On 22nd May citizens are being asked to vote on two significant issues affecting our Irish Constitution :
The lowering of the age for our President and the Definition of Marriage in our Constitution.
From the Catholic Faith perspective here are some reflections that may assist in helping your discernment of the issues being discussed and debated in the run up to the Marriage Referendum:
The Catholic Church is quite clear in its teaching and understanding that all people (irrespective of race, sexual orientation or other factors) are created in the image and likeness of God the creator and deserve respect and reverence in their journey to respond to God’s call in the circumstances of their lives.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible…..They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (Catechism of the Catholic Church No 2358)
The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference has commented on the proposal in relation to the Referendum on Marriage in their statement issued in March : Marriage is Important – Reflect before you change it”
Marriage is of fundamental importance for children, mothers and fathers, and society – all of us need to reflect deeply before changing it. We ask the people of Ireland to consider very carefully the profound implications which this constitutional amendment would have on the family environment and on our understanding of parenthood.
We encourage everyone to think about these issues and to vote on May 22nd. The effects of this proposed amendment will be far-reaching for this and for future generations. We say to all voters: Marriage is important – Reflect before you change it.
Further reflections on the following website: www.meaningofmarriage.ie