This week the Quinlan family of Vieux-Fort broke their silence on the matter involving Fr. Stephen Quinlan. The well-known parish priest of Gros Islet was reportedly flown out of state for counseling after his church accused him of inappropriate behavior.
On Tuesday a family spokesperson said he was dissatisfied with the manner in which Archbishop Robert Rivas had handled the matter in which Fr. Quinlan was accused of “acting inappropriately in his relationship with his accuser.”
“What is inappropriate behavior?” John Quinlan, the brother of Fr. Stephen Quinlan asked, adding that the Archbishop comments leave room for speculation.
He added that more information is needed on the matter and the Archbishop should come out with tangible evidence to put an end to the speculation.
According to him, he is not questioning the credibility of the Archbishop, but believes that someone is on a mission to sully his brother’s good name, describing him (his brother) as a loving person.
“We all know there have been a lot of accusations and cover-ups in the Catholic Church over the years, but I don’t believe my brother did anything wrong,” he said.
A press release issued by the Archdiocesan last week did not give the name of the accuser, but it appears that the Quinlan family knows who he is.
John Quinlan said when they got the news that Fr. Quinlan was accused of “inappropriate behavior”, the entire family was shocked, adding that they are now coping with the situation.
According to him, the last time he spoke to his brother, who is reportedly at a counseling centre in Europe, he told him that he did nothing wrong.
His parting words to his family were: “I will be away for a while, but I’ll be O.K…”
Quinlan said wherever his brother was sent, he feels he has been banished.
He claims that their family was misled by the Archbishop when he advised them to avoid going to the media, but was quick to go there and blew the whole matter to “scandalous proportion.”
According to him, right now it is impossible to have his brother reintegrated back in society. “That will never happen in St. Lucia. The negative perception of my brother will not go away…” he lamented.
He said that he too is being affected by “the scandal” because it has resulted in insulting remarks being hurled at him.
The Quinlan family simply wants the matter to be investigated thoroughly and be put to rest once and for all.