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Tests for priests

Please allow me to correct some misconceptions about Catholic Truth, which found their way into your article ' Psychological tests for priests to screen out homosexuals' (8 November 2008).

Unfortunately, our efforts to establish the extent of homosexuality within the Catholic Church in Scotland have been widely misrepresented in a variety of reports on the internet, perpetuating the notion that I am running a one-woman crusade against ‘gay’ priests. It is unfair and inaccurate to describe me as “waging a campaign dedicated to the exposure of homosexual priests”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In ten years of publishing our bi-monthly newsletter, only two editions have named priests in connection with homosexuality – that is,only around 3% of our reports have focused on this moral issue and only one edition reported the results of our campaign. The same editions carried reports of a priest involved in an affair with a married woman. This is hardly a ‘crusade’ against ‘gay’ priests although it should come as no surprise that Catholic Truth is unpopular with those priests who are living double lives. Contrary to the impression given by your report, however, we do have the support of other priests, some of whom have passed information to us because they, like our lay sources, are scandalised by the infidelity of those priests purporting to live a celibate life while engaging in affairs, either with men or women.

The fact is, however, that while we have reported on double-living among the clergy, the bulk of our work involves assessing the crisis of Faith as it affects the Church in Scotland. More often than not, our reports and articles feature matters of a religious and spiritual nature. It is a caricature to depict Catholic Truth as a ‘homophobic’ publication.

It is also a caricature to portray me as “reclusive” when I am, by nature, gregarious and enjoy a very full social life. Nor is the newsletter a “one-woman” enterprise. The newsletter team comprises a secretary, treasurer. media officer/adviser and a number of researchers and writers, all of whom assist me in producing the newsletter.

Furthermore, there is no basis for the claim that the Archdiocese of Glasgow has accused me of ‘harassment’. The fact is that we were not popular with the Archbishop at the time of our campaign because none of the cases we reported were “news”. This makes us guilty of being something of a thorn in the flesh to the Archdiocese but we have never been accused of ‘harassment’ by anyone with authority to speak for the Archbishop.

I trust that the above clarifications will go some way to dispelling some of the errors and myths surrounding the work of the Catholic Truth newsletter, reflected in your report. While we include coverage of sexual immorality and clerical double-living within the Church, our newsletter is primarily focused on the much more broad-based work of contributing to the restoration of traditional Catholicism in Scotland.

Patricia McKeever

Editor, Catholic Truth