Saturday 23 September 2017

All of us should welcome the Archbishop's marriage threat

Archbishop Eamon Martin's statement is a big step towards the separation of Church and State, says Emer O'Kelly

Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop Eamon Martin
Bertie Ahern and Celia Larkin
Celia Larkin with Cardinal Desmond Connell

Emer O'Kelly

the Archbishop of Armagh has promised a discussion within the hierarchy concerning the Catholic Church's willingness to carry out the "civil aspects" of marriage in this country. I say "promised" because what Archbishop Eamon Martin clearly implied as a threat should be something that all Irish citizens should welcome. The religiously-minded should be praying for it to come to pass; those who believe in the civil state as paramount should be cheering the open-mindedness of the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

It has been mentioned before as a possibility; but on Monday it was Archbishop Martin, with all the awesome authority of his position, who went on Morning Ireland to tell us that if "marriage was redefined", the Church would have to consider the implications.

The Bishops' Conference would have to discuss, he said, whether it is possible for its ministers to be involved in civil ceremonies if the country says yes to civil marriage for homosexual people of both genders.

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