Priest banned from writing


AN IRISH Catholic priest has been banned by the Vatican from publishing any more of his writings after he suggested homosexuality is “simply a facet of the human condition”.

This follows an article on homosexuality by Capuchin priest Fr Owen O’Sullivan, published in last March’s edition of the Furrowmagazine. Described as “a journal for the contemporary Church”, the Furrowis published at St Patrick’s College Maynooth.

Commenting on teachings that “homosexuality is unnatural”, Fr O’Sullivan wrote that “nature is a loose peg on which to hang a theology of human relationships”. The Concise Oxford Dictionarylisted nine meanings for “nature” and 14 for “natural”, he said.

He noted it was argued that the natural purpose of sexuality is procreation “and that, since homosexual relationships are not procreative of life, they are therefore unnatural”.

Throughout history “same-sex attraction and acts have been a consistent feature of human life . . . Same-sex attraction is simply a facet of the human condition,” he said. He recalled church teaching says it is not wrong to be gay, ‘‘but it is wrong to act gay”.

He suggested: “Imagine someone saying... ‘There’s nothing in itself wrong with being Irish... But that doesn’t mean you may act on it. So, no more Guinness, going to Croke Park, singing rebel songs into the early hours of the morning, waving Tricolours, no more craic.”

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican contacted the Capuchin secretary general in Rome with an instruction Fr O’Sullivan was no longer to write for publication without first having his articles approved by it.

Capuchin headquarters in Rome contacted Fr O’Sullivan’s superiors. Contacted by The Irish Times, Fr O’Sullivan did not feel free to discuss it nor did Fr Ronan Drury, editor of the Furrow.