Wednesday 7 December 2016

Taoiseach meets Cardinal who described marriage referendum as a 'defeat for humanity'

Published 28/11/2016 | 14:19

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Cardinal Parolin
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Cardinal Parolin

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who described the result of marriage referendum as a "defeat for humanity".

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Mr Kenny held a meeting with Cardinal Parolin, who is The Vatican's equivalent of prime minister, after his audience with Pope Francis.

The Cardinal made international headlines when he led the Holy See's reaction to the Irish vote in 2015.

At the time he said: “This result left me feeling very sad but as the Archbishop of Dublin (Diarmuid Martin) pointed out, the Church will have to take this reality on board in the sense of a renewed and strengthened evangelisation.

"I believe that we are talking here not just about a defeat for Christian principles but also about a defeat for humanity."

Mr Kenny told reporters this afternoon that the issue of same sex marriage wasn't raised at the meeting but the cardinal "did refer to his comment afterwards".

"I said you are perfectly entitled to make your comment. Obviously the people voted in a referendum which was the first in the world where it came through a citizens convention and so many people travelled back to Ireland to actually register and vote.

"I think that's a signal around the world that, about the nature of population now, the way they feel about it, the happiness that surrounded that decision and the fact that it allowed so many people who lived in limbo or shadows to now play their full part in society," the Taoiseach said.

He added that Cardinal Parolin understood his position "clearly and accepts that utterly".

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