A pro-gay Scottish priest has incurred the wrath of the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal, above, for supporting gay pride events.
In rebuking Father Paul Morton – who recently attacked fellow priest Father Mark Morris for organising a rosary of “reparation for the gross offence to God which is Pride Glasgow” – Toal said in a letter:
I take issue with Fr Morton’s uncritical approval of the Gay Pride marches. Footage of any such marches often show people dressed as priests and nuns with the clear intention of belittling and making a fool of the Catholic Church.
I understand why they engage in this tomfoolery but for me and other Catholics it creates a negative impression and probably a dislike of such events. I don’t agree therefore with Fr Morton’s uncritical approval of activities which mock the Church of which he is a public representative.
We do need to support and minister to those in our Church who experience same-sex attraction but we can’t deny the Church’s teaching and throw in our lot with those who do s0.
You should know that not everyone shares your views either about this event or about LGBT people. Many have especially come to see Pride as an event that is both a culturally liberating and joyous moment in the lives of people who identify in this way.
Morton’s online “open letter” infuriated Scottish Catholics already distressed that Morris had been sacked.
Morton has made a name for himself as a Catholic priest who supports LGBT inclusion in education in Scottish schools.
Bishop Toal explained in his letter that Morton did not ask him for permission to write his open letter. Toal said he “took issue” with the priest’s “uncritical approval” of homosexual pride marches.
While Fr Morton feels justified in telling Fr Morris that he should have sought the permission and support of his Ordinary before having the Rosary in Reparation for the Gay Pride Gathering, I don’t see him applying the same rule to himself in regard to seeking my permission, as his Ordinary, in writing his open letter to Fr Morris. Fr Morton chooses therefore to speak on this matter as an individual and he does not represent me nor the Diocese of Motherwell.