Those Catholics supporting the ‘yes’ vote are ignoring the teaching of Jesus

Dear Editor, Writing as a Catholic theologian, may I express my astonishment and disappointment at those theologians and prominent Catholics who support a ‘yes’ vote.

In every case that I have read or heard, none of these people has referred to the actual teaching of Jesus on marriage (see Mark 10:1-12). Jesus’ teaching is surely the foundation of any theological or faith-shaped response to this referendum, but people such as ex-president Mary McAleese, Fr Peter McVerry, Prof. Linda Hogan, Fr Gabriel Daly, Angela Hanly and Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, and others, have not made the slightest reference in their promotion of same-sex marriage to the clear teaching of Our Lord that God has founded marriage as a natural reality on our being created male and female.

This cannot be ‘dismissed’ as merely a reference by Jesus to the sacrament, as He quotes from Genesis 1 and 2 and thus speaks of a natural and universal reality of marriage for all. Furthermore, we need to ask Catholics who promote a vote to change our constitutional and legal understanding of marriage: Do you consider the Church’s practice and understanding of the sacrament to be discriminatory? They might say that they in no way are criticising the sacrament. But if they believe that it is always seriously unjust to treat same-sex relationships as in any significant way different from opposite-sex unions with regard to marriage and family and children, and want this very principle enshrined in the Constitution by the proposed amendment, then how can they not consider the sacrament to be discriminatory and wrong? And thus reject their Catholic faith and the gospel of Christ?

Yours etc.,

Dr John Murray,

School of Theology, Ethics and Religious Studies, Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin 3.