Priest to leave post after petition fails

Priest to leave post after petition fails

SINGAPORE - A veteran priest embroiled in a public spat with the Catholic Church leadership here over a $1.2 million restoration project said he will leave his post as instructed.

Reverend Michael Teo, who is in charge of St Joseph's Church in Victoria Street, announced his decision in a statement on Saturday after a petition to review his case was turned down by the Archbishop's Office here.

But Father Teo said he will appeal to Rome, the heart of Catholicism, against the order by Archbishop William Goh.

The 76-year-old said he was given marching orders after he made a police report questioning the stated cost of the project to restore century-old stained glass panels at the church, which is a national monument.

He did not get clearance from the church authorities before going to the police.

He was instructed to move to the Church of St Teresa on Aug 20 and wait there for his next posting.

It is understood that his decision to leave his post is to ensure the church does not suffer for what is an argument between him and the church authorities.

The move will also prevent confusion among the numerous volunteer parishioners on whom to report to.

But the priest made clear that he will continue to perform his duties such as conducting mass and has written to the church authorities on this.

The Archbishop's office confirmed that Father Teo had informed it that he will leave his post.

It added that Father John Bosco Pereira, who was supposed to replace Father Teo as rector, will now serve as administrator of the church, pending Rome's decision.

"Reverend Father John Bosco will oversee the administration of St Joseph's Church until such time when Rome has ruled on Father Teo's appeal," the Archbishop's office said in a statement.

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