Bishop of Ossory addresses comments by Kilkenny priest comparing gay people to zombies
The priest stated the only way to deal with them was to stab or shoot them in the brain.
The Bishop of Ossory has addressed comments made by Brother Tom Forde at a mass in Kilkenny over the weekend.
During the mass, Forde spoke of irrational and/or self-destructive behaviour, forms of which he listed as the abuse of drugs and alcohol, adultery, fornication, and homosexuality, acceptance of abortion, use of contraception, and the move to legalise euthanasia.
He continued by mentioning he was a fan of The Walking Dead, before stating that he was aware that many of the people around him were physically alive, but spiritually or morally dead or rotten, before telling those at the mass that once you are bitten by those monsters, you are infected and there is no hope, with the only course of action being to stab or shoot those people in the head.
Colm O'Gorman, head of Amnesty International Ireland, took to Twitter to call Forde's words "Plain, unadulterated homophobia. Indefensible and hateful", before calling for an official response.
On Thursday afternoon, via the Ossory Diocese website, Bishop Dermot Farrell made the following statement:
"I was saddened to learn of the inappropriate language and sentiments used during a homily at the Capuchin Friary last weekend. 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."
Pride Month continues to take place worldwide throughout June, with the Dublin Pride Parade set to take place on Saturday 29 June at 1pm.
Full details of Dublin Pride events can be found here.