Appendix 3: How a Priest Advocated Abortion Over The Radio

It is clear from Our Lady’s message of July 13th 1917 that the Third Secret is a form of punishment provoked by man’s continual sinfulness. But the very fact that the Pope and his Bishops must consecrate Russia in order to put an end to its attacks – signifies surely that it is the Church that is the target of those attacks – and that in turn implies that to have incurred such a punishment, its ministers must have been failing in their essential mission so gravely that they have taken on the mission of ‘promoting sin’. What follows is an example of such a failure. It concerns a priest who gave scandalous advice on a phone-in by for instance urging pregnant women to attend an abortion agency. When complaints were made to his archbishop, he supported him, and the Vatican not only failed to take action, but the Pope’s own delegate to Britain, the Nuncio, gave him public backing! So this is a scandal which went to the very top, to the authorized delegate of a Pope who was later – canonized..!

Significantly it was the same Pope, John Paul II, who authorized the Church’s entry into the UK ‘Inter-Church Process’ in 1983, an event which may undermine the Church in fulfillment of the Third Secret of Fatima – and who also not only neglected to consecrate Russia, but has issued what we have exposed as a hoax version of the Secret. So here is an account of the grave scandal that was permitted to continue while ‘saint’ John Paul II, was ‘in charge’ of the Church.

.. For almost thirty years I was engaged in a fight to remove a Catholic priest from a radio ‘phone-in. Over the years, listeners to Radio Forth’s phone-in ‘Open Line’ have been hearing some amazing things from its host, Fr Andrew Monaghan, or ‘Andy’, as he is known ‘on air’. For he has been giving advice implying approval of abortion, contraception, fornication, and even advised homosexuals to attend a ‘gay group’ linked to a paedophile organisation. When complaints were made, his superiors rallied to his support. When you read this account, you will wonder whether in its unswerving support for this priest, the hierarchy is not failing in its duty to the wider community.

The programme was broadcast from Edinburgh on Saturday nights. It started in 1979, and was hosted by this priest, with contributions from a female ‘counsellor’. The listening audience was about 60,000. For management reasons, the programme closed in 2009.

In 1982, I was leader of a pro-life group in Edinburgh, and undertook to check reports that Fr Monaghan was advising pregnant women to go to the local Brook Advisory Centre – which apart from other things was an abortion-referral agency. The evidence was in fact substantial. Thus on 22nd March 1982 I taped ‘Andy’s’ female counsellor ‘Jean’ – advising a woman called Pauline who had an unplanned pregnancy to ‘go the place ‘Andy’ just mentioned.. which is the Brook Advisory Centre.. to decide whether or not you want to have this child’. Then I discovered that ‘Jean’ – was the Organising Secretary of the ‘Brook Centre’, Mrs Jean Malcolm! So here was the head of an abortion agency colluding with a priest in directing pregnant women to her Centre! I immediately wrote at once to Fr Monaghan’s superior, Cardinal Gray, enclosing a transcript of the call – and revealing ‘Jean’s’ identity. His response was to get Fr Monaghan to write to me.. and he maintained that ‘the Brook’ often helped girls keep their babies. I was not so easily deceived however as I had statements by the ‘Brook’ establishing that its aim was to provide contraceptives and access to abortion. Most of the pregnant women attending there, had an abortion. So why was this priest allowed to broadcast in this way? Why was he so apparently immune from censure? Was it not significant – that his uncle was Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh?

As for ‘Jean’, after I had revealed her identity to the Cardinal, she left the programme, never to return.. Her successors all continued the policy of recommending ‘the Brook Centre’. On 14th May 1983, a schoolgirl called Linda rang to say that she was pregnant and did not want her parents to know. ‘Jessie’ the new female counsellor urged her to attend the Brook. This is the conversation that followed:

Linda: ‘Could I have an abortion in private?’

Jessie: ‘The best thing you could do is to contact the Brook Advisory Centre and they will give you all the information you require. Will you do that?’

Linda: ‘Right now I’m in the middle of my “O” levels’…

Andy: ‘You won’t have any exams next week, Linda, have you?’

Linda: ‘Well I’ve got ‘Accounts’ on Monday.’

Andy: ‘Yes, well, maybe on Tuesday – you’ll have Tuesday off, have you?’

Linda: ‘Ah, Yes.’

Andy: ‘That’ll maybe be a day for a journey to Edinburgh – you could ‘phone up on Monday evening – eh?’

Linda: ‘Yes.’

Andy: ‘Will you try that?’

Linda: ‘Yes, I’ll try that.’

Jessie: ‘Right, well, you do that – and we’ll be thinking of you Linda.’

Open Line counsellors also referred young people to the Brook Centre for contraceptive advice. Thus on 7th May 1983, a lad of 18 called ‘Colin’ told ‘Andy’ that he was sexually active. The counsellor ‘Helen’ advised him to attend the Brook Centre for contraceptive help, and Andy then urged him to talk to a counsellor there. So off he went to the Brook for advice on contraception, just as Linda went to arrange for an abortion, both with the blessing of ‘Andy’!

I again complained to Cardinal Gray, but in his reply of 21st June 1983, he tried to suppress my concerns by claiming: ‘the work of Father A Monaghan on the Open Line…has been investigated before at local level and in Rome’.. – thus implying that the broadcasts was approved. But this attempt to dismiss me failed, for soon more evidence on Andy’s recommended groups came to hand.

A GROUP WITH LINKS TO PAEDOPHILIA

Another group recommended by ‘Andy’ on Open Line was the Scottish Homosexual Rights Group, SHRG which ran a ‘gay centre’. This was originally based in the Edinburgh University Catholic Chaplaincy in George Square. Back in the 1970’s the then Chaplain Fr Anthony Ross OP allowed this group to hold commercial dances in the premises, which were so successful they raised sufficient funds to buy a permanent base in Broughton St. I was concerned that like the ‘Brook’ this Centre’ might hold hidden dangers. Then in spring 1984 I was asked by the leader of ‘Family and Youth Concern’ to investigate whether the paedophile group Paedophile Information Exchange – PIE was linked to SHRG, as it was producing a magazine whose mailing address was in Broughton St.

So with the awareness of the police I went undercover in SHRG and discovered that its leader, Ian Dunn, had with two others, set up PIE, and was using his own flat as mailing address for its magazine. I taped him boasting of having had sex with a 14 year old boy and the tape was instrumental in getting the Labour Party to drop him as their candidate for the Regional elections. My evidence linking SHRG with PIE also forced Dunn to drop a £21,000 libel suit against the Scottish Sunday Mail, which had run an exposé of Dunn without having the full facts. Dunn was also running a ‘contact’ circle for men ‘turned on’ by the urinary perversion of ‘Watersports’, which carries an inherent risk of ‘AIDS’. Prompted by my evidence, the police closed this circle down.

So this was what I found in SHRG, in the group which Fr Monaghan was recommending on Open Line. My information was taken seriously by the police, the press and the Labour Party. The only people it failed to impress strangely enough – were Fr Monaghan’s superiors!

Note: the evidence linking SHRG and P.I.E. is provided in Dr Stephen Green’s ‘The Sexual Dead-End’: published by ‘Broadview Press’ in 1992.

In May 1985 I wrote an ‘Open Letter to Catholics in Radius of Radio Forth’ and distributed it widely to put pressure on Cardinal Gray. It was distributed at a Church gathering. Scotland’s Daily Record reported on this on May 28th and shortly afterwards an investigation was started by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family.

By now Cardinal Gray was approaching 75 and had announced his retirement as Archbishop. His successor was named as Fr Keith O’Brien. When a layman complained to him of ‘Andy’s’ promotion of ‘Brook’ and ‘SHRG’ he defended the priest by claiming that ‘Brook is not involved in abortion, SHRG has no links with paedophilia, and on Open Line Fr Monaghan is doing God’s work – and the Pope’s’.* *‘Character Assassination’ Hamish Fraser ‘Approaches’ 93/4 – 1986.

By this time I had assembled a veritable dossier of evidence which was now examined by the Vatican. Regarding the conversation with ‘Linda’, Canon Law stipulates that not only the woman and the surgeon, but anyone influencing her to have an abortion, incurs the penalty of excommunication. Yet there was no ‘Canonical Enquiry’. The transcripts were not even cited by the Vatican in its written response to Fr Monaghan. Cardinal Gagnon, head of the above department, merely asked Fr Monaghan to write an account of the goals and pre-suppositions of his counselling on Open Line. He then stated that Fr Monaghan’s reply showed that he failed to follow Church teachings. It is rather like the Police having CCTV evidence of a mugging, and then asking the attacker his views on the rights of the individual. It is clear that if the Vatican had deployed that evidence.. it could hardly have failed to act! Instead it failed to use it, and as a result the priest had a free hand to continue broadcasting as before.

For in April 1988, Cardinal Gagnon merely asked Archbishop O’ Brien to remove Fr Monaghan from broadcasting. At the same time he announced that if he refused, he would make it known to people in Britain that the previous approval of his broadcasts was now withdrawn. Archbishop O’Brien simply refused – so Cardinal Gagnon kept his promise. In his letters he described Andy’s participation in Open Line as ‘scandalous’. These letters were leaked to the press and became public knowledge and immediately Fr Monaghan started a campaign to bolster his support. By falsely claiming that he had been condemned’ by the Vatican, he was able to manipulate the situation to his advantage. At its 1988 annual meeting, the National Priests Conference, consisting of liberal clergy, passed a motion supporting Fr Monaghan, without even considering the facts of the case. Attending the meeting was the Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Barbarito, who when asked to comment on Rome’s withdrawal of approval for Fr Monaghan, said that he ‘didn’t need the Vatican’s permission to broadcast’. In this way he sabotaged all Cardinal Gagnon’s efforts to stop the scandal. He was effectively giving the green light to Archbishop O’Brien to allow Fr Monaghan to continue broadcasting. And from then on, he continued to give or condone scandalous advice on Open Line, as the transcripts show:

