Rebel Cleric's Gay Marriage Will 'Infuriate' Church Heads
Sunday Tribune, 31 January 2010 by Suzanne Breen, Northern Editor
Pat Buckley vows to continue in ministry after 'groundbreaking' nuptials with Filipino lover
Bishop Pat Buckley is to marry his Filipino boyfriend next week, becoming the first Catholic cleric in the world to enter a civil partnership and continue practising as a priest.
Buckley said he was deeply in love with chef Eduardo Yango (32) and saw no contradiction between their partnership and his faith. The priest, who is originally from Tullamore, Co Offaly, now conducts an independent ministry in Co Antrim.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Tribune, Buckley (57) said his marriage in Larne would infuriate the Catholic hierarchy. "There is no conflict between my love for Eduardo and my faith. Both are equally important to me.
"But this is groundbreaking territory. Other priests have married women or entered civil partnerships with men. But they'd all left the church beforehand – none continued with their ministry.
"Eduardo and I have the courage to nail our colours to the mast and hopefully we will encourage thousands of others to do the same. I've been battling against the Catholic church as an institution for 25 years. I'm old and wise enough not to lose sleep worrying over what the hierarchy thinks."
Buckley met Yango three years ago when the Filipino, who has worked on cruise ships, was visiting Ireland. "It wasn't a wild, love-at-first-sight thing. It's a meeting of soulmates and companionship. It's rooted in deeper things than physical attraction alone," he said.
The couple will marry at a civil ceremony in Larne on Monday week. Buckley said that, apart from two witnesses, the wedding would be private, but the newlyweds would throw a party later.
"We will have family, friends and members of my congregation around for a night of Filipino celebration. Eduardo will cook a Filipino meal and we will enjoy some liquor of course."
Buckley said his family were "100%" behind him, but Eduardo's family didn't know about their partnership. "The Philippines is where Ireland was decades ago – homosexuality is seen as virtually requiring execution," Buckley said.
While Buckley spoke exclusively to the Sunday Tribune, other media have been referred to Max Clifford, who is handling publicity surrounding the nuptials. Ordained in Waterford, Buckley first clashed with the hierarchy while based on Belfast's Falls Road when he challenged the late Cardinal Cathal Daly to "live with the poor as would Christ".
Further clashes with Daly, after Buckley was transferred to Larne, led to the priest's suspension, but he refused to leave the oratory from where he still conducts his ministry to "the disaffected and alienated", saying mass twice a week. He was ordained bishop in 1998 by independent Catholic bishop Michael Cox.
When asked how his marriage would be viewed in loyalist Larne, Buckley said: "Larne is 83% Protestant, and has a fair share of Free Presbyterians. But I've lived here 25 years and served on the council, so I suppose I've become part of the furniture.
"The Iris Robinson story shows that too many people in the North pretend to be something they're not and lead hidden lives. If what Eduardo and I are doing moves the North a little bit further towards respecting tolerance and diversity, it will be a step in the right direction."
Outspoken Bishop Pat Buckley Tells of his ‘Deep Love’ for Boyfriend
Belfast Telegraph, 1 February 2010, by Rachel Quigley
Controversial self-styled bishop Pat Buckley has spoken about his “deep love” for his Filipino boyfriend ahead of their marriage — stating he can see no contradiction between their partnership and his faith.
The outspoken priest, who has conducted his independent ministry since 1986, will marry chef Eduardo Yango (32) in a civil partnership this weekend in Larne. Though he says he knows it will infuriate the Catholic hierarchy, he has vowed to continue his ministry .
He told the Sunday Tribune: “There is no conflict between my love for Eduardo and my faith. Both are equally important to me. But this is ground-breaking territory.
“Other priests have married women or entered civil partnerships with men. But they’d all left the church beforehand — none continued with their ministry.
“I’ve been battling against the Catholic church as an institution for 25 years. I’m old and wise enough not to lose sleep worrying over what the hierarchy thinks.”
Bishop Buckley and his partner have been together three years and decided to enter into a civil partnership a few months ago.
They met when the Filipino was visiting Ireland.
Buckley said, apart from a few witnesses, the wedding will be private but they would throw a party at a later date for friends and family, who he said are “100%” behind him.
Eduardo’s family know nothing about the union however and the Filipino has declined to comment saying: “I would prefer not to talk about it at the moment.”
