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Same-Sex Couples

Priests' group calls for statement from Archbishop after welcome to gay parents removed from church video

The welcome was was removed from a video supporting the World Meeting of Families.

A PRIESTS ASSOCIATION has called on the Archbishop to make a statement following reports that a bishop’s welcome to same-sex marriage couples was edited out of a video promoting the upcoming World Meeting of Families.

The Irish Independent reported yesterday that comments by Los Angeles-based Bishop David O’Connell that expressed conciliatory views towards same-sex marriage couples raising children were removed from a promotional video.

O’Connell – originally from Cork – said in the video (which was promoting the Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let’s be Family! programme ahead of the meeting) that there were many different forms of family now.

He mentioned that a family may be made up of gay parents with children, and said that no matter what the configuration of the family was, it was up to adults to ”think about how to provide the best, most loving, faithful environment for children possible”.

These words were later removed from the video clip on the WMOF website.

This removal follows on from another incident in which a conservative Catholic group campaigned to have the image of a same-sex couple removed from a booklet promoting the Amoris programme.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, a spokesperson for the WMOF said that O’Connell’s comments were in “the wrong version of the video” which was uploaded by mistake.

Criticism 

In response, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has criticised the WFOM and called for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to make a statement.

“[O'Connell's] words were such that we find it impossible to understand how anyone who supports the message of Pope Francis could object to them,” the group said.

“Once again, the effort at explaining this change is inadequate. No clear statement has been made as to why these actions were taken, and on whose direction.

Both leave themselves open to interpretations which are very damaging to the WMOF.

The group said it was looking for clarification on why the alterations were made.

“We believe that it is important that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin makes a statement clarifying why these two alterations were made, who decided on them, and why.

Otherwise any further effect to present the WMOF as a welcoming place for everyone will be seen for what it is, empty rhetoric.

The World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin in August and will include a visit by Pope Francis.

TheJournal.ie has contacted the WMOF and the Catholic Communications Office for further statements.

Read: Pope Francis ‘personally’ chose Ireland for next year’s global Catholic summit

Read: Taoiseach says government at Vatican’s ‘disposal’ for Pope Francis visit

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