The Bishop of Elphin Dr Kevin Doran has apologised for any offence caused by comments made during an appearance on Newstalk this week.
Bishop Doran appeared on the station’s Breakfast programme in a segment focusing on the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum where a wide range of issues were discussed.
Among his controversial claims, which received international backlash, was comparing homosexuality to down’s syndrome and spina bifida because “it would be wrong to suggest that everything that happens, happens because God intended it. If that were the case, we’d be talking about a very different kind of God”.
Bishop Doran is a strong advocate for the No vote and he believes that the use of the term ‘marriage equality’ is misleading.
“It is [misleading] in the sense that what people are campaigning for is not marriage because by definition a same-sex relationship includes some elements such as love, care, affection and long-term commitment but it doesn’t include procreation and produce one of the essential dimensions of marriage,” he said.
“If you look at cultures that are older than any of the main religions, part and parcel of the reason for marriage concerned children,” he added.
Dr Doran also claimed that the redefinition of marriage will also result in the redefinition of parenthood and that gay couples with children are not “necessarily parents”.
“They are not parents. They may have children, but you see this is the point, people who have children are not necessarily parents.”
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin also echoed the widespread reaction towards the comments by re-iterating his criticism of “church leaders or self-appointed church spokespersons” who use language which is “insensitive and over judgmental”.
The Archbishop refused to comment on whether Bishop Doran still had his confidence following Monday’s interview.
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