Lessons for the Church from this Referendum

There are a couple of urgent lessons that the Church authorities need to learn from the experience of the past few weeks, and the result of yesterday’s vote.

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. Some might see this as a bad situation, but I would regard it as a time of wonderful opportunity for the Church, if they can recognise it, and learn how to present the fundamental Christian message.

A Reflection on the Referendum from a Priest who is Gay.

I have often wondered, during the past few weeks, what this whole discussion on same-sex marriage must be like for priests who themselves are gay. One man, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent me the following:


On my journey to some level of self-acceptance, like many another person, I’m sure, I did a lot of questioning, agonizing, worrying, dealing with shame and guilt, fear, and confusion.  I grew up in a traditional Irish family, and was very drawn to mystery and faith.  

An Update

In February last, after a discussion on my situation had taken place at our Provincial Chapter, I had a meeting with the new Irish administration and the Superior General. It was felt at the meeting that things are changing in Rome under Francis, and that the CDF is not quite so dogmatic or united as before.  So it was suggested to me that, if I was willing to give a further statement, maybe with somewhat more general content, that it might be more acceptable now than before.

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