Ireland’s gay marriage referendum a sign of Roman Catholic decline

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A poster supporting the Yes vote is displayed in the Dame street area of Dublin in Ireland on May 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-IRELAND-AMENDMENT, originally transmitted on May 20, 2015.

A poster supporting the Yes vote is displayed in the Dame street area of Dublin in Ireland on May 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-IRELAND-AMENDMENT, originally transmitted on May 20, 2015.

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(RNS) Were the gay marriage amendment to pass, it would be a heavyweight punch to the body of the church that for centuries governed every aspect of life in Ireland.

  • Ted

    Let it never be forgotten: those opposing marriage equality are taking sides with pederasty.

  • Fran

    I am not surprised by this situation. Jesus said we would know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16-23). It’s obvious they were, and still are, not following Jesus’ example, and many have left her as a result and will continue to do so.

  • Fran

    The article article brought out, “a few Catholic priests have dared voice support for the amendment, saying they would vote ‘yes.'” Violation of God’s principles, laws and commands would continue.

  • Larry

    According to various well documented and publicized scandals, the Catholic Church and pederasty are synonymous. 🙂

  • Larry

    The Catholic Church overstayed its welcome as being an integral part of the Irish government apparatus. The abuse scandal is just the tip of the iceberg in Ireland.

    There is also the scandal involving use of near slave labor in convents by women who were involuntarily left in their care.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/19/ireland-apologises-slave-labour-magdalene-laundries

    There is the scandal involving human trafficking and forced adoptions

    http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/irelands-forced-adoption-i-would-not-give-a-dog-away-like

    Then there is the way the church undermines medical ethics and professional standards in the country
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-20321741

    Yep, the Catholic Church has given up any pretense of moral authority for the Irish people. The public is getting fed up with their nonsense.

  • JR

    Avenging the Church by legalizing gay marriage is ludicrous. One cannot logically think that the Church will feel responsible for a positive vote on legalizing a sinful union. Obviously, the Irish are confusing the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church. One is infallibly true, the latter includes sinners, saints, and in-betweens.
    My prayers go to a NO vote on this issue.

  • JR

    Then everyone born since Cain and Able is accused. History managed to thrive without gay marriage.

  • Greg1

    As usual, Larry has an issue with Presentism. He sees no issue with gay couples adopting babies, but God forbid, the Church attempts to give a child a solid home, then the fangs come out. Of course those sites are presenting blurred lines and so called facts along the lines of reading stories in the National Enquirer. Ah! the day we all meet our maker will be a sobering moment.

  • Vicar Dave

    The progressive force of God can never be cast aside.
    Marriage exists before Christianity and beyond the Judea-Christian realm. Same Sex relationships have been around, under-ground forever, since we evolved as a distinct species. Same-sex relationships exist in all species of mammals upon the planet.
    We are now moving to a more honest age when the people can come out of the shadows and be themselves, as God created them.
    The dark paint of man-made Church doctrine, which has been used to cloth our prejudices for centuries is at last falling off.!

  • Richard Maloney

    Well, God did impregnate a thirteen year-old girl in the Book of Matthew, so it’s AWWWWWRIGHT.

    Also, it’s ‘Abel’.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Spare us this “the Church attempts to give a child a solid home.” We all saw what has happened in the US, the Church has thrown orphans under the bus when governments refused to pay the Church to run adoptions in a discriminatory way. If the Church was that interested in orphans, they could have paid for the adoption agencies themselves instead of expecting taxpayers to finance their bias.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    If you’re praying to hurt loving, committed same gender Irish couples and their children, any normal person will have to assume you’re directing that immoral prayer at Satan.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Please note this anti-gay poster provided no documentation for his wild claim. Sexual orientation, whether gay, bisexual or non-gay, has been shown by science to be inborn and unchangeable, and psychologists have shown being gay or lesbian is just as healthy and “normal” as being non-gay:

    http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html

    See, there’s a citation just for you, from Faux News!

  • CarrotCakeMan
  • CarrotCakeMan
  • CarrotCakeMan
  • CarrotCakeMan

    “[I] need regular massively numerous orgies of sexual contact”

    We know what that poster is really telling us with his detailed descriptions of what interests him the most:

    “In 1996, three researchers from the University of Georgia published a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology about the links between homophobia and homosexual arousal. The authors, Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright, Jr., and Bethany A. Lohr, started with 35 straight men identified as homophobic and 29 straight men that were not. Both groups were shown heterosexual, lesbian and gay male porn while their erectile responses were measured. “Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli,” reported the researchers.

