THREE priests in Galloway diocese are fighting moves by their bishop to move them to new parishes. They have the right to appeal to arbitration from the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, but one of the three, Fr Ralph Mancini of Dumfries, said this week that he hoped it wouldn't have to go that far.
With Fr Michael Lynch, parish priest of St Peter-inChains, Ardrossan, the largest parish in the diocese, and Fr Denis Quinlan of Kilmarnock, Fr Mancini has for several months been fighting redeployment moves by Bishop Maurice Taylor.
"I've been here for almost IS years and have spent 35 of my 37 years as a priest in the south west," said Fr Mancini. "I'm 61 and at this stage of their professional life businessmen are usually beginning to wind down, not thinking about moving."
Fr Lynch declined to discuss his case, saying that he regarded it as a "purely personal matter".
A spokesman for the church in Scotland, Fr Tom Connelly, said the three had made it clear they did not want to move. "Technically according to canon law a bishop should have a grave or serious reason for removing them against their will," he said. "But normal practice is that every so often, for the good of the parish or sometimes for the good of the priest, they are changed around."