Should the Catholic Church be more accepting of the LGBT community?
The Church of England has “turned a corner” after its ruling body voted overwhelming in favour of welcoming transgender people into the church.
The General Synod backed Reverend Chris Newlands’ motion which said transgender people should be “welcomed and affirmed in their parish church” as part of the “long and often complex process” of transition.
Mr Newlands had also called for the Church to provide guidance to help clergy provide services for transgender people to mark their transition.
The vote came after bishops overwhelmingly backed a motion calling for a ban on “unethical” conversion therapy for gay Christians.
Opening the debate, Mr Newlands, of the Blackburn Diocesan Synod, said: “I hope that we can make a powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present through all the twists and turns of their lives.”
This is no doubt a huge step in welcoming members of the LGBT community into religion and today I want to know if you think the Catholic Church should follow suit?
A Catholic church in New York recently opened its doors to gay people who wanted to remain part of the church. They were welcomed personally by the leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin and were seated on folding chairs at the cathedral’s centre.
The welcoming of a group of openly gay people to Mass by a leader of Cardinal Tobin’s standing in the Roman Catholic Church would have been unthinkable even five years ago.
But Cardinal Tobin is among a small but growing group of bishops changing how the American church relates to its gay members. They are seeking to be more inclusive and signalling to subordinate priests that they should do the same.
Would you like to see churches in Ireland do the same?
It’s similar to a moral dilemma that we’ve mentioned on the show before. Can a person be Catholic and Gay at the same time?
You would wonder why a gay person would want to enter into a building that every day preaches that their lifestyle is wrong and sinful.
However, as I said before, hundreds of gay and lesbian people along with their families sat in a church in Newark while the Cardinal welcomed them personally. So clearly there are people out there who just want to be welcomed into the church and not shunned.
So many people were raised in the Catholic faith – are we to say that because they’re homosexual, they are no longer religious.
I know there are people out there who will say they are gay but they are also religious and there are others who will denounce that and say it isn’t possible to be both.
Tara spoke to Fr. Bernard Lynch who is a gay priest from Co, Clare. Fr Lynch came out as a gay priest in the 1980s and is no longer allowed to practice on behalf of the Catholic Church, but he said he continues to consider himself an ordained Catholic priest.
He recently married his long term partner Billy and believes that the Catholic Church has done terrible damage to gay people by getting the message of God “very wrong”.
I want to know what you think – can a person be gay and catholic?
Clearly Cardinal Tobin believes they can and has opened his church doors – would you like to see Irish churches do the same? Or would you be horrified by the notion?
So – should churches in Ireland open their doors to the LGBT community?