Since the referendum passed there has been a poster on a pole along the route I take home from work. I only get a glance at it but it is obviously from the YES side and seeks to build on the momentum to continue their campaign against 'inequality' etc. As I have written before this is not going to go away. Mr Voris over on ChurchMilitant has the right idea. What begins as encouraging sensitivity about language will become a campaign against 'hate speech' (hate speech will be whatever the liberal, secularist neo-fascists will define it to be - censorship returns under the guise of respect!).
So we will have to live with the consequences of this vote. On this feast of the Ungandan martyrs one can't help wondering how it will unfold.
As regards the Irish Church we have a lot of consequences to face. It have heard it say that Archbishop Martin is wrong to think that the Church has failed to communicate with the young, it happened a long time before that. We failed to communicate the Gospel to their parents and grandparents. The Irish Church failed to effectively teach the Church's own teaching and settled for a dumbed-down, no challenge, mushy caricature of the teaching of Christ. We taught the easy bits and left the hard bits til later (i.e. never).
What concerns me though are the priests, religious and prominent lay people who came out calling for a yes vote. As a theologian wrote in the Irish Catholic 'what part of Jesus' clear teaching on marriage did they not get?' Have they not read the Catechism? How long will public dissent be tolerated? Are there no repercussions for those who publically oppose Church teaching? What meaning has Church discipline and unity when those who publicly support the enshrining of an intrinsic evil in the Nation's Constitution in clear opposition to the Bishops suffer no consequences for that opposition. Have we gone entirely to the opposite extreme of an authoritarian Church (such as is alledged we once had here)? We have a Taoiseach who, while claiming to be a practicing Catholic, has publicly professed beliefs that are in clear contradiction to that Faith.
There you have it. Our 'Catholic' (self-described as such) Taoiseach does not believe in God but in an impersonal, indestructible force or energy that drives us all. Jesus is an embodiment of that force. He ducks the question of faith in the Real Presence and comes across as theologically, and philosophically, confused. A pantheist, in fact. Bear in mind that he would've gotten catechetical training during his studies to be a primary school teacher. There have been, to my knowledge, no repercussions for our leader for these statements nor for his support for the introduction of abortion into Ireland. Let's not mention that he lied to the Pro-Life movement!
He's one of many. Frs Gabriel Daly, Iggy O'Donovan, Peter McVerry and not a few others publicly supported a Yes vote, as did Sr Stanislaus Kennedy and former President Mary McAleese. One wonders what you have to do to get a rap on the knuckles from the Irish episcopate? Does it always have to go to Rome before there is action? Has the ultimate result of the formation of Epsicopal Conferences been the effective esmasculation of our shepherds?
There are many ordinary, faithful Catholics who want to see their shepherds deal with the wolves. They want to see some real action not words, not press statements, not pastoral initiatives but an effective handling of those who are opposed to the faith but insist on remaining within the fold. Leaving the wolves there will prove very costly.