Church reeling after marriage referendum

Agence France-Presse reports…

“The once-dominant Catholic Church in Ireland was trying to come to terms Sunday with an overwhelming vote in favour of gay marriage, saying it needed a “new language” with which to speak to people.

As jubilant “Yes” supporters nursed their hangovers after partying late into the night following Saturday’s referendum result, the faithful attended mass to hear their priests reflect on the new social landscape in Ireland.

“The Church has to find a new language which will be understood and heard by people,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, one of the Church’s most senior figures, told reporters after mass at the city’s St Mary’s Pro Cathedral.

“We have to see how is it that the Church’s teaching on marriage and family is not being received even within its own flock.”

He added: “There’s a growing gap between Irish young people and the Church and there’s a growing gap between the culture of Ireland that’s developing and the Church.”

The majority of Irish people still identify themselves as Catholic but the Church’s influence has waned in recent years amid growing secularisation and after a wave of clerical child sex abuse scandals.

During the campaign, bishops spoke against changing the law, while older and rural voters were thought to have accounted for much of the “No” vote.

Final results showed 62 percent in favour and 38 percent against introducing gay marriage in a country where being homosexual was a crime until 1993.

As Sunday’s newspapers marked the result with colourful pictures of partying “Yes” supporters, they noted the heavy blow to Church authority.

Niall O’Connor wrote in the Sunday Independent: “The once unshakeable influence of the Catholic Church over Middle Ireland has been confronted.”

Ireland will become the 19th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriages once the necessary legislation is approved as expected in the coming months.

All of Ireland’s 43 constituencies except one voted in favour of the measure and the 60-percent turnout was far higher than in previous referendums, as thousands of expatriates returned home to cast their ballots.

It was the first time ever that gay marriage had been approved by popular vote.

The referendum asked voters whether or not they approved the statement: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

Adopting gay marriage is a seismic change in Ireland, where the Catholic Church has traditionally been hugely influential.

Tony Flannery, co-founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, was stripped of his ministry in 2012 due to his outspoken liberal views on contraception and the ordination of female priests.

The Redemptorist priest, who voted Yes, said the Church needed to rethink how it approaches Ireland’s youth if it is to reverse its waning position in society.

“The last thing the Irish bishops should be doing is further alienating the young generation who the Church, to a fair degree, has lost already,” he told AFP.

Congratulations poured in to Ireland from around the world, including from British Prime Minister David Cameron and US Vice President Joe Biden.

In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday his country would not follow Ireland’s lead and hold a referendum on gay marriage, adding that any decisions would be made by parliament.

Gay marriage was explicitly outlawed in Australia under a 2004 revision of the national Marriage Act.

In Germany, Jens Spahn, a member of the executive committee of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, appeared open to change.

“One should think, what the Catholic Irish can do, we can too,” he was quoted by Welt Online as saying, adding: “The population is often more ahead in these matters than we think.”

Some citizens voiced mixed feelings as they went about their business in Dublin on Sunday.

“I’m saddened, because I don’t think it was a good idea. I think there are much more important things to be looked after in this country,” said one woman, Bernadette.

Another, Caroline, told AFP: “While I’m happy with the result, I don’t think we should be voting necessarily on something which should be a human right anyway.”



36 thoughts on “Church reeling after marriage referendum

  1. “Meh Qld beating NSW is hardly a surprise any more.”

    I thought they looked average and didn’t know who was going to win that.
    Nsw missed Gallen I think.

    “Far more excited by the Rabbitohs winning last year.”
    That was great! Pretty happy for the supporters who waited so long.

    “See ya Q good luck in taking on the real enemy. Liberal Christians!”

    I’ll have you know some of my best friends are liberal Christians!

    Well. Maybe not best…


  2. Meh Qld beating NSW is hardly a surprise any more.

    Far more excited by the Rabbitohs winning last year.

    See ya Q good luck in taking on the real enemy.

    Liberal Christians!


  3. Okay Bones. I’ll retire. Think I’ll make my own blog. Have fun here. I was away from here for quite a while and just checked in to see what had changed.

    So, have fun. I won’t bug you again for a while. Cheers. And congratulations on the Origin win. Maybe see you in a couple of months.


  4. “Oh I’ve been thinking a lot more about ISIS than Brain and poor old Marky Mark have.”

