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Bishop can't deny the right of free speech to priests

I'm writing in reference to the criticism by Dr Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, of an African priest, Fr Joseph Okere, who was reported to have said that the work of the Devil was to be observed during the Republic's marriage referendum (Write Back, October 12).

Dr Duffy is criticising Fr Okere for his loyalty to Church teaching. In a document of 2003 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, said that to vote for same-sex unions is "gravely immoral" and to vote to allow same-sex couples to adopt is also "gravely immoral". Both are now legal in the Republic.

Unfortunately, one may expect encroachment on the rights to free speech and religious liberty from those who don't agree with the Catholic Church on these sensitive issues. But when a bishop of the Catholic Church starts that racket, it is time - in my view - for him to resign.


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