"THE MEMORY OF JESUS IS BOTH SACRED AND SUBVERSIVE"
Sunday, 16 March 2014
IS RETIRED SCOTTISH BISHOP LIVING LIKE WEALTHY PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER
A CONTROVERSIAL bishop who spent £215,000 of parishioners' funds on a villa for his maid is living in this £2000-a-month luxury home.
The huge rental fee for the four-bedroom pad, complete with a staff wing, is being paid for out of the same charity pot as the housekeeper's new home.
Last night, Bishop Joseph Devine admitted the rental was excessive but remained unrepentant.
His lavish three-storey home stands alone on a hill up a private drive in the upmarket Lanarkshire village of Bothwell - where some of Scotland's most famous football stars live.
The £500,000 house has extensive gardens with a gymnasium and solarium in a converted garage.
The Bishop of Motherwell, who has retired invited the media into his lavish pad to explain the move.
He said: "I am the bishop and I cannot live in a pokey wee flat. I need space to work and the cost of rental is a fraction of the funds. I am not begging on the diocese.
"I admit £2000 a month is excessive but I don't feel guilty about that. Where else am I going to go? This a nice house and it is a very attractive wee place.
"I am not ashamed of spending that amount of money because I cannot think of an alternative. I could get something cheaper but it might not be nice.
"I live a very simple life. There is no Jacuzzi or steam room in this house. There is a gymnasium which was left by the owner along with a sunbed, but what would I do with stuff like that?
"I would say to my critics that I have got to live somewhere and because of the demands of the office it has to be a sizeable place. I get a lot of visitors.
"I have moved twice in the past year and I don't fancy doing it again. It is the most stressful thing you can do.
"There's nowhere else I could have gone within the diocese. There is no room anywhere for me."
Devine, who has had a period of ill-health, moved in to the house three years ago.
Footballers including Gordon Strachan and Henrik Larsson have lived in Bothwell and ex-stars Tom Boyd, Trevor Steven and Tosh McKinlay still stay there.
The Record revealed this week how Devine splashed out £215,000 of parish donations on a detached villa in Motherwell for housekeeper Pauline Curran.
But he insisted he would pay that money back to the diocese when he eventually inherited and sold off a big house belonging to an elderly cousin.
He said: "She has been my housekeeper for 26 years and I felt I owed it to her. The best solution was to buy a house for her to live in and it would be an investment for the church, so it was win, win.
MAYBE BISHOP DEVINE SHOULD LIVE IN CRAGGY ISLAND?
"The diocese has the money. I am due to inherit a lot of money from an elderly cousin when she dies and I will give that to the church"
There is about £7million in the building fund, which pays the rent for this place and also paid for the house for my housekeeper."
Bishop Pat says:
Why could Bishop Devine and his housekeeper not retire to the £215,000 house?
Better still why did not Bishop Devine and his housekeeper retire to one of the many empty presbyteries in Scotland and help out part time in parishes where there are none or few priests ?
Why could he and his housekeeper not live in a modest apartment in Motherwell?
I hope that the ordinary people of Motherwell Diocese realise that the diocese has £7 million pounds in ONE of its accounts. Why do ordinary people still have to fill the coffers?
As long as the suckers keep giving people like Devine will treat them with contempt and laugh all the way to the bank.