WARWICK, R.I. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A liberal-leaning pastor has recently walked away from priestly ministry about two months after Church Militant first reported on him.
Father Matthew Glover, who was the pastor of Ss. Rose and Clement in Warwick, Rhode Island, recently walked away from priestly ministry with Bp. Thomas Tobin's blessing and good wishes.
A 2004 graduate of the Pontifical North American College, Glover did not offer any of the Masses on Sunday. His parishioners learned of his departure from a letter he left in the Sunday bulletin.
"God is love and whoever remains in love remains in God and in them," began Glover's letter quoting 1 John 4:7.
Glover talks about his 15 years of priestly ministry and his prayerful decision to leave, thanking everybody for their love and support.
The letter ends: "God is truly Love, I pray that together we remain always united in Him. Peace, Fr. Matt."
Bishop Thomas Tobin expressed his disappointment while offering Glover his blessings.
"Always extremely disappointing, for a bishop and many others, when a priest leaves the active ministry, but my prayers and blessings go with Fr. Matt as he begins walking his new chosen path. May God be with him," tweeted Tobin.
My thoughts and prayers also to the people of SS. Rose and Clement Parish during this time of transition. Be strong in faith, hope, love and confidence. In the continuing ministry of the Church, Jesus the Good Shepherd is in your midst.— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) August 18, 2019
A few former parishioners commented on the Facebook post showing the bulletin in which Glover's farewell letter appeared.
"Fr. Matt was truly a wonderful priest who made my parents feel at home. He said a beautiful funeral mass for my mother about 18 months ago and he got my sister 'back' to church after missing many years," said Erin Ricketts.
"He will be missed. I lit a candle in the grotto, Lourdes France, for him. I pray he moves forward to enjoy all of the graces and blessings that God wills for him. I liked him, even if our political views were much different," said Patricia Berard.
The difference in political views seems to have been a liberal-conservative one, Glover being more liberal.
In 2016, Glover blessed the new panels of a parish school that went solar.
A post in Catholic Ecology described the event: "As the Catholic eco-world entered a week of celebration, reflection, and study in recognition of the one-year anniversary of Laudato Si', my pastor [Glover] and two students at our parish school flipped the switch to its newly installed 50-kilowatt solar energy system."
In his talk before the blessing, Glover quoted the Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whom some have described as "one of the most audacious, prolific and influential of all the disciples of the heresy of Modernism."
Chardin's quote that Glover recited: "Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire."
Church Militant reported in early July on Glover and his parish. The parish had hosted an LGBTQ+ discussion in the parish youth room and published in the bulletin a reflection that associated Pride Month and Pentecost Sunday.
An attendee of the LGBTQ+ discussion Glover hosted reported that the discussion was about the Catholic Church needing to change and affirm such lifestyles, often citing Jesus' dining with sinners and prostitutes with no mention of Jesus calling sinners to repentance.
The pro-LGBT reflection in the bulletin began:
It is no coincidence to me that this year, the Feast of Pentecost coincides with Pride month, a time for the LGBTQ community to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village. Our weekend celebration is all about the radical work of the Spirit as we pray: "Come, Holy Spirit, Come!"
The author of the reflection, "Angie," who is presumably Angela Howard-McParland, the pastoral associate of Ss. Rose and Clement at the time, concluded her reflection with a reference to the Holy Spirit as "her."
"It's time to be open to the Holy Spirit and all her surprising movements, to celebrate community, and to see how God might use us to further the kingdom, however unlikely or unqualified we might feel," wrote Angie.
A priest familiar with Glover's story and recent departure spoke to Church Militant:
As a priest for over 20 years now, I have witnessed more than a few of my fellow priests, former classmates and so forth, just walk off the job, so to speak. As if the priesthood were some sort of a job like being a postal carrier or a garbage man.
And paradoxically many of these men when walking away from the priesthood instead of forthrightly talking about what is immediately transpiring to their parishioners, and even their own families, dash out a quick parting note. As if a notice in the bulletin suffices in some sense.
Nowhere in these notes is anything of real significance mentioned, nor is a word of remorse said for the thousands of dollars spent by the faithful on their education and training. The lack of humility and contrition for taking the faithful, their classmates and their parishioners for an extended ride going nowhere is just "not in their radar!"
It is unclear what Glover intends to do from here.