Bishops' letters arguing against change to marriage read out at masses

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

A number of Bishops have been arguing against the proposal to change the Constitutional definition of marriage in next Friday’s referendum in letters being read out in masses today.

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin writes that a 'Yes' outcome would affect every citizen, because it would fundamentally change the philosophy which underpins cohesion in society.

He has insisted that no politician can promise that legalising same-sex marriage would not affect its opponents or church marriages since it would be exclusively up to the courts to interpret the amended Constitution.

Similar messages are being delivered to churchgoers in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly and in the dioceses of Galway, Killala, and Elphin.

The Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Kieran O'Reilly says that while none of the bishops in Ireland want to alienate or denigrate any individual or group, they believe that marriage between a man and a woman is an institution that is fundamental to both human life and society's well-being.

However, an alliance of three faith groups campaigning for a 'Yes' vote has complained to the Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, that 'Vote No' literature which is insensitive to gay people, is being distributed in churches.

We are Church Ireland, Faith in Marriage Equality, and Gay Catholic Voice Ireland, asked that only official Church literature be stocked in parishes and suggested to Archbishop Martin that he might tell Catholics that, after careful reflection, they may in good conscience decide to vote ‘Yes’.