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Home Reportagens Reportagens Padre Jacinto Bento responde à letra

Padre Jacinto Bento responde à letra

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Sr. Director,
Tendo tido conhecimento da publicação no seu jornal de um artigo com o meu nome sem eu nunca ter sido ouvido sobre a matéria do artigo, venho solicitar que publique na integra e em inglês a minha carta de resignação que apresentei às autoridades eclesiásticas competentes, em tempo oportuno,  que junto envio, com os motivos da minha resignação, para que não haja mais especulações sobre a minha pessoa dado que estou ausente e não me posso defender. 
Muito Obrigado.
Com os melhores cumprimentos, 
Pe. Jacinto Bento

Dear Right Reverend Alan Hopes 
23 January 2011 
After the meeting on 17th January 2011, with Bishop Alan Hopes, Fr. David Irwin and myself I have decided that I can no longer stay and carry on my Ministry here in London. After a deep and profound reflexion of my experiences over the last 4 months, it is clear to me that I cannot get the support and the work conditions that I need in order to carry out the role that promised fulfil; to serve the Portuguese Catholic Community in London and the Local Church.
I would like to take this opportunity and put in writing many of the thoughts and facts that I tried to verbalise in our meeting that may have been misunderstood because of my broken English. Perhaps by sharing my thoughts and experiences of the last four months once more, you will find the compassion in your heart to understand my predicament.I realised as soon as I arrived in London that my new Mission was not going to be easy and certainly would be challenge. I became aware of the needs of the community but also the strengths and deep faith of hundreds of Portuguese Catholics and their children that every Sunday I had the opportunity to have contact with. That on its own was enough to inspire and motivate me to embrace this new Journey.
As you were made aware Southwark Diocese and the Portuguese Catholic Mission in London requested to Portugal Church the need for another Portuguese Priest due to the fact that the majority of the Portuguese Community live in Southwark and 
it was difficult for just one Priest to cover the pastoral needs of such a vast Catholic Community.
Meanwhile I was the Diocesan Director for the Pastoral Care of Human Mobility, when I was invited to come to London. I left my Diocese where I was a Parish priest for 27 years and also worked as a teacher in Religious Studies in a State School for 25 years. My curriculum vitae was sent to you I believed with the letters written in July 2010, communicating my arrival. I felt honoured and proud of my past, mainly because I always felt loved and respected by everyone I worked with including my Superiors.
I arrived in London on 17th September 2010 and realised straightway that no preparations were made and none in the Community seemed to know that I was coming to London. Two days later I was left on my own for a week as the Portuguese Priest left for a holiday without having introduced me properly to neither the people or to the relevant Religious Authorities. During that month that I lived in the house of the Portuguese Mission, I felt there was enough room for both priests yet I found it very hard, not knowing what my job role was, where I was going to live but most of all not being given any responsibilities or duties, apart from Celebrating Mass on Sunday. Living out of a suitcase, and waiting for a meeting where eventually my future in London would be decided. It took a month before accommodation was found at the English Martyrs Church in Mitcham Lane and a salary was offered and paid.
Although, I had now a place to live, a room to sleep in, other tools were still missing to enable me to carry out a decent level of Pastoral work with the Portuguese Community. I didn’t have and still don’t have any of these; a landline number, internet, an office to hold meetings, access to the Portuguese files, a stamp of the Portuguese Catholic Mission etc.
Living miles away from the Community that I was meant to serve, ill equipped and being undermined, mocked and disrespected by the colleague that I was totally depending on for my integration and to fulfil my Ministry work with the Portuguese Mission. It quickly all became too much to bare.
I did ask for help and managed to have a meeting with Father David Irwin in November in the presence of a Portuguese lay woman where I did share some of my difficulties and frustrations regarding the lack of tools, and my undefined role within 
the Portuguese community and Local Church.
More importantly I mentioned the unreasonable and unacceptable behaviour of the Portuguese Chaplain not just towards myself but also towards many of his Parishioners. I was advised to clarify my Pastoral situation with my Bishop and with 
the Bishop in Charge of Emigration in Portugal (D. Vitalino Dantas) to later be criticised by Bishop Alan. I went home for a week and had the opportunity to speak to the relevant people and was given their full support and promised that they would do all they could to help diffuse the situation. Also when meeting with Father David Irwin I expressed my wishes to meet The Reverend Bishop Alan Hopes as soon as possible but he was never available. I returned back to London more motivated and definitely in hope that a solution would be found and I finally could start my work. Later on, I received orientations from Portugal, suggesting how the Portuguese Catholic Mission should function based on the experience of other Portuguese Missions in other Countries such as France, Germany and Switzerland. I was asked to be patient that a 
letter was going to be sent to Southwark and Westminster Dioceses and that hopefully I would be contacted by the local Church regarding these issues.
I was invited to a meeting on 17th January 2011 with The Reverend Alan Hopes in the presence of Father David Irwin, two months after I had ask for help and exactly four months after I arrived in London, to be made to feel judged and criticised and totally unsupported; as if it was my fault that Bishop Alan Hopes never received the letters sent to London in July 2010. Which were apparently sent by mistake to Southwark Diocese to the attention of Bishop Patrick Lynch, who had asked for a Portuguese priest for his Diocese as matter of urgency. I was also made to feel that it was my fault that no one seemed to have read any information about me or knew that I had been in London since the 17th September 2010. It is clear to me that there was a lack of communication between the two Dioceses in London and I was caught in the middle. The Right Reverend Alan Hopes didn’t like or take on board the suggestions of the Portuguese Bishops in charge of Emigration, according to the "Erga Migrantes Caritas Christ" in regard to the Pastoral of the Portuguese Mission. In my opinion this may have been influenced by the Portuguese Chaplain however I don’t understand how the Portuguese Church can be expected to send Priests to serve our Community here without any support or guidance.
I do accept that maybe there was an initial plan for me to become an Auxiliary Parish Priest in an English Church but unfortunately that never happened or was discussed with me. I was never presented with or signed a work contract. Instead I have been living as a guest in a church in Streatham where I can sleep. I’m asked sometimes to celebrate Mass on weekdays but I was never offered a room to hold a meeting or the use of the office.
I appreciate that a salary has been paid and I’m grateful for that, however the Moral and human support and Pastoral guidance that I desperately needed was never given.
 If I may say so, it feels to me whilst the current Portuguese priest stays in London, it would be impossible for another priest to work here or for the integration of the Portuguese Community in the local church. My short experience of the Portuguese Community is that is made of hard working people, with family values, and who have a strong faith but unfortunately most are fearful and oppressed by their chaplain who holds enormous power and does not seem to be supervised or receive orders from anyone.
Lastly, I would like to emphasise that I did not take this decision lightly in fact it is the most difficult and upsetting in my entire priesthood: It is the first time that I interrupt a service that I was appointed to do but the last four months have been the most painful and lonely of my Ministry and I am afraid my health is now starting to be affected.
Yours Sincerely,
Fr. Jacinto Alberto de Meneses Bento
Nota da redação: No PaLOP News, todas as pessoas se podem defender. Mesmo as que estão ausentes, estão presentes.


