Pro-LGBT priest to speak during the Pope's Irish visit despite 10,000 signing petition to 'disinvite' him

Pro-LGBT priest to speak during the Pope's Irish visit despite 10,000 signing petition to 'disinvite' him

AN outspoken pro-LGBT priest will not be "disinvited" from speaking during the Pope's visit this month despite a petition in favour of his exclusion gaining almost 10,000 signatures.

The petition, started by the Irish branch of Tradition, Family, Property, states that US priest Fr James Martin should not be allowed to speak at the World Meeting of Families (WMoF) 2018 in Phoenix Park because he "favours homosexuals kissing during the mass" and "supports transgenderism for children".

Some 9,881 people signed the petition by Thursday afternoon.

However, organisers of the event have said that there will be no change to the current line-up of speakers.

"With just over one week to go to the WMoF2018 pastoral congress in the RDS in Dublin, we are not expecting there to be any change to the line-up of speakers who have been invited to be part of the event," a spokeswoman for the event said.

"We are looking forward to welcoming all 292 speakers from around Ireland and from across the world to our gathering of families in Dublin."

Controversial figure

WMoF2018 will take place at the Papal Cross in the heart of Phoenix Park between August 21-26, with Pope Francis hosting a Closing Mass on the final day.

Fr Martin will be one of 292 Church figures speaking during the week, and will discuss ways "parishes can support families with members who identify as LGBTI+".

The clergyman is an editor at America Magazine, and in 2017 was appointed a consultor to the Vatican Secretariat for Communications.

He is also the author of the best-selling book Building a Bridge - which addresses the Catholic Church's engagement with those who identify as LGBT and drew criticism from some conservative worshippers.

Fr Martin has also attracted controversy over his suggestion that same-sex attraction be referred to as "differently ordered" rather than "intrinsically disordered" - as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states.