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Catholic priest apologies for 'Adam and Steve" remark

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: March 09, 2010

frankwainright

Rev Frank Wainwright

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​A Catholic priest in Cheltenham has apologised after members of his flock accused him of making a homophobic comment.

The Rev Frank Wainwright insists his reference to “Adam and Steve” while discussing marriage was not meant to be offensive to the town’s gay community.

The deacon made the comments at St Gregory’s Catholic Church, in St James Square.

He said: “Marriage is between a man and a woman in a lifelong relationship, which in most cases is only ended by death, as it was in the beginning with Adam and Eve, and so it remains – not Adam and Steve.”

After it emerged some people were upset at the remark, made during a Sunday mass, Mr Wainwright moved swiftly to apologise.

He said he regretted using the phrase and has insisted he is not homophobic.

“I want to apologise for the wording of what I said,” he said. “It was very badly said and it shouldn’t have been said – I totally accept that.

“More than 1,000 people come here to mass and there were five complaints. I’m absolutely not homophobic.

“I expressed Church teaching in a very bad way and I’m sorry for that.”

The comments sparked several complaints to the Echo and community leaders in the town.

A spokesman for the Gloucestershire Gay and Lesbian Community group said the words were poorly chosen, but accepted Mr Wainwright’s apology.

He said: “I can understand why he has said it as there are canonic references. However, we are living in a different world and one would hope that anyone who is in a loving relationship would be accepted.

“In this country, it is legal for people of the same sex to enter into a civil partnership and that is not necessarily a religious relationship.

“But we appreciate he has apologised for the remark and we would not want to stir anything up.”

Mr Wainwright said he was required to teach the views of the Catholic Church, but swore he would never deliberately attempt to spread prejudice.

He added: “What I am saying is that the Church has a particular viewpoint on it and it is our duty to teach what the church says.

“But it is also true that those people who find it impossible to follow those teachings are still loved and welcomed into our community.

“To say anything which promotes prejudice and discrimination is totally wrong.”

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    Michael Stephenson, Jamaica, St. Elizabeth  |  March 11 2010, 10:14PM

    The Ten Commandments are not suggestions. They are God's law to order our steps in his ways. "Your ways are not God's ways...and God's ways are not your ways." We must love the sinner but hate the sin. God is a Godof the present and not the past. He is here in his Church, sinful though we be. He is always calling us to himself. We must not be silenced by the world, but whatever we say must be said in love. To say that the world has changed is to say that God has changed. Yes, the world is changing...But God is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. God is not bounded by space or time but we are. "A thousand ages in your sight are like an evening gone." We have a duty to be charitable but not accomodating to the wrongs of this world. We must understand their situation and be with them in prayers. To speak in love is not being against them...it's showing others the way to the spiritual truth. Truth is not a thing. It is a Person. And that Person is Jesus Christ. "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life..no one can come to the Father, except through Me. (Jesus Christ). Let us encourage our brothers and sisters to give their sexuality back to God with all its struggles. It belongs to him. It is when we can live out our sexuality in His way that true love can begin. I the lover is with my Beloved (Jesus). Tell him how you feel. Tell him the love you feel for the person but centre it on Him. His name is Love. How can you leave Love out of your love..I will continue to pray that as we experience our love for one another may we continue to be guided by the Greater Love, the greatest Lover that came down to earth to show us how to love.

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    Jason, SC, USA  |  March 11 2010, 6:46PM

    John Todd in Derby, Your post reads: "...and sex does NOT equal a relationship." Ann, Cheltenham No. But love does and gay people can and do fall in love. I have to say you are quite wrong. Love does not equal relationship. Let¿s look at the two concepts: Love - a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person (from dictionary.reference.com) Relationship - a connection, association, or involvement; connection between persons by blood or marriage; an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students; a sexual involvement; affair. However, I can only assume you mean by your argument that Love = relationship = marriage. It is quite clear that this is not the case, as the two concepts, marriage and love, are different. As such, let us keep the matter simple and on track. Marriage is a specific type of relationship, in which individuals may ideally find love for each other. However, I am married and I love a great many people to whom I am not married. I love my wife but that is not the sole reason I married her. Certainly, I wish to love the one I marry but to love someone, even someone for whom you have a great sexual attraction, is not to marry him or her. Marriage is bigger than that. The implications of marriage go far beyond that as to effect society in general. They go so far beyond that as to make your comments appear an inadequate and silly contribution to the discussion.

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    Jason, SC, USA  |  March 11 2010, 6:12PM

    Please forgive the typos in my previous comments. I am a reasonably fast typist but not a careful one.

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    Tom, USA  |  March 11 2010, 5:23PM

    I know other Americans have alredy posted. But I wanna vent too. How can you call a contry a democracy when there is no concept of freedom of speech. I mean Holocuast Denial a Crime?? I don't know about the UK but it is in some country's that have the gall to call themselves democracies. I mean of coursee saying teh Holocaust didn't Happen is a tad Wacko, but a CRIME??? And in some countries "inciting hatred" is a crime. Such a counrty IS NOT A DEMOCRACY! Here this Catholic deacon expressed the beliefs of the Catholic Church and people are attcking him. Just express your own beliefs and leave it at that. BTW many comments here seem to be about "inciting hatred" against Catholics, but that's okay: it's free speech. Learn to love it. Deacon, you were a wuss to apologize.

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    Adam Smith, U.K.  |  March 11 2010, 3:59PM

    But what is the difference between marrage and partnership?

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    Jason, SC, USA  |  March 11 2010, 3:10PM

    Dr. Robin in Wick, Thank you for bringing up the subject of the distinction between animals and human beings. Human beings set standards of behavior for themselves, animals do not. Shall we emulate animals in all that we do. Shall say that a thing is natural or good because look, animlas do it too. If so, what's all the fuss one way or another? If there is no sin, from what source do you derive your indignance?

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    Jason, SC, USA  |  March 11 2010, 3:03PM

    Dave, Do we love our neighbors when we accept anything for them or anything they do? I quote a lot of things from the mouth of Jesus which would suggest quite the opposite... and which by the way, would be entirely consistent with the quote you misused to support your argument.

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    Jason, SC, USA  |  March 11 2010, 2:47PM

    You Europeans really crack me up. the only issue you need to decide is whether people can say waht they believe, whether it offends others or not. I would submit that it is a fundamental right and one that makes sense. Forcing people's true opinions and bliefs into the dark does not make society better. I think it is rediculous that this man felt the need to make an apology for comments he made that clearly reflect what he believes about this issue. Good luck to you and the little Orwellian paradise you are making for yourselves.

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    Veronica Lowe, Churchdown  |  March 10 2010, 12:27PM

    As a Catholic, married for over forty years, I take offence at the fuss being made over Deacon Frank's words, spoken in a homily to the congregation in his own Catholic church. (Yes, he is a deacon, not a priest. He can preach, but not celebrate Mass.) He is right to say that marriage is the lifelong union of one woman with one man. The Church also teaches the principal of free will. People may choose to form same sex relationships, and the law of the land now allows civil partnerships which give legal and financial status to same sex couples. But it is not, and can never be Marriage. Even civil partnerships are discriminatory. Two sisters, or a mother and daughter, who rely on each other for financial stability could well benefit from a civil partnership, but the law does not allow it.

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    Dave North, Bridgend  |  March 10 2010, 11:23AM

    Why is it that gay people have to continually defend their right to EXIST and love those who they fall in love with. I just wish people would STOP with the bigotry and stop hiding behind religions that they barely understand, let alone live by. "Love thy neighbour as thyself !" Matt 22: 36 Or is there a caveat for that also.

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