Well-known Victorian priest and charity head, Father Bob Maguire, is claiming he was blindsided by his organisation when he was stood down as Chairman, causing a media flurry.
In a statement posted on Friday, the Father Bob Maguire Foundation board said the priest had voluntarily stepped down from his role and would have “ongoing input into our program and services”.
Speaking to the Herald Sun on Monday, Fr Bob, 88, said the board went behind his back to push him out and was emailed about his termination last week.
“It’s nasty … I’ve known these blokes for years but they have turned treacherous,” he said.
“I’m not used to this, we always ran the show as a fighting unit, I’m the commander in chief.
“It’s all a bloody mess.”
Fans and independent media sources have come to the priest’s defense on social media following allegations that Fr Bob was being held in an aged care facility and denied visitors.
“He was pushed out without his knowledge. He had no idea until I spoke with him this morning and whoever appointed the new PR firm, made sure they dropped it, buried it and never released the press release. I found it by accident,” wrote Geelan Media Pty Ltd on Twitter – a comment that was retweeted by Fr Bob’s official Twitter.
Fr Bob’s advocate, Sally Millard, said they were given no reason for his termination.
“This is just all a disgraceful act by the foundation, by people of his own,” she told the Herald Sun.
“They’ve always considered him a thorn in their side, they never liked the way he does things, he operates under his own rules.”
The Melbourne charity provides food relief, social inclusion and educational support.
But Fr Bob is apparently not the only one who has been given marching orders as two administrative staff were also made redundant.
“As part of the restructuring, the existing administrative staff of the foundation have been made redundant effective immediately,” it read.
“We will also need to move from the current premises.
“These two steps will provide significant savings for the foundation and enable most of our resources to be spent on the people who need the help.”
The Father Bob Maguire Foundation was contacted by HelloCare for comment.