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Couples may yet be barred from signing their marriage licences in church

The Catholic Church in Ireland hasn’t decided yet if priests would continue to solemnise marriages.

Image: Shutterstock

THE CATHOLIC PRIMATE of All Ireland Eamon Martin has said that no decision has yet been taken on whether priests will continue to solemnise marriages following the passing of the same-sex marriage referendum.

Currently, men and women who get married in a Catholic church also complete the civil part of the ceremony by signing the Marriage Registration form. This must also be overseen and signed by a solemniser of marriages.

The vast majority of solemnisers are Roman Catholic priests and, during the referendum campaign, the church warned that priests may be prevented from carrying out the role if the church and State’s definitions of marriage were different.

Speaking to RTÉ News yesterday after delivering a Mass at the Marian Shrine Knock, Martin said that the church has yet to clarify its position.

“We will look at all of these issues in due course, we haven’t seen the legislation,” he said.

We were given a lot of assurances during the debate and during the Yes campaign that there would be no threat to the church’s celebration of marriage so we’ll have to wait and see.

Speaking during yesterday’s Mass, Martin made several references to the referendum.

He said that the church’s position on marriage remains unchanged but that the debate was a reminder to followers of the church that they should care for anyone in society who has been victimised.

PastedImage-14672 Archbishop Eamon Martin speaking in Knock yesterday. Source: RTÉ News

“Among the many lessons that we as Church can learn from the referendum debate is to re-commit ourselves to the pastoral care of anyone in society who experiences victimisation and stigmatisation,” he argued.

To reach out pastorally to different kinds of families and relationships while at the same time continuing to be advocates for a Christian vision of marriage and for the unique and fundamental contribution to society of the family founded upon the love and marriage of a man and a woman.

Martin also says that he has received letters in the past week both from people criticising the church for “not doing enough to stop the amendment” and others alleging that the church is “out of touch with the people” on this issue.

“I hope and trust that the Catholic Church shall continue to have an important voice in discussions in the public square on a range of matters, particularly those relating to human life, the dignity of the person, the family, care for the poor and marginalised, the environment, justice and peace,” he added.

Read: Church stance on gay marriage could force Catholics to have two weddings >

Read: Irish Bishop says Yes result “increased the sum of human happiness” >

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Rónán Duffy

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