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Welcome to gay parents edited out of church video

Sarah MacDonald

Irish Independent, March 5 2018 2:30 AM

A bishop’s comments expressing conciliatory views on same-sex couples raising children were edited out of a video promoted by the World Meeting of Families (WMF).

The comments were made by Bishop David O’Connell, originally from Cork but now based in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The video is one of a number of clips produced for the ‘Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let’s be Family!’ programme ahead of the World Meeting of Families.

The meeting takes place in Dublin this August and will include a visit by Pope Francis.

In the section of the Amoris video which deals with the reality of family life, Dr O’Connell recognises the different configurations of families today, including single parents or a gay couple raising children.

In the original video clip, he stated: “Pope Francis, he gets it. He gets it that our society has changed so much in the last couple of generations.

“We have all sorts of configurations of families now, whether it’s just the traditional family of mum and dad together, or it’s now mum on her own or dad on his own, or a gay couple raising children, or people in second marriages. No matter what the configuration of the family is, the call is still to adults to think about how to provide the best, most loving, faithful environment for children possible.”

However, people accessing the video clip now will no longer be able to hear these words because they have been removed.

The editing of the bishop’s comments follows a campaign by the conservative Catholic group Lumen Fidei to have the image of a same-sex couple removed from a booklet produced to accompany the ‘Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let’s be Family!’ parish programme.

Former President Mary McAleese warned that the editing out of Bishop O’Connell’s “words of welcome and reassurance to LGBTI Catholics and their families” sends “a strong message that they will not be welcome to attend the Dublin World Meeting of Families”.

Ms McAleese – whose son Justin, a devout Catholic, was bullied for being gay – appealed to organisers of WMF2018 to “ensure they faithfully honour the Pope’s inclusive vision of family and do nothing to further marginalise those already deeply hurt by Church-generated homophobia”.

A spokeswoman for the World Meeting of Families said Bishop O’Connell’s words were no longer available because “the wrong version of the video… was inadvertently uploaded for a short time”.

She added: “The correct version is now in place”.

She highlighted the inclusion of “powerful testimonies of individuals and families on the LGBTQ issue” elsewhere in the Amoris video.

Organisers of WMF2018 have stressed that the spirit of the event is in keeping with Pope Francis’s view that “every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration”.


The clip that was edited out is available on the ‘We are Church” youtube page


WE ARE CHURCH          PRESS RELEASE                                                        5 March 2018

World Meeting of Families censors Bishop’s inclusive comments about gay couples raising children

We Are Church Ireland is outraged at the latest insult to LBGTI families exhibited by the organisers of the WMoF which Pope Francis is due to attend in August.

The first insult was the elimination of text and a picture of a gay couple from the brochure for the WMoF event

This second snubbing of the Catholic LBGTI community consists in the removal of remarks by U.S. based Bishop David O’Connell in a video in which he had expressed an inclusive view of Church which included all modern forms of family including gay couples raising children, people in second marriages and single parent families.

This, behind the scenes, eliminations of text, photos and video relating to LBGTI families from WMoF’s promotional material must be a cause of serious concern to all Catholics who advocate a more inclusive Church.

“It further raises the question of who is dictating this return to a pre Vatican 2 model of Church and which is deliberately ignoring the example of Pope Francis who wants an inclusive and compassionate Church based on Gospel values.” stated Brendan Butler spokesperson.


Brendan Butler, We are Church spokesperson.





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  1. iggy o'donovan says:

    Just an observation. Lumen Fidei may be applying pressure but WHO did the editing or censoring?

  2. Mary Vallely says:

    I fully endorse WAC’s statement above and the welcoming, compassionate words of Bishop O’Connell. He gets it.
    Would that more bishops were to show the same courage and honesty in speaking out from the heart and acknowledging the reality of family life in all its many versions these days. There has been too much silence in the face of huge injustices towards the most vulnerable in our Church over the years. Lent is The perfect time to show a little courage and compassion for suffering.
    Also may I just say that Bishop John McAreavey is also a man of compassion. He did right in resigning but like Bishop O’Connell he is essentially a kind and decent man.

  3. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Well I don’t know how often you introduce yourselves to your local LGBTQ communities, but now would be a nice time to do so. It is all very much technical at this stage in the game. You need to seek representation for these types of offences.

    If any organisation decided to do that against the LGTBQ community in today’s day and age, there would be a huge uproar. This community is giving you the opportunity to make waves when there is hardly a ripple. Seize it –
    be more vocal in your communities about this because that will provide the incubation space for courage and honesty to flourish.

    This is now key to a successful meeting of families – the response to this. The only other thing I can think of would be a local interest grow for the Our Children’s Trust lawsuit to hit the ground in Ireland before Pope Francis shows up – considering Sean McDonagh was an inspiration to both Franciscans and Jesuits.

  4. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Here is how we communicate a very important message together in my area – note the mentioning of Catholic in this article and beautiful brush stroke it lay. Madonna is a good friend and the community work she does is a God-send. When I read something like this, I feel happy to call myself a Catholic but it is short-lived when I realise some of us would turn her away. She has been a part of an important support system for kids who have been turned away by their families.

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