Monday 20 August 2018

Church's invitation to preacher is rescinded

Esther Hayden

The Church of Ireland Archdiocese of Dublin has withdrawn an invitation to a controversial evangelist preacher who was written about ridding gay men of their 'demonic' urges.

Argentinian Ed Silvoso was due to speak at Redcross Parish Church last Sunday, a year to the day since the Marriage Equality referendum was held.

The archdiocese announced on Thursday that the Rev Roly Heaney, Rector of Dunganstown Union of parishes in Wicklow, had since withdrew the invitation.

The Church of Ireland said that the visit of the controversial evangelist was not timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the marriage equality referendum.

It confirmed that the invitation to Dr Silvoso has been rescinded, but would not say when asked if Canon Roland Heaney, Rector at Redcross Church, had been aware of Mr Silvoso's pronouncements on homosexuality when he asked him to speak.

'Redcross Church is not aware of the timing of Dr Silvoso's visit. It is understood that he is visiting Ireland to attend a conference which is not connected with Redcross Church, the organiser of which contacted the rector to say Dr Silvoso was free on Sunday morning if the rector would like him to preach.'

The spokeswoman said Dr Silvoso was expected to speak 'about churches getting involved in their communities' before his invitation was withdrawn.

Mr Silvoso is known for his views on Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) issues and particularly gay men and previously described the marriage of gay couples as 'blatant immorality'.

Dr Silvoso's appearance at Redcross Church was cancelled after West Cork-based activist Fiona O'Leary contacted the Church of Ireland to raise the issue of his controversial stance on homosexuality.

Scott Golden, chairman of Changing Attitude Ireland, welcomed the news and said that for such a divisive figure as Mr Silvoso to have received an invitation to speak in an Anglican church in Ireland was regrettable.

'This is particularly in light of the developments within the Church of Ireland over the last number of months with the publication of the report from the Select Committee on Human Sexuality that has introduced the ongoing discussions at diocesan and parish levels, on the issue of LGBT involvement in Church life,' said Mr Golden.

Mr Silvoso has also been widely known to propound the idea that LGBT people and those with personality disorders, including autism, are demon possessed, and to have practiced 'deliverance ministry' in which it is claimed demons are cast out of the sufferers.

Wicklow People