Gay couple to return to church choir after resigning due to abuse from parishioner

Gay couple to return to church choir after resigning due to abuse from parishioner

Update: A gay couple who stepped aside from singing at mass after getting abuse from a parishioner are to return to the choir.

Jacinta O'Donnell and Geraldine Flanagan - who got married this summer - have been mass singers at St Michael's Church in Athy in Co Kildare for years.

But they took the decision to leave after getting a text from a parishioner who said their involvement would be 'a contradiction and hypocritical'.

However Jacinta now says they will return to the choir tomorrow night after recieving overwhelming support from the community.

Earlier: A gay couple have walked away from their local church choir due to pressure from a parishioner.

Jacinta O'Donnell and Geraldine Flanagan were members of St Michael's Catholic church choir in Athy, Co Kildare, but they felt forced to leave the choir and discontinue their work with the church due to repeated negative comments and remarks from another member of the church on social media and in direct texts.

According to the couple, Anthony Murphy made his feelings very clear regarding them being a part of the choir.

The pair told Kildare FM (KFM radio), Anthony wrote very negative and hateful things on his Facebook page and also sent a personal text to the couple asking them to resign from the choir.

Jacinta told KFM radio that she and her wife Geraldine just wanted to be a part of the local community and contribute to the music ministry.

She said that the idea that she and her partner were bringing trouble to the church did not sit well with them.

“We though about it long and hard and it was and still is a difficult decision we came to... We're both very upset by it.”

The parisioner in question, Anthony Murphy, who is opposed to gay people being active in the Catholic Church in leadership roles also spoke on KFM radio to give his side of the story.

“This is not about personalities.

“The way the choir operates in Athy, Jacinta and Geraldine are positioned on the altar in the sanctuary, on a stage almost, sharing the stage with the parish priest.

“You cannot have a contradiction where the church teaches one thing and people right next to the tabernacle, the Blessed Sacrament, contradict all of that teaching,” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy also said he did not text the couple asking them to resign, he text them asking them to “do the right thing.”

The Parish Priest Fr Frank McEvoy, who was supportive of the couple, told KFM he was supportive of the women and would not be commenting publically on the issue, although he has spoken to them both personally.


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