Court tells priest suspended over ‘sexual bullying’ expose to quit parish house

Herald Scotland

Friday 31 January 2014

A priest suspended for alleging a culture of homosexual bullying within the Catholic Church in Scotland has lost a legal challenge over access to his parish house.

Parishioners in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, have been told an interdict was granted at Hamilton Sheriff Court forbidding Father Matthew Despard, who has been suspended since last November, from preventing his replacement gaining access to the presbytery.

Father Despard, 48, had refused to leave the presbytery house of St John Ogilvie, High Blantyre, having changed the locks.

He continued to live in the property against the will of the interim Bishop Of Motherwell Joseph Toal. His temporary replacement, the Reverend William Nolan, has been unable to get into the property, leading to the court action against him.

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