Dublin's Archbishop Criticises "Unchristian, Obnoxious" Language of 'No' Camp

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The Archbishop of Dublin has criticised those arguing for a No vote in May’s marriage referendum, for using “unchristian” language towards gay and lesbian people.


At ‘The Teaching of the Church on Marriage Today‘ discussion last night, Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin discussed marriage, family and children.

The Archbishop revealed that, in the lead-up to the referendum, he has received communication from No voters that is “not just intemperate but obnoxious, insulting and unchristian in regard to gay and lesbian people”.

At the talk, hosted by the Iona Institute, he warned those correspondents that using such language shows “that they have forgotten something essential about the Christian message”.

The Archbishop agrees with equality for gay people but does not agree with same-sex marriage. He said that achieving equality for gay and lesbian people does not mean that they should have equal marriage.

“There can be an ethic of equality, which is an ethic of recognising and respecting difference.”

Instead, Dr Martin suggested that an inclusive society could find ways in which gay people had their relationships recognised – without marriage – because heterosexual relationships are ‘unique’.

“I’m not saying that gay and lesbian people are unloving or that their love is somehow deficient compared to others, I am talking about a uniqueness in the male-female relationship,” he said.

The Archbishop also challenged the Children and Family Relationships Bill, as children are born biologically to one woman and one man.

“Even if it were possible to clone a child, that child would still bear the genetic imprint of a male and a female. Genetic parentage is not irrelevant,” he said.

He acknowledged, however, that people will rightly question why he can lecture on a theme about which he has no experience.

“I must be honest and say that I am also lacking in knowledge of more fundamental day-to-day realities of the sexual, marital or parental experiences in a family,” he said.

The Archbishop, earlier this month, refused to back the Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran following his controversial anti-gay comments, wherein he stated that gay parents of children are “not parents”.

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