I was saddened to learn of the inappropriate language and sentiments used during a homily at the Capuchin Friary last weekend. Gospel means good news. At the heart of the Christian Gospel is the welcome Christ had – and has – for all people. As followers of Christ, the Gospel we proclaim is about the welcome and inclusion of all; as every person – no matter their faith, or race, or sexual orientation – is made by God and is loved by God. I am saddened too that a Liturgy was used to convey any sentiment so at variance with our understanding of God. Words can hurt and care needs to be taken by all, in all situations, so as not to alienate, hurt or cause offence. Furthermore, when harm is done an apology is to be given. I welcome, therefore, the statement of the Capuchin Order expressing their deep regret and their strong reaffirmation of their welcome of all people. I know the affection in which they are held by the people of Kilkenny. I express our appreciation for the Capuchins’ service of the most vulnerable [in Kilkenny and beyond], and I thank them for outlining clearly their views on the good news of the inclusion of all.
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