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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 2, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 36
Retired Irish president says Catholic Church should accept Gay priests
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Retired Irish president says Catholic Church should accept Gay priests

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese has warned Catholic leaders in her country that they must accept the fact that some priests are Gay.

'We have the phenomenon of men in the priesthood who are both heterosexual and homosexual, but the church hasn't been able to come to terms with the fact that there are going to be homosexuals in the priesthood, homosexuals who are fine priests,' McAleese, herself a Roman Catholic, said in an interview with the Irish Times.

'They haven't been able to come to terms with that because the teaching of my church, the Catholic Church, tells them that homosexuality is, of its nature, intrinsically disordered - those are the words of Pope Benedict - and that homosexual acts are, in his words, evil.

'I am just worried that the Maynooth controversy seems to be concentrating on the wrong things,' she added, referring to the recent discovery that some seminarians there had Grindr accounts.

'A seminary should be a place where people feel welcomed, not somewhere where they feel policed - after all, there are young people who haven't yet taken a vow of celibacy.'

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin sent at least three Maynooth seminarians away to Rome, claiming he was breaking up a 'Gay culture' at the school for future priests. The seminarians remaining will have their social media accounts monitored by Church officials, to make sure they are not using hookup apps in the future.

McAleese was president of Ireland for two terms, serving from 1997 to 2011. She succeeded Ireland's first woman president, Mary Robinson. Both Robinson and McAleese supported the 2015 referendum that legalized same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland.

During the marriage equality campaign, McAleese revealed that her son, Martin, is Gay and was bullied and excluded from church functions because of his sexuality.

McAleese has also endorsed the idea of women priests, something the Catholic hierarchy has absolutely ruled out.

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