Tag Archives: Ireland

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.

 

Catholic Archbishop Condemns Homophobia, Supports Civil Unions

Dr Diarmuid Martin told RTE that the Church had to be very careful that this was not done in the forthcoming debate on the same-sex referendum in the Republic.
Archbishop Martin said he felt that the debate had already got off to a bad start.
Discussions have to be carried out in a “mature” way so that people can freely express their views, while at the same time being respectful and not causing offence, he said.
He said Church teaching was that marriage was between a man and a woman, exclusively, but that this approach did not exclude gay people from celebrating their union by a different means.

 

Responding to Dr Martin’s comments, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network said they are disappointed by the comments made by the Archbishop of Dublin regarding same sex marriage and homophobia.
GLEN’s Brian Sheehan described it as “a missed opportunity” to tackle the role of the church and church teachings in creating what it said were “some of the difficult realities for lesbian and gay people in Ireland today”.
However, he welcomed Dr Martin’s acknowledgement of the impact that a culture, which still has homophobia as part of it, has on those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny called for a rational, calm and considered debate ahead of a referendum on same sex marriage next year.
Also speaking on RTÉ’s This week, Mr Kenny said he never considered legislating for same-sex marriage and that it was instead an issue for a referendum.
He also promised to partake in the discussion in the lead-up to the referendum.
Mr Kenny said the Government deemed it important for people to have a debate before they vote in the impending referendum.
“We believe that it’s important the people have a rational, common-sense. calm, considered and compassionate debate about this and I hope that happens.
“Next year people will make their decisions. I didn’t consider legislating for this, it is a question for a referendum and it will be held next year,” said Mr Kenny.
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Irish Government begin bid to allow same-sex couples to adopt

From “TheJournal.ie”:

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter has, today, published the General Scheme of the long-anticipated Children and Family Relationships Bill.

The proposed legislation, which would clarify the legal status of children in in civil partnerships, surrogacy arrangements and assisted human reproduction, will now go forward for discussion at Oireachtas committee level.

The new laws will allow civil partners to jointly adopt a child for the first time.According to the Minister, this measure “removes the current anomaly where single lesbian and gay individuals can adopt children, but civil partners cannot jointly adopt”.

Today’s law relating to adoption provides for the adoption of children by married couples and by single persons (irrespective of their sexual orientation), but not jointly by civil partners.
 Shatter has asked the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality – in conjunction with members of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children – to undertake a consultation process on his proposals for the Bill.
The cross-party TDs and Senators will have until Easter to furnish any observations to his department before the outlined proposals which, according to the Minister, “seek to put in place a modern legal architecture to underpin family situations”.
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Irish Education Minister: ‘Education plays a key role in tackling homophobia and transphobia’

The Irish Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn TD today opened a European Union conference on homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools, and emphasised the importance education plays in reducing such prejudice.

Ruairi Quinn opened the conference which aimed to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools
Mr Quinn opened the conference, which was organised by the European region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), and Irish organisations GLEN, and BeLonG To.
It is the first ever EU-level conference on homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
The aim of the conference was to bring together national policy makers, teachers, school leaders and NGOs, in order to debate, and tackle the issue of bullying, reports GCN.
The Minister for Education said: “Education plays a key role in supporting LGBT young people and also tackling the underlying prejudices which can lead to homophobic and transphobic bullying”.
Michael Barron, Director of BeLonG To Youth Services said: “There is a growing understanding of the seriousness of the issues for young LGBT people, both in Ireland and across Europe. The Department of Education has recently published a national Action Plan on Bullying that fully integrates measures to tackle prejudice, including homophobia and transphobia which are the root causes of much bullying.
“The lessons being learned in Ireland can contribute to further developments across Europe, much as we can learn from innovative and successful practices in other countries.”
Kerry County Council passed a motion in support of equal marriage on Monday, becoming the latest local authority in Ireland to vote in favour of marriage equality.
The motion was tabled by Labour Councillor, Gillian Wharton-Slattery, after she was approached by members of the gay community, asking why the motion had not been passed yet.
A study published last week suggested that many gay and bisexual teenagers who are bullied at a younger age – are picked on less by the time they reach 19 – but they still remain disproportionately affected by the problem.
Anna Grodzka, Europe’s first transgender MP spoke out about poverty and social exclusion in the LGBT community last Sunday at the National Lesbian and Gay Federation Conference in Dublin.

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Cardinal Steps in His Carbon Footprint

(Taken from an on-line edition of the Irish Times 30th August 2009, read early in the morning, but later seemed to disappear.)

THERE are some businesses which, thankfully, are proving resistant to the recession.

Less thankfully, religion is one of them.

Whether it’s the uncertainty of the times which is making people turn back to the comforts of the Almighty, or a genuine spiritual yearning for something better after the era of untrammelled greed which the commentators insist we’ve all been living through, remains to be seen.

