Diocese reconciles with gay altar server

As the organ backed a spirited choir, a gay man carried the Eucharist down the aisle of a divided church to the altar — an altar at which he can no longer serve.

As the organ backed a spirited choir, a gay man carried the Eucharist down the aisle of a divided church to the altar — an altar at which he can no longer serve.

It was a sign of reconciliation between a celibate, but openly gay, man and the Diocese of Peterborough, which he had earlier taken to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal over allegations that his rights were trampled by a bishop and 12 parishioners whose actions, he said, led to his removal from his voluntary role as altar server at St. Michael’s Parish of Cobourg.

Moments earlier, James Corcoran, the 51-year old former altar server, sat among those same 12 elderly men and women as they listened to the Bishop of Peterborough preach of the virtues of tolerance.

“Nobody has the right to humiliate or slander their brother and sister,” Bishop Nicola De Angelis told the parishioners.

It was a homily that seemed to address the “hateful and discriminatory will” and “distaste towards homosexuality” that Corcoran had alleged to the Human Rights Tribunal was rampant among the 12 men and women who objected to his presence at the altar.

The bishop’s homily yesterday morning came a week after his office announced that Corcoran and De Angelis had resolved the human rights dispute at a meeting at the Bishop’s Peterborough office. Corcoran has subsequently withdrawn his complaint to the tribunal.

 
 
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