IRELAND: Bishops Threaten To Stop Performing Straight Marriages If Gay Marriages Are Legalized
Ireland's Catholic bishops are threatening to stop solemnizing heterosexual marriages if gay marriages are legalized. The warning came in a submission to the Constitutional Convention. Via the Irish Examiner:
In their 10-page submission, the bishops say any change to the definition of marriage would mean the Church could no longer co-operate with the civil aspect of marriage. They state this would affect 70% of marriages where both the Church and civil elements take place together. Point 29 of their submission states: “It is important to note that in Ireland, the Church and State co-operate closely in the solemnisation of marriages.Ireland's Constitutional Convention is scheduled to consider marriage equality on April 13th.
“Any change to the definition of marriage would create great difficulties and in the light of this, if there were two totally different definitions of marriage, the Church could no longer carry out the civil element.” For a wedding to be legally recognised, it must be solemnised by a person on the register of solemnisers. About 4,300 of the 5,600 people on the register are Catholic priests.