Below is the statement issued by the Irish Bishops ahead of the referendum in May on same-sex marriage. It is truly cringeworthy stuff. Editorial comment has been inserted, briefly, to highlight some of the key weaknesses.
Within weeks the people of Ireland will be asked to vote in a referendum that will change the meaning of marriage in the Constitution of Ireland.
Marriage is of fundamental importance for children, mothers and fathers, and society – all of us need to reflect deeply before changing it. We ask the people of Ireland to consider very carefully the profound implications which this constitutional amendment would have on the family environment and on our understanding of parenthood.
Ed: we “ask” the people of Ireland to “consider carefully”… ? Shouldn’t that be “we warn the people of Ireland of the consequences, both here and in eternity, of voting for this immoral legislation?
We respect the views of people who think differently to us (Ed: do we? I don’t) trusting that our sincerely held views, grounded in faith, will also be heard and respected.
Ed: it’s not “our views” that matter. It’s God’s moral law that the Irish Government seeks to overturn. That’s a heck of a lot more important than any human viewpoint.
We come to this debate believing that the union of a man and a woman in marriage, open to the procreation of children, is a gift from God who created us ‘male and female’. Reason also points to the truth about human sexuality that makes the relationship between a man and a woman unique. Mothers and fathers bring different, yet complementary gifts and strengths into a child’s life.
We cannot support* an amendment to the Constitution which redefines marriage and effectively places the union of two men, or two women, on a par with the marriage relationship between a husband and wife which is open to the procreation of children.
* Ed: nor may any Catholic support this amendment to the Constitution, without incurring the wrath of God – you forgot that bit, Bishops.
We are concerned that, should the amendment be passed, it will become increasingly difficult to speak any longer in public about marriage as being between a man and a woman. What will we be expected to teach children in school about marriage? Will those who sincerely continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman be forced to act against their conscience? Can a way be found to protect the civil rights of gay people without undermining the fundamental meaning of marriage as commonly understood across cultures, faiths and down the ages?
Ed: yet again we find this fundamental error, of accepting the legitimacy of homosexual behaviour, in the first place, instead of condemning it as unnatural and gravely sinful. They leave themselves open to the obvious criticism that they are objecting only to the use of the M word – call it something else, not marriage, and we’re fine with it. What a ridiculous and ignorant position to hold.
Already, in The Children and Family Relationships Bill, it is proposed to remove mention of mothers and fathers from a whole raft of previous legislation.
Ed: and precisely where is the episcopal outrage at this proposal?
We encourage everyone to think about these issues and to vote on May 22nd.
Ed: excuse me? You “encourage” the souls in your care to “think about these issues” and to vote… eh… how? on May 22nd? What’s to think about? There’s only one way for any Catholic to vote – isn’t there? Why not say so? What is WRONG with you men? Are you faithless? Cowards? What then?
The effects of this proposed amendment will be far-reaching for this and for future generations.
Ed: the effects of this proposed amendment will be far reaching in eternity! Or don’t you believe that?
We say to all voters: Marriage is important – Reflect before you change it.
Ed: unbelievable. What the Irish Bishops SHOULD be saying to all voters is: do NOT change the Constitution on marriage and if you vote to do so, be prepared to, literally, take the heat in eternity. Afraid this would be counter productive? You forget about the grace of God and anyway, that’s not your concern. Your duty is to proclaim the truth, to warn of the consequences of defying God’s law, and then be at peace. How you can sleep at night having published such a wimpish statement on such a crucial issue, is a mystery to beat any Mystery of Faith.
We invite people of faith to bring this decision to prayer. In the coming weeks, and particularly in May, the month of Mary, we call for prayer for Marriage and the Family. END.
Ed: O, give it a rest. Throwing in a mention of prayer at the end, doesn’t fool anyone of even average intelligence. It’s a very true saying that when the Faith goes, the Morals quickly follow. We’ve known for a long time now that the Bishops of Ireland, like the Bishops of the UK have long since lost the Catholic Faith if ever they truly held to it.
Catholics of Ireland – there is only ONE way for you to vote in the forthcoming referendum on same-sex “marriage” and you have a duty to cast that vote – NO! NO! NO!