    Not sure how you can say that with certainty. But, if it’s true, then good for you Bones. I’m proud of you.


  5. Oh I’ve been thinking a lot more about ISIS than Brain and poor old Marky Mark have.

    They have far more pressing issues like book and album sales and speaking engagements.


  6. I’ve tried to explain before.
    I don’t go to Hillsong churches or their conferences.
    Which is why I won’t be joining your demo.

    But glad to see you’re thinking about Isis.


  7. Yes you should really do more about ISIS….

    by going to Hillsongs convention.

    I mean why donate to charities helping people in the Middle East when you can support Brain and poor Markie Mark.


  8. Great to see your interest in Isis again Bones!!! if only we could go back in time and not have that ridiculous referendum and used the millions – hundreds of millions? Of dollars supporting the people who are suffering.
    And it could have funded you going over there and fighting them by …. By….
    Teaching them the Koran?
    Throwing Driscoll books at them?
    No, you’d probably join them.

    Ah Bones, you bring out the worst in me.
    Maybe we were gay lovers in a previous life?


  9. Some people are moaning about people celebrating their love in a country they don’t even live in while ISIS is killing Christians…..


  10. Okay Professor Wazza. I have no doubt that there were Knights who had affairs with women of the court. Just like there are now. And there WAS a concept romantic love was’t feasible for all the years of marriage.

    I’m saying that this view wasn’t held universally. And in the heart of people in every culture is the desire to be loved by one person. That’s why in Asian cultures were there were arranged marriages there are still people who want to be true to their spouses and why everyone still ooh and aahs over a news report of people married for 70 or 80 years.

    Not everything that went down in medieval England was good.

    There are plenty of women now whose first sexual experience is behind the toilet at school.

    So? Yeah, great concept. And there’s a tradition of going to Thailand for a sex trip for some.

    But, people don’t really want to need that.

    Or maybe just me. I’d rather send my wife to Thailand to get a Phd in…whatever, and then come back.

    That my friend is the ideal. And ideals are worth fighting for and keeping.

    So, I’ll vote for traditional marriage and you Sir Wazza can go seducing married women and fighting the French.


  11. Well its lucky you werent around in the 20’s. Picture a sunny day in Cambridge at a cricket match.

    “Shot Watkins!! I say old boy that Lewis chap is getting devilishly clever, have you seen his latest book on Courtly love – four years it took to write and the history boys think its a jolly good survey. ”

    “Haven’t you heard old chap, Q thinks its all exagerated!!”

    “Waah!! Nanny! why didn’t you warn me about this!!”


  12. I’m saying that it was never held in England that Knights and married court ladies couldn’t be in love with their own spouses.

    CS Lewis smoked too much, stayed a bachelor too long and obviously watched too much”Sex in the Castle”.
    Yes, there were naughty Knights but most of them were chaste! Haven’t you watched the Holy Grail!?!?


  13. “I think you’ve exaggerated some points there. Esp the knights and married women.”

    Would you say that to C. S. Lewis who wrote a study on the subject in which he defines Courtly love as having the characteristics of Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love

    Remember – Once a Knight, always a Knight. Twice a Knight and you’re doing alright.


  14. “and Danny Nahiliah to run around naked dipping their willies into bowls of custard shouting, “This is so wrong…I’m fucking dis-custard!””

    I’d never do that!

    In public….


  15. I think you’ve exaggerated some points there. Esp the knights and married women. I don’t think they were the only people who fell in love and I think you’ll find plenty of people disapproved.
    There have been plenty of love marriages between one man and one woman in every culture and country I know of.

    Not every Indian marries the guest at a wedding – which is probably why it made the news. Hopefully Indians aren’t discussing marriage in Australia based on the latest reality show.

    And naughty knights and caste maintaining Indians don’t concern me.

    Concepts have changed and yes in some countries there were curious laws that most people consider strange.

    There were plenty of people in Jesus time including Greeks and Romans who supported the idea of marriage being between one man and one woman. Regardless of Solomon, Knights and Chinese men with 4 wives we came to a place where most people in the civilised world felt that marriage was between one man and one woman.
    I think it’s good too.

    You and bones can try to have more if you like and you can even dress up as Knights and try to seduce married women while searching for the Holy Grail if you like.

