From Catholic Truth Scotland, March 2008 Newsletter p4:Scotland’s Shame - a synopsis of the part played by the Church in the normalising of homosexuality in Scotland
It is often said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are fated to make the same mistakes. Because priests are getting involved in homosexual groups it may be timely to record what happened once before when Scottish priests assisted a 'gay rights group'.The early ‘gay rights group’ was called 'Scottish Minorities Group' (SMG) and was set up in 1969 by a Glasgow student called Ian Dunn who continued to lead it until his death in 1996. This whole enterprise needed the backing of SMG as a 'lobby group' and that in turn depended on the fact that SMG had been given instrumental assistance to organise at its inception. That help was provided by two priests. Firstly, in 1980 Fr Anthony Ross O.P. stated at a conference on 'Pastoral Approaches to Homosexuality': 'I have advised people sometimes to get a flat and move in together because they were in an intermittent relationship that was proving frustrating' adding that he was 'not concerned' whether it was heterosexual or homosexual 'involvement' (The Pitlochry Papers 1981 published by Scottish Homosexual Rights Group - SHRG).
As Catholic Chaplain at Edinburgh University, Fr Anthony Ross allowed SMG to hold meetings in his Chaplaincy1 including Scotland’s first ever commercial ‘gay dances’2 which raised the money that purchased premises in Broughton St.3 SMG was also provided with a base in Glasgow at the Iona Community Centre, 214 Clyde St which also provided its 'mail-box'. It was from here that the Secretary of SMG, Fr John Breslin of Motherwell, operated.4
From 1971 to 75 he also edited the group’s newsletter SMG News.5 It was in the October 1974 edition that adverts appeared for a group for paedophiles, which was set up by Ian Dunn and two SMG members, and called 'Paedophile Information Exchange’ (P.I.E.) 6 The aim was to effect a change in society to enable paedophilia to become legal. The advert urged members to apply ‘c/o SMG News,
The next issue (Nov 74) announced that ‘P.I.E. is well under way’. It is significant that up till now (March 08) Fr Breslin has never been challenged about his role in setting up P.I.E. (Ed: consider it done)
In 1975 P.I.E. moved base to
To run the magazine the new leaders obtained Dunn’s consent to use his
In 1980 Dunn persuaded a local MP Robin Cook to spearhead 'gay law reform' in Scotland - see www.scotsgay.co.uk/dunn/index.html In 1984 Dunn then set up a ‘Lesbian and Gay Socialist Conference’ with a ‘workshop’ on paedophilia.10 At this conference, Dunn admitted having had sex with a boy of 14.11
He also set up a ‘contact-circle’ for men turned on by a particular depravity 12 - a depravity which carries an intrinsic risk of contracting AIDS.13 In 1978 SMG changed its name to Scottish Homosexual Rights Group (SHRG). Fr Andrew Monaghan - the
The above evidence was accepted by the police, who promptly closed down Dunn's 'contact-circle', by the Labour Party, who de-selected Dunn as a candidate in Regional elections and by national newspapers which exposed Dunn's links with P.I.E. The only person it failed to impress was Fr Monaghan's superior, Archbishop O'Brien, who defied a
Fr Breslin, who helped launch P.I.E., has continued to be associated with groups like the 'Gay Christian Movement' and 'Quest' and, claiming that one in seven priests are homosexual, he set up a 'gay clergy help group' called 'The Scottish Clergy Consultation Group' (Catholic Times 23.2.03) He even spoke at an event to 'celebrate homosexuality' at Southwark's Anglican Cathedral. Retired now, Fr Breslin continues to work in parishes in the Motherwell Diocese as a supply priest. So both Cardinal O'Brien and Bishop Devine support priests who have given considerable support to the 'homosexual movement'. It is shocking to think that Catholic priests, with the continuing support of their bishops, actively supported a movement with links to paedophilia. “Sectarianism” has sometimes been described as “Scotland’s shame”. I believe that it is the complicity of these priests and their bishops in the rise of homosexuality within the Church that is truly “Scotland’s shame”.
Iain Colquhoun is a retired nurse who worked undercover with the awareness of Edinburgh police to monitor the Homosexual rights movement from July to December 1984 and the evidence he gathered on Dunn's involvement in P.I.E. was published in both the Scottish Sunday Mail and the Daily Star. This publicity coincided with the demise of the organisation.
References (1) SHRG archive GD1467/1/3/9 at the National Archives of Scotland. (2) SHRG archive cited above. (3) SHRG publicity material. (4) SMG News December 1971 (5) ibid (6)‘The Sexual Dead-End’ by Dr Stephen Green, (hereafter SDE) ISBN 0 9519934 0 2, Broadview Books, 1992. (7) 'Information about P.I.E.’ 1974. (8) SDE p. 212. (9) Letter from Dunn in ‘Gay Scotland’ May/June 1987. (10) SHRG publicity material (11) SDE p 213 (12) SDE p 86 (13) ibid (14) Letter from Fr Monaghan of June 1985 in response to complaints about his recommendations. Further details on the above are contained on Iain Colquhoun's website: see the pdf here from p5-15 on.