University Fired Priest after Rosary of Reparation for Glasglow Pride Parade
Country: United Kingdom
Date of incident: July 19, 2018
Category: Government Restrictions / Social Hostility / Intolerance
Attack against: Faith / Morals
Area of case: Education / Governmental / Private / Workplace
A Catholic priest in Glasgow has been removed as a university chaplain after hosting a rosary of reparation for the city’s gay pride parade. The July 16 Rosary service was held in response to a gay pride event in the city on July 14. After complaints from LGBT groups, University principal Pamela Gillies announced that “Following due consultation, Father Mark Morris will not return to his chaplaincy role at the university in September,” the BBC reported.
Father Mark Morris, who served as Catholic chaplain at Glasgow Caledonian University's faith and belief center as well as a parish priest at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Balornock, hosted a ‘Rosary of reparation for the gross offence to God which is Pride Glasgow’ at the parish.
Following the newspaper reports on the parish Rosary, and criticism from LGBT groups, GCU issued a statement saying: “Following due consultation, Fr Mark Morris will not return to his chaplaincy role at the university in September. The university will work with the Archdiocese of Glasgow to ensure the continued provision of chaplaincy support for staff and students at our Faith and Belief Centre when the new term starts."
A university spokesperson cited a commitment to “supporting equality and diversity on campus,” as the reason for Morris's dismissal the Scottish Catholic Observer reported. “The university will work with the Archdiocese of Glasgow to ensure the continued provision of chaplaincy support for staff and students at our faith and belief centre when the new term starts,” she said.
The GCU Catholic community issued a statement voicing full support for and solidarity with Morris and asking the university to reconsider its dismissal of the priest.
“It is frankly abhorrent that a Catholic Priest would be dismissed from his post as a Catholic chaplain for merely reaffirming the teachings of the Catholic Faith,” the statement said.
The statement went on: "It must also be remembered that Fr. Morris’ comments and his decision to organise a service to pray for those at Pride were made completely within his own parish in Balornock and have nothing to do with his duties as a chaplain to GCU. The media, for whatever irrelevant and cruel reason, have decided to focus on his role as a University Chaplain. We think this association is unfair and unnecessary."