St Bride priest’s LBGTI wel­come goes vi­ral on­line

‘We must do ev­ery­thing we can to re­dress the harm that has been done in the past’

Rutherglen Reformer - - Court - Edel Ke­nealy

A Cam­bus­lang priest’s mes­sage that the Catholic Church must re­dress the harm it has done to gay peo­ple has gone vi­ral.

Father Paul Mor­ton, of St Bride’s Parish Church, made a state­ment on the church’s Face­book page of­fer­ing a warm wel­come to gay peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, stat­ing there was no place for prej­u­dice or ex­clu­sion.

The pop­u­lar priest’s mes­sage has since been viewed by 61,000 peo­ple.

In the post, shared on Sun­day, he said: “We must do ev­ery­thing we can to re­dress the harm that has been done in the past by the neg­a­tive stance we seem to have taken up.

“In God’s house all are wel­come and are the blessed and loved chil­dren of God. There should be no place in our lan­guage or our at­ti­tude which al­lows for prej­u­dice or ex­clu­sion.

“We must join with oth­ers who are seek­ing to build a more in­clu­sive so­ci­ety.”

Father Mor­ton told the Re­former he was mo­ti­vated to make the state­ment in a bid to re­as­sure gay Catholics that they are wel­come and ac­cepted at ev­ery level in the church, with­out ex­cep­tion.

“I hadn’t re­ally in­tended the state­ment to have the wide dis­tri­bu­tion it has, it was re­ally only meant for the parish com­mu­nity and peo­ple who are on Face­book,” he said.

“But I am glad it has had wide cov­er­age and it has ob­vi­ously found res­o­nance with so many peo­ple.

“I was try­ing to ex­press the fun­da­men­tal be­lief that God never ever makes a mis­take when he cre­ates peo­ple, he loves ev­ery­one.

“God gives to ev­ery­one, who­ever they are, the abil­ity to love, that is not given to some and not to oth­ers.”

Set­ting out his own hopes for the fu­ture, he said: “The church must take pos­i­tive steps to make it­self in­clu­sive, that might mean mak­ing a public state­ment of wel­come to gay peo­ple or it might mean the de­vel­op­ment of a min­istry for gay peo­ple in the church.”

Father Mor­ton’s stance on the is­sue has been wel­comed by many peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang and across the world.

It was par­tic­u­larly wel­comed by MP for Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West Ger­ard Killen.

A gay Catholic and cam­paigner for LGBT equal­ity, Mr Killen said: “This un­am­bigu­ously warm wel­come from Father Mor­ton and St Bride’s Church is a very re­fresh­ing step in the right di­rec­tion, par­tic­u­larly for LGBTI peo­ple of faith and their fam­i­lies in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“My hus­band and I will be head­ing along this week­end to show our sup­port and sol­i­dar­ity for St Bride’s and I hope many other LGBTI peo­ple will feel en­cour­aged to do the same.”

In God’s house all are His blessed and loved chil­dren

Wel­come Father Paul Mor­ton out­side St Bride’s chapel

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