Catholic bishop: Referendum celebrations 'increased the sum of human happiness'

"Sad": Cardinal Parolin lamented the outcome of the referendum
"Sad": Cardinal Parolin lamented the outcome of the referendum

A retired Catholic cleric has rejected comments made by the Pope's top lieutenant concerning the outcome of the marriage referendum.

In the highest ranking reaction within the Catholic Church, Cardinal Pietro Parolin - the Vatican secretary of state and one of Pope Francis' closest deputies - yesterday said the vote was a 'defeat for humanity'. 

He was speaking at the Vatican when he said the result had left him "feeling very sad."

"This result left me feeling very sad but as the Archbishop of Dublin pointed out, the Church will have to take this reality on board in the sense of a renewed and strengthened evangelisation," Cardinal Parolin said in Rome.   

"I believe that we are talking here not just about a defeat for Christian principles but also about a defeat for humanity," he added.

However, not all authorities within the Church have the same view of the Church. 

Willie Walsh, the Bishop Emiritus of Killaloe, ppeared on Joe Duffy's afternoon show today and rejected the comments made by Parolin. 

The presenter asked if he felt the  the result ‘added to the sum of human happiness.'

"I’d have to say yes to that, in my view," he answered, before saying the comments by Parolin were 'over the top.'

"I think that you could hardly look at the celebrations in Dublin without in some way saying it had increased the sum of human happiness.

"While most of us have more than we need, that there’s literally half the world in serious poverty."

He added he would like the result to be an incentive to promote equality in other areas. 

"I’d love to see last week’s equality being the beginning of a real crusade for equality in other areas, both at home and across the world," he said, before he was asked what way he voted in the referendum. 

"I gave it a great deal of thought and then I voted according to my own conscience."