Priest Who Went Public on Sexual Bullying at Bearsden Seminary Wins Support

Herald Scotland
March 25, 2013

A PRIEST who has spoken out about a culture of sexual bullying in the Catholic Church in Scotland says he has been inundated with support since he went public with his experience.

Father Matthew Despard, 48, said he spoke out in an attempt to tackle the problems of abuse and bullying, which he claims are "rife" in the Church.

He said that "phones have been off the hook with support" after he spoke of inappropriate behaviour at Chesters College in Bearsden – later named Scotus College – during the 1980s and his attempts to raise complaints with the authorities.

One congregation member, Stephen McNaughton, posted on Twitter last night: "Much respect for the bravery & honesty of our parish priest, speaking out about the Church's issues."

However Fr Despart, the parish priest of St John Ogilvie church in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, last night said he did not want his story to overshadow the beginning of one of the most important times of the Catholic calendar, Holy Week.


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