Dublin prelate slams obnoxious language about gays

The Archbishop of Dublin has condemned intemperate language that is sometimes used about gays and lesbians as “obnoxious” and “unchristian”.

Speaking at a meeting of the Iona Institute, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said much of the discussion on marriage and family in Ireland today is polemical.

The archbishop referred to some correspondence he has received in the build up to Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage in May.

He said the language was “not just intemperate, but obnoxious, insulting and unchristian in regard to gay and lesbian people”.

He warning the correspondents about using such language to support a position they felt was Christian.

“Then all I can say is that they have forgotten something essential about the Christian message.”

The archbishop said that discussion on the definitions of marriage required time and frank and balanced discussion.

But he noted that an ethics of equality did not require uniformity.

“There can be an ethic of equality, which is an ethic of recognising and respecting difference,” he said.

Dr Martin suggested that a pluralist society could be creative in finding ways in which people of same-sex orientation had their rights and their loving and caring relationships recognised and cherished in a culture of difference.

“I’m not saying that gay and lesbian people are unloving or that their love is somehow deficient compared to others,” he said.

“I am talking about a uniqueness in the male-female relationship.”

Archbishop Martin said there is something “irreplaceable in that relationship between a man and a woman who commit to one another in love and who remain open to the transmission and the nurturing of human life”.

“We are all the children of a male and a female and this must have relevance to our understanding of the way children should be nurtured and educated,” he added.


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