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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Mark Stedman/ Rory Cowan (left) with his former Mrs Brown's Boys co-stars Brendan O'Carroll and Jennifer Gibney.
rory cowan

'I never gave a damn what the Church thought about me being gay'

Rory Cowan says people who disagree with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on gay people should refuse to engage with the institution.

ACTOR RORY COWAN has said people who disagree with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on gay people should refuse to engage with the institution.

In recent weeks, LGBT+ groups have complained about being left out of the upcoming World Meeting of Families (WMOF) – which Pope Francis will take part in while visiting Ireland later this month.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he may raise this issue with the Pope “if the opportunity arises“.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1′s Liveline today, Cowan said he thinks Varadkar would be “wasting his time” as “he’s not going to change the Pope’s attitude”.

“If you disagree with the Roman Catholic Church’s attitudes towards gay people or gay families, then just ignore it. Don’t go to it, don’t donate money to it. Just live your life and ignore it.

“We should stop making the Church relevant to gay rights and gay issues. Ignore it and make it irrelevant.

I’m 59 and I never gave a damn what the Roman Catholic Church thought about me being gay.

“Their attitude is totally irrelevant to me and my life. I couldn’t care less what it thinks about LGBTQ people or their rights. We don’t need the Church’s approval or acceptance of us.

“We only need the laws of the land to accept us as full and equal citizens and we need to be protected under those laws. And we have that now. We don’t need approval or acceptance by the Church,” the former Mrs Brown’s Boys actor said.

RTÉ Radio 1 / SoundCloud

LGBT+ groups 

The question of whether LGBT+ couples who are members of the Church would be welcome at the WMOF was raised earlier this year after it emerged that photos featuring same-sex partners were removed from a reissued booklet sent to parishes about the event.

In June, Archbishop Eamon Martin said that LGBT+ couples are “of course” welcome to volunteer at the event.

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics last month said it was “deeply dismayed and disappointed” after receiving no response in its requests to be part of the WMOF.

We Are Church Ireland, a group which campaigns for the equal inclusion of women and LGBT+ people in the Catholic Church, also said it was being “ignored and discriminated against” in its application to be part of the event.

Responding to this criticism, a spokesperson for the WMOF previously told “We Are Church are one of a number of organisations who are on a holding list in respect of exhibition space … many of these groups are on hold because they do not meet our stated criteria which was provided to them at the time of their application.

Priority was given in allocating exhibition spaces to those who immediately met the criteria. Had there been more space available we may have been able to allocate spaces to those on hold on the list.

“At this point it seems very unlikely that there will be any spaces left to allocate to those who fell outside the criteria.”

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