0 #16 Susana 24-04-2014 13:55
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0 #15 How To Plan A Trip 24-04-2014 12:07
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0 #14 fertility monitor 09-03-2014 22:05
Exceptional insight on this distinct subject!
+1 #13 mary 27-06-2012 19:04
Boa tarde,

Ainda não sou emigrante em Inglaterra. Mas o que o P. Jacinto sentiu, foi o que sentem todos os portugueses que vão para um país estrangeiro (perdão, também se aplica em Portugal) e não têm nem família nem uma organização que os apoie (e isto, pelo que estou a ver, independentemen te da área profissional). É verdade, andamos "oh tio, oh tio" sem o apoio de ninguém, nem dos portugueses que lá se encontram (atenção! há sempre excepções, que, claro, confirmam a regra), nem das autoridades que lá se encontram e sob a alçada das quais vamos trabalhar então essas!!!. Sim, já passei por isso, a que custou mais foi a primeira, depois as expectativas vão baixando...
Outro assunto: gostei do artigo sobre o consulado, mas espero pelo Take 2, pois ir lá só uma vez não faz a regra. Cpts
+2 #12 António Justo 01-03-2012 13:44
Os meus parabéns ao Palop News pela sua abertura e transparência!
+5 #11 sao sebastiao/r.s. 15-03-2011 21:31
O Senhor Padre Jacinto Bento é uma boa pessoa e um bom Padre, o melhor que passou em São Sebastião. Organizado e dava-se ao respeito pena que nem todos souberam dar-lhe o devido valor. Mas nunca houve Padre que agradasse o povo de São Sebastião.
+4 #10 Alcino G. Francisco 11-03-2011 11:20
Citando c. silva:
subescrevo na integra o comentario do Sr.Jose Manuel.
Tambem eu congratulo o trabalho do Palop.

Amigo José Silva
obrigado pelo seu comentário. A nossa equipa ficou sensibilizada com as palavras de ambos.
+4 #9 saosebastiaoaçores 09-03-2011 13:29
Gostaria apenas de dizer que o Pe. Jacinto Bento foi das piores pessoas que conheci, estou a falar do que sei e do que sofri com aquele homem padre, que é extremamente VINGATIVO, MENTIROSO, CINICO, ARROGANTE, DITADOR, MEXERIQUEIRO, ORGULHOSO, SOBERBO ....ETC, reconheço-lhe que é um pessoa organizada, não vale a pena escrever mais, pois está tudo dito, meus senhores e minhas senhoras não vale a pena andarem de costas voltadas, acreditem no vosso padre
-8 #8 c. silva 21-02-2011 22:57
subescrevo na integra o comentario do Sr.Jose Manuel.
Tambem eu congratulo o trabalho do Palop.
-22 #7 c. silva 21-02-2011 20:01
[quote name="Niall"]As a London Catholic I have always been impressed by Fr Pedro's exceptionally hard work. Recently I have, with sadness, been following the allegations of Fr Jacinto, which appear to have started very soon after his arrival. His letter which I read in English seems to suggest that everyone he has met has been wrong, apart from himself...Westminster, Southwark, Portugal and Fr Pedro. Reading of the allegations being thrown around in a meeting in Fulham and in commentaries in PalopNews, including a suggestion of financial dishonesty by a priest, I was disgusted. This is damaging to Portuguese Catholics in London. Fr Jacinto does not say in his letter that he has received much kindness since his arrival from parishioners such as cash, food, lifts etc. His problem was he believed gossip and not facts and I pray Fr Pedro is cleared of the allegations against him. (quote) Have you seen any of this kind acts by youreselve???????
Just wondering......


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