'I have strong opinions about where the Church should stick its nose out of' - Hozier goes head to head with Gay Byrne on Catholicism
Hozier goes head to head with Gay Byrne on the issue of the Church and Catholicism in Ireland in his interview for The Meaning of Life.
In the course of the interview, which airs on RTE One at 10.35pm on Sunday night (September 27), Gay asks the Bray singer songwriter whether anyone his age really cares about what the Church does and does not do.
"I can understand people of my generation, even of your father's generation, being cross and resentful about the influence of the Catholic Church to do with guilt and sin and sexuality and all of that but I wonder are there many people of your age in Ireland now who care a hoot about what the Church says?" asks Gay.
"I think these things drip through more generations than we would think that they do," replies Hozier, whose song Take Me to Church questions the organisation's opposition of homosexual relationships and marriage.
"It's no surprise I have strong opinions on where the Church should stick its nose out of and I have strong opinions as to what authority it does not have when speaking about sexuality or speaking about the relationship of two people."
He adds, "I think the Catholic Church is in a very unique position in Ireland in that all of these things are influenced heavily, have been influenced heavily over the years, by that organisation."
Gay also spoke to Hozier about baptism and suggests the singer is "cross" about the practice of baptising babies.
"I'm not cross about the idea of baptism," says Hozier. "I just think the idea of when a child is born [that] this is something that's inherently sinful and carries sin and needs to be cleansed in order for it to be all right and all good with its creator, I just think that's an absurd notion."
Veteran broadcaster Gay, however, questions Hozier's understanding of the sacrament of baptism.
"What would you say to the people who would say that's a wrong concept of baptism," ventured Gay, "that it's not that it's born brand new bad, it is that we all have the potential within us to be bad as adults and taking on baptism is a sign you're joining the Christian community in order to have the intention of being good and doing good rather than bad."
Hozier replies, "A child has very little concept of all things but surely you would teach him those concepts before cleansing him without his permission."
He adds, “There are three human acts of being born, creating life or making love, and dying, and I think they are the three most important things you ever do and for each of these the Church has doctrine which would inspire you to fear all three of them."
Check out the clips below and the full interview on RTE One at 10.35pm on Sunday