ACP claim bishops are targeting priests

ACP claim bishops are targeting priests

The Association of Catholic Priests has claimed that some bishops have banned gay priests from working in parishes. However, the group did not name any diocese in a series of allegations contained in a statement released to the media ahead of the annual meeting this week.

Another claim from the group is that some priests say they feel that their confidence has been knocked after a bishop made remarks about their appearance.

The ACP said that its claims are against a “small number” of members of the hierarchy and claimed that complaints it had received related to:

– priests being told that they have to take responsibility for another parish at short notice and being left to his own devices to negotiate the extra workload;

– priests whose bishops insist on appointing them against their will to parishes for which they believe themselves to be unsuitable;

– priests who take time out being refushed permission to return to active ministry;

– priests being refused permission to leave their own diocese to work in another diocese;

– priests who are gay being refused permission to work in parishes while in other dioceses they are treated as equal and valued members of the priesthood;

– priests who have concerns about the demands on their mental or physical health of remaining in full-time ministry until they reach 75;

– priests who feel unable to stand up for themselves;

– priests whose bishops comment disparagingly on their personal appearance and have their confidence undermined and their pastoral effectiveness diminished;

– priests who have experienced specific difficulties being refused permission to say funeral Masses for parents or close family members;

– priests with no accusation against them being forced out of priesthood.

The ACP insisted that it is “prepared to challenge bishops who fail to live up to their responsibility as bishops which is to be shepherds to their priests as well as to their people,” the statement added.