In a notice posted Friday on the Diocese of Providence website, it was announced that as of this Monday, Father Matthew Glover “on his own initiative” resigned as pastor of SS. Rose and Clement Parish “and simultaneously has withdrawn from the active ministry of the priesthood.”
The posting does not detail the reasoning for Father Glover’s action, although one parishioner speculated it could have something to do with his efforts to make the parish inclusive of all people.
In a June 26 story about a planned parish meeting to which members of the LGBTQ community had been invited, WPRI Channel 12 quoted Father Glover as saying, “We want to be a church that welcomes all races, divorce and remarried, gays, lesbians, transgender, because we want to be faithful to who we believe Jesus is. There was no one that Jesus denied, there was no one that Jesus didn’t accept.”
According to the parishioner, who asked to remain unidentified, Father Glover’s departing service was highly emotional and tearful.
In a letter to the parish, Father Glover writes that after 15 years as a priest at St. Luke’s, URI and St. Rose and Clement, “I have prayerfully decided to leave the active ministry. I am extremely grateful for the love of God which has filled my life through the sacramental relationships I have formed with each one of you. I am leaving at peace, joyful and grateful to God.”
He writes, “I would like to thank the Bishop for his pastoral care of me during this time,” adding he is grateful to his family members and friends for their support.
The website posting says Bishop Thomas J. Tobin accepted the resignation.
“Father Glover’s decision to withdraw from the active ministry means that he is no longer permitted to function, nor to present himself, as a priest. For that reason, Father Glover’s priestly faculties have been revoked effective August 19, 2019,” reads the notice.
It goes on to report Father Timothy Reilly has been appointed Administrator pro-tem of SS. Rose and Clement Parish effective Aug. 19, 2019, and will provide for the ongoing pastoral and spiritual care of the parish while continuing to serve as Chancellor of the Diocese of Providence.