Couples with no faith who want a church marriage are exploiting a sacred service, a Cork-based priest has said.
Fr Tomás Walsh SMA of Gurranabraher said that couples who seek a Catholic wedding without having any faith themselves are taking advantage the religious ceremony.
“I think that a lot of the church marriages that go on nowadays would be either to please mother or father of for grandparents,” he told The Irish Catholic, adding that he encourages couples to make sure “this is what they want for themselves”.
Fr Walsh also said that in cases where no religious belief is present, priests are just “providing a nice church or fine décor for what is otherwise a secular event for them”.
His comments to this newspaper come in the wake of remarks he made in a parish newsletter which criticised today’s “widespread disrespect” for the sacred, particularly at church services.
“It is becoming increasingly impossible to conduct Baptism ceremonies with children running wildly around the church and adults, obviously only present for the celebrations afterwards, not caring about the disturbance they or their children are causing,” the newsletter reads.
It adds that this irreverence is the direct consequence of little or no faith formation in homes or Catholic schools – and little moral direction.
“Still the Church in Ireland continues to dish out ‘cheap grace’ demanding nothing from anybody either in the way of faith commitment or allegiance,” Fr Walsh wrote.