Monday, December 22, 2008

D Martin - Relationships of Dependency and Intimacy

In The Irish Times Wednesday, November 26, 2008
in article entitled, 'Bishops differ over emphasis on civil unions' It stated:

'He [D Martin] noted that while "the Catholic Church is in favour of marriage, it is not against other forms of intimacy". He added that "consistently, all Christian churches emphasise the uniqueness of marriage based on the complementarity of the sexes", but they addressed other forms of intimacy on other bases.'

[Marriage is for the intimacy between a man and woman.
Other forms of intimacy - such as between two men or two women. Other forms of intimacy - such as homosexual intimacy.]

This was Diarmuid's letter a few day's later. Friday November 28th Nov 2008:

Archbishop and civil unions

Madam, - I have received a number of calls from people who feel that my remarks, as presented in your report of November 26th, "Bishops differ over emphasis on civil unions", seem to indicate that I do not accept Catholic teaching on marriage.

I was responding to a series of questions from journalists regarding a variety of aspects of the forthcoming Civil Partnership Bill. It is possible that the manner in which my different remarks appeared may have given rise to false interpretation.

While saying that I might have addressed the theme differently, I did clearly say that I was supportive of the basic content of Cardinal Brady's position on the Bill and of his comments at the recent Céifin conference.

Above all my remarks wished to stress that the Christian teaching on marriage, rather than starting out from negative criticisms, is a positive endorsement of the unique and irreplaceable contribution to society made by the family based on marriage, that is, on the mutual and exclusive love of husband and wife.

While stressing, as I have consistently done, the Christian teaching on the mutuality of the sexes as fundamental to the understanding of marriage, I am fully aware of the need to protect the rights of a variety of people in caring and dependent relationships, different to marriage.

Unfortunately, some members of the public and some public commentators seize on such comments and concern as an opportunity to say that I advocate positions in conflict with Catholic teaching. For my part, I regret if my comments may have appeared unclear. On the other hand, the contrived polemic of such commentators does little to promote marriage and its value to society.

- Yours, etc,
Archbishop DIARMUID MARTIN, Archbishop's House, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.

This follows on from his earlier statements in November 2004:

Irish Prime Minister and Dublin Catholic Archbishop Back Homosexual Spousal Rights

DUBLIN, November 16, 2004 ( - Irish homosexual activists who came to Canada to 'marry' and are currently challenging Ireland to grant them spousal inheritance rights have garnered support from Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and shockingly from Dublin's Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Commenting on the case to the Irish state television RTE, Ahern said, "They say: 'We want more equality and we want to be treated fairer.' I agree with that. I totally agree with that. These people who are in relationships which are not illegal, they're not immoral, they're not improper. We should try to deal with some of the issues they have to surmount in their daily lives. And I think that's the fairest, caring and Christian way to deal with this."

Archbishop Martin was questioned by the Irish Independent newspaper on Ahern statements calling granting the spousal rights the "fairest" and "Christian way to deal with this."

Archbishop Martin told the Irish Independent: "I recognise that there are many different kinds of caring relationships and these often create dependencies for those involved. The State may feel in justice that the rights of people in these relationships need to be protected."

He continued: "I have a wide range of relationships in mind. I do not exclude gay relationships but my main concern is with all caring relationships where dependencies have come into being."

He said the rights "would primarily be inheritance and property." contacted the Archdiocese of Dublin to confirm the remarks. "The substance of his comments are accurate," Paul Tighe, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Dublin told

Other bishops commenting on such situations have expressed opposition to such spousal rights noting that current provisions allow for wills and private legal arrangements to bequeath or share property between individuals.

Pope John Paul II has made statements on the recognition of spousal rights. In his famous November 4, 2000 address to the world's politicians the Pope counseled them, "with regard to all laws which would do harm to the family, striking at its unity and its indissolubility, or which would give legal validity to a union between persons, including those of the same sex, who demand the same rights as the family founded upon marriage between a man and a woman." He warned "Christian legislators may neither contribute to the formulation of such a law nor approve it in parliamentary assembly, although, where such a law already exists, it is licit for them to propose amendments which would diminish its adverse effects."

And what pray tell - was the media reaction to this statement by D Martin. Yip, wild cheering at his support for gay civil unions:

See the Irish Times of Tue 11 Nov 2004
Archbishop backs rights for same-sex couples

"The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin appears to have given his backing for the legal rights of co-habiting couples, including same-sex couples, to be addressed.The Archdiocese of Dublin today stood over the comments made by Dr Diarmuid Martin but refused to confirm whether they constituted a call on the Government to take action on the issue."

What do you think? Everyone misundertands Diarmuid's support for Gay civil unions or is it a case of 'The World will safely judge.' The Irish Times, The Irish Independent and the people who read his words understood what D Martin said very well.

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