The Catholic Church in Ireland needs a reality check, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has stated after the huge Irish vote in favor of gay marriage.
Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE after the 'Yes' vote was confirmed on Saturday, Martin, who lobbied against the equality referendum, said the church will have to improve its outreach to voters who made history on Saturday with their support of marriage equality.
“I think really that the church needs to do a reality check, a reality check right across the board, to look at the things it’s doing well, to look at the areas where we really have to start and say, 'Look, have we drifted away completely from young people?'” Martin said.
Martin voted 'No' in Saturday’s historic referendum and stated that he instead wanted Irish society to be “creative in finding ways in which people of same-sex orientation have their rights and their loving and caring relationships recognized and cherished in a culture of difference, while respecting the uniqueness of the male-female relationship.”
Ireland, however, voted for marriage equality, and Martin said that the outcome must be respected and looked upon as a “reality check.”
“I think it’s a social revolution... It’s a social revolution that didn’t begin today,” he said. “It’s a social revolution that’s been going on, and perhaps in the church people have not been as clear in understanding what that involved.
“It’s very clear that if this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people, then the church has a huge task in front of it to find the language to be able to talk to and to get its message across to young people, not just on this issue, but in general.”
Martin also acknowledged the “grey area” that exists between the Catholic Church and its members.
“But all of us live in the grey area. All of us fail. All of us are intolerant. All of us make mistakes. All of us sin and all of us pick ourselves up again with the help of that institution which should be there to do that.
“The church’s teaching, if it isn’t expressed in terms of love - then it’s got it wrong,” he said.