    Jesus wasn’t the only person in history who taught one man one woman marriage.
    Most women don’t want to be property, don’t want to be one of three, and do want to be loved.

    That’s the concept I’m talking about.
    As a Bible believer but as just Joe Citizen in a modern democratic country.


  16. You’re right Q – there are many people (the majority?) who will over time be swayed by a concerted campaign to introduce anything – most things will be tough – like polyamory (yes – that’s how you spell it), paedophilia, beastiality, croqunebucheality…,in fact one day it will be legal to walk around dipping your willy into a jar of crushed up jatz, and all the while screaming out “I’m fucking crackers!” which will lead someone else to walk around naked dipping their willy into some mixed gubers and macadamias shouting out (yes you guessed it) “Well I’m fucking nuts!”…this will lead naturally to Q, Lionfish, and Danny Nahiliah to run around naked dipping their willies into bowls of custard shouting, “This is so wrong…I’m fucking dis-custard!”

    Peace be with you all.

    I really honestly believe that anyone who thinks deeply about these things and uses the tools of philosophy and ethics (even Christian Ethics) will never allow anything but marriage between two people….never talking horses (unless of course, that horse that talks, is the famous Mr Ed), and most definitely not little children and badgers.


  17. It is a big deal for people. But it hasn’t always been the same big deal throughout the ages.

    Today it is bound up with the idea of the love of two people, but it was not always so. It used to be an arrangement between two families, a property transaction more or less where the wife was part of the property. Love was almost never considered part of the deal. Vestiges of the idea of women as property existed until perhaps 50 years ago.

    Some cultures today obviously have a more prosaic view of marriage than the Western romantic ideal. For example in India when a groom collapsed at a wedding ceremony, the bride simply married one of the guests. . Clearly marriage is important to the participants but it is not the same idea of marriage as in the West.

    In the middle-ages when the ideas of courtly love began to develop, the precursor to romantic love, it was held to be only possible outside of marriage – between a knight and a married noble-woman.

    The church has considered Marriage a purely secular matter, a holy sacrament and perhaps now a secular matter again. The church has held it as anything from a necessary evil to being the very basis of ethical family-values. Various churches have either banned marriage for their clergy or made it effectively compulsory.

    Marriage has been banned between people of different races and between people of different religions, and this has been considered extremely important to the concept of marriage, only to be overturned later.

    So the problem when arguing about whether someone is weakening the concept of marriage is to find out which concept they are talking about.


  18. “Maybe the debate should be are marriages more sanctified than other relationships?
    I say no.”

    Well the only people who use the word “sanctified” are religious people, so if you want to look at marriage and relationships from a biblical point of view than there are many kinds of relationships like hookups or bisexual love triangles and a myriad of other permutations.
    Is marriage more “sanctified”?
    I say yes!

    And given the amount of people who allegedly flew around the world to go back to Ireland so they could vote that gays enter into “marriage” as opposed to another type of relationship otherwise they’d be tho thad ….I’d say “marriage” is a big deal even for people who don’t care what the bible or church says.


  19. Yes there are countries where men have had more than one wife. And there still are.
    I would not go to New Guinea eg and force them to divorce their wives and keep one. Most Australians are against men having multiple wives and mistresses. I like them am in Gabor of the existing law as it stands. Most modern countries which previously allowed for multiple wives have changed their laws. Most feminists are against men having more than one wife.
    If you Bones want to have another wife and a mistress please feel free to explain why to your wife and then agititate to change the laws.

    I think the ideal is one man and one woman. And if there are irreconcilable differences they should be free to divorce and then remarry.

    Of course people have the option of having relationships – whether plutonic, sexual or financial without getting married.

    Nobody has convinced me that the marriage laws need changing.

    Notwithstanding appeals to the norms of centuries ago or some African tribe.
    I do suspect that some people like Bones just want to argue against any traditional Christian or western traditions.

    Go ahead.


  20. What;s wrong with having two or more wives and a couple of mistresses?

    Worked for some.

    Of course polygamy in its various forms in ancient times was about about survival of the tribe especially when the men went out to get slaughtered in battle. It could be a necessity in the future if WW3 comes calling.

    Some tribal Christians in Africa are still polygamous.

    And that doesn’t worry me.


