Father Glen Boyd leaves the priesthood in Wagga Catholic diocese

An Australian priest, Father Glenn Boyd, left the ministry of the Wagga Wagga Catholic Diocese (in southern New South Wales) in 2004, following queries about his youth work.

Glenn Boyd was born and raised in Albury, which is part of the Wagga Wagga diocese. After working as a public servant in Sydney, he was accepted in 1980 (aged 23) as a trainee for the Catholic priesthood at Sydney's Manly seminary, with prospects of a career in the Wagga Wagga diocese.

In 1985-87, after his basic seminary years, he spent two years gaining work experience as a deacon (trainee priest) in parishes of the Wagga Wagga diocese.

As a deacon, Boyd took a particular interest in providing pastoral care for youth. One family, with two young sons, contacted the Wagga Wagga diocese in 1986, raising issues about Boyd's youth work.

The diocese went ahead with Boyd's ordination in 1987, and appointed him to parish ministry.

In 1985-1990, his experience as a deacon and assistant priest, included work at:

  • the Griffith parish;
  • St Michael's Cathedral in the city of Wagga Wagga;
  • Broken Hill (in the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese, on loan from Wagga Wagga diocese);
  • the Corowa parish; and
  • the Leeton parish.

He also provided pastoral care for teenage males who were inmates of the Wagga Wagga Juvenile Justice Centre. In 1988 the New South Wales Department of Youth and Community Services raised issues about Boyd's youth work.

In the early 1990s, Glenn Boyd was an assistant priest at the Holy Spirit parish in Lavington (near Albury), followed by St Patrick's parish, Albury. In 1995, despite the earlier queries about his youth work, he was promoted from assistant priest to Parish Priest, becoming in charge of St Brigid's parish, Howlong, west of Albury.

In 2004, some of the earlier questions about Boyd's youth work were raised again, and the church authorities were forced to re-visit the issue. Boyd then left the ministry after 24 years as a professional Catholic, including 17 years as an ordained priest. His name was deleted from the annual Australian Catholic directories from 2005 onwards.

After leaving the priesthood, Boyd became an employee of a firm of funeral undertakers in Sydney. He became a participant in Sydney's Metropolitan Community Church, as he explained in an interview published on 26 October 2006 by a newspaper of the gay community, the Sydney Star Observer.