The Bishop of Galway appears to have rowed back on his strong stance on the St Vincent de Paul (SVP) donation towards a gay resource centre, telling a member of the public that he “got it badly wrong”.
There have been calls for Dr Martin Drennan to resign in the wake of his comments on Galway Bay FM last week about the €45,000 allocation to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community support group Amach.
He described gay culture as “morally wrong” and said he had a problem with the “moral judgment” involved with making the decision by the SVP.
Salthill resident Cormac Ryan wrote an email to the Bishop after hearing the interview, describing his remarks as “deeply offensive, uncharitable and unchristian”.
A reply the following day from the Diocesan email address, which was also sent to the Bishop’s Diocesan secretary, thanked him for the letter.
“My humble apologies for the hurt caused. I got it badly wrong,” it said.
Vice chairperson of Amach, Nuala Ward, invited the Bishop to sit down and talk with the organisation to discuss their work, which involved collaborating with bodies such as the Health Service Executive, the Gardaí and suicide prevention groups.
Tackling poverty is what the SVP does best. But Galway LGBT Amach! is a campaigning organisation. It even helped promote a pro-abortion march in Galway last year. That’s the opposite of reaching out to the poor and marginalised.
And it’s not as though left-wing, liberal causes are stuck for money these days. When it comes to friends in the media and funds from millionaires, gay rights projects are top dogs, not underdogs.
Did SVP Galway ask Amach! whether it would be campaigning for the redefinition of marriage next year? Might its resource centre and facilities be used in that referendum?
It’s a strange thing, but heaven help you if you dare to regret using the poor box to fund a campaigning gay rights organisation.
Read my article in this week’s Connacht Tribune about St Vincent de Paul grant to LGBT Amach! pic.twitter.com/c7iSHlE8G9
— Senator Rónán Mullen (@RonanMullen) September 11, 2014
Keep supporting St. Vincent De Paul. But crikey, the Galway branch was ill-advised. — Senator Rónán Mullen (@RonanMullen) September 5, 2014
Enda Cunningham [of the Connacht Tribune] writes:
Previously: How Dare They?
Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland