On Tuesday the Vatican Secretary of State condemned in the strongest of terms this week’s same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland, calling it a “defeat for humanity.”
In an interview with journalists after an international conference of the Centesimus Annus Foundation in Rome, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the highest ranking Vatican official after the Pope, said he was “deeply saddened by the result” of the referendum.
The Cardinal also criticized Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for his milquetoast response to the vote, which by an overwhelming majority granted Irish citizens license to marry members of the same sex.
“The Archbishop of Dublin,” Parolin said, “said that the Church must take this reality into account, but it must take it into account, in my opinion, in the sense of strengthening its commitment and effort to evangelize. And I think we are seeing not only of a defeat of Christian principles but a defeat for humanity.”
Martin had said that he thinks that “the church needs to do a reality check right across the board, to look at the areas in which we’re doing well and see have we drifted away completely from young people.”
“I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day,” said Martin. “They feel this is something enriching the way they live. It’s a social revolution.”
In his comments, Cardinal Parolin added that the family must remain in the center of the Church’s concerns, and “we must do everything possible to defend it, assist it and promote it, because the family is the future of humanity as well as of the Church.”
Referring again to the Irish referendum, Parolin said that a commitment to defending the family must take into account “the events of these past days.”
“Striking out at the family,” he said, “is like removing the foundation of the building of the future.”
At the same time, gay rights advocates in the United States are exploiting the Irish law to push sexual license over religious liberty.
“The outcome in Ireland sends an unmistakable signal to politicians and religious leaders around the world who continue to harbor intolerant views against gays and lesbians,” said the editors of the New York Times in a recent essay.
Not long ago the same newspaper posted a piece saying that religion “is going to be the final holdout and most stubborn refuge for homophobia. It will give license to discrimination.” Therefore, religions should be made to “take homosexuality off the sin list.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter: @tdwilliamsrome