Welcoming Mary McAleese’s criticism of the Catholic Church’s stance on gay people, Fr Tony Flannery says there has been increase of gay priests.
Fr Flannery of the Association of Catholic Priests told Newstalk Radio yesterday that he was “very happy” with the former president’s remarks and the attitude to homosexuality “really does need to be discussed in the Church”.
In an interview published in the Glasgow-based Herald newspaper yesterday Mrs McAleese said the Catholic Church has been in denial over homosexuality for decades, particularly since many priests are gay.
The “percentage of priests who are of homosexual orientation has undoubtedly increased” in the last decade, he said. “Some of my best friends in the priesthood are homosexual.”
Fr Flannery added that the Church’s teaching on homosexuality was “in serious need of reform”.
“When a certain approach to moral issue is clearly out of tune with the catholic faithful I think it has to be rethought. In a good few areas of Catholic Sexual morality I think we are in that area now, he said.
Although Association of Catholic Priests welcomed the president’s comments, Dr John Murray, of the Iona Institute did not. Speaking from a personal point of view, he told RTÉ Radio that the Church’s teaching was not about “homosexuals being wrong” but was about “homosexual acts being wrong”.
“ If you get people who are homosexuals who don’t carry out homosexual acts, it would be wrong to describe those people as sinners ,” Dr Murray, who has argued on behalf or the Iona Institute against same-sex marriage, said.
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