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“The day of doctrinaire Catholicism is over” in Ireland

“The day of doctrinaire Catholicism is over” in Ireland

A group whose membership comprises around a third of Ireland’s Catholic priests has said that the “Yes” to marriage equality won by a popular referendum last week means that the people are no longer listening to moralizing sermons from the church – and that they are “absolutely delighted.”

The story in the Irish Times interviews a number of founders and leaders of the Association of Catholic Priests, and finds a common thread:

“It was clear from the beginning that the bishops’ decision in policy terms to campaign for a blunt No vote was alienating even the most conservative of Irish Catholics,”

said Fr Brendan Hoban.

Co-founder Fr Tony Flannery added,

“the day of doctrinaire Catholicism is over in this country. The people are no longer willing to listen to speeches and sermons on morality from the church.”

The group decried the hard line of the Church in Ireland bishops in promoting a No vote, although Flannery saw Archbishop Diarmud Martin as “bullied” by conservative media into taking the position he did:

“It was obvious that he was uncomfortable with it, but to me he showed great weakness in not standing up for what he really believed.”

The ACP members interviewed for the story were not mourning the loss of conservative influence wielded by the church, however, but recommended that the church listen closely to what the referendum told it about people’s lives and concerns.

Fr Iggy O’Donovan summed it up:

The church “has to realise ordinary people are not listening to us any more”, he said. He was “absolutely delighted” with the referendum result.

See the whole story here.

Picture by catherinecronin from Kinvara, Co. Galway, Ireland (@joecaslin mural) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted by Rosalind Hughes

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David O'Rourke

What is the Church of Ireland's (Anglican) policy on same sex marriage?

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David Allen

That sacramental marriage in the Church of Ireland is between one man and one women.

That stance was reiterated in a stone cold, emotionless press release Saturday, soon after the vote results were announced.

The Church of Ireland covers both countries, Ireland and Northern Ireland. So far, N Ireland is the only country in the UK that does not have civil marriage equality.

Bro David

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Paul Powers

"The group decried the hard line of the Church of Ireland bishops in promoting a No vote, although Flannery saw Archbishop Diarmud Martin as “bullied” by conservative media into taking the position he did[.]"

Surely that's a reference to Roman Catholic, not Church of Ireland bishops.

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David Allen

There were at least two Church of Ireland bishops, of those serving the Republic, who campaigned against marriage equality. But there were also two publicly supporting marriage equality.

Bro David

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Paul Powers

Yes, but the Irish Times article is talking about the RC bishops and clergy. The C of I isn't even mentioned.

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Rod Gillis

Here is a whole different take on the "reality check" comment. According to Associated Press reports of comments by the Pope's no.2.

"In comments to reporters Tuesday evening, Parolin referred to remarks by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, that the results showed the church needed to do a 'reality check' since it clearly wasn't reaching young people with its message.'I don't think you can speak only about a defeat for Christian principles, but a defeat for humanity,' he said. "

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/16c6e4c903cd486a8d2b07552eb4d69e/EU--REL-Vatican-Ireland

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JC Fisher

"a third of Ireland’s Catholic priests has said that the “Yes” to marriage equality won by a popular referendum last week means that the people are no longer listening to moralizing sermons from the church – and that they are “absolutely delighted.”

And are these priests all safe from---even supported by---their bishops? I can't help remembering Fr Geoff Farrow in California, who less than 7 years ago spoke out against Prop 8 ahead of the '08 election, and then was *summarily* deposed by his bishop. What a difference a few years (and The Pond?) makes...

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