Bishop of Cloyne to meet Soc Dem member Ken Curtin over reading ban

The Bishop of Cloyne, Canon William Crean, will meet with Cork Social Democrats member Ken Curtin today after he was removed from Cobh’s rota of Church readers due to his stance on abortion.

Bishop of Cloyne to meet Soc Dem member Ken Curtin over reading ban

The general election candidate learned at Mass last week that he would no longer be allowed to read in St Colman’s Cathedral due to his party’s pro-choice stance. He was told his role as a lector was over due to his party’s commitment to repealing the Eighth Amendment.

Mr Curtin said this could set a precedence for Ministers of the Word, Ministers of the Eucharists, and choirs and would be a hugely backwards step at a time when Mass attendance is falling.

Ken Curtin

Ken Curtin

“I do see it as a good organisation in general. Obviously I don’t need to point out the mistakes (of the Church) that happened in the past. But in terms of this argument and this fight if they are successful and they get me removed, that is a victory for those who knock the Church, not a victory for the Church.”

Speaking on Cork’s 96FM, Mr Curtin stressed he was hopeful of a speedy resolution. He said the Church must go forwards not backwards: “There are supporters and members of the parish active in this parish in other roles. Just because somebody is involved in the Church doesn’t mean that they agree with every single position of the Church.

“My faith has always been important to me. In difficult times my faith has been a rock for me. Personally, I was taken aback. I don’t just see this as an issue for myself. If this starts happening in general it would be a huge backwards step for the church.”

He said this was a line the Church should not cross. “I want to continue to play an active role in the Church. It’s very selective to say you can’t be a reader but we are happy to have you sit on the pew. We are happy to have you contribute to the two collections but you can’t read.”

Mr Curtin stood as a candidate in the Cork East constituency, but failed to be elected. He also campaigned for a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum.

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