- 07 Aug 18
Former Irish President Mary McAleese has described the Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality as "evil".
But McAleese also said that she was hopeful that the Pope Francis will eventually change the Church's homophobic attitudes.
She said that Pope Francis "exploded that myth" that the Church can't be changed and she believed he could now rid the Church of its "homophobic messages".
The former Irish President also accused the Pope of having "bad manners" and being "disrespectful" for failing to reply to a letter she recently wrote to him. She had penned him a letter after an attempt was made to exclude her from an international women’s conference in Rome.
"I had faith in this pope and it would be wrong to say anything other than I am disappointed," she said.
McAleese made her comments when receiving the inaugural Vanguard award for her support for the LGBT community.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Sarah Williams, chairperson of the Board of the GAZE LGBT Film Festival said: "Dr McAleese's unwavering support for the advancement of the LGBT+ community has been widely acknowledged and praised, and we felt very strongly that we wanted to present her with this award this evening to mark her achievements."
And Filmmaker John Butler said: "It's an honour to present this award to a life-long hero of mine, what an inspiration and what a contribution to Irish life!"