Catholic primate calls on State to support traditional marriage

Legislation and constitutional guarantee needed, says Archbishop Eamon Martin

Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin. Photograph: David Sleator

Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin. Photograph: David Sleator


The State should go out of its way to support the family, in particular the faithful and exclusive union between a married man and a woman and their children, Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin has said.

“In doing so, the State is not only caring for its citizens but it is also strengthening and nurturing the foundations of society itself,” he said at a weekend conference in Dublin organised by the Iona Institute and the Irish Catholic newspaper.

He said Catholics should ask politicians seeking their vote to what extent they can support family and life, freedom of education and conscience and a proper work-life balance, which respects the role of mothers and fathers.

Dr Martin said the church’s proclamation of the family – “which is founded on a faithful loving relationship between a man and a woman and which is open to the gift of children who are the fruit of that love” – is good for society and the world.

Meanwhile, Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Richard Clarke has said the recent meeting of Anglican communion primates in Canterbury was “at times robust” but “singularly without rancour”.

Anglican churches

The meeting addressed a decision by the US Episcopal Church in July 2015 to recognise same-sex marriage, which threatened schism, particularly where some African Anglican churches were concerned.

The communion’s 38 primates voted by a two-thirds majority that, for three years, the Episcopal Church would not represent it “on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”