Bishop: Ireland in ‘danger’ of ‘groupthink’ over same-sex marriage

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A senior Catholic bishop has warned against the “danger of groupthink” on the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

The Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Denis Nulty, claimed the Irish media and Parliament was already supportive of marriage equality.

“Personally, there is a danger of groupthink on this issue,” the Irish Times reports Bishop Nulty said. “If you look at Dáil Éireann or the media, there’s a danger of groupthink.

“Irish people might be forgiven for thinking that we are the last place on the planet to legalise same-sex marriage, which is not true; 18 out of 193 nations have done so,” he said.

Bishop Nulty, who is president of Catholic marriage care service Accord, was speaking at the launch of a survey regarding attitudes to marriage and family.

He said he was speaking on the issue in a personal capacity. “Accord is not an advocacy group, it’s an agent of the Church, so therefore we don’t get involved in the debate,” he said.

“I’m simply saying, ‘Let’s step back a little and look and reflect’. There’s limited research on what needs to be done, but equally [we need to] support homosexual people, and the Church is there to do that in their relationship,” he said.

“The sacrament of marriage reflects the union between Christ and the Church. One woman, one man united in Christ in faithful love. No law or referendum can alter the true nature and meaning of marriage,” he said.

“Marriage has always recognised sexual differences. This is because society recognises the importance of the setting in which new human life, new members of society come into existence.

“It is of vital importance to society that the definition of marriage is protected, sustained and supported.”
Last week, Katherine Zappone, Ireland’s only out lesbian senator, said the country “stands poised to become a beacon of freedom” if it passes same-sex marriage.

The Republic of Ireland is set to vote in May on a proposal that would legalise civil same-sex marriage.

Earlier this month a poll showed 62% of voters were in favour of the reform; 16% were opposed and 22% undecided on how they would vote.