Tuesday 23 July 2019

Gardaí investigating comments by religious brother during mass calling gay people 'zombies'

Remarks: Brother Tom Forde lashed out at people who were 'morally rotten or at least infected'
Remarks: Brother Tom Forde lashed out at people who were 'morally rotten or at least infected'

Gabija Gataveckaite

Gardaí are investigating alleged hate speech by a religious brother who compared gay people to ‘zombies’ during a homily at a mass.

Brother Tom Forde likened gay people to ‘zombies’ and said that “the only way to deal with the monsters is to stab or shoot them in the brain” during the mass in Kilkenny.

Following a complaint from the public, the homily is now being investigated by An Garda Síochana.

“Gardaí are investigating the contents of remarks made during a religious service held on 8th June 2019 in Kilkenny and relevant publications,” said a spokesperson for the gardaí.

“The investigation commenced following a complaint from the public,” the statement added.

Following public outrage, The Bishop of Ossory Dermot Farrell issued a statement on behalf of the priest’s diocese, Ossory Diocese and apologised for the language used.

“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," said Bishop Farrell.

"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,” Bishop Farrell added.

Colm O Gorman, the executive director for Amnesty Ireland, condemned the comments as “unadulterated homophobia”.

 

“Plain, unadulterated homophobia. Indefensible and hateful,” he wrote in a tweet.

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