The bishop, who has a long established ministry to the gay and lesbian community, says that he believes “homosexuality is not sinful in the context of love. Sex is only sinful when it is about use or abuse”.
Speaking about the relationship, the 57-year-old said: “It wasn’t a wild, love-at-first-sight thing. It’s a meeting of soulmates and companionship. It’s rooted in deeper things than physical attraction alone.
“Eduardo and I have the courage to nail our colours to the mast and hopefully we will encourage thousands of others to do the same.
“The Iris Robinson story shows that too many people in the North pretend to be something they are not and lead hidden lives.”
He added: “If what Eduardo and I are doing moves the North a little bit further towards respecting tolerance and diversity, it will be a step in the right direction.”
Renegade Bishop's Civil Partnership is Postponed as Pressure Gets to his Fiancé
Irish Times, Feb 09, 2010 by Fionola Meredith
Bishop Pat Buckley announces to reporters the temporary postponement of his civil partnership with his Filipino partner Eduardo Yango, which was due to take place yesterday at Larne Borough Council's registry office in Co Antrim. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
IT WASN’T exactly a jilting, more a regretful postponement. Either way, renegade bishop Pat Buckley’s civil partnership ceremony with his Filipino boyfriend, Eduardo Yango, due to take place yesterday in Larne, Co Antrim, did not go ahead.
Disturbed by the global press coverage of the planned nuptials, and particularly the sensationalist headlines in his home country, Mr Yango had got cold feet.
Admittedly, the registry office at Larne Borough Council is not the most idyllic place to pledge a lifetime’s love. Larne itself is “a little lacking in the charm department” as the Lonely Planet guide delicately puts it, and the pebble-dashed council building (AD1993, as a plaque on a concrete pillar announces, above a motif of two swans rampant) stands on a busy road, with just a few straggly primroses to make the place look cheerful.
As 3.30pm, the announced time of the ceremony, came and went with no sign of any celebrants nor, indeed, of Max Clifford, the British PR guru who had reportedly been hired to handle publicity, it gradually became clear that there was to be no wedding. Had it gone ahead, Bishop Buckley (57) would have been the first Catholic cleric to enter a civil partnership while continuing to practise as a priest.
Bishop Buckley was at home nearby at The Oratory, the official residence that he refused to leave when he was suspended as a priest in 1986. There was no sign of his partner.
Bishop Buckley confirmed that there had been “a little postponement today”. He was speaking in the chapel where he celebrates Mass twice a week.
“We have had 10 days of intense media interest and, while I have been used to dealing with the media for 25 years, Eduardo has no experience of the media and has found the intrusion very stressful. He is also a very private person and comes from a culture in the Philippines where family and personal issues are handled very discreetly and privately.”
The last-minute decision to postpone, he said, was to allow Mr Yango to “de-stress and to resolve some family issues”.
It is believed Mr Yango’s family were not aware of the proposed ceremony, details of which were made public within 10 minutes of the notice being posted by Larne Borough Council. Soon the news spread to Chile, Costa Rica and, fatefully, Manila.
“Who would have thought that a little tinpot civil partnership would be reported worldwide?” asked Bishop Buckley ruefully, adding that, when it came to matters of sexuality, the Philippines “is extremely conservative and socially is where Ireland was 30 or 40 years ago”.
Although he admitted that he was “a little bit disappointed” at the setback, Bishop Buckley believed that a new date would soon be set “within a few days or a week”, once Eduardo had “got his equilibrium back”.
Gay Bishop Finally Weds His Lover
The Mirror (UK) 6 March 2010
CONTROVERSIAL cleric Bishop Pat married his Filipino partner at a civil ceremony this week.
The couple tied the knot in the registrar's office at Larne Borough Council's offices on Tuesday followed by a small private reception.
Details were released on Thusday after an earlier plan for the two to wed had to be postponed a month ago.
Bishop Buckley met his partner Eduardo Yango three years ago when he was visiting Northern Ireland from his home country.
The couple plan a celebratory holiday to South Africa later this year.
Bishop Buckley said: "My love and commitment to Eduardo compliments my love for God and my priesthood and, as Jesus said, the truth will set you free."
The delay had been to allow Mr Yango to "de-stress" after intense media interest and news of his plans had reached his family in the conservative Philippines.