Maybe once wages and house prices start rising again, God will be relegated to His usual place on the back burner. But for now, the Church is bouncing back. A total of 38 young men entered the seminaries this year, almost double last year’s figure.

It’s too early to say if it’s a trend, insists an uncharacteristically modest Catholic Communications Office; but coming only a few months after the Church suffered its own version of the credit crunch — more of a credibility crunch, really — with the publication of the Ryan Report into institutional abuse, it’s a remarkable change of fortune.

If only the Catholic Church realised when it was on to a good thing, and didn’t push its luck.

Given all that’s happened, you’d think the hierarchy would say to one another: “Phew, lads, that was a close shave. Now let’s keep our heads down for a while till it all blows over.” Instead they immediately dive head first into yet another row — thanks to Cardinal Sean Brady’s homily last weekend in Limerick.

It all started out innocuously enough, this time as a sermon on climate change. Priests feel the need periodically to do this Save the Planet schtick. It’s embarrassing in a Kum Ba Yah sort of way, and, if left unchecked, has been known to lead to the nightmare of acoustic guitar playing on the altar, but probably harmless enough. The problem was what followed after Cardinal Brady had finished with the usual guff about how churches should measure their carbon footprints and offset the damage by helping baby polar bears to swim or something.

Tangential doesn’t even begin to describe the directions which one of Ireland’s premier churchmen took from his original starting point. Anybody who nodded off in St John’s Cathedral last weekend would have woken up to find that gay marriage was in the firing line, leaving them perhaps with the disorienting impression that homosexuals were responsible for global warming. His Eminence didn’t stop there either.

He might as well have called his homily “And Another Thing…” as he strayed far from carbon footprints to touch on such topics as the right to life, to the right to a “natural death”, through to research on embryonic stem cells. Meddling with the integrity of the human body and meddling with the environment were, in this light, both aspects of the same disorder.

To be fair, none of this was exactly new ground for Catholic prelates, who have traditionally not been big fans of reproductive interference, Indeed, large chunks of the text were lifted wholesale from the Pope’s recent encyclical, Caritas in Veritate.

Plenty of what he had to say was also right on the money. Marriage and the raising of children in a loving two-parent environment as the cornerstone of a stable society? Nobody’s quarrelling there, not least the vast majority of people who already live in precisely that way — though the warning does invite a sarcastic response about what exactly the Church was doing to protect family life when it let its priests get away with molesting children.

More than that, though, it was the faint undertone of menace which stuck in the craw. Cardinal Brady’s homily was addressed not to his small audience of listeners in the cathedral that evening, so much as over their heads towards the politicians in Dail Eireann who have to make a decision on legalising civil partnerships for gay people, allowing them to avail of the same legal rights and protections as heterosexual married couples. This was against the Constitution, Brady claimed. It was against the common good, he added.

Then the killer blow: those who supported the legislation, the Cardinal stated, would be making a choice to “depart” from God. That’s a heck of a sword to dangle on a thread over your opponents’ heads. Hilariously, Sean Brady then went on to insist that freedom of conscience must be respected.

So you respect your opponents’ right to disagree, but if they do disagree, then they’re to be denounced as having turned their backs on God Himself?

That’s a strange kind of respect, to say that anybody whose understanding of their faith leads them to sincerely espouse a different view is to be banished from the tent and ejected into some kind of godless wilderness. God’s not big enough to make room for people who think gay couples should have legal rights? Impertinent as it may sound to chastise a cardinal on matters of theology, I really hope God would beg to differ on that one, especially since the alternative for Him is spending eternity with a tiny group of smug, self-satisfied know-it-alls who think their particular ideologies make them the chosen ones.

Brady’s whole tone was one of righteous entitlement. The choices for Ireland, he averred, were between “personal greed” or the “common good”, a “civilisation of selfishness” or a “civilisation of love”, a “culture of death” or a “culture of life”.

No chance of merging shades of grey in the middle then? No space for honest disagreement among fellow Christians?

Basically, what he seemed to be saying is that anyone who differed from his interpretation of Christian teaching wasn’t a proper Christian at all. And the last person I heard talk like that was the Reverend Ian Paisley. Some role model.

It’s surely this arrogant air of proprietory rights regarding God’s mind which Fr Aidan Troy, formerly of North Belfast’s sectarian interface, now transferred to Paris, was referring to in a recent interview when he spoke of how the Catholic Church had thought simply saying sorry for the decades-long abuse scandal was sufficient, without facing up to the need to change its way. Fr Troy wants his superiors to “halt recruitment, reform and reorganise, then begin again”. Fat chance of that happening, as he well knows. To do that, they’d have to admit that they might be wrong, and Cardinal Brady’s homily made it abundantly clear last weekend that it’s only the hierarchy’s detractors who can ever be that.

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