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Monday 27 January 2020

Australian Catholic newspaper refuses ad for Mary McAleese event due to her support of gay people

Former President Mary McAleese. Mark Condren
Former President Mary McAleese. Mark Condren

Brian O'Reilly

A CATHOLIC newspaper based in Australia has refused to place an advertisement for an event where former Irish President Mary McAleese is speaking due to her views on homosexuality and the ordination of women.

Ms McAleese is due to speak at a Catholic think-tank event called ‘Catalyst for Renewal’ in Sydney next week.

But a Catholic newspaper based in Sydney, Catholic Weekly, has refused to run an ad for the event due to Ms McAleese’s involvement.

The paper’s editor Peter Rosengren told The Irish Echo newspaper that her attendance placed him in a difficult position.

“She is reported as being in favour of ordination of women as Catholic priests and in favour of homosexuality - whatever that actually means.

“No matter how admirable a person she is it places me in some difficulty as editor of the Catholic Weekly.”

However he added that neither he nor the Church “see homosexuality as a sin”.

“The problem is that the Church believes God made man and woman equally in the image and likeness of God’s very self - therefore gender actually has meaning.

“Homosexuality and other identifications that people may use to describe themselves such as bisexual, transgendered and so on … may obscure for people the meaning of their lives, but the dividing line for the Church is that homosexual acts definitely do.

“Having previously employed an openly same-sex attracted columnist on an official Catholic newspaper I feel quite entitled to make these observations,” he added.

Mr Rosengren said on the ordination of women: “I think it’s quite clear that men got the consolation prize with the priesthood - only a woman could be the mother of God.

“As a married man in the … Catholic Church, I do not have the right to be ordained either, but I don’t campaign on it as a matter of equality.”

The newspaper has a readership of about 50,000 people.

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