It would appear that the Catholic Church is not happy, not happy at all, about the result of the Irish referendum supporting same-sex marriage.
First we had the Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin saying that the church needed to take “a reality check” and “not move into denial”. The church, he said, had lost its connection with young people, and needed to work to reconnect with them. Now while some liberal Catholics have seen this as an outbreak of common sense, it was very clear to me that this was a brilliant piece of equivocation on the Archbishop’s part. While to liberal Catholics it could be interpreted as recognising that the Church has to change, for the rest of us it was perfectly clear that his message was: “our attempt to indoctrinate Irish youth has failed, and we must redouble our efforts – marriage can only be between a man and a woman for the sole purpose of procreation”.
Luckily, we now have the Vatican’s number two, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, making it crystal-clear for us all. He is quite clear that Ireland’s vote was “a defeat for humanity”, adding that he was “deeply saddened” by it, and that the answer for the church is to “strengthen its commitment to evangelisation”.
Let’s just ponder that for a moment: a vote for equality and recognising that love can exist between two people of the same sex is seen by the Catholic Church as “a defeat for humanity”.
I truly wonder what goes on in the minds of the leaders of the Catholic Church. And for all the posturing of Pope Francis, I really do not expect him to correct Cardinal Parolin. He may equivocate, but he is unlikely to contradict the cardinal. Let’s wait and see; a miracle might yet happen.