    It was empirical evidence for a theory long popular among psychoanalysts: that those most hostile to gay people are often driven by terror and shame about their own desires.”

    http://www.thedailybeast

  • CarrotCakeMan

    That was just the first of many studies that demonstrated that. Here are a few more:

    http://www.landman-psychology.Com/Homophobia%20Associated%20with%20Homosexual%20Arousal.pdf

    http://psycnet.apa.Org/journals/abn/105/3/440/

    An agency of the federal government, the National Institutes of Health, publishes a supporting study:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.Gov/pubmed/8772014

    Here’s a video that illustrates that study:

    http://www.youtube.Com/watch?v=AEuDDvqYbVw

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Homophobia is not “God’s principles,” it is a mental disorder. Take a good, hard look at the wild sexual fantasies “Julian Penrod” wrote out in such detail above. Anyone can see anti-gays are deeply disturbed individuals. Clearly, the majority of lay Catholics are much better people than these bishops who are seeking to poison the political process to hurt same gender Irish couples and their children.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    You’re sadly mistaken about Jesus’s example. Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. Many of us are familiar with the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Actually, historians now agree that various forms of same gender marriage were relatively common before the Church made a power grab. Government was involved in marriage well over a thousand years before the Church interfered in the 1100s.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    You’re mistaken about Jesus’ example. The Bible makes that clear. Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. Many of us are familiar with the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

  • Greg1

    I find it amazing, Carrot, that you guys on the progressive side, have no issue whatsoever with abortion during all 9 months of the pregnancy (and beyond), or giving an adoptive baby to two gay men, but suddenly become self righteous when the Church encourages a teenager to giver her baby to a married couple who cannot have children. Sounds a little schizo to me.

  • Shawnie5

    Nobody “agreed” on this except Boswell — and he didn’t make his case in the slightest. Even one of the sources he used to make this point wrote an article demonstrating how wrong he got it.

    Although according to ancient rabbinic literature same-sex marriage DID exist among the people wiped out by the flood…

  • Adam

    I LOVE CarrotCakeMan!
    Keep on posting!
    You are amazing!
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

  • Larry

    “Presentism”? Is that even a thing?

    What part of slave labor did you not understand?

    What about human trafficking, do you know why that is a bad thing?

    These things you wouldn’t tolerate from other organizations. But if its from a church, it is OK by you. Your take on Christian morality is nothing more than relativism at its worst.

    Greg1, don’t ever bother to lecture me about morality. Your excuses for truly vile behavior shows you have no concept it.

  • A division of Time Warner has been trying for decades to celebrate inter-species homosexual relations through a medium noted for juvenile readership.

    http://comicattack.net/2013/03/charspotmonmallah/

    http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2007/04/10/365-reasons-to-love-comics-100/

    [I am using any excuse to post links about a talking gorilla]

  • Susan

    The majority of Gay men are just like the rest of us. They go to work and get home tired. They have often adopted children no one else wanted. What about lesbian women? That doesn’t seem to bother you as much. You seem to be obsessed with Gay men.

  • Larry

    So why would a possible reference to Boswell be considered suspect?

    If one is to disregard a given source out of hand, it would behoove them to elaborate in some fashion as to why. Something beyond your personal dislike for that author. 🙂

  • Ben in oakland

    So where are the good, so-called Christians calling out Julian Penrod for his reviling and slander of gay people? It says right next to the part where Paul condemns abusers of themselves with mankind that revilers and slanderers will also not go to heaven.

    Where are shawnie, Greg, JR, Mr. Carr, Fran, repent-bot, and doc? You’re quick to condemn our alleged sin, but turn a blind eye towards all of the other sins that could be committed, and usually are.

    This is why I don’t take the bulk of the so-called Christians on these pages particularly seriously, even the intelligent ones. It is clear that your “religious” beliefs about homosexuality trump your religious beliefs in general.

  • Shawnie5

    If you were even slightly informed on the subject you would not need to ask.

    But since you asked…I have no personal feelings at all for Boswell. Yet every line of argument attempting to reconcile same-sex practice with Christianity stem from one source and that is Boswell’s “Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality”. And while the uninformed public likes Boswell’s stuff, his peers were utterly unimpressed. (cont.)

  • Shawnie5

    Dr. David Wright of the University of Edinburgh, who wrote the entry about homosexuality in the Encyclopedia of Christianity, aptly refers to Boswell’s work as “influential but highly misleading.” Dr. Richard Hays of Duke Divinity School dismissed Boswell’s work as “advocacy scholarship” and “a textbook case of reading into the text what one wants to find there. The University of Virginia’s Dr. Robert Wilken went so far as to say that Boswell simply invented evidence to suit his arguments. And here is a link to one of Boswell’s own sources repudiating his bizarre assertions:

    http://www.newoxfordreview.org/reviews.jsp?did=1294-viscuso

    Try reading some of Boswell’s stuff before you buy it all.

  • Shawnie5

    Hey Carrot, have you figured out yet whose same-sex partner Jairus’ twelve-year-old daughter was? You’ve kept us all waiting an awfully long time.

  • Larry

    There is nothing “schizo” about Carrot or your position. You are flat out morally wrong here in comparison. You have clearly admitted you think coercion and force are a much better thing than abiding by the personal and private decisions of people.

    “Encourage” being an extreme understatement to what the church actually did. You can’t even pretend to present facts in an honest fashion here.

  • Larry

    The review appears to be a difference of opinion and interpretation. Not really a refutation of the work. Also coming from a newsletter touting itself as from the “Orthodox Catholic perspective” doesn’t do much for objectivity of the work.

    If you cited a source more interested in historical analysis and less bent on supporting a given theological position/perspective, you could have objective criticisms to level. All it looks like is Boswell irks “orthodox theologians”. That alone does not mean a work is without merit.

    “I have no personal feelings at all for Boswell”

    Yet you always trot his name out when someone brings up “affirming” interpretations of scripture which do not jive with your given sectarian prejudices.

    “a textbook case of reading into the text what one wants to find there.

    That is the entire nature of theology!

    (No link to Wilken’s assertion of fabrication? 🙁 )

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Please note the anti-gay poster can find only one “great expert” who denies the historical record that same gender marriages were relatively common. Anti-gays can always find one “great expert” who is anti-gay and willing to repeat their routine anti-gay lie.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    I’m not interested in any of your “biblical fantasies,” anti-gay poster.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    You’ve mischaracterized my “side,” Greg1. I am on the pro-Constitution, pro-America side. Anti-gays are on the Vladimir Putin side.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    (blush)

    I hope you are saving the important documentation I present that debunks anti-gay lies.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Susan is 100% correct–again. Here’s the first of many corroborative studies:

    “In 1996, three researchers from the University of Georgia published a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology about the links between homophobia and homosexual arousal. The authors, Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright, Jr., and Bethany A. Lohr, started with 35 straight men identified as homophobic and 29 straight men that were not. Both groups were shown heterosexual, lesbian and gay male porn while their erectile responses were measured. “Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli,” reported the researchers.

    It was empirical evidence for a theory long popular among psychoanalysts: that those most hostile to gay people are often driven by terror and shame about their own desires.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/05/05/the-christian-rights-gay-problem.html

  • CarrotCakeMan

    They have been here, Ben. The evidence of their taking action is in the fact that that anti-gay poster’s vicious Hate Speech meant to demean, demonize and dehumanize LGBT Americans has been deleted by the monitors, in the first example I have ever seen at this website of the monitors actually deleting a post from an anti-gay, so many of which violate the terms of service here. Thank you, Real Christians!

  • Greg1

    Carrot, are you Anti-Life, or Pro-Life?

  • Shawnie5

    No good, Carrot. You said a pais was a same-sex partner. Jesus called Jairus’ daughter “pais.” So whose same-sex partner, therefore, so you think she was?

  • Shawnie5

    Larry, you miss the point about Fr. Viscuso, probably because you either didn’t read the article or, more likely, didn’t understand it. What matters isn’t Fr. Viscuso’s opinion per se but the fact that John Boswell used Fr. Viscuso as his primary SOURCE about Byzantine marriage theology — and Fr. Viscuso says that Boswell got it terribly wrong.

    Here is an article in which Dr. Wilken explains what is wrong with Boswell’s assertions: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/bosrev-wilken.asp

    As well as a more general sampling of Boswell’s critics from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/03/us/beliefs-004715.html

    But there’s no shortcut to understanding this, Larry. To grasp the issues you have to actually dig into Boswell.

