Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

Ireland – the gay issue

Posted by Fr Mark on September 3, 2009

100px-Coat_of_arms_of_Ireland_svgThe head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, the organisation recently publicly revealed as having overseen (and tried to cover up) a culture of child abuse on a massive scale operated by its unmarried priests and religious, thinks that civil partnership for same sex couples will somehow undermine marriage and family values, apparently…  

Can church leaders become any more bizarrely unaware of how they sound to the rest of society? The proposed legislation nevertheless has the support of 84% of the Irish population  according to this report

As one commenter on the Pink News site puts it “After the abuse scandal, one might expect the Catholic Church to be very quiet for a couple of decades.”




From PinkNews 25.08.09


Irish gay group rejects Cardinal’s attack on civil partnerships


Ireland’s largest gay rights group has responded to an attack on civil partnerships by the country’s Roman Catholic leader.

Cardinal Sean Brady said in a sermon on Sunday that civil partnerships undermine marriage and challenged Catholics to “stand clearly on the side of Christ or depart from him” on the issue.

Civil partnerships are already legal in Northern Ireland and there is legislation before the Republic of Ireland’s parliament to introduce them.

Kieran Rose, Chair of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), said:

“There is a democratic consensus for Civil Partnership. It follows extensive national dialogue and consultation, and has extensive public and political support.

“Legal recognition was part of every political party’s manifesto in the last general election and is part of the Programme for Government.

“Successive opinion polls over the last five years demonstrate that there is overwhelming public support for legal recognition for same-sex couples.

“The Cardinal is, of course, entitled to an opinion on Civil Partnership and is entitled to express it. Churches too are entitled to marry whom they wish in their churches.

“However, Civil Marriage and Civil Partnership are to do with the State. The State, through Civil Partnership, is for the first time providing recognition and comprehensive protections for lesbian and gay couples.”

The proposed legislation will grant gay and lesbian couples legal recognition in areas such as pensions, social security, property rights, tax, succession and the payment of maintenance.

It does not provide for legal recognition of the many same-sex couples, in particular women, who are parenting children together.

The government has ruled out gay marriage, claiming that it would require a change to the country’s constitution and a potentially divisive referendum.


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