The Irish campaign group Faith in Marriage Equality (FiME) has called on the Synod on the family, which Pope Francis opened yesterday in Rome, to learn from the inclusiveness, love and understanding shown by the Irish people in the recent marriage referendum.
In his opening address Pope Francis emphasised the centrality of procreation in marriage between a man and a woman. However, marriage is not primarily about procreation but about love and commitment and these qualities are also evident in same sex relationships.
The ordinary people of Ireland were able to grasp this during the recent referendum on same sex marriage. We hope that Pope Francis and the bishops can learn from the inclusiveness, love and understanding towards people who are gay shown by the Irish people.
The pope’s call for love and understanding for all was incompatible with the church’s negative teaching on same sex couples.
Last July I and Faith in Marriage Equality met with Archbishop Eamon Martin, the Catholic Primate of All Ireland. We drew his attention to homo-negative teaching by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1986) which describes ‘homosexual orientation as an objective disorder and ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil’.
We requested Archbishop Martin to raise this negative teaching when he contributes to the discussions at this week’s Synod on the family.
I welcome the weekend announcement in Rome by Fr Krzystof Charamsa, who worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2003, that he was gay but Faith in Marriage Equality is saddened that Fr Charamsa has now been punished by the church authorities for his honesty and sacked for speaking up for gay people.
Dr Richard O’Leary, Faith in Marriage Equality, Belfast