The Slatest

Vatican Calls Irish Vote to Legalize Gay Marriage a “Defeat for Humanity”

Banners supporting both sides of the Irish same-sex marriage referendum in Dublin on May 13, 2015.  

Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, Ireland made history by becoming the first country to legalize gay marriage by popular vote. The sweeping victory for gay marriage advocates was astonishing, in part, because the country is predominantly Catholic. The Vatican didn’t have too much to say in the immediate aftermath of the Irish vote, but on Tuesday one of the church’s top officials reacted pretty much how you’d expect the church to react calling the vote a “defeat for humanity.”

That response came from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, generally seen as second only to the Pope in the church hierarchy. Here’s more from Parolin via the Guardian:

“I was deeply saddened by the result,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, 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.”

Parolin’s over-the-top condemnation of the Irish referendum is perhaps unremarkable given the church’s official stance that homosexuality is a sin, despite occasionally showing signs of softening its stance on the treatment of gay individuals—only to reverse course again. Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin, however, struck a starkly different tone over the weekend. “The church needs to take a reality check,” Archbishop Martin said on Sunday. “It’s very clear there’s a growing gap between Irish young people and the church, and there’s a growing gap between the culture of Ireland that’s developing and the church.”