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Bishop Dermot FarrellWikimedia Commons

DUBLIN, Ireland, January 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The new archbishop of Dublin, Ireland, Dermot Farrell, has come out in favor of female deacons and blessing rings for homosexual couples, while simultaneously attacking traditional Catholics.

Pope Francis’s new appointee as archbishop of Dublin, Farrell, was most recently the bishop of Ossory in the south of Ireland, after having being moved to that post by the Pope in January 2018. Farrell is also the finance secretary for the Irish Bishops Conference.

In an interview given to the Irish Times (the full text of which has been reproduced by the Catholic News Agency), Farrell signaled the direction into which he could lead the Archdiocese of Dublin in the future, particularly with regard to female ordinands: “I think that the big issue for women priests for me is that the two pillars of our faith and the Church are scripture and tradition and the biggest barrier to that (women priests) is probably tradition, not the scriptures. That’s the hurdle that has to be overcome.”

After initially expressing his reticence about the possibility of women priests, Farrell then gave his personal view on the matter of deacons.

“Would I like to see women deacons[?] I would,” he said. “Women have almost preserved the faith in the church, certainly in this country and probably beyond. They were the ones who handed on the faith or took the responsibility for handing it on. Our mothers were very important in terms of teaching and prayer. They were the ones, more than the fathers.”

While he admitted that celibacy was “important,” the new archbishop also showed himself to be open to the concept of married priests in the Church, calling for a “Choice on celibacy” to be discussed, and suggesting the Orthodox practice of having married priests.

Before becoming Bishop of Ossory, Farrell had spent over twenty years in Ireland’s seminary, Maynooth College, starting as a lecturer in moral theology in 1989, before being appointed as executive assistant to then-president Fr. Micheál Ledwith in 1990.

In 1993 Ledwith resigned early, after child sexual abuse allegations were made against him. Ledwith denied the claims, but reached a financial settlement with the accuser, and continued his teaching role in the seminary for two more years. Farrell was subsequently made vice president in 1993 and president in 1996, a position which he held until leaving in 2007.

Farrell declared that while he had been there at the time, “I wasn’t aware of why [Ledwith] stood down in ’94. I wasn’t involved … I became aware in May 2002.”

Father David Marsden, a former lecturer at the seminary, made headlines in recent years for noting that Maynooth had become a “cesspool of liberal theology and heterodoxy.” Fr. Marsden eventually resigned his position in 2016, in light of a subculture of homosexuality present in the seminary.

“It is my honest assessment that the formation and academic staff in Maynooth are either liberal or homosexual and a significant number are both,” he commented

Farrell touched on the issue of homosexuality in his recent interview, too, seemingly inferring that he was opposed to blessings of same-sex couples, but only due to the confusion such an action would cause: “Blessings are always going to be misconstrued and that’s where the difficulty arises because once you start blessing things like that people are going to construe that as a marriage.”

However, Farrell did note that “I don’t have a difficulty with blessing rings,” provided it was not done in the “public domain.”

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” a teaching that Farrell referred to as “a technical description. People misconstrue that then because it is technical theological language.”

Last summer, Bishop Farrell had intervened after a Capuchin priest in his diocese gave a homily describing people in favor of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, as zombies, being “physically alive but spiritually dead, morally rotten or at least infected.” Farrell declared he was “saddened” by the homily, calling it “inappropriate language and sentiments,” adding “the Gospel we proclaim is about the welcome and inclusion of all.”

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Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).

As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.

In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.

Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.

Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."

And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."

But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.

We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.


'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' -

'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' -

'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' -

'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' -

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He also spoke against traditional Catholics in his recent interview, in much the same tone as that employed by Pope Francis. “They’re hostile towards anyone that doesn’t agree with them, they’re almost close to being intolerant. They’re everywhere. I’d be respectful of them, they have a view and probably want to impose that view on everyone. That’s disrespectful.”

Commenting on Bishop Farrell’s appointment, Father Ron Vierling wrote, “Wokeism has replaced orthodoxy as a requisite for bishop candidates.”