UoN reverses decision over pro-life tweets and approves new Catholic chaplain
The university had previously rejected Father David Palmer due to the nature in which he expressed his views on abortion and euthanasia
A priest who was initially barred from becoming UoN’s Catholic chaplain has now been accepted into the role.
The university had previously rejected Father David Palmer due to the nature in which he expressed his views on abortion and euthanasia.
He referred to the act of abortion as the “slaughter of unborn babies”.
Palmer also tweeted against the assisted dying bill introduced by Matt Hancock, former health secretary, as he said this was “allowing the NHS to kill the vulnerable”.
Following the emergence of his tweets, campus authorities spoke out against appointing him as chaplain. The university then said he could not be recognised as an official chaplain, however, it would still permit him to deliver services as a guest speaker.
In response to being blocked, Father Palmer took to Twitter to defend himself against what he viewed as an unfair judgement.
“[UoN] talk about diversity and inclusion but diversity means different beliefs – saying we want diversity and therefore you can’t have those beliefs is actually completely contrary to what diversity means. We now have this ridiculous situation where I can go in, say mass, preach in front of students on the campus but I’m not recognised as a chaplain to go in and hear confessions. The whole thing is just preposterous really,” he previously said to Nottinghamshire Live before being accepted into the role.
The University have since agreed to have Father Palmer as its Catholic chaplain. However, his position is to be carefully monitored on a preparatory year under a new procedure.
This procedure will now apply to new chaplains across all faiths at the university.
In a statement, the university said: “The procedure allows for a preparatory year to enable the nominated chaplain, the sponsoring faith body and the university to explore together if the role is right both for the individual and the multi-faith environment at Nottingham.
“Following constructive and helpful dialogue with the Diocese of Nottingham over recent weeks, it has been agreed that Father David Palmer will be recognised under this procedure as university chaplain for the Catholic faith.”
In a tweet, Father Palmer said: “I look forward to getting on with the job.”