'Gay mafia' book claim priest accuses church of bullying
Father Matthew Despard, a Scottish priest, alleged bullying by church leaders following his claims of a "gay mafia" within the Catholic Church in a self-published book
Suspended since 2013, he was potentially able to return after a 2016 Vatican ruling but the return hinged on a public apology, which Despard refuses to issue.
The priest, ejected from his parish housing and now living in accommodations provided by the church, has not been allowed back into service; he defies the request for an apology, insisting on his truthfulness.
His allegations gained context as scandals emerged around Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned in 2013 over sexual misconduct accusations. Despard, supported by parishioners and asserting the church's silence on the issue as systemic bullying, remains in deadlock with the church while awaiting reinstatement.
The Diocese of Motherwell maintains that any action is dependent on Despard's personal apology to those affected by his accusations.