DUBLIN, Ireland, February 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Images of same-sex couples as well as pro-homosexual texts have been removed from a reissued booklet created by the country's bishops to prepare Catholic families for the upcoming World Meeting of Families (WMF) in Ireland.
While the Irish Bishops offer no official explanation for the revisions to the WMF booklet, The Irish Times, Irish Independent, and the German Catholic bishops website are attributing the deletion of pro-LGBT images and text to a LifeSiteNews article critical of their inclusion in the booklet’s original edition.
In October, LifeSiteNews reported that the booklet contained, “a picture of two lesbians on a bridge clinging intimately to one another,” and text that contained “explicit promotion of homosexual relationships as a form of family.”
One problematic line which is now deleted from the original program booklet stated, “While the Church upholds the ideal of marriage as a permanent commitment between a man and a woman, other unions exist which provide mutual support to the couple. Pope Francis encourages us never to exclude but to accompany these couples also, with love, care and support.”
In the new edition, six photos which either overtly portrayed gay couples were replaced with images displaying families consisting of father, mother and children.
The LifeSiteNews piece reported that Catholic bishops in Ireland were using Pope Francis’ teachings on marriage and family in Amoris Laetitia to promote homosexual couples as a new form of “family” in the World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin in August.
The World Meeting of Families is described on its official website as a major international event that “brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society, and of the Church.”
The event will focus on Pope Francis’ controversial 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love), highlighting the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.” Pope Francis is expected to attend the event.
Anthony Murphy, founder and editor of Catholic Voice newspaper and the founder of Lumen Fidei Institute, said he was glad the pro-homosexual images and texts were removed, adding that they never should have been included in the first place.
“The scandalous image of two lesbians embracing was rightly removed from World Meeting of Families catechetical material. The image should never have been there in the first place and serves as a warning that LGBT activists have entered deep within the structures of the Catholic Church in Ireland,” he said.
Murphy said that while those who suffer from same-sex attraction “need to be treated with compassion, and this genuine compassion will help them to live chaste lives if it is based on the truths of Catholic Church teaching,” compassion differs from acceptance.
“The time to come to defend our children from the predators who seek their destruction,” he said.
“We must firmly resist those, from all walks of life, who seek to impose the false ideological acceptance of homosexual behaviour on our society, and we must especially resist those who seek to foist this false ideology onto our children under the pretext of trying to prevent homophobic bullying. This is a dangerous ruse which is designed to make mortally sinful acts socially acceptable within our school-age population,” he added.
Ireland’s former President Mary McAleese criticized the bishops for removing the pro-homosexual images and texts.
McAleese, who served as president from 1997 to 2011, said she “was concerned the Pope's visit would see the LGBT community marginalised after images of same-sex couples were removed from a booklet sent to parishes,” according to a report in the Irish Independent.
Ireland’s former President said the move was disappointing. She encouraged the restoration of the deleted photos and text into the promotional booklet.
Murphy criticized McAleese’s remarks, saying that they “clearly show that she does not accept Catholic Church teaching on human sexuality but it is also intended to embolden these LGBT predators to use other LGBT imagery or 'pastoral' language so as to lead other others into confusion and dissent.”
While faithful Irish Catholics are glad to see the booklets reissued without the pro-homosexual material, many continue to question the faithfulness of some of the country's bishops to Catholic sexual teaching.
As LifeSiteNews noted last year, the promotion of homosexuality at the World Meeting of Families by Irish bishops appeared to be deliberate.
Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick said last October that homosexual couples must be welcomed at the World Meeting of Families. Leahy, speaking to reporters after his diocese launched the pro-homosexual preparatory booklet, said it would be a missed opportunity if the Church failed to embrace “family” in all its variety.
“We've had the referendum in favour of same-sex ‘marriage’ and a lot of people voted in that referendum and all are equally welcome to join in this celebration of family,” he said, as reported by the Independent.
“We are living in changing times and family too is changing,” he added.
Prior to this, Archbishop Martin, who is overseeing the World Meeting of Families, said Catholic bishops must not “allow ourselves to be become entangled in trying to produce definitions of the family,” because different cultural values mean family “cannot be defined simply.”
The Catholic Church teaches that God created humans as “male and female” and gave them to each other in marriage so they could “increase and multiply.”
Sexual attraction, as well as the sexual act between a married man and woman, have been specifically created by God for the purpose of procreation. The Catholic Church remains true to God’s original creative plan when she declares authoritatively and for all time that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered” since they are “contrary to the natural law” in that they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.”
“They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Murphy is asking faithful Catholics to attend a conference his organization Lumen Fidei is or organizing to take place on the same dates as the World Meeting of Families.
The “Conference of Catholic Families” organizers have already released a video to promote the event.
“In Ireland, we are practically a lone voice in confronting this promotion of sodomy within both the state and the church, and so we need your prayers and your support all the while trusting in Our Lady, Help of Christians, to be by our side as we confront this growing menace to our children,” said Murphy.
Ireland is in a period of rapid social transition, as the once Catholic Emerald Isle is shedding its adherence to Catholic teaching and morality, trading it for a more secularized church and state.
The people of Ireland recently elected a homosexual Prime Minister and efforts are mounting to relax laws against abortion.