Welcome signals from the Catholic bishops
Published 01/06/2015 | 02:30
The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, has given his first lengthy reaction to the outcome of the referendum on same-sex marriage. And, on balance, it is largely encouraging for those who wish to avoid divisions.
The Catholic Church availed of its right to partake in political discourse, and also articulated arguments against the referendum that got the support of 40pc of people who voted. Its voice is as important now as it was during the campaign.
Dr Martin reflects that he was criticised both for being too strident and not strong enough in the campaign. He also says the bishops have yet to decide on whether they will continue participating in civil marriage as part of church weddings.
The Archbishop said the Catholic Church wanted to find ways to reach out to different kinds of families and relationships, while continuing to advocate a "Christian vision of marriage". That sentiment, and the words chosen to articulate it, will be welcomed by many people who took opposing sides in the recent debate.
The courtesy of the referendum campaign must persist.