A RENUA IRELAND candidate for Cavan/Monaghan has stepped down after comments she made about the Vatican on an anti-abortion Facebook page.
This morning the Sunday Times reported Mary Smyth labelled the Vatican as “the Antichrist” in comments on the ‘Irish anti-abortion crusade’ Facebook group page.
Her remarks were made in response to Pope Francis’ decision to allow St Peter’s Basilica to be used for a light show coinciding with the Paris climate change talks. The decision angered conservative Catholics as they claimed the Vatican was allowing climate change activists to push their agenda.
Smyth reportedly described the Vatican as “corrupt, riddled with gay sex and adoration of wealth”.
On her candidate Facebook page, the counselling psychologist and qualified nurse said she had decided to run because she was “tired of the lies, betrayals and false promises” of the current government.
Among her priorities, she listed improvements in mental health services for children, the provision of dedicated drug rehabilitation facilities and vigorous defence of the Eighth Amendment.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie today, spokesperson for Renua Ireland John Drennan said there had been a “parting of ways” and that the party wished Smyth well.
“On discovering the views, and prior to any media enquiries, the leader wrote to Mary Smyth requesting one, were these views her actual views and two, expressing great concern, in particular about references to gays, that such references should be extremely hurtful,” he said.
The party also launched an investigation by its ethics officer.
When asked whether Smyth’s comments were representative of the party’s views, he said:
Renua is a party which believes in freedom of conscience but freedom of conscience does not give you the freedom to say anything.
“These matters have now obviously been subsumed by the decision of Mary Smyth to not contest the election,” Drennan added.
TheJournal.ie has contacted Mary Smyth for comment.