Vatican Secretary of State Calls Ireland’s Vote to Approve Homosexual Marriage a ‘Defeat for Humanity’

© AP Photo/Peter Morrison Yes supporters react at Dublin castle, Ireland, on Saturday.
© AP Photo/Peter Morrison Yes supporters react at Dublin castle, Ireland, on Saturday.

A senior Vatican official has attacked the legalisation of gay marriage in Ireland, saying that the referendum that overwhelmingly passed last weekend in favour of marriage equality was a “defeat for humanity”. 

“I was deeply saddened by the result,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said at a conference in Rome on Tuesday night. “The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”

The remarks by the Vatican’s top diplomat, who is seen as second only to the pope in the church’s hierarchy, represent the most damning assessment of the Irish vote by a senior church official to date.

It was a far more critical response than the circumspect reaction offered by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, who said: “It is very clear that if this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people … [then the church needs} a reality check.”

Ireland became the first country to legalise gay marriage by popular vote after a referendum found that 62% of voters were in favour of changing the constitution to allow gay and lesbians to marry.

While the results were celebrated by advocates of gay rights in Ireland and around the world, it was also seen as a stark symbol of how wide the chasm has grown between young people in what has traditionally been a staunchly Catholic country, and the church itself, which says that homosexual acts are a sin and vehemently opposes gay marriage.

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Source: The Guardian | Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

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