Bishop 'very much regrets' comments about gay parents
The Bishop of Elphin said yesterday that he regrets the hurt experienced by people over his remarks claiming that the gay parents of children are not necessarily parents.
Dr Kevin Doran was commenting at the end of a week which had seen him in the eye of a storm of controversy over his remarks made during a media interview.
In the interview on Newstalk Breakfast exactly a week ago, Dr Doran accused the Government of trying to pull the wool over people's eyes by saying that the forthcoming referendum on same sex marriage was not about children, because - in his view - a redefinition of marriage was also a redefinition of parenthood.
Dr Doran said that the jury was still out on the issue of whether people are born gay, although he acknowledged he was not an expert in the area.
When asked about gay people who are already parents, the bishop replied: "They're not parents. You see, the point about it is… they may have children but that's the difference.
"You see, that's the point, people who have children are not necessarily parents. This legislation that the Government is introducing, the Children and Family Relationships Bill, seems primarily focused about making it possible for people in various different relationships to have children. It's not about ensuring that children have their parents."
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin subsequently described it as "an unfortunate phrase" and hoped that people were not offended by Bishop Doran's comments while Primate of All Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin said Bishop Doran regretted any hurt that his words may have caused.
Bishop Doran yesterday addressed the controversy over his remarks during Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Sligo. He told the congregation: "One of the things I suppose that happens in that situation is you don't always choose your words or images as carefully under pressure as you would in a statement. I'm conscious that whatever the situation, some people were hurt by either what I said or what they thought I had said and I very much regret that".