Toronto Diocese Serious About Defending Marriage: Disciplines Dissident Priest

TORONTO, March 5, 2004 ( - In a press release yesterday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto reported that it has suspended the faculties of Father Tim Ryan.  The Toronto Scarboro Foreign Mission Society priest who, in August 2003, filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court of Canada in support of homosexual marriage.

Attention was brought to the affidavit when it appeared on on February 3.  Rev. Ryan told the Toronto Star that he received a letter from the Archdiocese announcing his suspension on February 12.  With the press release the Archdiocese is sending a clear message about the sanctity of marriage and the seriousness with which the Church remains committed to truth.  The release began, “It is the clear teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that marriage is a life commitment between a man and a woman.  Marriage is a social and personal relationship with both a public and a private dimension, having foundational importance in society.”  The release explained that Father Ryan’s actions were “contrary to the clear teaching of the Church which ordained him, making him, like all priests, its representative.”  It continued, “Since he has contradicted the teaching of the Church, the Archdiocese of Toronto has suspended his faculties.  This means that Father Ryan is no longer able to preach or celebrate mass publicly in the Archdiocese.”  Father Brian Clough, judicial vicar of the Archdiocese of Toronto, met with Father Ryan to explore his views. He concluded that Father Ryan’s opinions were not consistent with the teachings of the Church.  “The Archdiocese of Toronto does not want Father Ryan to be considered a priest in good standing who can use a pulpit to expound his personal views,” said Father Clough.  The release concludes: “A priest in good standing is entitled to be registered under the Marriage Act of Ontario to legally register marriages that he celebrates.  Father Ryan was not registered under the Ontario Marriage Act and now would not qualify for registration.  The Archdiocese has thus ensured that Father Ryan would not be able to try to act on his views by performing a civil marriage for a same-sex couple.”  See the former LifeSite coverage which includes a link to the full affidavit:   See the coverage in the Toronto Star:

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