, and those went well. Indeed, one Protestant lady, who had attended the protest because she has known Fr Despard since his boyhood days, took some of the material including a miraculous medal and leaflet, so I have no doubt that, as well as disturbing the conscience of the Bishop in his discriminatory treatment of Fr Despard, some, at least, of those present may have started on that very important journey back to the Faith of our Fathers.

    We should pray to that end…

    November 16, 2019 at 11:04 pm

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