Bishop rebukes Scottish LGBT activist for slamming fellow priest
MOTHERWELL, Scotland, July 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – He was on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, but the Bishop of Motherwell still managed to rebuke an LGBT-activist priest of his diocese via email.
On Saturday, Bishop Joseph Toal made a statement distancing himself from Father Paul Morton’s public shaming of Father Mark Morris. Morton recently objected to Morris organizing spiritual reparations for Glasgow’s annual LGBT carnival, writing publicly to the orthodox priest, “You should know that not everyone shares your views either about this event or about LGBT people. Many have especially come to see Pride as an event that is both a culturally liberating and joyous moment in the lives of people who identify in this way.”
Morton’s online “open letter” infuriated Scottish Catholics already distressed that Morris was dismissed as Catholic Chaplain from Glasgow Caledonian University when the reparations event drew negative media attention.
Morton has made a name for himself as a Catholic priest open to introducing LGBT education in Scottish schools.
In his letter to the “Catholic Truth” blog and other concerned Catholics, Bishop Toal explained that Morton did not ask him for permission to write his “open letter.” Toal said he “took issue” with the priest’s “uncritical approval” of homosexual “pride” marches.
His letter reads as follows:
While Fr Morton feels justified in telling Fr Morris that he should have sought the permission and support of his Ordinary before having the Rosary in Reparation for the Gay Pride Gathering, I don’t see him applying the same rule to himself in regard to seeking my permission, as his Ordinary, in writing his open letter to Fr Morris. Fr Morton chooses therefore to speak on this matter as an individual and he does not represent me nor the Diocese of Motherwell.
I take issue with Fr. Morton’s uncritical approval of the Gay Pride marches. Footage of any such marches often show people dressed as priests and nuns with the clear intention of belittling and making a fool of the Catholic Church. I understand why they engage in this tomfoolery but for me and other Catholics it creates a negative impression and probably a dislike of such events. I don’t agree therefore with Fr Morton’s uncritical approval of activities which mock the Church of which he is a public representative. We do need to support and minister to those in our Church who experience same-sex attraction but we can’t deny the Church’s teaching and throw in our lot with those who do so.
+ Joseph Toal
The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Glasgow confirmed that these are indeed the words of Bishop Toal. He could not confirm, however, that Bishop Toal has ever made a statement about Father Morton’s work on behalf of the TIE LGBT lobby group.
Scotland has suffered from a number of scandals involving homosexual clergy in recent years. Edinburgh’s late Cardinal Keith O’Brien was outed as a sexually active homosexual shortly before his scheduled retirement party in 2013. His accusers included ex-lovers among the clergy, sickened by O’Brien’s “hypocrisy” in defending traditional marriage.
Also in 2013, Father Matthew Despard of the Motherwell diocese self-published a book called Priesthood in Crisis in which he alleged the existence of a “gay mafia” among Scottish clergy. He claimed they had bullied him, among others. Condemning the book as defamatory, Bishop Toal rebuked Despard and eventually removed him from his parish ministry.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is accused of sexually abusing young boys and preying on seminarians and priests for decades. He has been removed from public ministry.