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Catholic Church 'can learn from Ireland referendum debate'

2015-06-07
The Catholic Church has lessons to learn following the result of Ireland's same-sex marriage referendum, primate of All Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin has said. The Archbishop was a vocal supporter of the 'No' vote, warning that the amendment to the Irish constitution would have far-reaching consequences. _83158518_ireland However, Martin has said that he is aware that some feel that the Catholic Church is "out of touch" with public opinion, after the results of the referendum last month. "I would like to affirm those who spoke up courageously and chose to vote in support of the unique union of marriage between a man and a woman and the dignity of difference between male and female," Martin said. "I am also conscious, from the correspondence that I have received, that many people were conflicted about how to vote. "It is clear from the reaction to the referendum result that many people voted in favour of the amendment believing it to be a way of showing tolerance and respect towards gay people, including family members and friends." He added: "Among the many lessons that we as Church can learn from the referendum debate is to recommit ourselves to the pastoral care of anyone in society who experiences victimisation and stigmatisation." More stories: Violence in Ukraine as Kiev gay pride march attacked Patrick Stewart explains 'gay cake' bakery comments