Update See Saturday’s post for results.
Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has “no wish to stuff [his] religious views down other people’s throats”—is that done with a shillelagh?—and so he won’t tell or even suggest or even hint to the Irish which way to vote on tomorrow’s referendum on same-sex “marriage” (hereafter gmarriage).
He did let it slip that he himself will vote no because, said his Excellency, he has “strong views” about the matter. Strength is a relative measure. Martin’s strong view: “decisions should not be taken lightly and that people should be informed of what is involved.”
Perhaps this is the place to recall that the Catholic Church has no choice but to call only marriage marriage, which is why it cannot support gmarriage. This position is inflexible for the Church and for its followers.
Unlike strength, inflexible isn’t relative: it is absolute. So how to read this incongruous report by the leftist Washington Post: “Priests are bucking Catholic Church leadership to support same-sex marriage in Ireland“?
For the Rev. Pádraig1 Standún, a Catholic priest in western Ireland, voting “yes” is a matter of what’s right. To another Irish priest, the Rev. Iggy O’Donovan, it’s about creating an inclusive state.
To the Rev. Martin Dolan, Ireland’s upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage is deeply personal.
“I’m gay myself,” he announced to his Dublin congregation in January. It was a surprise ending to Dolan’s homily, in which he urged his congregation to vote “yes” in the referendum. But his parishioners took it in stride — they gave him a standing ovation, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
The Belfast Telegraph reported that Dolan’s parishioners were “proud” Dolan was sexually attracted to males. Curious, that. One supposes (Northern) Ireland has had little else to cheer about.
Anyway, the Post says, “Rev. Tony Flannery, founder of the reform-minded Irish Association of Catholic Priests, estimated that 25 percent of the country’s clergy would vote ‘yes.'” By “reform” the Post means “dismantling”.
Perhaps Flannery exaggerates, wishcasts, that is. Even Yours Truly has been prone to this malady (and more often than he would like!). Given his ardent desires, Flannery might have estimated priestly support too high. But consider: the support should, in theory, be zero percent. Theory says no priest could be that duplicitous, that unfaithful, that heretical. Yet something in the wind tells us that Flannery is right and the theory wrong. Flannery might have even underestimated the turnout of the turncoats.
Imagine exit polls: “Did you vote in favor of gmarriage, father?” Those that did might even admit it, given their bishop’s strong views.
Step into the surreal. The Irish Times has a Q&A for “confused” readers. “Q. Will a Yes vote redefine marriage?” No, says the paper. If this is so—if marriage won’t be refined—then why have a vote? Next question, answers the paper.
“Q. Would priests be forced to perform same-sex marriages?” No, they guess. But they’re not quite sure, mentioning the relevant law might need “copperfastening”, i.e. strengthening. Right, your Excellency?
Q. (mine) Would citizens who do not want to pretend that two men who are pretending to be married have to pretend too or else face civil and criminal penalties? Yes, say I. They will.
Would it, at this late date, do any good to repeat that marriage is not a contract between two (why two?) people, but an understanding between a man and woman—one flesh—and society? Probably not, but nothing ventured, etc.
Look: society must change if marriage does. Strike that: marriage won’t change: it can’t. But that-which-is-called-marriage can be expanded. And society’s rules must adapt to accommodate this “expansion.” This is why those who refuse to pretend must and will be coerced.
There cannot and will not be any compromise. How do I know? The same was true when that-which-is-called-marriage was expanded to include “re-marriages” after divorce. Is it even conceivable (or even legal) to now tell a man who is in his second (or third) go ’round that he is not married to the women with whom he lives despite whatever government paperwork he has? It sounds unbearably cruel.
And look what divorce has wrought.
Perhaps the good news is that the Church has been allowed by Leviathan to maintain its teaching that “re-marriage” is impermissible. Maybe the State will look the other way on gmarriage, too.
Of course, many in the Church are weakening on divorce as well as gmarriage. Wait and see what happens in Rome in October.
Meanwhile, the only organization in Ireland that is opposing gmarriage is the Church—those of her members who remember the promises they made, that is.
Polls have the referendum passing by about 70%. And while people don’t like to tell random callers they are against “progress”—the Psychological Society of Ireland said ‘No’ voters will cause psychological harm—so this number is therefore probably high, it would be a miracle if were so far off that the referendum failed.
Your guess of the final tally?
Update Another Bishop forgets his duty: ‘I Would Hate For People To Vote No For Bigoted Reasons.’
“I don’t doubt that there are many people who are practicing churchgoers of whatever church background who will in conscience vote yes and that’s entirely up to them. I’m not going to say they’re wrong,” McKeown said.
Polls just closed (5 PM NYC time). Word is record-level turnout.
1Pronounced, if you can believe it, as porh-rig.