Sunday 23 October 2016

'I don't see a problem with being Catholic and gay', says Maria

Rose Maria Walsh is religious
Rose Maria Walsh is religious

Maria Walsh has said she has never found it hard to reconcile her Catholic faith with being gay.

While the church has long preached negative views of homosexuality, the former Rose of Tralee insisted it never stopped her from practising her faith.

"It hasn't been a struggle for me, I know it has for some. I have friends, particularly in middle America, who struggle with it. It's a little bit more right wing," she told the Herald.

"For me, no. My parish and my priest in particular are really open and really cool.

"I would be religious. Like most in Ireland I would be educated in Catholic schooling and I would align myself with them."

The Mayo native recently returned to Ireland from the Camino de Santiago in Spain, where she worked on a documentary.

"You walk from one side of Spain to the other, east to west, 500 miles. It was cool," she said.

"The Camino was a nice space to ask some questions and I became friends with a few priests along the way.


"I was fortunate, I had no injuries or blisters."

Walsh said she enjoyed the experience and took the opportunity to learn more about LGBT issues and religion. "Camino gave me a nice space to do some content that I want to focus on.

"LGBT will be up there, religion will be up there," she said.

"For me it would be more personalised stories, I think it's definitely needed. Particularly with the two worlds, LGBT and religion."

The TV presenter reckons religion has become more popular among young people as of late.

"I do go to Mass, surprisingly to some. It's a trendy thing again, at least spirituality [is]," she said.

"You can see it on the likes of Lough Derg and the Camino, people are out searching. Particularly around the ages of 25-35, that's your transitional phase. At least that's what I've heard."

Walsh was also recently in Ghana where she worked with girl's charity Plan International, which aims to highlight life in low-income countries.

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