No vote calls to include religion

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said public debate around major social issues at times reduced faith in Jesus Christ to the level of belief in leprechauns.

Dr Martin also accused some yes voters in the run-up to the marriage equality referendum of selectively using Catholic Church statements to back their cause while also stating that religion had no place in the debate.

“I find it interesting that many of those supporting the yes campaign object to the use of religious language but they are not shy in quoting Pope Francis in support of their arguments, although I feel that their knowledge of Pope Francis’s repertoire is somewhat restricted,” Dr Martin said

He said religion had a crucial role to play in the debate. “We should not forget that so much of what is cherished as good in secular society is, in fact, the fruit of Christian culture.”

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However, Dr Martin added: “In the heated debate today this relevance of rational reflection inspired by religious belief is being reduced by some at times to a level of banality in which faith in Jesus Christ and his teaching is being placed on the level of belief in leprechauns.”

His comments came as both sides in the referendum ramped up campaigning in advance of the May 22 poll.

Meanwhile, the Law Society is advocating a yes vote in the referendum. “Marriage equality is an issue of fundamental human rights,” said director general Ken Murphy.

TÁ Comhionannas, an Irish language group, has also launched its yes campaign, supported by former minister Pat Carey who recently revealed he is gay.

The organisers of the annual March for Marriage announced details of an event in Dublin on Sunday when politicians, campaigners, and entertainers will take the stage at Merrion Square.

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