Father Martin Dolan urges parishioners to back same-sex marriage in Ireland’s forthcoming referendum
An Irish Catholic priest received a standing ovation from his congregation when he revealed he was gay and then declared his support for same-sex marriage from the pulpit, according to reports.
Father Martin Dolan, who has been a priest at the Church of St Nicholas of Myra in Francis Street, Dublin for 15 years, made the unexpected comments during mass.
The priest, who was unavailable for comment and is reported to be on holiday, urged his congregation to back same-sex marriage in the forthcoming Irish referendum.
Parishioners are understood to have applauded when Dolan announced “I’m gay myself” last Saturday.
Speaking to the Irish Sun, community youth worker Liz O’Connor said: “We are all very proud of Father Martin. Because he has admitted that he is gay he doesn’t change the person that he was before it.”
Gay equality groups in Ireland, including Marriage Equality Ireland and the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, have praised the priest’s decision to come out in front of worshippers.
A referendum on legalising gay marriage in Ireland will be held on a date to be fixed in May. An opinion poll in the Irish Times last month found that 71% of the Republic’s electorate would vote yes to allow gay marriages in the country.
The hierarchy of the Catholic church has fought against gay marriage in the Republic, however, warning it would be a grave injustice.
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