Scotland: University Fires Catholic Chaplain For Rejecting Gay Pride

"The views implied are antithetical to those held by the University"

irst Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon joins people taking part in Pride Glasgow, Scotland's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) pride event in Glasgow.
David Cheskin - PA Images / Contributor / Getty Images

A university in Glasgow has fired a Catholic chaplain for holding a prayer service at his parish "in reparation" for the city's gay pride parade.

According to Crux, "Father Mark Morris, the pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Glasgow, on Monday hosted a 'rosary of reparation for the gross offense to God which is Glasgow Pride.' The priest also served as the Catholic chaplain for Glasgow Caledonian University, a public university of over 16,000 students, although classes are not currently in session."

The Glasgow gay pride parade featured over 5,000 participants with 50,000 attendees. It is considered the largest gay pride event in the country.

After hearing of Father Morris' prayer service, the university said it was "extremely disappointed" and immediately terminated him as a result.

"The views implied are antithetical to those held by the University, which is strongly inclusive," Pamela Gillies, the university principal, said in a statement. "We actively respect and promote equality and diversity, and this has included having an official presence at the last two Pride Glasgow events."

Considering that the Catholic Church has always held homosexual acts as sinful, it makes no sense that the university had him on the payroll in the first place. Even more nonsensical is the university's expressed commitment to working with the archdiocese for more chaplains.

"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," Gillies continued. ​

Catholic students of the university have defended Morris and called on the administration "to reconsider this unfair dismissal of our chaplain." In a statement posted on the GCU Catholic Community Facebook page, students praised Morris for his commitment to the faith.

"He is a faithful priest who has served our community with joy, dignity, and a smiling face for many years now," read the post. "We are extremely disappointed that the university has decided to dismiss Father Morris. 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 continued: “In no way does this mean that homosexual persons are not welcome here at the chaplaincy, nor does it mean that they have fallen short of the love of God. Anyone who knows Father Morris will know he is a gentle giant and is very careful to be truthful but also charitable. He is well-loved by the students and spends a lot of time with the homeless, providing them with meals and a listening ear."

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