  21. By the way Lionfish, many Irish feel that saying Irish jokes is just wrong. And should be outlawed.

    If you really want to see how politically correct we’ve become, go watch an old Dean Martin celebrity roast and wait for Don Rickles.


  22. “It would be hard to make an argument from the Bible to say that Polygamy shouldnt be legalised.”

    I really don’t think the “Bible” needs to be the basis for deciding laws about marriage in a democracy.
    And yes, I think it’s foolish for people to argue about marriage laws quoting the Bible – in this day and age.
    It was probably normal 50 years ago, but not now.

    I don’t think polygamy should be legalised.
    But – it’s hard to make an argument for anything now, because it all comes down to love.
    So, what if I love 4 women. And the fourth wants to visit me in hospital when I’m dying etc. And she claims she loves me more than the others.

    (of course women fighting over me is a complete fantasy)

    You can argue for anything. And come up with emotional stories about anything.

    I still maintain that marriage being between one man and a woman is a good idea. And i’d vote as such.

    Just like I don’t think there’s much point arguing from the Bible about pornography. But, I think pornography shouldn’t be broadcast on normal TV at 4 in the afternoon.

    You could argue against it from the Bible. But from what else? For everyone who says it would just be ridiculous, there will be others that will say why not? If you don’t like it turn it off? And a million others reasons.

    Common sense my friend. Though common sense often changes.

    Having said all that, I’d love to be married to a few women. As long as they each had their own jobs, and didn’t nag.


  23. Did you hear the latest Irish joke … its called the Irish referendum.

    The vast majority of the Irish population just voted “Yes” in favor of same sex marriage – in an overwhelming show of support that the Irish believe that a married man should only have have sex with the same woman for the duration of marriage.


  24. It would be hard to make an argument from the Bible to say that Polygamy shouldnt be legalised.
    It was accepted as a normal form of marriage in the Old Testament, and the only mild reference that is made in the NT is that Pastors should only have one wife.

    The only reason I would give for arguing against polygamy is that in general approx 95% of the population is heterosexual and there is approx the same number of women as men. Men having more than one wife tends to displace the younger or lower-status males who then cannot find a partner – causing social problems. Worse there is then a shortage of females, and therefore there tends to be a rush to the younger females – which often means they are not able to fully consent to the marriage – leading to exploitation and abuse.


  25. “but the Church’s influence has waned in recent years amid growing secularisation and after a wave of clerical child sex abuse scandals.”

    First, non-married clergy teaching that not only sex outside of marriage but even contraception and masturbation being sin is just too removed from the majority of people’s lives.

    Then, given the extent of the sex scandals it’s obvious that there have no doubt been vastly more people over the years who have been victims and lost faith in the church.

    Not to mention the numbers of gay or bisexual etc people who have yet to “come out” of which some probably never will but who may have voted “yes”.


  26. @ncardia. It will be interesting to see how this goes. I’d say…..and this is just my hunch….

    that probably in the next 10 or so years, same-sex marriage will become legal in most democratic countries, and most evangelical churches will treat gay couples the way the treated hetero-couples who are living together before marriage.

    Many gays then will argue against a three-person marriage on the basis that marriage has only ever been between two people.

    But, many of the arguments re love and hospital visitation rights will no doubt be presented, so eventually in SOME places, a three person union of some sort will probably come into being in some “progressive” place.

    of course the regulars here will only be completely happy when we have weddings between bisexual cats and transgender lesbian humans conducted by nude Muslims clerics who say “You may now kick Brian Houston “


  27. Ok, now based on the majority vote of people, the defined scope of the marriage definition can be enlarged from:

    One man and one woman


    one (consensual) person and one (consensual) person.

    Based on this precedent, is it morally right that the defined scope of marriage can now be further enlarged if enough people vote to define marriage as permissible for more than two (consensual) people (is. palamory)…?


  28. What’s Reclaim Australia? Is it a political party or just a rally thing…? Not that I’d join….lol


  29. Nobody drinks like the Irish. And the biggest drinkers are the Irish priests…

    Reclaim Australia? Now I have to go and look that up.


  30. They dont have hangovers because they are ‘Yes’ supporters, they have hangovers because they are Catholic


  31. “As jubilant “Yes” supporters nursed their hangovers after partying late into the night ”

    No doubt.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s