Religious priest suspended over stance on same-sex marriage

The Archdiocese of Toronto suspended Fr. Timothy Ryan from performing priestly ministry because of his public support of same-sex marriage, reported the Catholic Register.

The Scarboro Missionary was informed in early March that he could no longer preach or celebrate mass publicly in the archdiocese.

The religious priest had provided an affidavit to the Supreme Court of Canada last summer, on behalf of a group of same-sex couples, challenging Canada’s legal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The priest admitted in his affidavit, which only became public in February, that he knew his position contradicted Church teaching, and that he disagreed with the Church, reported the Catholic Register.

Fr. Brian Clough, judicial vicar for the archdiocese, told the Catholic Register that the archdiocese does not want Fr. Ryan “to be considered a priest in good standing, who can use a pulpit to expound his personal views.”

According to the archdiocese, a priest in good standing can be registered under the Ontario Marriage Act to legally register marriages that he celebrates.

Fr. Ryan was not registered under the act, but he now would not qualify for registration even if he wanted to.

“The archdiocese has thus ensured that Fr. Ryan would not be able to try to act on his own views by performing a civil marriage for a same-sex couple,” the archdiocese said.

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