NORTHAMPTON, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - The rector of England's largest seminary, who reportedly went to bat for an openly gay seminarian, has been appointed as the new bishop of Northampton.
Canon David Oakley succeeds Bp. Peter Doyle, who has also come under fire for promoting a pro-gay agenda and sharing the platform at an LGBT conference with homosexualist Jesuit Fr. James Martin.
The 64-year-old bishop-elect, rector of St. Mary's College, Oscott, has been described by those who know him as "pastoral, discerning and faithful" and "having a ministry in the mold of Pope Francis."
However, during his seven-year tenure as rector, the prestigious seminary in the archdiocese of Birmingham was tainted by claims of being run by a "homosexual clique" that was being overlooked because of a "homosexual culture in the Church's hierarchy."
The allegations surfaced after Oscott's only qualified formation tutor, Fr. David Marsden, S.C.J., was dismissed by Oakley after he recommended the expulsion of an openly gay seminarian from the program of formation.
"David Oakely informed me that his bishop was 'adamant' that his student was staying in formation and that this was not how he and a number of bishops interpreted the Church's teaching on homosexuality," Marsden wrote in an open letter to the bishops of England, Wales and Scotland.
Apparently, the policy in Oscott appears to be if a candidate is not "acting out" his homosexual tendencies at the moment or behaving in an inappropriately "camp" way, then he is free to follow the formation program and move towards Holy Orders. The rector will not dismiss a candidate from the seminary who admits to being "gay" out of fear that his bishop will not agree with his decision. The problem, therefore, quietly continues.
Marsden also identified two spiritual directors in the seminary who were "very compromised" on the issue of homosexuality; one admitted to being sexually attracted to young men and the other, Marsden said, "openly stated that homosexual priests are a good idea as they are better able to minister effectively to homosexual Catholics!"
The whistleblowing priest said Oakley was "prepared to admit homosexual men into his seminary and will not dismiss them unless their public conduct becomes unsavory. He is a compromised and cowardly man who is not prepared to make a stand and disagree with the bishops on the issue of homosexuality."
Marsden says he was fired from Oscott "for striving to uphold the Church's teaching on homosexuality," as he was forced to resign from St. Patrick's College, Maynooth "because they were ordaining openly homosexual men to the priesthood."
However, Oakley insisted that Oscott did its "best to form chaste and celibate priests who are prepared for mission in this increasingly challenging world" and he was "very proud of what we do."
Oakley is also alleged to have been involved with a group of clergy in a progressive takeover of Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, which was known throughout the English-speaking Catholic world as a bastion of fidelity to Catholic doctrine and moral teaching, a source told Church Militant. The source added:
With the resignation in late 2012 of the college's director, Msgr. Paul Watson, a group of clergy planned to ... get rid of the most faithful lecturers. As the parish priest of Our Lady of the Assumption, Maryvale, and subsequently, the rector of the nearby Oscott Seminary, Canon David Oakley was allegedly involved with this group of clergy.
Faithful Catholics are concerned that Oakley's elevation to the episcopate will strengthen the ranks of pro-gay bishops in England. In 2018, Oakley testified before the quasi-governmental Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA), admitting that three seminarians were asked to leave because of "homosexual activity," while a fourth was dismissed because of problems with alcohol, lying and discipline.
A senior cleric in England told Church Militant he was deeply worried by Oakley's appointment "because he's seen as open to the LGBT agenda."
"His appointment comes at a time when regular gay Masses are spreading through English dioceses and the bishops' Catholic Education Service promotes its pro-LGBT program, Made in God's Image. The very real concern is that bishop-elect Oakley will continue the radical pro-LGBT agenda of Bp. Doyle," he added.
The dioceses of Westminster under Cdl. Vincent Nichols, Salford under Bp. John Arnold, Clifton under Bp. Declan Lang, Nottingham under Bp. Patrick McKinney, Northampton under Bp. Peter Doyle, and Middlesbrough under Bp. Terry Drainey are all known to be openly promoting "LGBT Masses" and pro-gay events.
In none of the advertisements or official publications about these Masses or events is the Catholic Church's authoritative, constant teaching that homosexual sexual acts are inherently sinful made clear.