Primate of All Ireland has issued a statement ahead of the Marriage Referendum
The Primate of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has intervened in the Marriage Referendum.
Archbishop Eamon Martin has issued a statement in which he says clerics cannot support an amendment to the Constitution, which would treat the union of two men, or two women, as the same as that of a husband and wife - a relationship which is open to the procreation of children.
Archbishop Martin says he has issued the statement following requests for clarity on the church's position on the vote.
He has reiterated the stance that there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar to God's plan for marriage and family.
The statement says, "to interfere with the definition of marriage is not a simple or a trivial matter."
However the Archbishop has also stressed that "the Church emphasises that gay people ought always to be treated with respect and sensitivity."
In the statement, Eamon Martin also says, "many of the arguments being made for the proposed amendment appear to be based on a misunderstanding of 'equality'. It is a fact of nature that same-sex unions are fundamentally and objectively different from the complementary sexual union of a woman and a man which is, of itself, naturally open to life."
Archbishop Martin explains why he has spoken out on the issue this evening:
Originally posted at 20.19