The Day I Caught My Priest with a Father's Day Card|
Exclusive The Woman Expecting Cleric's Baby - Day 3
By Janice Burns
Glasgow Daily Record [Scotland]
February 11, 2006
PREGNANT Hilda Robertson is convinced her priest lover already has a child - because a Father's Day card was sent to his home.
Hilda, 41, said yesterday she was shocked at finding the greetings card at Father Roddy MacNeil's church house in his parish on the Hebridean island of Barra.
But the playboy priest, dubbed Father Flash because of his lavish lifestyle, tried to cover his tracks before hiding the evidence from his lover, who is also his first cousin.
Roddy, 46, snatched the card away before Hilda got a chance to read the handwritten message inside.
Emblazoned across the front were the words "to a loving father".
The couple had been secretly living almost as man and wife at Roddy's home - attached to his church Our Lady of the Sea-for four months when she discovered the card on Father's Day, Sunday June 19 last year.
It was only a few days later that Hilda found a steamy note from another woman under Roddy's pillow as she waited for him to join her in his bed.
The note read: "Thank you for a very intimate week. I think you are very very sexy. Can't wait to see you next week. I love you xx."
Hilda had already become suspicious of him because of the card and the fact she could often smell another woman's perfume in his bedroom.
Hilda, whose two-year affair with Roddy ended last month after he found out she was pregnant, had left her husband Jim and their 20-year-old son to start a new life with her cousin last March. He promised to try to get a mainland parish where she could live as his housekeeper.
Yesterday, we revealed how the love note tipped Hilda over the edge and drove her to the brink of suicide.
She swallowed a massive overdose of paracetamol in a bid to end her life of lies, deceit and guilt.
Last night, Hilda, who is now staying with her sister in Glasgow, said: "I believe Roddy has another child because I found the Father's Day card in his kitchen. Nothing would surprise me now.
"It is very sad if there is another woman out there who is not getting any help or support for herself or for his child. It is a very sorry situation.
"Maybe if the other woman had come forward, this would never have happened to me. Everyone would have known what a sleazy low-life he really was.
"I found the Father's Day card before the love note. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have been in any doubt that he had fathered a child.
"I confronted him about the card and asked him outright: 'Do you have a child. Are you a father?' He denied it.
"His explanation for the card was so plausible that I believed it to be the truth at the time.
"I was at the church house as usual and I was in the kitchen with Roddy when the card caught my eye.
"It was sitting on the work top and it said something like 'To a loving father' on the front. I didn't even get to put my hands on the card. I never got the chance to read the message inside to find out who it was from because it very quickly disappeared.
"Roddy's reaction made me suspicious that he was hiding something from me.
"When I asked him about it, he explained that he gets lots of Father's Day cards because he is a priest and a father to all. He said lots of children in the parish and school children sent him Father's Day cards because of that and it was nothing unusual."
Hilda insists it was the only time she ever saw Roddy with such a card.
Hilda said Roddy - whose mother is her mother's sister - had now lost the support and respect of his relatives, who refer to him as "Father Sleaze" because of the shame he has brought on the close-knit community of Barra.
She said: "Roddy has proved he cannot be trusted. I hope now everyone can see him for what he really is - a sexual predator who abused his position of trust to take advantage of vulnerable women.
"It's too late for me because I am expecting his child but maybe, by telling my story, I have prevented it from happening to other women."
Hilda still has her Catholic faith and attends Mass regularly but says she will never trust a man of the cloth again.
She remains unsure if her unborn child, due in the summer, will be brought up in the Catholic faith.
Despite her ordeal, she says she will not stop Roddy from having full parental rights to see his baby.
'I hope everyone can see him for what he is - a sexual predator'.
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