Social Democrats member dropped as Mass reader over abortion stance

Ken Curtin: Manner in which he found out was 'appalling'.

A Social Democrat candidate in the last general election is seeking a meeting with the Bishop of Cloyne after he was dropped from reading at Mass because of his support for repealing abortion laws and his political affiliations.

Ken Curtin, from Cobh, Co Cork, said he learned of his omission from the lector rota at a Mass service in St Colman’s Cathedral last Sunday.

He told The Irish Catholic that once he did not see his name on the rota he was advised to speak to the Cathedral administrator, Fr John McCarthy.

“Fr John told me that he had removed me from the list of lectors because of my party’s view on repealing the Eighth [Amendment] and my own support of the Social Democrats’ position.

“And regardless of my own personal position, either way, as long as I was a member of a party that was a supporter of something against a core Church belief, I couldn’t be a lector at the same time.”

Mr Curtin, 41, said the manner in which he found out about his omission from the upcoming rota was “appalling”, particularly as he had earlier received a blessing from Fr McCarthy as part of the same Mass.

He said the news was “a complete bolt from the blue” and said Fr McCarthy had apologised for not having warned him of the change.

Mr Curtin, a strong supporter on the yes side of the marriage equality referendum last year while a member of Fianna Fáil, said he had notified the Social Democrats parliamentary party of the situation.

“In some ways the party’s position is one thing but I think a person’s faith is their own business,” he said, adding that his faith was important to him and that he had been a lector in Cobh for the past three years.

“I am hopeful but not certain that I will get a meeting with the [Bishop of Cloyne William Crean] to discuss it.”

Mr Curtin said he had had no further contact from Fr McCarthy, but hoped the matter would be resolved.

Efforts by the Irish Examiner to contact Fr McCarthy were unsuccessful.

The story emerged as a Church of Ireland rector in Wicklow rescinded an invitation to a guest speaker who has written of “rewiring” the psyche of gay men so they can “feel like a man again”.

More on this topic

How a brave few are breaking Ireland’s abortion tabooHow a brave few are breaking Ireland’s abortion taboo

UN says UK violates women's human rights by criminalising abortions in Northern IrelandUN says UK violates women's human rights by criminalising abortions in Northern Ireland

Women march in Poland to demand Abortion rightsWomen march in Poland to demand Abortion rights

Readers' Blog: Pro-abortion agenda affected 8th committeeReaders' Blog: Pro-abortion agenda affected 8th committee


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