Mary McAleese: Catholic Church will 'change or perish' with current views on homosexuality

Shout Out

Catholic, LGBT+ rights advocate, and Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese has said there is a 'stirring' in the Catholic Church that wasn't there 60 years ago. Ms McAleese pointed out that change is already beginning to occur between some members of the Catholic Church. “Well, if you look already, there are churches - Christian churches - which are marrying gay people. Just as there are Christian churches which have female ministers and female priests,” she said. “Things are changing. The Catholic Church eventually will either change or perish - that’s what happens.” In Germany, Catholic priests yesterday blessed same-sex couples, in defiance of a recent statement from the Vatican against the practice. In Berlin, Reverend Jan Korditschke led the blessings for LGBT+ couples at a worship service. “I am convinced that homosexual orientation is not bad, nor is homosexual love a sin,” he said. “I want to celebrate the love of homosexuals with these blessings because the love of homosexuals is something good. “I stand behind what I am doing, though it is painful for me that I cannot do it in tune with the church leadership.” Ms McAleese discussed how the lack of acceptance that some LGBT+ face can lead to very dire outcomes. “We know the psychological damage, and now we have the research that shows that young gay people are three times more likely to suffer from all sorts of nervous problems,” she said. “Whether it’s from anxiety, right the way through to suicidal ideation - and suicide - they are overrepresented in the suicide statistics. Now, there’s no mystery as to why that is. There’s just no mystery [as] to why that is. “And we could talk all day about the why. But the why is very obvious. These are young people who are desperately, desperately alone. Desperately feeling excluded. Not understood - not understanding themselves. And feeling that they cannot outreach to anyone close to them.”

Mary McAleese was interviewed as part of Know Your Queer History, a video series from LGBTQ+ education charity ShoutOut. You can watch the full interview here.