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The Catholic Church Voices Concern Over Referendums Challenging Traditional Marriage Norms..

Dublin: The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has expressed significant criticism of the referendums conducted on March 8, International Women’s Day, asserting that they pose serious harm to society. A message from the Church, read in Catholic churches nationwide, highlighted concerns regarding the referendum’s impact on the definition of family, suggesting it could undermine the institution of marriage and its vital social contributions to Ireland.

Emphasising marriage as a sacrament grounded in a lifelong commitment and the foundation of the family unit, the Church conveyed its belief in the indispensable role of strong families for societal well-being. While acknowledging that not all families are based on marriage, the Church stressed the importance of marital stability and government protection for this union.

Furthermore, the Church questioned the term “durable relationship,” expressing uncertainties surrounding its implications and potential misinterpretations. Regarding the Care Amendment, which addresses caregiving responsibilities, the Church raised concerns about its potential exclusion of mothers from societal participation.
Highlighting the constitutional recognition of women’s roles in the home, the Church advocated for the continued appreciation and acknowledgment of mothers’ contributions within the constitutional framework. It criticised the government’s failure to adequately recognise the economic contributions of women in households and to ensure appropriate financial compensation for caregiving duties.

Additionally, the Church cautioned against weakening constitutional accountability through vague wording in the proposed amendments. The pastoral letter, read in Catholic churches across Ireland, aligns with the stance of other Christian denominations, including the Church of Ireland, in opposing the referendums.

Meanwhile, government agencies, such as the National Women’s Council, campaign in favour of the Yes vote, touting its potential benefits for the women’s community. This divergence of perspectives underscores the complex and nuanced discussions surrounding gender equality and family dynamics in Irish society.

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