Irish Bishops Blast Politician for Misquoting Pope

Say Christians Deserve Better From Media, Officials

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, JUNE 28, 2010 ( The communications office of the Irish bishops’ conference is lamenting a «serious, unacceptable and unfounded distortion of the truth» in today’s edition of the Irish Examiner newspaper.

The paper published comments from the leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, in a page one article.

The paper’s political correspondent, Shaun Connolly, quotes Gilmore as saying the Holy Father needs to «temper» his language regarding homosexuals, and that his opinions «give comfort» to «nasty homophobic bullying and assaults on gay people.»

In fact, the piece is headlined: «Gilmore: Pope’s words comfort anti-gay thugs.» The article attributed to the Pontiff an assertion that «‘saving’ humanity from homosexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforests.»

The statement from the bishops’ conference clarified: «Mr. Gilmore seems to be referring to an address by Pope Benedict to cardinals, bishops and priests delivered on 22 December 2008, which was subsequently interpreted incorrectly by some media outlets. The fact is that homosexuality was not referred to anywhere in this text.»

«For a leader of a political party to misrepresent remarks made by the Holy Father on such a profound subject as human sexuality, is regrettable,» the statement added.

The prelates lament that the article «completely misrepresents the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and the message of the Bible on this matter. It also implies a completely unsubstantiated connection between this teaching and behaviour of ‘anti-gay thugs’ which is condemned and abhorred by the Church.»

They affirmed that it is a «serious, unacceptable and unfounded distortion of the truth for anyone to suggest that support for Christian marriage is contributing to ‘homophobic bullying and assaults on gay people.'»

«Catholics and other Christians,» the statement affirmed, «who uphold the Christian tradition of the Scriptures on this matter deserve truth and accuracy from elected representatives and by the media.»

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