WESTMINSTER, London (ChurchMilitant.com) - A pro-abortion priest who denounced Poland's pro-life law banning eugenic abortion has withdrawn from a plum posting following a media exposé revealing the cleric's anti-Catholic position on the sanctity of life and homosexuality.
Father Philip Dyer-Perry's appointment as pastoral director of Allen Hall Seminary was scrapped after archbishop of Westminster Cdl. Vincent Nichols received "an unprecedented number of complaints," multiple diocesan sources told Church Militant.
Outraged Catholics blasted Nichols for offering Dyer-Perry the prestigious position at the Westminster diocesan seminary after Church Militant reported on the priest's support for abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, the Marxist-led Black Lives Matter and using the feminine pronoun for God.
Clergy sources from within the diocese confirmed that the media stink had resulted in "jangling nerves in the diocese" and a "lot of ruffled feathers in Westminster."
"Nichols had no option but to fire Dyer-Perry even before he could take up his position at Allen Hall before the end of summer," a Westminster source said.
The diocese issued a face-saving statement Sunday, spinning the sacking as Dyer-Perry's personal decision to withdraw.
"Father Philip Dyer-Perry has given further thought to his appointment as pastoral director at Allen Hall Seminary and his prayerful discernment has led him to ask the cardinal for permission to withdraw," the statement read.
"This request has been granted," it stated, noting that Cdl. Nichols "thanks Fr. Philip for this searching discernment and for his continuing reflection."
Auxiliary bishop of Westminster John Sherrington, who is also on the board of Allen Hall and lead bishop for life issues for the Church in England and Wales, issued a strong pro-life message on the day Dyer-Perry was asked to withdraw from his new posting.
Marking the Day for Life on Sunday, June 20, Sherrington asked Catholics to "to pray for the gift of life from conception to natural death, to raise awareness of the precious gift of life, and to support the work of protecting life in its most vulnerable stages."
A diocesan employee told Church Militant he'd witnessed Dyer-Perry as a curate, "publicly, in front of his fellow priests, advocating gay couples receiving the sacrament of marriage."
"I remember how shocked I was not so much at what he said, for he came across to me as a complete idiot, and I was baffled as to how he got ordained, but the fact that his outrageous statement went unchallenged by the other priests present," the source remarked.
He asked if Cdl. Nichols had addressed the issue of how Dyer-Perry could be allowed to remain in ministry while holding to positions that contradicted Catholic teaching.
A commenter on a blog lamenting Dyer-Perry's appointment said he'd "worked with him at Holy Rood, Watford, in RCIA when he was deacon and then when he was appointed as assistant priest, about 5 years in total."
"He drove me crazy with his ignorance and heterodoxy. It was painful when he couldn't answer the most basic questions from the catechumens. And he just would not prepare by using the Catechism," the commenter added.
Catholics on social media noted the priest's Twitter feed made almost no reference to his vocation or to God, but instead was packed with tweets on travel.
Earlier, head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) John Smeaton slammed Dyer-Perry's appointment as a "grave threat to the future of the pro-life struggle in Britain."
Smeaton noted that in his 47 years of service to SPUC, he could not "recall anyone purporting to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church in England and Wales expressing a position on abortion which so clearly opposes the Fifth Commandment."
Father Dyer-Perry's position on abortion is "truly revolutionary" and uses "the most commonly used and discredited arguments of the pro-abortion lobby," Smeaton explained.
The parish priest singled out Polish Catholics in his parish for a lecture on abortion after Poland's Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling on the feast of Pope St. John Paul II in October 2020 banning eugenic abortion and ending the killing of unborn babies with genetic defects like Down syndrome.
In a message published in the parish's newsletter Nov. 1, Dyer-Perry wrote: "[T]he recent decision of the Polish government is a bad one" since "this law fails to respect the choice and autonomy of the mother."
Insisting he is "pro-life," Dyer-Perry defined "pro-life" as maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions, supporting migrants and refugees, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, the abolition of the death penalty and nuclear disarmament.
In a video to his congregation, the priest admits Cdl. Nichols might have made a mistake: "All I can say is that he can't have listened to any of my homilies or he might think again!"
Last month, Nichols sparked outrage after appointing pro-abortion Muslim prosecutor Nazir Afzal as chair of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Church Militant reported.
Church Militant contacted Dyer-Perry for comment but received no reply.