Statement by Bishop Francis Duffy concerning Father Joseph Okere

05 Oct 2015

Father Joseph Okere celebrated the 10.00am Mass in Saint Mel’s Cathedral yesterday Sunday, 4 October. Comments were made about the recent marriage referendum while reflecting on the Scripture Readings of the day which had at their core the theme of marriage. The language used caused offence to some people. Father Joseph did not intend to hurt anyone and is sorry for doing so. I too apologise for any insensitivity.

As Pope Francis said yesterday in his homily at the opening the Synod of Bishops on the family, we must “reach out to others with true love, to walk with our fellow men and women who suffer, to include them and guide them to the wellspring of salvation”. During May, in my own public statements in support of the sacrament of marriage, I emphasised the dignity that is inherent in all people, whatever their sexuality; and the necessity for the Church to reaffirm its determination to welcome, and show respect and compassion, to everyone in our community.


· Bishop Francis Duffy is Bishop of Ardagh & Clonmacnois

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