In a service held yesterday, Holy Thursday, Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland, claimed that Christians ‘suffer persecution’ for their views on marriage.
The Archbishop said that it is difficult for people’s Christian convictions and understandings of marriage, family and human life to remain unswayed as the “pressure on us to conform, to become just like everyone else, is often immense and overpowering”.
Dr Richard O’Leary of Faith in Marriage Equality responded, saying that “to make such a claim, especially on the eve of Good Friday, does a disservice to Christians who are genuinely persecuted in other parts of the world.”
He added “I was also saddened that my fellow Christian, the Archbishop, showed no awareness of the painful history of criminalisation under the civil law and discrimination by the Church suffered by gay people in Ireland”.
Dr O’Leary noted that “although Archbishop Eamon Martin’s comments were made during the period of the Irish referendum on same-sex marriage, not all Christians including the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, agree with his conservative, exclusive view against marriage equality”.
Yesterday also, the Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary told his congregation that marriage was being rapidly eroded by “serial relationships, co-habitation, divorce and a redefinition of marriage”.
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