Archbishop Eamon Martin has said that the Catholic Church will not backpedal on their opposition to same-sex marriage before the Pope’s visit in August.
The Archbishop, who is the most senior member of theCatholic Church in Ireland, made the address at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome in response to a question about whether the visit would welcome Ireland’s LGBT people.
His comments come after Leo Varadkar stated the government will make it clear to the organisers of the Pope’s visit that, “Families in all their shapes and forms should be celebrated”.
Similar comments were made by Minister Katherine Zappone. During a conference in Copenhagen on LGBT family issues, she stated, “The eyes of the world will be on Dublin…The World Meeting of Families is a unique opportunity to confront such inequality, discrimination and hate. It can provide global leadership on inclusion”.
In his speech, the Archbishop spoke about the church’s strategy in connecting with the public ahead of the Pope’s visit saying that the catholic view of marriage was of a “faithful, loving relationship” between “a man and a woman”.
“There is no getting away, however, from the fact that communicating the family in this way can appear increasingly counter-cultural in many parts of the world, including Ireland,” he said.
He said that this view was accelerated by the erosion of support for what he called “traditional marriage” through the constitution and through law.
He also spoke about the pressures young people were being put under pressure to resist being “tied down” by marriage or children.
“Employers will often expect them to be flexible, movable, able to travel and work long unsocial hours,” he said. “On the one hand they are surrounded by a contraceptive, anti-birth mentality with its increasing indifference to abortion, whilst on the other, they are offered a technocratic, commodification of child-bearing which, if necessary, can be accessed independently of any sexual relationship.”
Archbishop Martin said the Pope’s visit was a “privileged opportunity” for the church to engage with the public.
“It begins with our conviction that, among the many types of family that are out there, the Catholic Church’s vision of the uniqueness of a faithful and exclusive union between a married man and a woman and their children is not simply for the privacy of our homes and churches,” he said. “The gospel of the family is meant for mission.”
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