'Sexuality, like priesthood, is a gift from God. Nobody would choose to be gay'


Why is this man still a priest?

*Fr Bernárd Lynch, a gay Irish Catholic priest living in London, overcame prejudice and accusations of child abuse to find happiness in marriage, writes PATSY McGARRY , Religious Affairs Correspondent

FR BERNÁRD LYNCH seems taken aback by my question. “How can you believe in a loving God, considering the plague you have witnessed and experienced at such close quarters and what you have been through personally at the hands of so-called men of God?”

He reflects for a bit. “I suppose if I didn’t believe I would have killed myself a long time ago. It’s nothing to do with proof. It’s very fundamental.”

But he has had to separate his faith from the institutional church. He recalls how, in New York very early in “the Aids holocaust”, a Daughter of Charity nun he worked with, Sr Patrice Murphy, said, “The gay community will have to transcend the church in order to find God.”

The eldest of six, Bernard Lynch was born in Ennis, in Co Clare, in 1947, joined the Society of African Missions in 1965 and was ordained in 1971. He is best known for his work with Aids victims in New York and for coming out as a gay priest.*

Assuming you have kids, how heinous of a crime would they need to commit for you to throw them out of your family? The church has to wrestle with that question in instances like this. A man who has been ordained has a special mark on his soul and the church cannot just toss them away if they do something they don’t like.

I’m not saying that this man is not causing scandal and that he shouldn’t be removed from active ministry, but throwing him out of the priesthood is an very extreme.

What’s the point in joining any organisation, secular or otherwise, or committing your life to a religion, if you’re not going to follow the rules? I have no problem with him stating he is gay, but to then marry another man - I do not see how this can allow him to remain as a catholic priest whether he was in a gay or heterosexual marriage.

i don’t know how he is married aren’t they suppose to have a vow of celibacy???

Well first off he’s an Irishman living in London, so he’s obviously confused on his identity in more than one way. :slight_smile:

No one would choose to be born with a heart condition, but there are people who are born with it. I guess that is a gift from God as well?

Re: “Nobody would choose to be gay.”

Why not? We have been told to no ends that homosexuality is normal and equal to heterosexuality and that it is a “preference”. If those statements are true, then we should see as many people choosing the former as the latter.

I believe the word you’re looking for is “orientation”…“preference” indicates “choice”…being gay is not a “choice”…human sexuality is extreemly complex…each of us has a “sexual orientation”…some are straight…some gay…some bisexual.

Gay men and lesbian women no more “choose” their sexual orientation than you did. No one one day awakened from their sleep and said…“Oh…today I’m going to be gay from now on.”

Not particularly, unless you conclude that regarding the Irish community in London in general, which is several hundred thousand strong.:smiley: Think of it as a form of reverse colonisation by us…:wink:

There is nothing in any genetic study that provides conclusive proof that same sex attraction is a genetic trait.

People are born certain ways, but we all “choose” our actions.

Although, it seems to be a dreadful burden for homosexuals to remain celibate throughout their life, in actuality, they still can marry another of the opposite sex and have children, (for example, both or one partner could be gay), and hence become part of a loving family relationship. They would still remain celibate with members of their own sex.

Would this form of marriage be against the sacrament of marriage in the CC, if both partners married to love each another and to bring up a family? It may not be the love of eros but that of agape.

Ever hear the expression, “sexual preference”?

Yes, I cite that to believe otherwise sends us well on the way down the path where we begin to view ourselves as akin to robots made of flesh.


It is only a fairly recent phenomenon that people (of all classes) marry out of “love.”
In the West (and its cultural in-roads) at least.

And, even in those cases, there are sometimes other particulars that go along with that “love.”

True enough.

So, in theory, a male and female homosexual who had chosen celibacy because of God’s will, could decide to marry each other for love and companionship and to bring up a family. It would probably be more successful that 60% of marriages that end in divorce, at least they would be going in with their eyes open and would know the blessings of being in a family as opposed to life long celibacy and potential loneliness.

Of course I have…it is ‘incorrect’. “Sexual orientation” is more accurate…as one doesn’t necessarily “choose” one’s sexuality…it is not a “preference” it is an “orientation”…but of course you may use what you please.:shrug: One can change a “preference”…one cannot change an “orientation”.

There’s something wrong when the story keeps changing.

Human sexuality is very complex…as new understanding and psychological research is employed…our understanding will continue to change.


Good catch. :slight_smile:

Is pedophilia a sexual orientation? I suspect many pedophiles would claim that their orientation is as equally deep seated as anyone’s. So would they be protected from discrimination by laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation? I’m not asking about whether their actions might be criminal, but whether their orientation is a protected status.

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