Kilkenny Capuchins ‘deeply regret’ homosexual ‘zombie’ comments
By COLIN BARTLEY
THE Capuchin Order in Kilkenny has said it “deeply regrets” comments made about homosexuality during a homily over the weekend.
The Kilkenny city friars stressed all are welcome in their church irrespective of sexual orientation, in line with guidance from Pope Francis.
The Capuchin Order issued a statement following public outrage over comments made Fr Tom Forde (pictured) during a controversial sermon he delivered over the weekend in which he compared homosexuals and supporters of abortion, contraception and euthanasia to “spiritual zombies” that have been infected.
Some members of the congregation walked out of the church during the mass after hearing his homily. Many people have since expressed their anger and opposition to his remarks online.
After initially remaining tight-lipped and refusing to make a comment on Fr Forde’s homily, the Capuchin order in the city addressed the controversy this morning and released the following statement:
“In response to the homily by Fr. Tom Forde, OFM on Pentecost Sunday Vigil Mass in Kilkenny, we wish to state the following: This homily, which had been published as a blog is no longer posted online. On reflection Fr Tom removed the blog as it was not his intention to cause hurt to anyone.
“The Capuchin Order wishes to state that all are welcome in our churches, irrespective of sexual orientation. Unfortunate comments were made about homosexuality last Saturday, which gay people would have found hurtful, and we deeply regret this.
“When asked about gay people, Pope Francis has said, ‘Who am I to judge? And speaking to a gay man at an audience in the Vatican he said, ‘God made you like this and he loves you’.
“We support Pope Francis in his comments on gay people and we will continue to be guided by him and by our own Mission Statement, which states that, ‘we affirm that our fraternities will be places of prayer, hospitality and outreach to ALL,” the statement concluded.