The Irish Government has recently approved a referendum for October this year to potentially remove blasphemy as an offense from the constitution.

The part of the constitution in question is article 40.6.1, stating that, “The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offense which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”

Ireland to vote on removing blasphemy as an offence.

The government has approved the preparation of a bill to remove the law as part of a commitment to reforms. The referendum is likely to be held on the same day as the presidential election.https://t.co/nA3Cerc9Ng pic.twitter.com/2s6OEWyfYv

— euronews (@euronews) June 13, 2018

In a series of recent actions that have defined Ireland as an increasingly secular western country, such as the rulings on same-sex marriage and abortion permissibility, this step would be another act of distancing from the Catholic Church.

The Irish Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, announced the news and believed this would be another crucial step in Irish history.

Read More: Ireland's era of guilt and shame is over and the Catholic Church needs to buck up

“By removing this provision from our Constitution, we can send a strong message to the world that laws against blasphemy do not reflect Irish values and that we do not believe such laws should exist,” Flanagan emphasized.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan received Cabinet approval today to hold a referendum on the deletion of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution https://t.co/HN4tkWazCj

— TheJournal.ie (@thejournal_ie) June 12, 2018

According to Buzz, Flanagan is expecting to have the decision made around the time of the country’s presidential election. The article also stated there is the potential for a referendum on the woman’s place in the home and that talks had been made about it, but there has been nothing confirmed so far.

Do you think it’s time for blasphemy to be removed as a constitutional offense?

Read More: Does abortion referendum mean the death of Catholic Ireland?

A crucifix on a bible.iStock/nito100