Former Irish president and professional Catholic dissident to speak at Primate’s Mass
(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly attributed ownership of Columba press to the Catholic Bishops of Ireland. LifeSiteNews regrets the error.)
DUBLIN, October 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Irish Catholics have asked the Cardinal Primate of All Ireland to intervene in the appearance of former Irish president and homosexualist activist Mary McAleese at a local parish Mass this Sunday, where she is expected to speak promoting her latest book.
McAleese, notorious among faithful Catholics for her opposition to Catholic teaching on homosexuality and the ordination of women, has written a new book in which she suggests that Catholic teaching on sexuality might be a form of “child abuse.” She is launching the book in Dublin the day before the Mass.
Cardinal Sean Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh is scheduled to celebrate the Mass as part of the 250th anniversary of St. James parish church in Cooley.
The Catholic lay apostolate, Catholics United for the Faith (CUF), has sent a letter asking Cardinal Brady to intervene, saying it is “extraordinary” that the invitation was extended by the parish priest to give McAleese “a pulpit in which she can continue to sow the seeds of discord within our Church”.
“This is a grave matter because she has, in a very public way, contradicted Church teaching and promoted an intrinsic evil,” said Anthony Murphy, the President of the Irish chapter of CUF. He said that McAleese in her book and in her many activities throughout her working life, “has undermined the teaching and governing authority of the Church” and the invitation “could be interpreted by the faithful as indifference” to those activities.
In her book, “Quo Vadis? Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law,” McAleese writes, “The heterocentricity of Catholic teaching …is now being looked at critically in the light of the deadly consequences of homophobic bullying, with research, mainly in
the United States, showing a tragic link between male youth suicide and homosexuality.
“Could church teaching on homosexuality be the new psychological child abuse issue of the coming decade?”
In a radio interview last month with the state broadcaster RTE, she called Catholic teaching on homosexuality “isolated” and said it is causing young homosexuals to doubt themselves and suggested it was the cause of rising suicide rates.
“They will have heard words like disorder, they may even have heard the word evil used in relation to homosexual practice,” she said. “And when they make the discovery, and it is a discovery and not a decision, when they make the discovery, that they are gay, when they are 14, 15 or 16, an internal conflict of absolutely appalling proportions opens up.”
The interview was widely covered in the Irish print media. In it, McAleese also called for the Church to change its practice of ordaining only men, and said that the only reason she was free to do so without interference from the Church was that the hierarchy, including the Pope, has lost all credibility.
Murphy continued in his letter, “I also find it particularly insidious that she has sought to link the relatively high suicide rates of young males with Church teaching on homosexuality.”
He called the suggestion “ridiculous” and said she should “reflect that the same suicide rates may well be linked to the social factors we are now dealing which were a direct consequence of the so called Celtic Tiger years.”
“It is unfortunate and a mystery to many that Mrs. McAleese chose to remain silent during those years of false harmony and wealth,” Murphy added.
Murphy told LSN, “If Cardinal Brady gives her this platform, he will be seen to be endorsing her views.” However, he pointed out that it seems as if McAleese and Brady already enjoy a friendly relationship. In the acknowledgements of her book, McAleese thanked the cardinal “for so promptly and fully answering my factual questions about the Synod of Bishops.” Murphy says that the cardinal was also aware that McAleese would be speaking on the day he was to celebrate the Mass.
Murphy said he has contacted Cardinal Brady’s secretary, Fr. Michael Toner, who said the cardinal is in Rome attending the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops. Toner asked Murphy to send a letter explaining the issue, which he would then forward to Brady.
In response to Murphy and CUF’s criticisms, “The parish priest told me that while he understands this may upset some he believes in freedom of speech and that ‘times are changing’.”
McAleese was recently listed by the Irish Times as one of the twenty-odd individuals and organizations who “shape” Catholicism in Ireland and by Forbes magazine as the 64th most powerful woman in the world. As head of state in Ireland, she drew protests for her opposition to Catholic teaching when she gave commencement address at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. McAleese is currently studying canon law in Rome and has long been criticized by some in the Catholic hierarchy, particularly after calling on the Church to change its teaching on homosexuality.
She is an established campaigner for the homosexualist movement, serving as a founding legal advisor to the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform that led to Ireland’s parliament to legalizing same-sex activity in 1993. One of the closing acts of her presidency was to sign into law her country’s first Civil Partnership bill granting homosexual partnerings similar rights and privileges to natural marriage.
Listen to McAleese’s interview with RTE here.
To contact Cardinal Brady with concerns
ARMAGH BT61 7QY
Phone: (028) 3752 2045
Fax: (028) 3752 6182
Fr. Michael Toner – email: email@example.com
To contact the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops
Marc Ouellet, Cardinal, Prefect
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10