Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

Northern Ireland – the gay issue

Posted by Fr Mark on August 14, 2009

100px-Coat_of_arms_of_Ireland_svgNorthern_Ireland_coat_of_armsBelfast ‘has 30 more gay priests’





From The Observer, 02.02.03: 

Up to 30 more Catholic priests in Greater Belfast are ‘active on the gay scene’, a rebel cleric claimed last night.Pat Buckley, the bishop of a breakaway Catholic church that is not recognised by the Vatican, also said a support group has been set up in the English Catholic Church to help homosexual priests serving in London.

Some of the 30 gay clerics in Belfast ‘have spoken to me personally about their lifestyle’, said Buckley, who admitted he was gay himself four years ago.

‘I have met their partners and their families. Naturally, I would never disclose their names but I am absolutely confident they are gay and active on the scene.’

The rebel priest said he has written to the Bishop of Down and Connor, the Rev Patrick Walsh, about them in response to the outing of another gay priest, Father Joe McGuigan, last weekend. Tabloid newspapers published a photograph of McGuigan at a gay bondage party in Dublin.

McGuigan, 35, was a curate at St Peter’s Cathedral, off the Falls Road in west Belfast. Since he left the parish following the revelations there has been an outpouring of support for him.

Parishioners and teachers and children at nearby St Joseph’s primary school, where he is the chaplain, have defied the hierarchy’s official line on homosexuality by demanding that he be reinstated. Staff and pupils staged a protest march last Monday to back him.

The principal, Margaret McQuillan, said teachers, parents and pupils had been ‘absolutely devastated’ by what had happened.

‘He is a loyal and true friend, and it is terrible that someone out there wants to destroy his character. We just want Father McGuigan back in the parish doing what is his true vocation,’ she said.

McGuigan is now at a secret location after saying the claims were true.


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