  1. ‘Andy’: (introducing his fellow-counsellor) –‘Leslie..’ Leslie: ‘Cecilia, you’re 36 and pregnant, and not wanting to continue with the pregnancy..’ (She recommends ‘Brook Centre’ …) ‘If you decide to go ahead with a termination, they can organise that for you…’Andy: ‘Thanks, Leslie’ (Programme of 19.11.95)
  2. ‘Andy’: ‘Karen, You and your friends do three in a bed sessions with
    both men and women. The girls don’t advertise but you get plenty of
    work through word of mouth, and the Inland Revenue are now after you and you’re terrified your employers will find out about your job.. Go to the Citizens Advice Bureau in the first instance, and they will help you work through the practicalities. Take care.’
    (8/4/03 emphasised)
  3. On 13/10/02 ‘Andy’ advised a 14-year old pregnant girl being urged to have an abortion to attend the ‘Brook Advisory Centre’.
  4. He also continued to recommend SHRG, despite its links with the paedophile group having being made public. Thus on 14 December 1996 he gave its number to a man asking for ‘gay places’ to go in Fife.

Previously, in an attempt to influence the situation by revealing the truth, Cardinal Gagnon authorised the priest who had investigated my tapes to publish a series of articles in the US Catholic paper ‘The Wanderer’ in 1989. These used my evidence in order to expose Fr Andy’s activities. But it begs the question, if Rome considered that evidence substantial, why did it not discipline him? It implies a failure in the Church’s ability to be ‘self-policing’. But when Scots Bishop Roddy Wright ran off with a married woman, the Pope responded swiftly by reducing him to the lay state. Why was ‘Andy’ so exempt from discipline? Instead, his superiors backed him. His support thus became more widespread: all because Rome’s sword-arm was weakened. By letting offenders off the hook, the Church was failing in its duty to those it was appointed to defend. The articles in ‘The Wanderer’ included a comment by the priest who monitored my tapes for the Vatican:

‘We are far from suggesting that there is no pure and innocent counselling on “Open Line”. This writer has listened extensively to un-edited tapes, and can testify that 90% of the counselling is harmless – and indeed obviously helpful to a lot of troubled people. It’s all a bit of a heartthrob, and “Andy” and his female assistant are always so nice and sweet to everyone. But that of course is precisely what makes the programme so pernicious. The very niceness and sweetness of it all lulls the listener into a mood of general sympathy, so that when “Sheila’s” gentle, sincere Scots brogue murmurs the words “Gay Switchboard”, or when “Andy” purrs, “Thanks very much, Judy” after a pregnant girl has been referred to a “pro-choice” counselling center, a little voice starts there to whisper, “Well, does it really matter all that much?” ‘And you have to remind yourself very firmly that this little voice is that of the same gentleman who once whispered about eating apples in Eden. Listening to “Open Line” is rather like eating a soft, strawberry sponge cake which happens to have a few dollops of poison here and there. Which makes it an extremely potent instrument for spreading that poison – acceptance of homosexuality, premarital sex, and abortion – among Scottish teenagers. The crying scandal is that they are receiving these weekly lessons in “openness” to sin with the support of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and with the endorsement of no less a dignitary than the Supreme Pontiff’s personal representative in Britain’. (Fr Brian Harrison, in ‘The Wanderer’ 20/4/89, emphasised, note his letter to me confirms his above identity.)

I should add that when I met this nuncio after sending him clear evidence of priestly wrongdoing, he dismissed it all as ‘anti-clerical nit-picking’.. The objective being clearly to put pressure on me to desist complaining. But who was Archbishop Barbarito appointed by and whom did he defer to? The Pope. The purpose of his appointment is to act as his delegate. And given the press publicity on this scandal, and Vatican involvement, it is inconceivable that his Vatican aides failed to inform him of the scandal.

Later Pope John Paul II made O’Brien a Cardinal, despite his support for Fr ‘Andy’ and his record of dissidence. For in 2002 he had called for a ‘discussion’ on clerical celibacy, claiming priests ‘have a God-given right to love and sex’ (Tablet 27/4/02). And when in 2003 it was announced that he was to be made a Cardinal, he told journalists he had ‘no problems with married or gay priests’ and called for a ‘debate on contraception’. The Vatican then instructed him to make solemn public promise to uphold Church teachings (Catholic Herald 17/10/03.) But having complied with this, he resumed his calls for a ‘debate’ on married priests (Daily Telegraph 15/10/03). Latterly he resigned in 2013 following his admissions of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ with clergy over a thirty-year period – but was allowed to remain a Cardinal. His death was announced on 19 March 2018.
It is invidious that the nuncio effectively condoned the scandal. His sole priority was to ‘defend’ the Church. No-one – and certainly not ‘saint’ John Paul II, showed a concern for those listening to Fr Monaghan’s broadcasts, which depicted sexual sin and abortion as acceptable. Remember that the whole purpose of the Church is to save souls. So this scandal implies a failure in its mission and so could be considered a prelude to an apostasy.

The message for our leaders is that they were ordained to defend the Faith and not to act as an ecclesiastical equivalent to the Mafia. So their priority ought to be not self-preservation, but safeguarding ourselves from dangers, which implies revealing the truth about the Third Secret.