Saturday 21 September 2019

Bishop of Ossory says he is 'saddened' by 'inappropriate language and sentiments' used by priest who likened gay people to zombies

Bishop Dermot Farrelly
Photo: Ossory Diocese
Bishop Dermot Farrelly Photo: Ossory Diocese

The Bishop of Ossory has said he is "saddened" by the "inappropriate language and sentiments" stated in a homily last week.

Brother Tom Forde sparked outrage when he compared gay people to infected zombies.

Brother Tom Forde
Brother Tom Forde

He made the remarks during a homily at the Capauchin Friary in Kilkenny on Saturday, with some of the congregation reportedly walking out after he made the remarks.

The homily was subsequently published as a blog, and given greater attention when highlighted by RTE's 'Liveline' programme.

Bishop Dermot Farrell issued a statement earlier today regarding Brother Forde's recent homily in which he said he was "saddened" that "a Liturgy was used to convey any sentiment so at variance with our understanding of God".

"I was saddened to learn of the inappropriate language and sentiments used during a homily at the Capuchin Friary last weekend," Bishop Forde said.

Monsignor Dermot Farrell
Monsignor Dermot Farrell

"Gospel means good news. At the heart of the Christian Gospel is the welcome Christ had - and has - for all people. 

"As followers of Christ, the Gospel we proclaim is about the welcome and inclusion of all; as every person - no matter their faith, or race, or sexual orientation - is made by God and is loved by God.

"I am saddened too that a Liturgy was used to convey any sentiment so at variance with our understanding of God. 

"Words can hurt and care needs to be taken by all, in all situations, so as not to alienate, hurt or cause offence. Furthermore, when harm is done an apology is to be given. 

"I welcome, therefore, the statement of the Capuchin Order expressing their deep regret and their strong reaffirmation of their welcome of all people. I know the affection in which they are held by the people of Kilkenny.  I express our appreciation for the Capuchins’ service of the most vulnerable [in Kilkenny and beyond], and I thank them for outlining clearly their views on the good news of the inclusion of all," the statement concluded.

Read more here: Gay people and adulterers are like 'infected zombies' - religious brother tells Mass

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