Gay Community News: Cork Gay Carol Controversy

A carol service for gay community in Cork has attracted a mixture of protest and support

An LGBT carol service held in Cork last night, December 17, has been both welcomed and criticised by Irish clergy.

The service attended by scores of gay and lesbian persons, their families and friends was organised by the Church of Ireland pro-gay group Changing Attitude Ireland and took place at St Anne’s, Shandon, Church of Ireland church in the city.

A Cork city Presbyterian Minister, the Revd John Faris condemned what he claimed was the “promotion of the homosexual lifestyle” and added “Maybe a church leader shouldn’t be criticising other churches, but with something like this, a line is crossed”.

However, at last night’s the service it was announced that in response the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, the Rt Revd Paul Colton extended his welcome to those at the service.

At the carol service the rector of St Anne’s, the Revd Brian O’Rourke, called on church leaders to publicly speak out against the ‘anti-homosexuality Bill’ currently being debated in Uganda’s parliament and which proposes the death penalty for some homosexual behaviour.

This first carol service in Cork for the city’s gay community is similar to services which were held in Dublin and Belfast last week and about which there were no protests, however those services were held in churches of the Unitarian denomination whereas the Cork service was held at venue of the Anglican/Church of Ireland which is Ireland’s second largest denomination.