    “Yet you always trot his name out when someone brings up “affirming” interpretations of scripture”

    Because he is the source of ALL of it — not because I care anything at all about him personally. Good grief!

  • Shawnie5

    @Carrot: Um, no, rather the reverse. You have but one historian (whom you persistently and dishonestly present as “modern scholars”) who insisted that there WERE church-sanctioned same-sex marriages, and almost the entire remainder of the academic world that doesn’t buy it (in spite of your persistent and dishonest claim that “modern scholars have proven” this).

    Frankly, Carrot, I don’t think you care whether the claims you present on this matter are true or not, for you’ve been schooled on this many times and hastily bow out when asked to defend your position. I think you’re simply repeating the nonsense hoping to convince as many of the ignorant as possible.

  • Jeff Mayhugh

    The Catholic Church is declining in Ireland because it has failed to properly form people in the Faith. For too many years (centuries) the Church relied on an obedience model, and failed to actually root believes in Christ. The strongest Christian is a believing one who is also well-educated in Scripture and theology. In the secular world children are given 12 or more years of education, and then many go on to university. But within the Church (Catholic or Protestant) children are given a few years of kindergarten level catechism and that’s it.

  • JR

    You have a low standard for knowledge.

  • JR

    Homophobia is a sign of a well formed conscious. Homosexuality is an inherent aberration that should be quietly handled by the individual afflicted. Look at the state of the world today now that they have banned together and screamed for acceptance.
    What was rightly hidden in dark bars and hotel rooms is now paraded as equal to the male/female relationship. They are vicious enemies of free speech or debates that could kill their cause, and have successfully won over the mindless liberals who need to be attached to the latest fads. Anti-gay folks fear speaking the truth for they could face social ostracism…… so they remain quiet.
    So homophobia is a virtue. We should fear the gay agenda. It is not a civil rights cause, not a women’s liberation cause, not an analogy of slave ownership. It is a concerted effort to blur the concept, or truth, of sexual morality. Religion is not a stumbling block, it is a teacher of morals, virtue, chastity, and love……and homosexual unions are…

  • JR

    ….not included in these teachings.

  • Ben in oakland

    Yet another good, so-called Christians slandering and reviling gay people. Here’s some news for you fella. We’re not going back into the closet, not for you, not for anybody. And that just scares the hell out of you, doesn’t it.

    As for winning over the so-called mindless what liberals, that’s really all that you have, isn’t it. It isn’t the Liberals, however. It is people of faith across the religious spectrum, the political spectrum, and the human spectrum. Right now, all credible polls indicate that marriage equality stands around 60%, and ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation stands at around 70%. And that also scares the hell out of you, doesn’t it?

    Most of what you say is projection. I have made several well reasoned comments in response to Maggie Gallagher at national review. The posters there immediately deleted my comments, delightedly announcing how they were going to delete any comments opposing the bile that they spew.

    Just hypocritical…

  • Ben in oakland

    Oh yes, some of these vile comments have been deleted. However, what I was commenting on was the failure of the hypocritical Christians who are always posting here to call the slanderers and revilers out on there slander and reviling.

    I always appreciate what the good Christians do. It’s the value of the ones who call themselves good Christians to actually act that way that bother me the most. It is one of the reasons why I cannot really take too much of Christianity very seriously.

  • JR

    Gays are no threat to me, I care nothing about their desires or agenda. In the closet, out of the closet, I don’t care. They are generally silly, self-absorved people constantly playing the victim.
    My only concern is this attempt to redefine the definition of marriage. It is an attack on society that has no precedent in history. Blacks won their equality, but did not demand to be called White. Women won equal rights, but never asked to be called men. So gays now have the privileges accorded married people, but want to call it marriage also. It is not. It never has been, and it is an affront to society that gays scream to include their unions in the definition.
    Your statistics of approval only highlight the low morals of citizens at large…..like the huge support for legalizing drug use and abortion backers. Flush the toilet, please.

  • JR

    Looks like Ireland has become a sister state of Sodom and Gomorrah. No more St. Patty’s Day celebrations here!

