Dear Mr Brodie,
I was disappointed to read your article “Church Crisis continues as priest resigns.” It was an unnecessarily sensational headline and I had expected you to be better informed and less partisan.
Unfortunately your article is an example of the disinformation circulated by a small minority which has contributed to the collapse of Fr Lawrence’s health.
As his letter clearly states he is taking early retirement on the advice of his doctors.
Your statement that “One of the central issues was the apparent side-lining of several long-serving and senior members of the Church” is totally as odds with reality. It was their desire to side-line Fr Lawrence “as a mere employee” which initiated the problems. I am sure you are aware that the Bishop overruled the former council in support of Father Lawrence, which then led to the entire council resigning.
Far from dwindling, St Paul’s was enjoying a growing and enthusiastic congregation up until lockdown. The Christmas service was a particularly uplifting event, attended by the Prince and his family, at the end of which HSH presented Fr Lawrence with a beautiful statue of St Devote.
You make no mention of the effects of Covid, (no choir, nor worship through song, nor coffee hour afterwards, not to mention many elderly and thus vulnerable parishioners), nor the fact that Father Lawrence is not able to give the service, (he is renowned for his sermons) as contributors to the present congregant numbers.
I also note that you singularly failed to make any mention of the fact that the previous President has been forced to resign as Lay Reader by the Diocesan Bishops due to his actions and has now had to apologize to Fr Lawrence and his family for what has occurred.
I trust that your journalistic quest for the truth, will lead you to correct this article.
Hope Swales, President (St. Paul’s Monte-Carlo Church Council)
I was sorry to read the misinformation in the article about Father Lawrence. His is not resigning but “retiring due to ill health” . I am not sure if you receive the St Paul’s newsletter but it does state that very clearly Fr Lawrence is taking early retirement following the advice of his doctors. In fact, he has not been at all well and all the ongoing issues have aggravated his illness.
Do you think you would be able to include an amendment in your next newsletter? There has been enough rumouring going on these past months without more wrong information.
How sad it all is that the community cannot live by Christian views and ethics, especially in this difficult time with COVID creating so much stress and change for people.
Meanwhile keep the newsletter going. It is very helpful.
All the best,
EDITOR’S NOTE: Following the receipt of these letters, we changed the headline above the relevant article to: Church Crisis continues as priest steps down
Please note, we welcome letters on any topic relevant to the Principality, which will be published at the discretion of the Editor.
PHOTO: St. Paul’s Monte-Carlo Wikimapia