Mary Kenny: Gormley must not stifle the bishops over civil unions
IN NO uncertain terms, Green Party leader John Gormley has told the Catholic Church to zip its lip in the matter of gay unions in the Civil Partnership Bill. Mr Gormley reprimanded Bishop Christy Jones of Elgin -- an ecclesiastical spokesman on family matters -- for his opposition to the same-sex clause in the legislation. Gormley opined that we had "left the era of church interference behind us".
However, a bishop is as entitled to articulate an opinion as anyone else. It would be a poor democracy indeed -- it would be an authoritarian state, like East Germany -- if a Christian bishop were prevented from preaching the Gospel as he saw fit.
Moreover, bishops also have constituencies and if you want to check that out, just turn up at Sunday Mass -- or, more especially, a funeral -- in any part of rural Ireland. Actually, politicians generally so well recognise the constituencies of bishops that they even collect money for their political parties at the gates of these locations of Sunday worship.