GLASGOW, Scotland (ChurchMilitant.com) - A gay-friendly priest in Glasgow, Scotland received so much backlash to a pro-gay letter that he had to take it down.
Father Paul Morton of St. Bride's Church in Cambuslang, southeastern Glasgow, published a lengthy letter on his parish's Facebook page Wednesday rebuking fellow Glaswegian Fr. Mark Morris, fired from Glasgow Caledonian University for offering a "Rosary of reparation for the gross offense to God which is Pride Glasgow."
"You will know by now that your invitation and this initiative has deeply hurt both many of our own Catholic people who identify as LGBT and many others too," said Morton. "You should know that not everyone shares your views either about this event or about LGBT people."
"Many have especially come to see Pride as an event that is both a culturally liberating and joyous moment in the lives of people who identify in this way," he continued.
When the post was made widely known, a number of faithful Catholics left comments beneath Morton's post objecting to his pro-gay message, which were immediately deleted and commenters blocked.
Among the deleted posts were comments simply quoting the Catechism on homosexuality as well as Scripture.
The post itself was eventually taken down Friday after the page was flooded with reactions from Catholics protesting Morton's promotion of the LGBT agenda.
Morton has the distinction of being the first Catholic priest in Scotland to promote LGBT education in schools. His initiative garnered the praise of New Ways Ministry, a dissident gay outreach condemned by the Vatican.
"We are waking up to a Scotland where LGBTI people are no longer invisible and don't have to hide who they are or what they are, and that has to be a good thing," Morton told the Evening Times in October. "In times gone by the Church was always a building which people went to for sanctuary — it is my hope that the Church can be that once again for LGBTI people."
"We are looking forward to working more closely with Father Morton as we continue in our efforts to ensure that all schools are LGBT inclusive environments," said Jordan Daly, founder of the pro-gay education initiative.
Morton also caused scandal last year when his parish, St. Bride's Church, issued a pro-gay announcement.
"Anyone who is gay and who wishes to share or discuss this with Fr. Morton please feel free to come to the parish house," the parish statement read. "We must do everything we can to redress the harm that has been done in the past by the negative stance we seem to have taken up. We must join with others who are seeking to build a more inclusive society."
In spite of complaints from faithful Catholics to Bp. Joseph Toal, head of the Motherwell diocese, nothing has been done about Morton's LGBT advocacy. Toal was installed in the diocese in 2014 after the previous ordinary, Bp. Joseph Devine, resigned in disgrace over his mishandling of gay sex abuse.
Morton was suspended in 2014 over allegations of sex abuse and removed from his parish. A police investigation eventually cleared the priest, who was restored to his position at St. Bride's Church in 2015.
Contact Bp. Joseph Toal: firstname.lastname@example.org