Toronto Catholic Priest Files Supreme Court Affidavit Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

Tue Feb 3, 2004 - 12:15 pm EST

TORONTO, February 3, 2004 ( - A highly credentialed Toronto Catholic priest filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court of Canada in support of homosexual marriage.  Fr. Tim Ryan, in the affidavit of August last year, called himself “a Roman Catholic priest” and “an active member in good standing of the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society”.  He wrote, “As someone with many decades of experience in ministry to the gay and lesbian community, I welcomed the decisions of the (courts which ruled on the issue) reformulating the common law definition of marriage as ‘the voluntary union for life of two persons with the exclusion of all others.’”  The Archdiocese of Toronto told yesterday that they had heard of the incident. However, Suzanne Scorsone, the director of Communications said today that the Archdiocese could never comment on individuals.  However, the Vicar General of the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society told he had only heard of the affidavit for the first time yesterday.  Vicar General Fr. Mike Traher distanced the order from Fr. Ryan’s comments. Fr. Traher told “Fr. Tim Ryan is a retired priest since 2002 and is not acting with the knowledge or approval of the society.  Scarboro Missions does not in any way endorse any other position than the official teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the definition of marriage.”  Fr. Ryan who completed a Doctorate in Theology at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, in 1983, concluded his affidavit swearing, “I am well aware of the Vatican’s recent pronouncement against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage and the fact that the Catholic Bishops are seeking to pursue this appeal. As with various issues touching on matters of sex and sexuality many Canadian Catholics do not share the views of the hierarchy, including myself.”  See the affidavit at

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