Vatican: Irish vote for same-sex marriage is a ‘defeat for humanity’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

A senior Vatican official has spoken out against Ireland’s recent vote for equal marriage, claiming it was not just “a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin’s comments follow predominantly Catholic Ireland voting yes to equal marriage over the weekend. The country made history as the first to vote in same-sex marriage by popular vote, with an overwhelming majority coming out in support of equality.

However, the Vatican’s secretary of state said at a conference in Rome on Tuesday night, “The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation.

“I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”

The remarks by the veteran Catholic official, who is seen as second only to the pope in the church’s hierarchy, represent the most critical assessment of the Irish vote by a senior church official so far.

The referendum saw 62% of voters coming out in favour of marriage equality for gay couples, signalling a huge difference in values between the traditionally Catholic Irish population and the Church itself, which says that homosexual acts are a sin and strongly opposes gay marriage.

Although some have argued that Pope Francis is more progressive than many of his predecessors, Catholics hoping that the church was entering an era of tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality are bound to be disappointed by Parolin’s comments.

They follow the recent controversy surrounding France’s decision to select an openly gay ambassador to reperesent them in the Vatican. However, The Pope met with diplomat Laurent Stefanini personally, to tell him his appointment will be blocked because he is gay.

Earlier today, PinkNews reported how Labour’s Andy Burnham hopes that the Pope and the Catholic Church will back gay rights.

The leadership hopeful claimed, “Our new Pope has brought back a forgiving and warm-hearted style that seemed to characterise the Catholic Church in my youth,” saying he hopes the Pope will “bring the Church into the 21st century.”