A Dublin priest received a standing ovation from his congregation this week as he called for same sex marriage equality in Ireland and came out to his parishioners.
Calling on his Dublin city congregation to support same sex marriage in the upcoming Irish referendum, set for the end May, Dolan said “I’m gay myself.”
A referendum on same sex marriage will take place at the end of May 2015. Although polls consistently show that over 70 percent of the Irish are in support of gay marriage, campaigners admit that there’s no room for complacency during the run up to the vote.
Dolan’s statement at Mass on Saturday was met by applause and a standing ovation from his “proud” parishioners.
Speaking to the Irish Sun (subscription needed) community youth worker Liz O’Connor said, “We are all very proud of Fr Martin. Because he has admitted that he is gay doesn’t change the person that he was before he said it.”
The admired priest is currently on a pre-planned holiday and will return to his parish soon.
A source within the Catholic Church told the Sun, “It was very brave. He said he was gay. That was it…no bones about it.”
They continued, “He had the break all planned before all this came out in case people think he is running to the hills.
“He certainly is not…this break was planned.
“He was just doing his service, it was part of his homily, and that’s it. If he feels strongly about something, Martin just says it.
“He’s happy with himself. There is no fear of him running away, he wouldn’t be one of them people.
“There’s a lot of gay priests but nobody will actually get up and say it.”
O’Connor echoed the sentiments of the congregation saying she would not want to see Dolan leave his parish after 15 years.
She said, “I wouldn’t like to see him being moved for the statement he made. That would be horrendous. He should be supported. He has done nothing wrong. If he’s moved, there would be uproar in this parish. He’s still the same man today.
“There’s not many of them (priests) that would come out because they’re afraid of the bishops and that, but Martin is his own man. That’s what he believes in.
“He is a man of real conviction and he doesn’t back down. Fr Martin has always been an advocate of the rights of people. He speaks his mind. He is right to advocate gay rights. The Church should back the priest.
“He should not be condemned by the hierarchy of the Church; he should be supported.”
The Dublin Archdiocese declined to comment until they had spoken directly to Dolan.
However, the Catholic Church hierarchy in Ireland showed their disdain for the referendum in December 2014.
Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin said legalizing same-sex marriage would change the meaning of marriage itself.
“In a culture of live and let live there might be a tendency to say, sure what harm will it do if the two men or the two women love one another?”
He posed the question, “What, in the final analysis, is the difference between a sexual friendship (in which the state has no interest) and a marriage?”
Earlier this year Ireland’s deputy leader (an Tanaiste) Joan Burton said, “The fact that this referendum is now to take place is a mark of the progress that has taken place in this country in recent years and decades, and indicates the extent to which attitudes to lesbian and gay people have changed.”
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Church digs up graveyard to build ‘£1m home’ for vicar: Neighbours ‘disgusted’ after watching bones being exhumed to make way for house
- Loughton Baptist Church is building the home for Reverend Wayne Dulson
- Neighbours saw graves pre-dating 1860 dug up to make way for property
- Plans for the home were initially turned down by Epping Forest Council
- They were overturned on appeal to the planning inspectorate
A vicar has outraged neighbours after having bodies exhumed to make way for his new family home next to the church.
They say they are disgusted at the Reverend Wayne Dulson and Loughton Baptist Church’s lack of sensitivity over the matter and claim the move is motivated by money.
The locals claim a perfectly good four-bedroom manse not far from the Essex church was sold last year for £630,000 to fund the project and the new one could be worth over £1million when complete.
Underwriter Colin Hart, 50, whose family home backs on to the church, said: ‘I’m disgusted that a supposed man of the cloth should go round digging up bodies from their final place of rest. Local people have entrusted their loved ones to this church and this is how they behave.’
His wife, Julie, 48, added: ‘Whatever happened to rest in peace? We woke up to the sound of a JCB out the back and you could see them loading coffins from the back garden.’
Mother-of-four Simone Cohen, 52, said: ‘What I found most upsetting was that when they transferred the bones into coffins, the children could see everything.’
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Reverend Libby Lane has been announced as the first female bishop for the Church of England, just a month after a historic change to canon law.
Mrs Lane has been the vicar at St Peter’s Hale and St Elizabeth’s Ashley, in the diocese of Chester, since 2007.
The general synod voted to back plans for female bishops in July and formally adopted legislation on 17 November.
The appointment will end centuries of male leadership of the Church and comes 20 years after women became priests.
Mrs Lane was ordained a deacon in 1993 and a priest in 1994, serving her curacy in Blackburn, Lancashire. Since 2010 she has also held the role of Dean of Women in Ministry for the diocese of Chester.
Speaking at Stockport town hall the new bishop, whose role was approved by the Queen, said it was a “remarkable day for me and an historic day for the Church”.
“This is unexpected and very exciting,” she said.
“I’m honoured and thankful to be called to serve as the next Bishop of Stockport and not a little daunted to be entrusted with such a ministry.”
Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated Mrs Lane and said: “This is an historic appointment and an important step forward for the Church towards greater equality in its senior positions”.
Mrs Lane will be consecrated as the eighth bishop of the town at a ceremony at York Minster on 26 January.