- Clear challenge to the Church in Ireland
Ireland’s bishops are considering the way forward after the country voted two to one in favour of same-sex marriage
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From the editor's desk
By a large majority, the people of Ireland have voted to allow the legal recognition of marriage between same-sex partners. This is a blow to the institutional Catholic Church, which fought tooth and nail to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
There were several measures outlined in this week’s Queen’s Speech, such as a promised increase in house building, which may improve the quality of life of hard-pressed sections of the population. But a sword of Damocles continues to hang over the poorest, in the form of the still unspecified cuts to the welfare budget.
How should the Catholic Church treat relationships that are regarded as proper marriages in the eyes of the state and society, but not in its own eyes? This question is raised by the outcome of the Irish referendum on gay marriage.
A few miles away is the anchorhold of Mother Julian of Norwich where her solitude, friendly and open to all, burned bright in the medieval church. Here, at Noggs Barn, the Norfolk summer day is playing light and shade over the lawns and through the branches of the trees.
It’s exam time, and I’m stressed out. I thought the stress was bad when I was doing my O levels; then A levels came along, and it was worse. Then I got to my degree, trickier still; then postgrad exams, and they took it to a new level.
Last weekend saw a visit to Rome by Julian Brazier MP, the first Roman Catholic to represent Canterbury in Parliament since the Reformation, who is an excellent bridge between our two communions – helped by having a wife who is not only an Anglican but a member of her Parochial Church Council (which is a labour of love if ever there was one).
Will I be the last person to do this? The storm had been chasing me for two miles when I saw the telephone box. I headed quickly for it – a red beacon in a steadily darkening world. As I opened the doors, the first drops landed.