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Irish bishops encourage faithful to 'reflect' on implications of vote for same-sex marriage

March 10, 2015

The Catholic bishops of Ireland have encouraged the faithful to “consider very carefully the profound implications” of a coming referendum vote that would open the way for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.”

The bishops’ statement, released March 10, avoids a direct clash with supporters of same-sex marriage. The statement is entitled: “Marriage is important—Reflect before you change it.” At the outset, the bishops affirm: “We respect the views of people who think differently to us.” The statement urges careful reflection on the referendum, rather than actually calling for a negative vote.

However, the bishops go on to say that they “cannot support an amendment to the Constitution which redefines marriage.” They express concern that if the amendment is approved, “it will become increasingly difficult to speak any longer in public about marriage as being between a man and a woman.”

In a related story, one Irish priest has issued an unambiguous public call for approval of the referendum. Father Iggy O’Donovan, writing in the Irish Times, argued that Catholics should show their “respect for the freedom of others who differ from us.” He wrote: “It is possible to have deep and passionately-held convictions without seeking to have those convictions imposed by the State on fellow citizens who do not share them.”


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  • Posted by: Erusmas - Mar. 11, 2015 8:56 AM ET USA

    It is one thing to respect people. It is quite another to respect "views" or ideas. To what respect is an erroneous idea entitled? How can any Catholic respect the "view" that the state should grant a license to commit sodomy?