Vatican describes Republic of Ireland's gay marriage vote a 'defeat for humanity'
The Vatican's secretary of state has called the Republic's vote to legalise gay marriage a "defeat for humanity", evidence of the soul-searching going on in Catholic circles after the country overwhelmingly rejected traditional Catholic Church teaching on marriage.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin said he was saddened by the landslide decision, in which more than 62 per cent of voters said "Yes", despite Church teaching that marriage is only between a man and woman.
In comments to reporters, Cardinal Parolin referred to remarks by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, that the results showed the Church needed to do a "reality check" since it clearly was not reaching young people with its message.
"I don't think you can speak only about a defeat for Christian principles, but a defeat for humanity," he said.
Archbishop Martin himself called the vote part of a "social revolution" that required the Church to look at whether it had "drifted completely away from young people".
Pope Francis has not commented directly on the Irish results but yesterday, in his weekly general audience catechism lessons, which he is dedicating to family issues, he stressed traditional Church teaching on marriage as being between man and woman.
At a meeting last autumn, bishops from around the world stressed the need to better welcome gays into the Church, but ruled out gay marriage.