Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Vatican and the Irish Referendum

Those of us who have longed for most of our adult life for a more open, reform minded Church have been encouraged by the coming of Pope Francis.  We have listened to what he says, read Evangelii Gaudium and other interviews he gave, and watched his actions closely.  Mostly we have been excited by the new mood he has created in the Church; it is now possible to talk more freely about the problems that we face, and there is hope that the second session of the Synod next October will bring real change, if not in doctrine at least in pastoral practice.

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.  

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