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Your lies didn’t fool Irish voters, did they, shawnie?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    I’m not interested in the politically based misinterpretations of the Bible by Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, shawnie. How did the Westboro agenda fare in Ireland?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Huckabee thinks what Josh Duggar did is AOK because Duggar shares his anti-gay political agenda.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    The answer is the same. I am on the pro-Constitution, pro-America side. The US Supreme Court has already ruled on that. The Constitution says their decision counts. Please learn to accept your defeat in that matter also. But please keep telling Americans you want to control everyone else’s private lives, see where that gets you.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Please document just what I have posted that backs up your gratuitous insult.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Stay home. Irish Americans are strongly in favor of marriage equality, as are all American lay Catholics:

    “Our analysis found that this increasingly diverse Catholic community is strongly supportive of acceptance of and rights for gay and lesbian Americans. Generally speaking, Catholics are at least 5 points more supportive than the general population across a range of issues. For example, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; 63 percent of Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military; and 60% favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.”

    More:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/why-do-catholics-support-gay-rights-when-the-hierarchydoes-not/2011/03/24/AFqObxVB_blog.html

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Please show us just where in the Bible Jesus said His followers should poison the political process, but expect to be reminded about “Render Unto Caesar.” Spare us this nonsense about “God” endorsing the anti-gay political agenda.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    “What was rightly hidden in dark bars and hotel rooms”

    “Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.”

    http://www.landman-psychology.Com/Homophobia%20Associated%20with%20Homosexual%20Arousal.pdf

    http://psycnet.apa.Org/journals/abn/105/3/440/

    An agency of the federal government, the National Institutes of Health, publishes a supporting study:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.Gov/pubmed/8772014

    Here’s a video that illustrates that study:

    http://www.youtube.Com/watch?v=AEuDDvqYbVw

    How about a You-tube SONG that explains this?

    http://www.youtube.Com/watch?v=1CQg9f7z9eg&feature=youtu.be

  • CarrotCakeMan

    You’ve already expressed your obsession with “gay sex,” JR, with comments like ““What was rightly hidden in dark bars and hotel rooms.” Attacking the majority of Americans who reject your anti-gay agenda, and seek to get those who suffer from the mental disorder, homophobia, into therapy, will not convince us to help anti-gays overthrow our United States Constitution.

  • Ben in oakland

    No JR, blacks did not demand to be called white. They demanded to be treated as the equal of whites in law. Women did not demand to be called men. They demanded the right to be treated the same as men.

    And we are not demanding the right to be called heterosexual. We are demanding the right to be treated the same as heterosexuals within the law. And that’s what you object to, treating us the same as anyone else. You just go to prove that not all bigotry is hate; so much of it is they completely unfounded, unwarranted believe in your wholy imaginary superiority as a so-called Christian, as a moral person, as a heterosexual, and as a human being.

    This nonsense that gay people are attacking marriage is just that: nonsense. It’s a very strange attack if we’re attacking marriage by demanding to be married. As far as I can tell, all of your energy goes towards fighting gay people and/or inclusion in society. None of it goes towards doing anything about the real attacks on…

  • Shawnie5

    The general public in Ireland is probably even more ignorant of scripture and church history than the general public here in America — which is why Boswell was embraced by the uninformed public but dismissed by scholars.

  • Shawnie5

    Ah, but I’m interested in YOUR interpretations of who could possibly have been the same-sex lover of this 12-year-old “pais” and why her father was letting her participate in such activity–without even a word about it from Jesus??? 😀

    C’mon, Carrot, quit cowering and make your case. And after you do, I have some more “paises” in scripture for you to explain…

  • Shawnie5

    Try every instance above of your refusing to answer a rather straightforward question about various “paides” mentioned in the scripture — because you know quite well that you can not.

  • JR

    Gay marriage is not equal to heterosexual marriage. It is an imitation, a novelty, children playing house. That’s just it…..and I will forever stand by that statement. So there’s no reason to debate the issue with me.

  • I really like where you’re going with this article, very good.

  • Jose Allen

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of The Church, the movement to make abortion legal, and the acceptance of gay marriage in Ireland has effectively destroyed both the witness of The Catholic Church and the social fabric of Ireland. as anyone ever wondered why Ireland suddenly became something it wasn’t, and had not been for 2.000 years? Has anyone asked where the money came from to mount such expensive counter cultural campaigns?The abortion movement and its subsequent legalization and the gay marriage campaign was bought by money.. big money. It would be wise to see this as an attempt to destroy Catholicism and the way of life in Ireland. there are rumors as to who paid for this; but this is not the forum for those rumors.