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Priests group hails McAleese comments on homosexuality in Church

AUDIO: Former President said "I don't like my Church's attitude to gay people"

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Jack Quann
16:56 Wednesday 8 January 2014

A representative of the Association of Catholic Priests has welcomed comments from the former President Mary McAleese in relation to homosexuality within the Catholic Church.

Mrs. McAleese says she does not like the attitude of the church towards homosexuality, and that it was been in in denial over the issue for decades.

The comments were made in Glasgow in December during which she also called on the Scottish Cardinal, Keith O'Brien, who was forced to stand down last year to admit publicly that he is gay.

Speaking during an interview at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Mrs. McAleese said "I would have thought Cardinal Keith O'Brien, in telling the story of his life - if he was willing to do that - could have been of great assistance to gay people, not just in the Church but elsewhere, who felt over many, many years constrained to pretend to be heterosexual while at the same time acting a different life".

She said that, like so many closet homosexuals, Mr. O'Brien hoped to divert attention from himself by raising his voice "in the most homophobic way".

She added "I don't like my Church's attitude to gay people. I don't like 'love the sinner, hate the sin'. If you are the so-called sinner, who likes to be called that? We also know that within the priesthood a very large number of priests are gay".

The former President, who is currently studying in Rome, also said she wanted to know more about the Roman Catholic Church.

Fr. Tony Flannery told Breakfast here on Newstalk that the church needs to change its tune on the issue.

Fr. Paddy Byrne is curate of Portlaoise in Co. Laois. He echoed those sentiments when he spoke to The Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk. 

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