by Deacon Nick Donnelly

In January 2014, Enda Kenny legalised the national tragedy of abortion in Ireland. This year he seems set on pitching the country headlong into the nonsense of gay marriage announcing the date of his gay marriage referendum in the run up to Christmas. Tánaiste Joan Burton’s enthusiastic endorsement of the referendum gave the misleading impression that it originates in will of the people. She said: “The fact that this referendum is now to take place is a mark of the progress that has taken place in this country in recent years and decades, and indicates the extent to which attitudes to lesbian and gay people have changed.”

But is this really anything to do with the will of the people of Ireland?

How has gay marriage rocketed to the top of Kenny’s agenda?

Have you ever asked yourself the question, how has gay marriage rocketed to the top of so many governments’ busy legislative agendas? Does this juggernaut to legalise gay marriage originate from the citizens of the Republic, or rather from the Irish ruling elite’s collaboration in a pan-European social engineering project agreed by politicians in 2010?

Christopher Booker, a columnist for The Sunday Telegraph, outlined the details of what he believes is a social engineering project to make sense of the spectacle of David Cameron tearing the Conservative party apart through his determination to legalise gay marriage. According to Booker, the advance of same sex marriage across Europe is a carefully worked out scheme hatched out by the Council of Europe and cabinet members of David Cameron’s Conservative and Liberal Coalition government. Four years ago, ministers from the 47 member countries in the Council of Europe agreed a “Recommendation” on “measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity”. In 2011, Cameron’s government committed the UK Foreign Office and its new Gender Equality Office to fully implement the 2010 Council of Europe plan. Later that year, when the UK assumed the six-monthly chairmanship of the Council of Europe it put gay marriage at the top of Europe’s agenda. Cameron’s government even invested £100,000 in creating a dedicated LGBT unit in Strasbourg to plan the implementation of the project. Christopher Booker writes:

‘Britain was so keen to take the lead that, on March 27 last year [2012], the UK’s representation in Strasbourg organised the council’s first “closed conference” (ie, public not admitted), to agree detailed plans for the June 2013 implementation… A speech by the British judge, Sir Nicolas Bratza, then head of the European Court of Human Rights, signalled that the court was ready to declare same-sex marriage a “human right”, as soon as enough countries fell into line.’

Simply put, Enda Kenny and his government can be seen as implementing a British plan to undo the institution of marriage in Ireland.

The Irish Bishops accuse Enda Kenny of attacking Marriage

The day after Enda Kenny’s visit to a gay bar for Fine Gael's LGBT Christmas party, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference launched a staunch defence of the institution of marriage through their pastoral letter, ‘The Meaning of Marriage’.

The Irish bishops are in no doubt that Kenny’s gay marriage referendum is an unjustifiable attack by the Irish State against marriage as the union of husband and wife for the procreation and nurturing of children. Pulling no punches, the bishops accuse the Irish State of perpetrating a ‘grave injustice’ against the husbands, wives and children of Ireland:

‘It is a grave injustice if the State ignores the uniqueness of the role of husbands and wives, the importance of mothers and fathers in our society. Children, as they grow and mature, deserve from society a clear understanding of the importance of marriage. Without protection and support for the unique place of marriage in society, the State could, in effect, deprive children of the right to a mother and father.’

The bishops quite rightly name this attempt to legalise gay marriage as an attack on the fundamental building block of society – the family and the relationship between parents and children. They see it as nothing more than a betrayal of the State’s primary duty to protect Irish families, unnecessarily sacrificing parents and their children on the altar of the modern idols of political correctness, ‘fairness, equality and civil rights’. Of course individuals’ human rights are important to any civilised society but not at the cost of the rights of the family. The bishops uphold the principle that individuals’ rights must be balanced with the rights of the family and the paramount rights of children. If Kenny succeeds in legalising the fiction of gay marriage he will inflict untold harm on future generations of children, having inflicted mortal harm on future generations of unborn children.

The Irish bishops are also clear that Enda Kenny and his government are launching yet another attack on the Irish Constitution, following his desecration of the Constitution’s defence of the sanctity of unborn life:

‘The Constitution of Ireland regards the family ‘as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State’ (Art. 41.1.2°). ‘The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack (Art. 41.3.1°). Any attempt to change this protection would be a radical change in the meaning of marriage – the ‘foundation stone’ of society – in the document that expresses the foundational values of the Irish State.’

Pope Francis says gay "marriage" will seriously harm the family

Unsurprisingly the Irish bishops were lambasted and ridiculed by LGBT activists and the Irish media for their defence of marriage and their temerity to spell out the harm caused to society by gay marriage. The critics of the Irish bishops sought to attack them by misleadingly contrasting their defence of marriage with caricatures of Pope Francis’ position on the issue, but this is to grossly misrepresent the Holy Father.

Three years before his election as pope, Cardinal Bergoglio, as the archbishop of Buenos Aires and Primate of Argentina, said that same-sex marriage and adoption of children by gays would ‘seriously harm the family.’ He came to the following conclusion about Argentina’s plan to legalise gay marriage:

‘Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill but a ‘move’ of the Father of Lies [Satan] who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.’

Since assuming the role of the Successor of St Peter, Francis has not undergone a conversion about the dangers posed by gay marriage. Making the same point as the bishops’ pastoral letter ‘The Meaning of Marriage’, Pope Francis sees the complementarity of man and woman as fundamentally constitutive of marriage, praising the ‘union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, communities, and whole societies.’

Pope Francis has also spoken out in defence of the child’s right to a mother and a father, ‘Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.’

The Holy Father also presided over the Extraordinary Synod on the Family that issued a final report that categorically rejected any attempt to equate homosexual unions with marriage:

‘There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’(55).

The Synod Fathers also explicitly condemned political pressure exerted on the Church to accept gay marriage:

‘Exerting pressure in this regard on the Pastors of the Church is totally unacceptable: this is equally so for international organizations who link their financial assistance to poorer countries with the introduction of laws which establish “marriage” between persons of the same sex.’ (56)

This raises the question, in the light of Ireland’s economic problems, to what extent is Kenny’s referendum on gay marriage driven by financial pressures from the social engineers of the European Union and the UK?

Where’s the harm?

The threat posed by Kenny’s gay marriage referendum to Irish society cannot be dismissed or minimised. The harm will come from three directions – legal, moral and spiritual.

If Kenny succeeds in legalising gay marriage, Ireland will find itself in the grip of the ‘soft’ totalitarianism of the politically correct who constrain freedom of conscience. You only have to look over the border to see this with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission threatening the prosecution of Ashers Baking Company for refusing to bake a cake including a slogan supporting gay "marriage".

Since the legalisation of gay "marriage" in the UK, broadcasters have ratcheted up their advocacy and promotion of homosexuality, even through children’s programmes such as Dr Who. A country that legalises gay "marriage" soon loses touch with the perennial truth that homosexual sex are acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that, "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357).

Finally, the greatest harm to Ireland will come from – in the words of the Synod Fathers – abandoning ‘God’s plan for marriage and family’. The consequences of this for Ireland’s future will be incalculable.