Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Francis Duffy has issued an apology following claims that Fr Joseph Okere described the passing of the Marriage Referendum as the influence of the devil on society.
Fr Okere is said to have made the remarks during his sermon at 10am Mass in St Mel’s Cathedral last Sunday, October 4.
In his statement, Bishop Duffy said “The language used caused offence to some people. Father Joseph did not intend to hurt anyone and is sorry for doing so. I too apologise for any insensitivity.”
Earlier on Monday, Longford LGBT also released a statement on the matter, expressing their ‘dismay’ at the content of the sermon.
Following Bishop Duffy’s apology, Secretary of Longford LGBT Dónal MacAodh expressed the group’s gratitude to Bishop Duffy for his words. He then went on to add that the LGBT look forward to continuing their ‘constructive relationship’ with the Church, before concluding, “We’re happy to draw a line under it and move on.”
This controversy comes just days after calls were made for Pope Francis to visit Longford in 2018, when it is hoped he will travel to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.
For more on this story, see this week’s Longford Leader.