A Catholic priest who is planning to defy church teaching and vote in favour of the upcoming same sex marriage referendum has said he believes other priests will also vote yes.
Although he disagrees with gay marriage, Limerick-based priest Fr Iggy O’Donovan says he is “willing to allow those that believe to live out their lives”.
Speaking on LIVE95Fm radio the Augustinian priest admits he could never preside over a gay marriage ceremony but said he is still willing to “fight for people” to hold their views.
“It is not what I would see as the ideal, in fact I would disagree with it but I am willing to allow those that believe to live out their lives.”
When asked if he views gay marriage as sinful he insisted he would not judge anyone.
“It would be sinful for me but to use that lovely phrase of Pope Francis, ‘Who am I to judge?’”
The high-profile priest says he cannot “but be moved” when he listens to the situations of some members of the gay community.
“I might disagree with them and I wouldn’t be able to participate in such a ceremony I admit that, but at the same time I am willing to accept the opinion of those who have that view.”
Fr O’Donovan, insists he is not calling for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum but said he had simply expressed his opinion in response to a question on how he would be voting.
He also revealed that he believes other Catholic priests will also vote yes on May 22 next. “I think some of them will and some of them will vote no.”
The priest, whose comments come after the Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran called for a no vote, does not agree with some views that a yes result would undermine Catholic marriage.
“I don’t believe it will,” he said.
“It’s simply facing a reality that is staring us straight in the face in our society. Catholic marriage does not depend on civil law. In fact Catholic anything shouldn’t depend on civil law to prop it up. You cannot legislate for morality. If we want to be moral and if we want to uphold Catholic values we do so, but we should not depend on the yes or no of Enda Kenny or indeed any other politician on this.
“I am not in any way calling for a yes or no vote, I was simply asked how I would vote myself. All I am saying is that if a yes vote is carried or if the no vote is carried it won’t affect me in the slightest, I will still be a believer and provocateur of catholic values and catholic marriage.”
“Maybe I am a ‘fuddy duddy’ on this one but I am a believer in marriage for life, in heterosexual marriage between a man and a woman. I see that as Catholic marriage, that is the one I believe in but I am willing in civil law, and I am not changing church law in any way — in civil law, the state is a secular reality and the state legislates for all its citizens including those who have different views on marriage,”
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