News from Europe

British Catholic priest subjected to dicsrimination by University for his views


Nottingham University confirmed on the 25yh of August, that they had declined to install Father David Palmer, a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our lady of Walsingham, because of "the manner" he commented on his social media site, a university spokesman said.



Palmer was supposed to become the chaplain of both Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University. While the latter instaled him the former invited Father Palmer to an interview in which he defended his posts about assisted suicide and abortion to go against the Catholic belief. After Bishop Patrick McKinney declined to propose another priest the University accepted to allow Father Palmer to celebrate mass as a “guest Priest”.

“Our concern was not in relation to Fr. David’s views themselves, but the manner in which these views have been expressed in the context of our diverse community of people of many faiths,” said a spokesperson for the university. Palmer had been nominated as chaplain to the Catholic community at the University of Nottingham and the Nottingham Trent University by local Bishop Patrick McKinney, as Palmer serves in the Diocese of Nottingham. 

Trent University instaled Father David Palmer as chaplain, whereas Nottingham University invited him for an interview on the 17th of June and another one on the 1st of July. After the interview, the University expressed its concerns regarding Palmer’s posts about assisted suicide and abortion and asked Bishop McKinney to nominate someone else. 

“They referenced a tweet where I had referred to the proposed ‘assisted dying’ bill [introduced in Britain’s Parliament in May] as a bill to allow the NHS ‘to kill the vulnerable. I was told it was fine for me to have this opinion, but they were concerned with how I expressed it. When I asked how they would suggest I express it, quite remarkably, they suggested I should call it ‘end of life care,’ which is a completely unacceptable policing of religious belief”, said Palmer reflecting on the interview. 

In the context of a debate over U.S. President Biden’s reception of the Holy Communion despite backing legal abortion, Palmer wrote on Twitter that abortion is the “slaughter of babies”, which was not welcomed by the board of Nottingham University. During the Interview, Palmer stated to have defended both posts as reflecting Catholic belief, which the University did not accept. 


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