In her column in this week’s Spectator, Mary Wakefield writes about Father Mark Morris, who was fired from his post in Glasgow Caledonian University for having a prayer meeting in response to a recent gay pride march. Mary Wakefield points out that there is more to this story than meets the eye.
She’s not alone in wondering: How can a priest be dismissed for stating the Catholic Church’s position (and off-campus besides)? And why have we returned to the days where clergymen are expelled from campus, on ideological grounds? The case of Fr Morris is worth examining because he’s the first clergyman to be caught up in the new campus intolerance. During his four years as a Catholic chaplain, Fr Morris was known as a ‘gentle giant’ who said weekly Masses and helped the homeless. He spent most of his time as a parish priest in nearby Balornock. So far, so normal. Glasgow had hosted its annual Gay Pride march – something which, as you might expect, draws mixed reactions from Glaswegians.
Many were delighted, others less so. Some parishioners of the Immaculate Heart in Balornock thought that gathering in prayer would be a charitable, and, moreover, Catholic, response. Fr Morris led his parish in a ‘Rosary of reparation for the gross offence to God which is Pride Glasgow’, as listed on the online parish bulletin. The
prayers were conducted inside his church – three miles away from campus — and had nothing to do with Glasgow Caledonian University. Unpalatable though it may be in 2018, this is all in complete alignment with the Catholic Church’s position: that all sex outside of traditional marriage is sinful – as is celebrating sin.
However, identifying a ‘gross offence to God’ then praying about it with a bunch of grannies is, it turns out, a gross offence against the Church of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.