Michael Coren leaves Catholic Church for Anglican Communion over gay ‘marriage’
TORONTO, May 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Last July Michael Coren, a Catholic columnist, speaker, and writer of books such as “Why Catholics are Right”, stated in a column he would “die for my faith.” Last month he revealed his formal reception into the Anglican Communion, a transition he said he had secretly made a year ago, because he could no longer hold the “Catholic position on same-sex marriage.”
“I could not remain in a church that effectively excluded gay people,” he told the National Post on May 1. “I felt a hypocrite being part of a church that described homosexual relations as being disordered and sinful. I just couldn’t be part of it anymore.”
“I couldn’t look people in the eye and make the argument that is still so central to the Catholic Church, that same-sex attraction is acceptable but to act on it is sinful. I felt that the circle of love had to be broadened, not reduced,” he said.
The Catholic Church holds that God created marriage to be an exclusive unbreakable union between a man and woman. The Church furthermore teaches that sexual activity is reserved to that between a man and woman and additionally can only morally take place within marriage and is designed by God to be an expression of the love and union of the spouses and is ordered towards the procreation of children. The Church calls homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered” because “they are contrary to the natural law” and “they close the sexual act to the gift of life.”
While calling the homosexual “inclination” itself “objectively disordered,” the Church teaches that persons with same-sex attraction must be accepted with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” adding that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” Like every person in the world struggling to come to terms with human brokenness, the Church calls same-sex attracted persons to “fulfill God’s will in their lives” and to live a life of chastity.
Carl E. Olson of Catholic World Report criticized Coren’s idea of love, writing: “‘How far, then, should the circle of love be broadened?’ Does it bother Coren that the Catholic Church also considers adultery, polygamy, pornography, and incest to be serious sins? Is he bothered that polygamists and people in incestuous relationships are ‘effectively excluded’ by the Catholic Church? Where does he want to draw the line?”
Starting with the acceptance of contraception at the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Anglican Communion has incrementally allowed non-Christian ideas, particularly in the area of sexual morality, to creep into its teachings, including allowing for the ordination of active homosexuals.
‘I have evolved my position’
Coren’s departure from the Catholic Church over her teaching regarding marriage and sexuality did not happen overnight and was not unexpected. In a June 2014 column in the Toronto Sun titled “I was wrong,” Coren admitted that he no longer saw eye-to-eye with the Church.
“In the past six months I have been parachuted into clouds of new realization and empathy regarding gay issues, largely and ironically because of the angry and hateful responses of some people to my defence of persecuted gay men and women in Africa and Russia,” he said.
Coren wrote at that time that while he was “accused of betraying my faith,” the way he saw it was that he has “evolved my position on this issue not in spite of but precisely because of my Catholicism.”
“My belief in God, Christ, the Eucharist, and Christian moral teaching are stronger than ever. Goodness, I am even trying to forgive those ‘Christians’ who are trying to have my speeches cancelled and have devoted pages on their websites and blogs to my apparent disgrace,” he wrote.
In a June 2014 Facebook post, Coren backed an interpretation of the Bible story of Sodom that the sin for which the city was destroyed by fire and brimstone may have more to do with the heterosexual rape of boys than what he called “consensual homosexuality.”
In a May 2014 article in the Edmonton Sun, Coren called gay ‘marriage’ “one of the central prisms through which we perceive and judge human rights and social equality,” adding that “sexuality and love are complex issues and we should also learn to evolve, understand, empathize and respect.”
With Coren’s support for homosexuality, many were not surprised to see him rising to the defense of the Ontario Liberal government’s graphic and explicit new sex-ed program that initiates children into the worldview of “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.” In a February 2015 op-ed that appeared in the National Post titled “Why critics of Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum are wrong,” Coren not only gave his stamp of approval to the new sex-ed, but slammed parents who oppose it as “hysterical.” So convinced was Coren of his position, that he attended an April 14 rally by parents outraged over the sex-ed program and offered himself for media interviews to criticize the parents.
‘A bit hypocritical’
Coren is now facing criticism for speaking at Catholic events in the past year and a half as a faithful Catholic, even though he had already secretly left the Catholic Church.
Lea Singh from the Blog Culture Witness said she was stunned that Coren would continue to give talks and write columns as a Catholic when he no longer was.
“What this really means to me is that Michael Coren knowingly misled his Catholic audience. He continued functioning publicly as a Catholic apologist, writing articles for Catholic publications and circulating on the Catholic speaking circuit, without disclosing this very pertinent bit of information that would surely have given many of his Catholic promoters serious pause. Did Coren see no conflict between his public role as an outspoken Catholic and his Sunday attendance at another church?” she wrote.
“Isn't it just a bit hypocritical to be accepting paying jobs on the basis of being a Catholic when in fact you were no longer practicing the Faith and had already switched over to Anglicanism?” asked Michael Voris of ChurchMilitant.
Coren has been a frequent speaker for Catholic organizations and a regular columnist for Catholic publications, both prior to and during the last year while – he has now revealed – he attended an Anglican church.
Since making his switch public, Coren has been dropped from various publications he wrote for, including The Catholic Register, The Interim, and Catholic World Report. EWTN also canceled a scheduled interview.
This is not the first time Coren has left the Catholic Church. For three years in the 1990s he attended Evangelical services, saying about that time in his life that he was “vulnerable in my faith.”
"I just thought I needed a closer relationship with Christ at that time. I just wanted something simpler, a relationship rather than a religion,” he said in his recent interview with the National Post.
Numerous Catholic bloggers have expressed their sadness over Coren’s departure from the Catholic Church and have asked readers to pray.
“Pray for his return and for his conscience to be troubled. He has deserted and denounced the 2000-year-old faith with the Body and Blood of Our Lord,” wrote Michael Voris on his blog.
A blogger with the Catholic Intelligence Association blog put it this way: “I am simply going to pray for him that he see the errors of his views (eg. on LGBT) and comes back to Holy Mother Church once and for all.”