The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has said it “strongly welcomes” former President McAleese’s call for a change in attitude and teaching by the Catholic church towards lesbian and gay people.
In an interview with the Scottish newspaper The Herald, Mary McAleese said that the church’s teaching on lesbian and gay issues were wrong and statements by the church were “completely contradictory to modern science and to modern understanding, and to the understanding of most Catholics nowadays in relation to homosexuality.”
“Mary McAleese continues to be a wonderful advocate for lesbian and gay people out of office just as she was as president. The comments by the former president will send a profoundly positive message to all lesbian and gay people,” said Kieran Rose, chair of GLEN.
“Irish attitudes towards LGBT people have change fundamentally in recent times. This is reflected in recent polls showing significant majority support for equal status for lesbian and gay relationships by the State.
“Mrs McAleese’s continues to be a source of leadership to Irish people and their values,” he added.
In an earlier speech, Former President McAleese urged Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien to speak openly about his homosexuality, telling the Royal Society of Edinburgh that Cardinal O’Brien should open up about his life story, in hopes that it would help others who felt the need to hide their homosexuality.
Last year, O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh after several priests made formal complaints claiming that he had engaged in “inappropriate behaviour” with them. Although he admitted that the allegations against him were true, he said the reason for his resignation was “for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance”.
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