Belfast Telegraph

Concerns raised after Bishop's same-sex message edited from church event video

Warning: Mary McAleese
Warning: Mary McAleese

By Sarah MacDonald

A Bishop's comments expressing conciliatory views on same-sex couples raising children were edited out of a video promoted by the World Meeting of Families.

The comments were made by Bishop David O'Connell, originally from Cork but now based in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The video is one of a number of clips produced for the World Meeting of Families 2018. It takes place in Dublin this August and will include a visit by Pope Francis.

In the section of the Amoris: Let's talk Family! Let's be Family! video which deals with the reality of family life, Dr O'Connell recognises different types of families today, including single parents or a gay couple raising children.

However, people accessing the clip now will no longer be able to hear these words because they have been removed.

The editing of the bishop's comments follows a campaign by the conservative Catholic group Lumen Fidei to have the image of a same-sex couple removed from a booklet produced to accompany the 'Amoris parish programme.

Former Irish president Mary McAleese warned that the editing out of Bishop O'Connell's "words of welcome and reassurance to LGBTI Catholics and their families" sends "a strong message that they will not be welcome to attend the Dublin World Meeting of Families".

Belfast-born Mrs McAleese, whose son Justin, a devout Catholic was bullied for being gay, appealed to organisers of WMF2018 to "ensure they faithfully honour the Pope's inclusive vision of family and do nothing to further marginalise those already deeply hurt by Church-generated homophobia".

A spokeswoman for the World Meeting of Families said Bishop O'Connell's words were no longer available because "the wrong version of the video ... was inadvertently uploaded for a short time".

She added: "The correct version is now in place".

Belfast Telegraph


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