Irish PM to tackle Pope over LGBT issues and clerical abuse
When Pope Francis arrives to in Ireland on August 25 for the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families (WMF), Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, above, intends telling the pontiff that the country has moved on from the dark days when it was firmly under the heel of the Vatican.
The emerald Isle’s current Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is an openly gay man with a male partner, who has used his position as a national leader to promote gay issues on the international stage.
When asked at a recent press briefing what he might say to the Pope about the absence of gay families during the promotion of the upcoming World Meeting of Families (WMF), Varadkar said he would express ‘our views as a society and a government that families come in all sorts of different forms and that includes families that are led by same-sex parents’.
Gay activists, Mainwaring said, are “outraged” over the removal images of same-sex couples as well as “pro-homosexual” texts from a re-issued booklet created by the country’s bishops to prepare Catholic families for the WMF in Dublin.
While the Irish Bishops offered no official explanation at the time for the revisions to the WMF booklet, The Irish Times, Irish Independent, and the German Catholic bishops’ website attributed the deletion of pro-LGBT images and text to a LifeSiteNews article critical of their inclusion in the booklet’s original edition.
In October, LifeSiteNews reported that the booklet contained, “a picture of two lesbians on a bridge clinging intimately to one another,” and text that contained:
Explicit promotion of homosexual relationships as a form of family.
Varadkar also said at the media briefing:
I’m not sure exactly what the detail of my interaction with him is going to be. [The reception at] Dublin Castle may be very short but, first of all, I will want to welcome him to Ireland and, if the opportunity arises, I will certainly want to express to him the real concerns Irish people have in relation to the legacy of the past, in relation to issues such as the church’s involvement in Magdalene laundries, mother-and-baby homes, and sexual and physical abuse.
Other Irish government leaders have also said they plan to bring up the subject of LGBTQ families during the Pope’s visit. Katherine Zappone, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, and Josepha Madigan, the Culture Minister, have pointed questions for the pontiff.
Former Irish president Mary McAleese, a vocal LGBT advocate who has a gay son, has been invited to the shindig, but banned from speaking. Officials are afraid “her outspoken views” would cause trouble during the official visit.
Earlier this year, Varadkar marched at the head of New York City’s 257th St Patrick’s Day Parade with his homosexual partner, Matt Barrett, and pro-LGBT Democrat Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.
Last year Varadkar was the first head of state to march alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal’s Gay Pride Parade.
Ireland is the first country in the world to legalise both same-sex marriage and abortion by popular vote.
Lamented Cardinal Raymond Burke in an interview last June:
Ireland was one of the most Catholic countries in the world – and today it is one of the most secularised.
This, he insisted, was: