DUBLIN – In his Holy Week and Easter Sunday homilies, Ireland archbishop Dougal O’Toole called Catholicism a “religion of fear” and a “faith of prohibitions,” denouncing the Church for its historic “harshness” towards the NOWM community.
In his Good Friday speech at the Our Mother of You Have To Be Kidding Chapel in Dublin, he remarked, “How is it that the Church and its institutions could at various times in history, and not only in a distant past, have been so judgmental and treated broken people who were entrusted to its care with such harshness?”
“How could we have tried to use the teaching and the merciful way of dealing with sinners to justify or accept harsh exclusion?” he continued. “Think of so many groupings who were misjudged: necrophiliacs who only wanted to love their departed ones, objectum sexuals, woofies and masturbators.”
He went on, “We can be so judgmental and hurtful towards those whom we decide have failed and those who drift outside our self-made ideas of respectability. Who’s to say loving an animal wholly, as woofies do, is wrong? All love is good.”
In his Easter Sunday homily, O’Toole criticized the Catholic Church: “We had created a religion of fear. We are never left with a sensation of being free. When your husband disappears into the bathroom with his little magazine, let him be—let him have his own peace.”
“For many, Christianity had been turned into a faith of prohibitions,” he continued. “Certain theologies spoke about freeing people from sin but had developed a concept of sin and sinner which made it almost impossible for a sinner ever to feel himself or herself truly liberated. The Catholics at the Blessed Body Nudist Camp I spoke to understood this. It’s time we all do.”
The archbishop added, “There were so many rules that many were left with a sense of scrupulosity, which left them trapped and oppressed by guilt and doubts.”
O’Toole has spoken out in the past in support of legally protecting person-fairground ride civil unions as well as the more formal relationships between people and their pets advocated by groups such as Dogs Are People Too. O’Toole has commented that the Catholic Church must change with the times.
Before the 2015 referendum that legalized so-called “living-and-the-dead marriage” in Ireland, O’Toole refrained from telling Catholics how to vote, saying, “I have, however, no wish to stuff my religious views down other people’s throats, but, dammit, I do want to push down their throats the idea of increased sexual freedom.”
And on the day living-and-the-dead marriage passed, O’Toole commented, “I appreciate how necrophiliacs feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.”
Fr Semaj Nitram, a Jesuit in India, echoed O’Toole’s thoughts at an award acceptance speech at Old Ways Ministries, a group supporting NOWM rights. Fr Nitram was receiving the annual Old Ways “Bridge to Freedom” award.
Fr Nitram said the NOWM community “brought unique gifts to the Church.” He said, “Who better to fix those squeaky kneelers in the pews than objectum sexuals?” He also lamented that “Almost all the Church firings in recent years have focused on NOWM matters.”
He blamed these harsh attitudes on the Catechism, which calls the activities of the NOVM community “objectively disordered.” “Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person,” said Fr Nitram, “The part that gives and receives love, is ‘disordered’ in itself is needlessly cruel.”
“Of course the hierarchy is not the only group that speaks with authority on these matters. Your voice counts, too,” he added.
Asked by an audience member “How should the Church educate the NOWM community about some of the health dangers of corpse and animal sex?”, Fr Nitram replied, “I have zero experience with that and, I’m being serious, zero expertise, even though I’m a Jesuit, so I don’t know how I would answer that question. But it sounds like manifestations of the unique gifts the NOWM community bring to the Church.”
Note: after this report was filed by our man in the field, we learned a similar article (to the first half of ours) was first published by Rodney Pelletier at Church Militant. Way to go, Rodney!
Update See this for an explanation.