Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin says Yes vote for gay marriage shows weakening Catholic church in Ireland

The referendum showed that 62 per cent of voters wanted gay marriage

Helen Nianias
Sunday 24 May 2015 12:22
A graffiti artist finishes a Yes campaign piece in central Dublin
A graffiti artist finishes a Yes campaign piece in central Dublin

A senior member of the Catholic church in Ireland has argued that the Yes vote for gay marriage shows that the church has an uphill battle in getting people to reconnect with its teachings.

The Catholic church believes that marriage can be between a man and a woman only, although the attitude to homosexuality has softened under Pope Francis.

However, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin argues that it's proof the church has a long way to go in bring people back into the fold.

"We [the church] have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities," he told RTE.

The Archbishop voted No, saying that it was possible to protect gay rights "without changing the definition of marriage".

"We won't begin again with a sense of renewal, with a sense of denial," he continued.

"I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live.

"I think it is a social revolution."

Despite the fact that education in the Irish republic is overwhelmingly Catholic, the Archbishop says it's clearly not doing the job.

"I ask myself, most of these young people who voted yes are products of our Catholic school system for 12 years. I'm saying there's a big challenge there to see how we get across the message of the church," he added.

However, it wasn't just young people who were in favour of the constitutional reform.

A symbol of the wide-reaching impact of gay rights was 101-year-old Kitty Cotter, who voted Yes with pride.

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