The Catholic Church is becoming increasingly isolated in its attitude towards LGBT people, the former president of Ireland has warned.

Mary McAleese, the country’s former president of 14 years, is also concerned by the high rates of suicide in Ireland’s LGBT community and she believes that it is difficult for gay youngsters because of the homophobic teaching in Catholic schools.

According to the Irish Independent, Mrs McAleese commented on how the vast majority of children in Ireland went to Catholic schools, where they would have heard the church’s attitude against same-sex relations:

“They will have heard words like disorder they may have heard the word evil used in relation to homosexual practice,” Mrs McAleese said.

“And when they make the discovery, and it is a discovery and not a decision, when they make the discovery they are gay when they are 14, 15 and 16 an internal conflict of absolutely appalling proportions opens up”.

Mrs McAleese continued:”They may very well have heard their mothers, their fathers, their uncles, aunts, friends use dreadful language in relation to homosexuality and now they are driven into a space that is dark and bleak.”

Last weekend the Pope issued a firm rebuke against the worldwide political move towards equal marriage by once again saying that it threatened society.