Former Irish president pledges to spend retirement challenging Catholic Church


September 25, 2020

By Charles Collins

Former Irish President Mary McAleese says she is pledging “to use whatever time is left to me” to challenge Church teachings on homosexuality and women.

Speaking to The View on BBC Northern Ireland on Thursday night, McAleese said, “What else I am going to do in retirement except make myself useful in that regard?”

McAleese, 69, served as president of Ireland – a largely ceremonial position – from 1997-2011.

She has clashed with Church leaders in the past and was barred from attending a conference taking place at the Vatican in 2018.

A longtime critic of the Church’s position on human sexuality, the former president, who has long described herself as pro-life, admitted she voted to change Ireland’s constitutional prohibition on abortion in a 2018 referendum

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