The Archbishop of Cashel and Emly is calling for a new era of inclusivity in the Catholic Church.
A document has been published for Kieran O’Reilly’s diocese which stresses the importance of including all minority groups, like those in the LGBT+ community, divorced couples, and the Travelling community.
Speaking on Tipp Today, Archbishop O’Reilly said it’s about recognising where changes need to be made, and making those changes:
“Like with all things, traditionally in Ireland we’ve always been able to welcome people. Let’s be honest, it isn’t that suddenly gay people have appeared in our lives. Gay people have always been in our communities and lives – and we know that.
“What I’m saying is now that we as a community – and again, it’s the people who drew up this, because they’re talking about their own sons or their daughters or their grandsons or their granddaughters. And they want them to be able to feel as much part of Church life as they themselves feel.”
Describing the document, the Archbishop said that it marked the start of a new journey, at least for the 46 parishes in his diocese.
He says the plan shows that local congregations want the Church to become more inclusive:
“When you live abroad, you know yourself that one of the places that matters most can sometimes be the place of faith, where you gather. And if you are welcomed there, the smile, the handshake, the cup of tea or whatever it may be, that can make a huge difference to somebody who is a stranger in the place.
“And I think we are just committing ourselves to being a people who will work at being welcoming to whoever should be and wants to be inside our church community.”
You can listen back to the full interview here.