Irish Pastor: No Pro-Abort Lectors

News: Crisis in the Church
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  May 24, 2016   

Pro-abort and pro-gay marriage politician hopes bishop will reinstate him as lector

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COBH, Ireland ( - A pro-abort, pro-gay marriage politician is seeking to be reinstated as lector after being removed from that role by his pastor.

Last week, Fr. John McCarthy, administrator of St. Colman's Cathedral in Cobh, Ireland, forbade pro-abort politician Ken Curtin to be lector. Curtin is a representative among County Cork's liberal Social Democrats, which is seeking to repeal the Eighth Amendment or the Irish Constitution banning abortion in cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormalities.

After not finding his name on last week's roster of lectors, Curtin spoke with Fr. McCarthy who, according to Curtin, apologized for not warning him in advance of the dismissal. Curtin further related,

Father John told me that he had removed me from the list of lectors because of my party's view on repealing the Eighth and my own support of the Social Democrats' position, and regardless of my own personal position, either way, as long as I was a member of a party that was a supporter of something against a core Church belief, I couldn't be a lector at the same time.

The Social Democrats last year campaigned for so-called same-sex marriage by helping to pass Ireland's 34th amendment allowing gay marriage. Curtin claimed, "My faith is very important to me." But he revealed that Fr. McCarthy had had "huge issues" with him since he campaigned for a "Yes" vote during last year's marriage referendum.

Curtin is stressing that he has not been "banned from going to Mass or banned from receiving Communion." He also met ewith local bishop William Crean of Cloyne, hoping the bishop would force McCarthy to reinstate him as lector.

The Cloyne diocese released a statement acknowledging a "cordial and fruitful meeting was held between Bishop Crean and Ken Curtin." It further explained that the meeting was "pastoral in nature." The statement further acknowledged the bishop plans to discuss the issue with Fr. McCarthy.

Describing the meeting with the bishop as "fruitful," Curtin said he "got a good hearing," and the bishop "listened to my viewpoints and expressed a few opinions of his own."

According to Curtain, Bp. Crean didn't have a problem with his campaigning for so-called same-sex marriage, saying the bishop "did not see that as a grounds for removing somebody as a lector in the church, so that was very encouraging to hear.” reported last year that some Irish bishops, including Donal McKeown of Derry, Northern Ireland, failed to fight vigorously against the gay marriage referendum.

Regarding Bp. Crean's views on abortion activism, Curtin relayed, "However, he did say he believed a person's view on repealing the Eighth Amendment was a different matter and he would have a problem with somebody holding a contrary view to the Church's on repealing the Eighth Amendment continuing in a role as a lector."


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