Tag Archives: Ireland

“Don’t Talk About Us, Unless You Talk With Us”: It’s Happening.

A major impediment which has historically restricted the ability of the Catholic Church to properly implement it’s own instruction to treat gay and lesbian people with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” has been that far too long, bishops have refused  even to meet with our people. There is abundant evidence that is now beginning to change.

The importance of this is that it is impossible to show genuine compassion or sensitivity for any people unless you understand the realities of their lives –  and it impossible to acquire that necessary understanding  unless you speak to them, or to people who share their experience.  Far too often in the past, we’ve read of embarrassing apologies from people insisting that words they may have said “were not intended to offend” – which immediately displays their lack of sensitivity, arising from ignorance of how the words would be heard.

Brendan Butler, from We are Church Ireland, Dr Richard O'Leary, from Faith in Marriage Equality, and Jim O'Crowley, from Gay Catholic, at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.
Brendan Butler, from We are Church Ireland, Dr Richard O’Leary, from Faith in Marriage Equality, and Jim O’Crowley, from Gay Catholic, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. (Picture Irish Central)

Fortunately, there have been numerous examples in recent years of lesbian and gay Catholics in many regions of the worlds having discussions with local bishops and cardinals, and even with some highly influential members of the Curia, and with at least two members of Pope Francis’ “inner cabinet” of nine cardinal advisors (Cardinal O’Malley of the USA, and Cardinal Gracias of India).

Some of these have been publicly reported, some have not. It is clear though, that the number of such meetings has been increasing, and are being held with increasingly influential figures. The latest of many such reports comes from Ireland, where the Primate of all Ireland, Archbishop Eamonn Martin, met with representatives of three different gay faith groups.   Continue reading “Don’t Talk About Us, Unless You Talk With Us”: It’s Happening.

How Did Catholic Ireland Achieve Such a Definitive Victory for Marriage Equality?

Bondings 2.0

The marriage equality referendum in Ireland is still making waves–and headlines–around the globe.  Except for last October’s Vatican synod on marriage and family, I can’t think of any single story on Catholic LGBT issues which has generated so much commentary and analysis as the Ireland vote has.  It’s been a challenge to keep up, and though we have presented a few posts already on the subject, we expect to do at least one more this week after this one.

Today, I’d like to focus on the ways that people have answered the question:  “How did Catholic Ireland achieve such a definitive victory for marriage equality? ”

Probably the best answer that I read was one of the first published. A few days after the vote, Fr. Paul Morrissey, OSA, a priest of Irish descent who lives in the U.S., wrote an op-ed in USA Today,  in which he asserted “Ireland is…

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Dublin Archbishop: “The Church Needs to Do a Reality Check”

That the Catholic Church needs a “reality check” on its entire sexual theology would seem an obvious platitude to most people in the real world –  but when the admission comes from a senior archbishop, it’s worth taking note.

Dublin’s archbishop was responding to the comprehensive win for same – marriage by Irish voters, and especially by those of his own archdiocese. Martin has previously said that we should respect and value same – sex couples, and that although he would personally be voting against, he declined to tell others how to vote.

Let us pray that the Irish bishops at the family synod in October will take these excellent sentiments with them, for presentation to their colleagues.

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said if the referendum was an affirmation of the views of young people, the church had a “huge task in front of it”.

Large crowds gathered in Dublin as the results of the referendum were announced

“I think really the church needs to do a reality check,” he told RTE.

 – BBC News.

Irish Catholic Priest Plans to Vote for Gay Marriage

From Pink News:

A Catholic priest in Ireland has said he plans to ignore the wishes of his Church and vote for same-sex marriage in the upcoming referendum.

The Republic of Ireland is set to vote on May 22 on a proposal to introduce civil same-sex marriage.

Powerful Catholic lobbying groups have quietly channelled support to the ‘No’ campaign, capitalising on opposition among religious communities – but one priest will not be joining them.

Father Brian Ó Fearraigh – who is based in( Gweedore, County Donegal – told Highland Radio that he believes the State should not discriminate against same-sex couples.

He said: “I understand that this referendum is purely a civil matter, and it is to do with civil marriage.

(More at PinkNews).

Irish Archbishops Agree: Language Does Matter, Insensitive Language Deplored.

In a radio interview on March 9th about the pending Irish referendum on gay marriage, Bishop Kevin Doran made some highly insensitive remarks about gay and lesbian Catholics.  Just two days later, the president and vice – president of the Irish bishops’ conference have rebutted those remarks, regretting the “inappropriate” language. 

Archbishops Eamon Martin (left), and Diarmuid Martin (right)

The Irish bishops’ conference was gathered for their Spring meeting, during which Archbishops Eamon Martin and Diarmuid Martin hosted  a  press conference to release a joint statement on their response to the gay marriage referendum.  Responding to questions put about Bishop Doran, the archbishops stressed that it was they, not Bishop Doran, who were fronting the Catholic bishops’ opposition to marriage equality, and deplored the use of insensitive language. Continue reading Irish Archbishops Agree: Language Does Matter, Insensitive Language Deplored.

Irish Catholic Couple, Married 50 years, Plead for Marriage Equality (VIDEO)

From Pink News:

A Catholic couple who have been married for 50 years have released a video showing their support for equal marriage in Ireland.

The video has appeared online as part of the pro-equal marriage campaign Vote With Us. Since its release on Sunday, the video has received more than 25,000 views on YouTube.

In the heartfelt video, Brighid and Paddy explain why they believe that all couples should have the opportunity to benefit from the love, protection and companionship they have experienced.

Brighid is clear that it is her Christian faith that has informed her decision to vote yes.

“I know the ever-loving god we believe in will say we did the right thing and the Christian thing and voting yes for marriage equality,” she said.

Honest about how his views have changed, Paddy openly admitted: “20 years ago I probably would have voted no, but now that I know gay people and see the love and joy they can bring to life, and I will be voting yes.”

 

Irish Priest Admits – the Church Will Lose the Gay Marriage Fight.

From The Tablet, 8th January:

News from Britain and Ireland

Priest leader says Church likely to lose same-sex battle

08 January 2015 by Sarah Mac Donald

 A LEADING IRISH priest has warned that opposing proposed same-sex marriage legislation is a battle the Church is “destined to lose”, writes Sarah Mac Donald.

Fr Brendan Hoban, one of the leaders of the Association for Catholic Priests (ACP), said: “If the Church had been generous in welcoming civil partnerships in 2010 we’d be in a stronger position to argue about the definition of marriage.”

He added that some of the arguments offered by official and non-official church bodies against the Irish Government’s proposed change “seem unconvincing”.

Full report at The Tablet,

Or, to put it in the words of the correspondent who sent me the report –

“IT ALREADY HAS … IT JUST NEEDS TO ADMIT THAT!”

 Not only is it now clear that the Church, in Ireland, the USA and elsewhere, has already lost its quixotic fight against marriage equality  – it’s also at grave risk of losing whatever respect it still enjoys for its entire corpus of teaching on marriage and human sexuality, after displaying such abysmal ignorance of what marriage and committed relationships are actually about, in real life.