Priest barred from Swiss gay pride festival

16th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland's Catholic Church has barred one of its priests from taking part in a religious ceremony held during the annual Zurich Gay Pride festival, a representative said Friday.

A gay rights groups slammed the decision by the bishopric of Chur, in the canton of Zurich, as "medieval" and demanded it be withdrawn.

The Catholic Church believed the participation of one of its priests in the June ceremony "conveyed an ambivalent message" and it did not want to be used for propaganda purposes, episcopal vicar Marian Eleganti told AFP.

The decision surprised the homosexual community in Zurich as a priest has been part of the ceremony for years.

The Working Group of Zurich Homosexuals said in a statement it was "annoyed by the sudden decision of the bishopric of Chur and asks the episcopal council to immediately withdraw the decision."

The move was "medieval" and "marginalised a large part of the population", it said.

© 2010 AFP

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