Bishop of Elphin: Gay parents of children are not necessarily parents

LISTEN: Kevin Doran says homosexuality is not "what God intended"

Bishop of Elphin: Gay parents of children are not necessarily parents

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran | Image: elphindiocese.ie

A Catholic Bishop's view that gay couples with children "are not parents" has been described as "a nonsense".

The Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran also said he believes "the jury's out" on whether people are born gay.

Dr Doran had this to say when it was put to him that gay people in Ireland already have children.

"They may have children - but that's the point - people who have children are not necessarily parents," he said.

"This legislation that the government is introducing - the Children and Family Relationships Bill - seems primarily focused about making it possible for people in various different relationships to have children. It's not about ensuring that children have their parents."

When he was asked about where homosexuality comes from - whether it was what God intended - Dr Doran replied: "That would be to suggest that if some people who are born with Down syndrome or Spina Bifida, that that was what God intended either."

And Dr Doran said it is wrong for a woman to 'get back' at a rapist by having an abortion.

He says the church's teaching focuses on the fact that the unborn child is a human being.

Asked whether a woman should have to have a child conceived through rape, Bishop Doran cited an example he had seen in the course of his work.

"You don't destroy a life in order to get back at the mother's rapist" he said.

"I had the experience many years ago of talking to a woman who had been raped and had become pregnant - and she called me one evening and said the baby died in the womb".

"I kind of said 'I thought you perhaps maybe you would have been somewhat relieved' - and she said 'No, you don't understand - the only good thing I had was that child'" he added.

He also believes that gay parents are not parents.

The director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O'Gorman, says he believes the Bishop is entitled to his views.

But he told Newstalk Lunchtime that he completely disagrees.

Dr Doran also told Newstalk Breakfast the upcoming referendum is not about marriage in the traditional sense.

Listen to the full interview here: