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University chaplain fired after holding service to atone Pride Glasgow ‘offense’

Written by gaytourism

Father Mark Morris was GCU’s Catholic chaplain. | Photo: GCU Catholic Community/Facebook

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) removed a Catholic priest serving as the institution’s chaplain after he held a service to atone Pride.

Father Mark Morris will not return to the university in September. The decision came after he led a prayer service at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Balornock ahead of Pride Glasgow, which took place on 14 July.

The mass sought ‘reparation for the gross offense to God which is Pride Glasgow’.

Inside Kelvingrove Park at Pride Glasgow

More than 12,000 people attended Pride Glasgow. | Photo: David Hudson

Not a welcoming message to students

The university’s LGBTI student group commented on the incident on their Facebook page.

‘This year, we put a lot of focus into trying to work alongside the faith and belief centre, and religious societies, to make sure that GCU truly is a place that religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation can all be celebrated as equal and that no student, staff member or alumni face discrimination for their life choices,’ the post reads.

‘However, to see the university’s Catholic chaplain Mark Morris linked to a rosary of reparation for Pride, and to call it a gross offense to God, does not give a welcoming message to students at GCU. It’s a knock-back that we are angered and extremely disappointed to see.’

Furthermore, GCU LGBT+ Liberation Group urged the university to take action against all sorts of discrimination.

They also wrote: ‘[…] actions speak louder than words, and the university, along with its services must actually act in a way that complies with its policies, and not just say it does.’

GCU is inclusive and supports equality

GCU’s principal Pamela Gillies explained that Father Morris’s behavior was not in line with the views of the educational institution.

‘The university is strongly inclusive and committed to supporting equality and diversity on campus,’ she also told BBC.

The educational institution’s LGBTI student group welcomed the decision as ‘great news’. Nonetheless, they showed their support to the Catholic community at GCU.

‘We wish to extend our hand to the Catholic community at the uni, to work together and make sure we can co-exist in a way that we are all accepted, and our views respected on an equal basis,’ they wrote.

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. | Photo: David Hudson

The archdiocese’s reaction

On the other hand, the Archdiocese of Glasgow acknowledged the removal in a statement.

It added that it would address the ‘provision of chaplaincy support in due course’.

‘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 center when the new term starts,’ also said GCU’s principal.

Nicola Sturgeon at Glasgow Pride 2018

Nicola Sturgeon at Pride Glasgow 2018. | Photo: David Hudson

Pride Glasgow was a success

The parade celebrating the LGBTI community took place on 14 July in Scotland’s largest city.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon led the march. Despite US President Donald Trump was visiting Scotland at the time, there wasn’t a meeting scheduled with Sturgeon, appointed Pride’s Grand Marshal.

The leader of the Scottish National Party also addressed the crowds gathered in Kelvingrove Park.

‘I choose to be here no matter what or who is here this weekend,’ she said.

She furthermore added: ‘I’m wearing this #ChooseLove t-shirt because it’s raising money for refugees. The UK should be open to LGBTI asylum seekers.’

Read more about Prides:

Nicola Sturgeon leads Pride Glasgow as Trump hits Scotland: ‘I choose to be here’

26+ images from glorious Pride Glasgow in Scotland

This far-right, Catholic group prayed the gay away during Pompeii Pride

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