With Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage just 11 days away, the Catholic church is unsurprisingly upping their campaign for a no vote
Although a priest from Donegal announced last week that he intends to vote in favor of same-sex marriage, six bishops have made public statements arguing against marriage equality.
Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, the most senior prelate in the west of Ireland, said the bishops were "not disparaging anyone" or being "disrespectful to same-sex relationships".
In a statement read out to congregations on Sunday, Neary incorrectly told the congregation that the referendum is about the family and not gay marriage.
The wording of the referendum is clearly stated:
“Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
Neary insisted that he is neither being conservative or “mean spirited” in his opposition, arguing – again, incorrectly – that civil partnerships give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Neary’s views were echoed by Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick, Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert, Bishop Ray Browne of Kerry, Bishop Phonsie Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore and Bishop Leo O'Reilly of Kilmore.