McAleese said she held “a very strong view that for centuries now gay people have lived in a dark secretive world of indeterminate loneliness [and] dreadful complexity.”
Gay people are “as entitled to live their lives on their own terms, as I do as a heterosexual,” she said. “I’m just thrilled anyone wants to get married.”
“It did not happen,” she said. The College of Bishops had not met since Vatican II, which concluded in 1965.
She said she was upset the Pope allowed no dissent. “I’m not clear anymore where the boundaries are,” she said.�
Church leadership lacked “a fair degree of credibility now” as a result of the child abuse issue, she said.
If they could be so dreadfully wrong and take so long about accepting how wrong they were . . . ” and yet “we seem to have arrived at a situation of creeping infallibility about everything.”
McAleese has spoken out in favor of women priests, and said she had written to the Pope asking for his views on the matter. She said she got “a lovely letter back.”
She also wrote to then Dublin Archbishop Desmond Connell seeking literature on the issue. She found it “wickedly poor scholarship.”
Former Irish President Mary McAleese has opened up on a major diplomatic row with an American cardinal who was later disgraced for covering up child sex abuse.
The Irish leader was publicly berated by Cardinal Law for her open support for the ordination of women priests.
The Catholic Bishop told McAleese that he was: “Sorry for Catholic Ireland to have you as President.”
The former President, now studying theology in Rome where she has published a book on canon law, told the Irish Independent that the Cardinal also attacked a junior minister who had accompanied her on the trip.
She told the paper: “His remarks were utterly inappropriate and unwelcome.
“Cardinal Law lambasted me and a considerable number of the official delegation after ushering us into a room where a well-known American conservative Catholic, Mary Ann Glendon, was waiting to lecture me on my views on women priests.”
McAleese told the paper that the cardinal’s language and attitude were nasty and he demanded that she sit down and listen to the orthodox view on women’s ordination from Glendon.
She added: “We were initially gobsmacked by this arrogant man.
“I then told the cardinal that I was the President of Ireland and not just of Catholic Ireland.”
McAleese then revealed how a heated argument broke out between the two.
She said: “I felt he had insulted Ireland and the Irish people.”