Bishop Francis Duffy on the marriage referendum

16 May 2015

Newsletter message for 16/17 May 2015

Married love is a unique form of love between a man and a woman which has a special benefit for society. The word ‘unique’ is an attractive word because it means there is something special and impressive about it; what is unique should be cared for and protected.  Uniqueness is not about equality but about valuing what is distinct and different; distinguishing does not mean discriminating.    Not many are saying ‘no’ publicly and those that are, risk being ridiculed.  Fear of social disapproval can lend itself to poor decision making.  It is important to reflect deeply on this issue and vote for what you consider the best option.  After the referendum the Church continues to support all people and families with its message of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Newsletter message for 9/10 May 2015 

Respect and dignity have not always been the experience of many in our society including those who are gay. There are changes needed that will draw on our capacities of love, compassion and respect.  However, the question put before us on May 22nd, proposes changing our understanding of marriage. Such a change potentially alters the whole structure of marriage and parenthood and also leaves us with unanswered questions about possible consequences.   This deserves deep prayer and reflection as we consider the meaning of marriage.

Newsletter message for 22/3 May 2015                            

It is important to listen to all voices, especially minority voices.  We may be moved by some of what we hear and we might not agree with everything we hear but it is important to be respectful of differing opinions.  In our constitution “The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack” (41.3.1).  Marriage matters because it is about the unique relationship between a man and a woman.  The complementarity of man and woman can give rise to new life.  To change the meaning of marriage will undo the uniqueness that marriage represents and that it celebrates.  It is important that we reflect before we change the meaning of marriage

+ Francis Duffy

Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois

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